Not too long ago (think pre-Enron, pre-9/11) work automatically came to us if our reputation was good. While waiting we did all the right moves, of course. Those ranged from publishing articles on subjects associated with ghostwriting/speechwriting to delivering talks at professional associations. When the assignments finally did come in we tended to be "order takers." That is, we did what the client wanted.
After Enron executives adopted low profiles. After 9/11, budgets were slashed. Also it looked bad for corporations to be spending any of those downsized budgets for putting themselves out there. The work dried up. Now, it's back. But to get it we have to get down cold understanding the new rules. I am still in the process of learning.
For example, today I got it that I have been making all the right moves with a lucrative client. Through LinkedIn I had learned she had switched from the agency to the client side. Through LinkedIn, I wished her well with her new opportunity. She responsed. After reseaching her new employer I saw that I had experience in the financial services it provided. In a second LinkedIn message, I briefly described that background. The follow up has been a cute greeting card and a small gift certificate from Dunkin Donuts, sent snail mail.
Today she sent me an email indicating that soon enough they would be needing white papers on the subject matter. You bet, when the assignments start rolling in I will be alert for how I can add value through suggestions. Not "intruding" with recommendations positions us as not caring enough.
Last century, this behavior could have been viewed as too pushy. A kid from the mean streets of Jersey City, New Jersey I had often been chastised for what was perceived as undue aggressiveness. Now, my kind of hustle is exactly the tipping point in landing business. Reality has become binary. Either we have the business. Or we don't have the business. More often than not I have the business. When I don't I do any autopsy of the dead account.