Tuesday, October 27, 2020

A Freelance Gig Worth Considering: Online Reviewer

Hey there!  Not talking about books or those sites that have rigid requirements and pay pennies after you write thousands of words for them.  This would be more along the lines of blogging or vlogging but under your name and/or your true identity.  Yes, it can be fun venting on sites like Yelp but this not only requires a little planning and can be a great service to consumers worldwide.

Consider What You Will Talk About

There's a lot that people will read and share but they want a consistent voice and possibly topic.  For instance, you may be a big fan of Trader Joe's and vintage car restoration.  Can you write about both?  I don't see why not if you're willing to invest the time into creating two different entities to share your honest views.

On the other hand, it may help to ensure there's some congruency in your topics.  Let's replace Traders with Whole Paycheck Foods (or another premium grocer with a following) but you also like to shop at Dollar Tree.  This makes sense to some but most likely, not the majority.  If Amy Dacyczyn (author of The Tightwad Gazette series) were to share the best places to buy goose liver, she'd been laughed out of her book deal.

Plan Your Brand

Are you funny, informative, serious, or so darned detailed that it's not funny but people love you anyway?  Will you need visuals or a funny theme song as your vlog/podcast intro?  Like any other venture, consider what your competition is doing and see how you can make it better or different.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

What New Freelancers Can Do to Attract Better Clients

via Gfycat

 If you're thinking 'any client that pays is alright with me', you may want to change your thought process for the long-term.  A good client not only pays on time but will want repeat business AND possibly refer your services to their colleagues.  This, of course, eliminates the time you spend hustling or cold-calling by email (which may not bring much of a return since this type of mail tends to land in the junk pile).  It can also free you from having to learn personality quirks and other things that come with the freelancing hustle.

While you may be a person that loves to meet new people, this process can wear on you after a while.  It's not quite like having a storefront if your clients aren't local.  If you're regional or global, this may mean learning about different cultures that affect everything from communication to how you get paid.  

The 15 ways freelancers can stand out is a good start to defining who you are and what you can do for a potential client.  Most newbies think in terms of offering the lowest price (there's a strategy to this if you're serious) in order to land the gig but offering yourself on a platter with all the trimmings will filter out the deadbeats.  It's kind of like the old-school job classifieds where the legit companies usually stated the job description, benefits, and more in a medium-to-large display ad but hole-in-the-wall operations often used no more than two lines.

Unless you come with a lot of connections in your industry, presenting yourself in the best light pays off in a big way.  A good social media profile with relevant links and education/industry certifications can get you some notice.  However, using a platform like LinkedIn to tell a story about what you have to offer clients is much better than having a bunch of degrees, or using glossy words to describe yourself.

Don't get me wrong, education and power words go hand-in-hand but don't make that all you have to offer a client.  The right storytelling techniques for freelancers can help you develop a voice that not only reflects the quality of your work but will make your profile stronger than your competitors.  It's kind of like dating.  If you wonder why you keep attracting the wrong mate, often you'll find that a makeover (either external or internal...or a little of both) gives you the confidence to build relationships with people who can make things happen.  And that's in a good way!

Friday, October 2, 2020

Should New Content Writers Give Away Their Work?

Instead of giving a yes or no answer, here's a quick summary in question form... what are you looking to achieve?  If it's just a temporary gig that pays a small flat rate, think twice before signing on.  However, freebies that can lead to increased exposure should be done on a secondary or tertiary basis.  And that's only if you're new to freelance writing.

  • Organizations linked to your niche industry - if this is a nonprofit with a limited budget BUT a lot of traffic, there's room for negotiation.  From a byline to a link to your relevant blog to the possibility of earning a paid spot.  Some writers work their way into editor positions or assistant with communication duties.  This move can add to your resume if you're a student, career-changer, or looking to get back into the working world after a long absence.
  • Outsourcing Companies