Last time, we looked at the various takeaways an editor can get from attending their clients’ conferences. Now we’ll look at how an editor’s role at the conference can make you memorable and generate leads for your editing business.
On one level, making an impression at a client’s conference is easy:
- You’re probably the only editor they know.
- If they do know another editor, you’re probably the only one who was invested enough in their niche to attend the conference.
Let’s look at another way to make an impression without being that annoying person who forces her business card into every hand.
How to Be Memorable
By virtue of being in attendance, you are findable. So how do you be memorable? You could wear fabulous shoes or have colorful hair—both approaches have worked for me. That requires a lot of energy in that you still have to make introductions and work the room. The way to really stand out (with less extroverted energy, too) is to present a session, be a sponsor, or have a booth. You could also cover their conference for their publication or for another publication.
Talk to attendees and presenters about their experiences. It’s almost a case of “the less you talk, the better.” People love to seem fascinating. Sure, hand out your cards, but get their cards. You can only control your own actions, and you can be sure to follow up when you have their card. Plus, you’ll have learned something about them to follow up on. Better yet, find out what causes them pain in the publishing process and send along some tips for easing that pain.
The Editor’s Booth
It’s uncommon for an editor to have a professional booth setup, but several do. They have a tall, professional display “flag”, samples of the books they’ve worked on, resources to give away (like checklists and lists of common errors or proofreader’s marks), and swag loved by conference attendees (pens, buttons, bookmarks). And of course, there’s a jar to drop business cards into for a chance to win a free one hour consult.
Being at a booth is both a professional presence and an invitation for interested attendees to talk to you. This pairs excellently with being a presenter because people know where to find you for followup questions.
Why Present at Clients’ Conferences
Presenting sets you up as an expert in your field and opens a dialogue with attendees. And because you will tailor the presentation to the audience, you also position yourself as someone who is interested in their field—someone who keeps up on trends and developments that matter to them. People like to work with others who “get” what they do, and being there goes a long way to achieving that.
Also, presenting will help defray costs. Find a sponsor for your presentation. They pay the travel, accommodation and meals (or some of it), and they get a prominent spot in your session, in the blurb, etc. Perhaps their logo appears on your slides and handouts. Run this by the conference organizer.
Topics to Present at Clients’ Conferences
So, what might you present? Let these suggestions get your ideas flowing:
- How to get the most from editing
- Editing yourself: tricks for seeing flubs in material you are too close to
- Making the move into professional editing (from being a peer or technical reviewer, say)
- What to expect from the publishing process
- Getting your manuscript ready for editing
- Writing book proposals