Tag Archives: freelance opportunities

What Google+ Could Mean For Freelancers

book and script editor for hire Joe Wallaceby Joe Wallace

This morning I spotted North PR Strategy Director Dave Allen’s repost of a YouTube video featuring a Google+ product manager, who was talking about an “optimized business experience” for Google+.

Some busy freelancers are no doubt wondering what exactly Google+ IS. In a nutshell, according to Pocket-Lint.com blogger Libby Plummer, Google+ is a “social networking platform that’s set to rival Facebook. Well, that’s the plan anyway. Google doesn’t have a particularly strong history when it comes to social networking services with both Google Wave and Google Buzz failing to catch on, but if the demo is anything to go by, it’s investing a lot of time and money into making its latest venture a potential Facebook killer.”

Does this mean yet another place for busy writers and editors will need to set aside time to create profiles in, network and post videos of doves teasing sleeping kitties?

Probably not just yet, according to the video Dave Allen posted, which says the “business experience” is still under development and Google is actually asking businesses and freelancers to avoid using “consumer profiles’ for business purposes. The business area, Google promises, will have “rich analytics” and can be used with Google Adwords and other goodies.

What this DOES mean for freelancers is that there’s going to be a brief time period–as with any new social media platform–where there’s a sort of wild frontier-style atmosphere while the rules of engagement are still being developed. In the past, savvy freelancers and business people have used these situations to create business for themselves in creative ways.

If you’re looking for a new avenue to create freelance business for yourself as a social media guru, content creator, community manager or other social media specialist, Google+ could hold some great promise for you in these early developing stages. The key is to watch the platform carefully, look for avenues of opportunity nobody else is taking full advantage of, and move in with your own particular sales pitch.

Are you up for it?

Joe Wallace is a freelance editor, writer and vinyl junkie. He writes about vinyl records, DJ culture and rare albums at Turntabling.net. His current projects include editing a book on voice acting, ghost writing for confidential clients, and working as a military culture and hardware advisor for a developing video game project. Wallace spent 13 years as a reporter and editor for Air Force News Agency and has traveled the globe with a Sony Betacam on one shoulder.

Networking Opportunities You Never Thought About

freelancewritingLast week my phone rang–Jon Kitley of KitleysKrypt.com was on the other end asking if I wanted to go with him to a horror movie convention called HorrorHound Weekend. Why not? I’d never been to one before and it would be fun to see what kind of mischief i could get up to.

Little did I know that hanging out with the horror lovers could turn into an opportunity to score new writing gigs.

As with any good horror movie convention, there were plenty of DVD dealers to chat with. One vendor turned out to be the official table for a very good DVD company that licenses scary movies from four decades worth of obscure or neglected (by the mainstream) movies. After ten minutes of conversation I learned that this company relies on freelancers for some of its work, and before the end of the convention I had a pretty good idea that some freelance work writing descriptions for the DVD covers would not be out of the question for yours truly.

I had no intention of picking up work at the show, but in the world of freelancing, work is where you find it. The trick is to keep your antennae up without being one of those “always on” people. I tried to gather the right kind of info I’d need without being pushy or talking nothing but shop the whole time–it’s always good to know when the right time to pitch yourself comes along and when to just chill out and have a conversation.

The point of all this is, you never know when you might have a chance to offer your freelance skills to someone. If I’d been a bit smarter about going to the convention, I could have brought along some writing samples and a resume kit just in case. I wouldn’t have brought it out with the folks I was talking to in this particular case–it wouldn’t have been appropriate at the moment–but if someone had asked, I could have been ready.
Lesson learned? The Boy Scout motto, “Always prepared” is a damn fine philosophy to live by when you’re traveling.

Layoffs, Recession, and Freelancing

Now that it’s official and we are in a full fledged recession, many part-time freelancers are wondering whether it’s “safe” to go full-time. But some freelancers won’t have a choice when the layoffs hit; those who get forced out of their day jobs have little choice but to hit the trail hard and look for any paying gigs they can find.

Are you one of those suddenly out of a day job? Are you afraid you’ll become a statistic soon? If so, start ramping up your freelance income as much as possible by taking a hard look at some of these:

–Examine your current or former day job for potential. Are you working in an industry that has trade magazines? Even a fast-food worker has potential here. You may find your old job as a major source of income if you can take your experiences there and turn them into relevant articles for magazines published in your industry.

–Go back to your old employer and offer your writing services for their websites, press kits, etc.

–Start a blog. The “I just got laid off” theme is quite viable right now. Monetize it will Google ads and other programs, but don’t stop there. Smart bloggers in this topic will try to think of ways to build communities with other unemployed people who can pool resources and advice for the common good. Don’t just blog about your life, offer help to others even if it is just a show of support.

–Take advantage of your hobbies and creative pursuits. Are you an experienced model builder, amateur video fanatic or musician? Look for ways to ramp up your cash flow by taking advantage of your  expereinces. Write an e-book or offer a service related to writing and your hobby. Are you a gamer? Do you love role playing games? Consider writing adventures or creating manuals for your favorite games. Dungeons and Dragons-type games can always use another monster guide or set of new adventures…they key is to take advantage of your knowledge of existing hobbies for immediate assignments.

–Teach a class. Does your local community center need someone experienced as a writer or a writer skilled in a particular area? You could wind up teaching what you know to supplement your income if you know where to look.

–Make cold calls. Call any business in your area of expertise and offer your writing skills for websites and other projects. Don’t think you have nothing to offer—if you know an industry well, you can apply your freelance writing skills to keep those paychecks rolling.