If you are an entrepreneur, you would know the dilemma of sourcing business as well as executing it. And if you are a one-person team who is doing all this. It could be a nightmare sometimes.
More so for me, as a writer, I have these times when I hibernate, I go in total seclusion. Between pressing deadlines, creativity zones and writer’s block, it is an overwhelming experience, to communicate and source business. However, the execution-writing is like a whisk of a wand.
I shifted my profession mid-career and thus I had to start from the base learning the ropes of the writing industry. Although, I worked as a freelance writer for almost 5 years before I started full-time, my target audience were different before.
How The Career Shift Materialised
While I was on a sabbatical figuring out my next career choice, my husband asked me to attend a business meeting on his behalf. I was not against meetings. Having worked as a Corporate Recruiter for 17 long years before I got into writing, meetings were a part of life. But my husband said, you have to attend this meeting at 7.30 in the morning, and that I have already taken a membership for it. I immediately made my opinion that my husband has invested in a MLM venture, and I was to be proven wrong soon enough.
I had no choice but to attend the meeting. As I stepped in the hotel premises and the meeting room, I was welcomed by a cheerful gentleman who had the happiest smiles and it is that day and today it’s been 6 long years and I am part of BNI. This cheerful gentleman turned out to be the Executive Director of Navi Mumbai Region, the ultimate authority at BNI Navi Mumbai.
What changed my perspective towards BNI?
I saw a very energetic meeting that day with almost 50 plus business owners exchanging business, and the ones that followed. Over years, I realised how as members we small business owners came to be the ecosystem for each other, be it professional or personal matters.
The Journey Of 6 Years
My company’s name is The Writing Stuff, and I provide content writing and book writing services. After joining BNI, I realised the power of referral partners.I identified people who can give me ongoing business and that too with minimum intervention. You might think, how is that even possible with a single-person team and my hibernated schedule?
But it worked for me. I identified my referral partners who complement my business but do not compete with me. Web Designers, Graphic Designers, Digital Marketers, Corporate Videographers, SEO experts all are referral partners for me, as most of them would not have an internal content writer.
Slowly, and steadily I approached different chapters in my region, identified and associated with the referral partners. I networked well and kept these referral partners in a loop by sending them my newsletters quarterly. The newsletter mentioned the kind of work I have done in the last 3 months, new clients, and success stories. This way I educated and updated my referral partners. I got to see the result soon enough. I kept getting assignment every now and then, that kept me busy. And thus, I hardly had to rely on external non-BNI marketing or promotions for my business. And that proved profitable for an entrepreneur like me.
But the ultimate potential of this referral partner network blessed me during the covid times. When my non BNI fellow writers complained about less work, my work had doubled.
I have maintained the momentum even post covid and enhancing my network every given day. Referral Partner is in fact an established business strategy for me now. Direct clients give me business, but referral partners are a fountain of opportunities.
I am associated with over 35 referral partners currently in BNI Navi Mumbai, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Noida, & Dubai. I have also started using this strategy out of BNI, asking my friends and acquaintances to connect me with my referral partners. Although this works out of BNI too, but I see the dedicated commitment between BNI members for the simple reason that, we believe in Giver’s Gain.
A New Vertical
With the help of a BNI member, I was able to explore a new vertical for my business. I am an author of 4 books on short stories, but never thought of pursuing it as a profession or service. Because of the trust of one member in my work, today I have been able to establish book writing as my forte. Till date I have been part of 16 books on Business, Management, Self-help and Memoirs, and my goal is to be part of atleast 50 books.
A Piece Of Advice To All The New Members At BNI
As a mentoring co-ordinator, one of the BNI roles I took in my chapter, I have made new members realise the power of referral partners. It is not always that you will get direct business. But to build your referral partner network is to invest for the rainy days.
The BNI Global Network boasts of 2,80,000 members and I have a sea of opportunities still waiting to be explored. The next plunge is going international with my work. I know BNI is a sure platform for me, and referral partners a proven strategy for a single person team like me.
When you work with a strategy, BNI can prove to be your dedicated way of growing business.
About Jyoti Rane
Jyoti Rane is an MBA in HR and has worked as a Recruiter for 17 long years before she shifted to Writing. She has till date delivered content for 200 plus clients and has written 20 books.