Thursday, April 28, 2022

Time for Freelancer Spring Cleaning


This may be the year you decided to add a new service or branch out into something entirely different than what you were doing before.  If things aren't quite going as expected - don't fret and definitely don't quit!  Sometimes the habits we've come to know as a method to the madness don't always translate to all lines of work.  Maybe you need a new social media strategy or change the way to manage business overall.

Pinpoint the Problem

Many of us have the bad habit of doing everything else except for what we really need to do.  This is especially true when we hear someone make a comment about something they noticed.  While knocking things out ASAP is always a good habit, it can take away from other time-consuming tasks.

For instance, anyone who has a blog should get into the habit of checking for dead links.  I've been guilty (hell, even as we speak) of doing this and it was extremely embarrassing when a potential sponsor or anyone else that provides money-making opportunities points this out.  One way to remedy this is to do a free broken link check at least twice a month.

Manage Time Better

Recently, I let go of a pretty counteractive habit.  For over a decade, I've spent hours per week perusing gossip blogs and message boards.  The latter is a true time killer because there are often many topics to explore and change by the minute, in some cases.  To add to my misery is watching TV and by the end of the week, this adds up to hours in the early 10s.  While it was worse when I had cable (20+ hours) and a job I hated, the time could've been put to better use in order for my business to succeed.

You may benefit from an online timekeeping system or you may want to take the manual route.  One benefit to online timers is your clients may feel better about seeing how you use your hours.  Otherwise, once you experiment with ways to save time, you may find that you can slash certain tasks in nearly half the time.

Stop Listening to Naysayers

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Do You Think Social Media Should Be Gender-Based?

While compiling a new social media list page, I had a prospect and then thought twice about adding it.  This list is a group of professional resources that may be of use to you as a freelancer.  Many entries are lesser-known entities but the one I'd like to discuss is....for women only.

Safe Spaces for Women Online

Truthfully, I don't remember if Elpha allows men to join and didn't really give it a lot of thought when I signed up.  Sometimes, as a woman, I tend to be drawn to things that are female-oriented.  Since this isn't a message board (like Reddit) where posters can rant and possibly cross the lines of netiquette, I thought this might be an interesting blog topic.

My question is, do women, in 2022, still need our own professional spaces?

After more than six months of joining, I can say that Elpha is a safe space for women.  Why should safety be a concern at this stage?  This article shares some of the dangers that women of all ages encounter when we interact with others on social networking sites, messages boards, and forums.

Keeping it "Professional"

While some sites use moderation 24/7 (or close to it), others are slow to react to online threats about miscellaneous topics.  You may be saying 'well just limit viewing to LinkedIn and similar networking sites'.  Yes, that's a reasonable solution but here's my story about some of these professional sites.

A while ago, I earned an undergrad degree and of course, I list every credential that matters in selling myself.  While this part of the basics, the fact that my profile shows a woman who's a person of color (POC) and can hardly be mistaken for a beauty contestant makes an interesting narrative.  I say this because when most see a young(ish) female minority, it's common for them to assume that my skills are limited to clerical work.

While I did this for years, as it paid my bills, I work pretty hard to ensure that my online real estate (and the work behind it) is impeccable.  And I'm not alone in this as many Gen-X and early millennial adults may be in the midst of a career change/upgrade.  The ongoing navigation of social networks and their effectiveness is something that presents mixed results for many.