Friday, February 26, 2010

Thoughts on Freelancing- 2.26



I've been thinking a lot about my career lately. As many of you know, I write copy for businesses and individuals, articles for magazines and websites, and I have a few blogs. Recently, I've been more focused on copywriting and blogging as opposed to sending out pitches to magazines, which is kind of weird because I don't even remember why I started copywriting in the first place. I honestly didn't think I would like it initially-- I'd never done it, had never thought about doing it, and, hey, I was used to writing articles.

Now that I've been doing it a little over a year, I really enjoy it. I like being able to help people, especially small business owners, achieve their goals and convey their messages. I say all this to say I'm pretty sure I'm going to start focusing soley on copywriting and blogging and use the article ideas I have on for colored gurls. We'll see what happens, and I'll keep you posted...

Have a fabulous weekend, lovelies!


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Find the right freelancer for you

Maybe you're thinking about bringing a freelancer on board to design your website or write some copy. The only problem is you don't have a clue where to find this person or what, exactly, you should be looking for.

Well, a post on Freelance Folder offers tips for those looking to hire a freelancer (yay, lucky you!) One tip? Be clear about what you want. For example, if you decide to post an ad or ask for proposals, provide as much info as you can about your project.

Check out the other tips: How To Find the Right Freelancer for Your New Project

Please feel free to add your tips on finding a freelancer below.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Four Freelance Books You Should Check Out

Happy Monday, everyone! Hope ya'll had a lovely weekend. Today, I want to share four books I think will help you get started on your journey to being a freelance writer:


I just started reading this, but I love it already! This book deals more with freelance copywriting (writing for corporations, small businesses, etc.). It talks about how to find work, marketing yourself and much more.


Combining humor, how-tos and tips, this book is a great source for anyone considering a freelance career.



This book gives aspiring freelance writers the must-do basics and includes info on crafting queries, writing and researching for articles, negotiating contracts and much more.




From the creators of mediabistro.com, "Get a Freelance Life" features advice on evaluating if freelance writing is right for you, developing relationships with editors, how to write queries and articles and more.

Feel free to leave me a comment with your favorite writing books!

Photos from: randomhouse.com, amazon.ca, jennaglatzer.com

Friday, February 19, 2010

Build your brand-now!

Happy Friday!

I'm sure you know by now that branding any business is very important. (If you're not sure what branding is, check out this post).

Here are some tips you can use right now to build your brand:
  • Get a fabulous and effective website. By having a design that's professionally created (or at least looks like it), you'll gain credibility- and it's not as expensive as you might imagine. Two options to consider: 1) Use a theme that everyone and their grandma isn't using, or 2) Use a little money to hire a designer to modify an available, free theme.

  • Be serious about SEO (search engine optimization). Whatever business you're in, you don't want to spend a lot of time looking for clients/customers- you want to use your time to make money. If you take the time to work on your SEO, your name (or business's) will come up higher in search results; so, when someone is searching for the service/product you offer, they'll be more likely to choose you first.

  • Create compelling copy. You want the words on your website to convince others to purchase your product or service. However, it can be hard for you to write about how awesome you are, so you may want to think about hiring a copywriter. He or she can objectively convey why individuals should choose you.

  • Convey your brand to others. It's easier to form a brand following when you can "piggy-back on top of an exisiting brand." And with blogging being so popular, gaining recognition is pretty simple- one way to do this is by writing guest posts on other blogs.

  • Make a product to establish your authority. Having a product or download shows prospective clients that you know what you're doing. A couple of options: Write an ebook, or provide a free download that's related to your business's experience.


Feel free to share any branding tips you have below.

Photo from: commercialimaging.com.au
Source: Freelance Folder

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Become a better freelance writer

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

I was looking for some career/writing advice yesterday, and I stumbled upon a post on Quips and Tips for Writers called 7 Ways to Be a Better Freelance Writer. Laurie Kienlen-Pawlick gives us some great examples of writing goals for successful freelance writers. A few things she suggests:


  • Set financial goals.
  • Set a blog or website goal.
  • Pitch three new articles every week.

Check out the entire post here. And have a fabulous day!



Monday, February 15, 2010

Do you have an elevator pitch?

This past weekend, a friend of mine got hitched. I figured I'd see people I haven't seen in a while, and you know people love to ask, 'What do you do?' or 'Where do you work?' When someone asks me this, I usually say I'm a writer. But I either don't know how to explain what I do, or I have to go into a really looong explanation. So, I attempted to write an elevator speech/pitch. Even though I didn't really get a chance to chat with anyone (I was busy being a hostess), I think an elevator pitch is a fabulous idea.

But first, what is it? It's essentially your 30-second marketing strategy; basically, it's a short description of what you do that can be conveyed during an elevator ride (hence the name). A good one can get you new clients and refererrals and help people remember you.

A good elevator pitch not only tells people who you are and what you do, it tells them how your
business or service can benefit them (which is what they really care about).

Here's a post of Freelance Folder that gives tips on how to write one. Check it out: Is Your Elevator Pitch a Home Run?

Photo from: sbinformation.about.com

Friday, February 12, 2010

Finding business success in 2010

We all want success in our businesses, right? Well, SCORE, the "Counselors of America's Small Business Owners," compiled a list of the top 10 ways to make your business profitable in 2010. (Shout out to Tawana, entrepreneur and creator of Corporate Chics, LLC- I found this on her site).
Here are the top five:
  1. Grow your customer base. Understand your customer demographics and why they buy your products and services. Win clients over with new and diversified products, and offer multiple price points and create packages or customizable plans, which give your customers greater freedom and flexibility.
  2. Expand low budget marketing. Promote your business for free on Twitter, and set up a Facebook fan page. Start a blog and comment on other blogs. Take this opportunity to communicate with customers about your business, and go viral.
  3. Surround yourself with experts. Get feedback from advisors you trust. Entrepreneurs count on SCORE for free and confidential business mentoring. Use a mentor to test ideas, map a sales plan and focus on success. You can ask SCORE for advice and/or meet with a SCORE mentor.
  4. Add commerce through a website. Your business needs one to stay competitive. Secure all variations on your company's domain name, and use online forms to encourage interaction. Also, add a shopping cart to sell your products, not just promote the brand.
  5. Free up time to sharpen your focus. Organize for success. Set a time each week to handle routine tasks, and use a PDA or other device to keep track of phone numbers, dates, appointments and meetings. Additionally, remember to take short breaks to refresh and recharge.

Check out the other five tips here: SCORE's Top 10 Secrets for Small Business


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Get organized!

Regardless of what business you're in, organization is key. Trust me, I know it can be difficult to declutter ( I currently live with the parental units, and they are far from organized), but it's possible- and it's necessary if you want your business (writing or otherwise) to thrive.

What are some benefits of being organized?
  • More productivity.
  • Saves you time and money (you won't waste time looking for misplaced items- especially when you could be working, and you won't have to waste money by replacing lost items).
  • Allows you to be more calm (the mere sight of clutter can make you tense).

Here are some organizational tidbits from Laura Spencer, a freelance writer who contributes to Freelance Folder:

  • Get rid of papers whenever possible. Try automatic and online billing for your bills and perhaps even for invoicing.
  • Get control of your email. Most email systems lets you create folders and rules. Generally, you should be able to make a folder for each client's messages, and rules can send the messages to the client's folder automatically.
  • Keep an accurate calendar. This can be done online, on paper or both. I maintain a planner for my day-to-day activities, a desk calendar to remind me of deadlines, and I create a weekly to-do list on my computer.
  • Find a place for the papers you must keep. Consider using a filing cabinet, an accordion file or file folders. Remember to keep similar papers together.
  • Use a bulletin board. Here, you can post any and everything you want and need to remember.
Check out the entire post: The Messy Guide to Staying Organized

If you have any tips about organizing, leave a comment! Help a sista out : o )

Photo from: static.techwithoutwires.com


Monday, February 8, 2010

Fear of Success

I don't know if you've ever thought about it, but just like fear of failure, fearing success can hold you back in your career. And honestly, it's something I struggle with from time time. I know it's possible for me to be published and get paid for what I do (because I've done it); the problem is that I sometimes wonder if I can keep it up, and I fear I'm not good enough to continue getting published, paid and getting support/readers on my blogs.

Luckily, I came across a post this weekend on Quips and Tips for Successful Writers (great blog, by the way) called Fear of Success for Writers- Signs of Self-Sabotage in the Writing Life. The author and site creator, Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen, gives us ways that fear of writing success shows up:

  • Procrastination.
  • Talking the talk...but not walking the walk.
  • Negative, pessimistic thoughts and behaviors.
  • "Partying" the night before the big presentation (i.e., not getting enough sleep the night before a huge deadline).

Fortunately, she also gives us five tips for overcoming our fears of success:

  1. Accept your fear. Be scared. (Feel the fear...and do it anyway).
  2. Figure out why you're sabotaging your writing goals.
  3. Accept failure as a part of succeeding.
  4. View your writing and editing skills as changeable.
  5. Compete against yourself-not other writers and bloggers.
Check out the entire for post for more info (trust me, you'll be glad you did): 5 Ways to Overcome Fear of Success for Writers.

Do you fear success? How do you/have you gotten over the fear of succeeding?

It's National Freelance Writers Appreciation Week!

Happy Monday, peoples!


If you didn't know, it's Freelance Writers Appreciation Week (yay us)! I don't know where this observance originated, but I think it's great (of course, I may be a little biased).


So, I guess I'll tell you guys some things I appreciate about being a freelancer:
  • I write about topics in which I have interest.
  • No long commutes.
  • Connecting with other freelancers, writers and entrepreneurs.
  • I get to help people develop and enhance their businesses.

    What do you appreciate about being a freelance writer? Or if you're not one, what do you appreciate about freelance writers?

Photo from sl-designs.com

Friday, February 5, 2010

How to make a musician's press kit

One good way to get your music in front of the media and music execs is by creating and sending out press kits. The goal is to get whoever's looking at your kit to listen your music and/or cover you in their publication. So, instead of going crazy and adding unnecessary items, you should let your music, bio and press clips talk for you.

The elements of a good musician's press kit are:
  • Bio and/or press release
  • An advanced or finished product
  • Hi-res photos (or links to them)
  • Any press you've received or press quotes
With your bio and press release, you have to identify the things that set you apart, emphasize your background and achievments and those of any other band members (if they're appealing). Also, mention career highlights you've had so far, give info on any tour dates and provide important press quotes.

If you're making advances for the media, make sure your (or your PR person's) contact info is on everything because CDs can get separated easily. If you're sending the final product, make sure you're giving them the full art version.
The photos you use can make or break the chances of your item running, so good photos are necessary. Now, it's customary to give a link to your site where your photo(s) can be downloaded.

If you've been featured in publications before, it should be included. Mike King suggests the following:
Any editorial your band gets should be cut out from whatever else surrounds it in the paper. Cut out the masthead of the publication, affix it to a piece of paper with the article below, and be sure to format it all so it looks nice on an 8" 1/2 x 11" piece of paper. Alternatively, if you have some really key quotes, these can simply be dropped into your press release or bio.

For more tips on creating press kits for musicians, check out my source, Music Publicity 101.

Photo from nysapien.wordpress.com


Mocha Writer creates press kits! If you or someone you know can use one, contact me: jamiefleming@mochawriter.com

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Define success for YOU

Success. It's something we all want and strive for. But what is success?

Well, I think you have to define it for yourself. For some people, success is fancy cars, big homes and lots of money. For others, it's having a career they love. Neither is better, but remember, you should define it for yourself. Why? Because if you don't, you will likely end up unhappy because you're doing something others think you should be doing or you'll be doing something other people think is better.

My point in all this? Do you and do what's right for you, regardless of what anyone has to say about it. You have to live life for yourself.

So, what is your definition of success?


Monday, February 1, 2010

February Goals

Here are my career goals for this month:
  • Make the amount of money I want
  • Get two queries accepted
  • Submit 3-4 DS articles per week
  • Gain five more subscribers to for colored gurls
  • Get four copywriting clients
  • Network, network, network
  • Work on marketing and branding
  • Stay organized
  • Stay focused and encouraged!

What are your writing/career goals this month?
Above photo from: beginnertriathlete.com


Got confidence?

Happy Monday & February!

I'm sure you know that to make it as a writer (or in any other profession), you must have confidence in yourself and your abilities. If you don't, you probably won't make it very far. Now, it does take time to start believing in yourself and skills, but it is possible. And even if you do have confidence, you might find yourself wavering at some point- I know I do.

That's why I grabbed these tips from Kimora Lee Simmon's book, "Fabulosity: What It Is & How to Get It." I know, I know, you're probably thinking, 'Who takes advice from her?' But I promise you, these tips are worthwhile:

  1. Never say never. Get rid of words like "can't," "don't" or "won't." If you think you can't, then you can't- or won't. You have to believe and know that you are everything you want. Whatever you believe about yourself is what is going to be.
  2. Fake it 'til you make it. If you don't feel confident in your writing ability, for example, pretend that you do feel confident and soon enough, you will! Also, continuously hone your skills so you are the absolute best you can be.
  3. Trust there's a reason you're where you are. Sometimes, when good things happen to us, we start thinking about all the bad things that might occur, and we wonder if we should truly be there. However, it's important to remember that you deserve all the positive things in your life.
  4. Believe other people's confidence in you, even when you don't believe yourself. By doing this, you'll have more faith in you.
  5. Choose your company wisely. Basically, if you hang around people who are successful and confident, it'll eventually rub off on you. So, watch the company you keep.

What are your tips for gaining confidence?


There was an error in this gadget
There was an error in this gadget

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails