Tag Archives: twitter

The New Hotness in Social Media: Twitter Vine

By Amanda Smyth Connorvine-twitter

My favorite pastime is researching and disregarding the new social media tools that pop up seemingly every day. More often than not, I find that they are re-purposed or re-skinned versions of tools I’m already using. I’ve got my social media favorites:

Hootsuite (for keeping all of my Twitter and Facebook accounts in one place.)

Radian6 (because I am a spoiled child who convinced her company to pay for this shiny and very expensive social media tool, although I maintain that this is Best in Class for social listening.)

SocialMention.com (It’s free and offers very quick sentiment analysis and mentions.)

But the latest hotness to come about is Twitter’s Vine app.

The new Vine app links directly to your Twitter account and creates a 6-second video, during which you can edit only so far as pausing the recording process. Check out some of the amazing videos users are posting already.

Why am I telling you about this new tool? Because this new social toy is becoming the new overnight hotness and much like Pinterest, it’s spreading like wildfire. If you are interested in furthering your social media involvement, or in adding a new line item to your resume of freelance skills, get creative and begin expanding your social media horizons with this new app.

Brands are already clamoring for ways in which they can engage users through this video feature. From stop-motion to straight videos, this is a landscape that companies are anxious to be a part of, so believe me when I say that it is in your best interest to, at the very LEAST, familiarize yourself with this awesome app. It’s going to be a great tool to have in your freelance toolkit.


Amanda Smyth Connor is a social media manager for a major publishing company and has managed online communities and content development for many start-up and Fortune 500 companies.  She has been a professional editor for more years than she can remember.


She was a pushy dame with an appetite for the limelight…

SpillaneAs a freelancer, I wear two hats: one as a writer, the other as a publication layout artist. The season for my publication layout work runs from August through February, which leaves about five months of unscheduled time to pursue my own projects. Some years I get assigned to write a book, others I go scrounging for piece-work. Last year, I had neither to fill the gap, so I set several of my own ideas in motion: a series of Kindle cookbooks, a line of spice blends, an apron design, a collection of short stories, and a self-published children’s book that had been shelved and forgotten for nearly twenty years.

In the spring and summer of 2012, I managed to lay the foundations, to begin production on all of these projects, and to design a website for each one. But that’s as far as I was able to progress before it was time for the publication layout season to begin again. And now that I’m finished with this year’s edition, I’m once again presented with another five months of unscheduled time to pick up where I left off last August.

The first thing I realized is that I now have to find the most effective way to market what I’ve created. And I know I’m not alone when I say that marketing has never been my forte. I’m sure there are lots of ‘creatives’ out there who would much rather spend their time writing a novel, creating a work of art, composing a song, or in my case…developing a new recipe and photographing the finished dish!

But market I must.

On my very first day of freelancing freedom, while pondering the possibilities for introducing my creations to the world, as if manna from heaven, I happened upon a quote from steamy, noir detective novelist Mickey Spillane, who said: “Wherever I go everybody knows me, but here’s why … I’m a merchandiser, I’m not just a writer. I stay in every avenue you can think of.”

His career spanned more than sixty years, from his early stories in DC Comics and the publication of his first novel, I, the Jury, in 1947, to his death in 2006. He appeared in every medium, from comic books, magazines, and pulp fiction, to movies and television. Several of his novels have been published posthumously, and he now has a presence on the Internet that yields more than 700,000 search results.

Mickey Spillane’s words lit a fuse that sparked fireworks in my imagination, and over the course of a single week, I have explored the promotion of my products via Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Vimeo, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, Amazon, eBay, Goodreads, Twitter, Google, and Groupon, not to mention the thousands of bloggers who write about the very things that I’ve created. Suddenly there aren’t enough hours in a day, a week, or even five months to pursue them all…but I’m gonna give it my best shot.


CelesteHeiterFZBioCeleste Heiter is the author of Turn Your PC into a Lean Mean Freelancing Machine, the creator of the LoveBites Cookbook Series for Kindle Fire, and the author of Potty Pals , a potty-training book for children. She has also written ten books published by ThingsAsian Press; and spent eight years posting her recipes, food photographs, and film reviews on ChopstickCinema .

Visit her website, and her Amazon Author Page.


When and How To Find Freelance Jobs

By Amanda Smyth Connor


By now, you’ve come to learn that I have a deeply passionate fondness for social media – bordering on unhealthy obsession – and this week we’ll explore one more reason why I believe  social media is the greatest invention since #slicedbread.

Now that you are on Twitter (you are, aren’t you?) and you’re fully entrenched into following, conversing with, and RTing your favorite freelancers, writers, authors, etc, you should also be following all of the companies you are most interested in working with.

Nearly every major company has a social media presence, and the smartest of the bunch have Twitter feeds/Facebook accounts/LinkedIn pages dedicated to talent acquisition, i.e. job postings. Companies are currently in their first quarter (Q1) during which the majority of hiring takes place for the year, as Q1 occurs directly following budget approvals. What does this all mean? It means that you have the best chance of getting hired for awesome freelance gigs during Q1, and maybe Q2. Chances are also low that you’ll get hired during Q3 and most hiring is NOT done during Q4, since this is the time of year that companies have expended their budgets and need to wait for new budget approval (Q1.) And thus we come full circle.

Pop Quiz!

1. When do you have the highest chance of finding a freelance gig with a company? (A. Q1)

2. Where should you look for company jobs? (A. Aside from freelance job boards, follow the company talent acquisition Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, LinkedIn pages and RSS feeds on the career pages of their websites.)

3. When are you least likely to get a call back about that awesome freelance gig you applied for? (A. Q4)

Amanda Smyth Connor is a social media manager for a major publishing company and has managed online communities and content development for many start-up and Fortune 500 companies.  She has been a professional editor for more years than she can remember.

Social Media Shakeup for Journalists?

It’s been around long enough that we can stop calling it “new media”, and now that Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the rest are becoming more firmly entrenched in the day-to-day business of commerce and earning a living, the big questions are starting to get more attention.

As in, what’s considered “ethical” and “professional” when it comes to the use of social media in an editorial context?

For a lot of freelancers, it’s just a question of making sure you don’t alienate your current or potential future employers with a lot of random, possibly off-putting posts you’re likely to regret the next day after the fun is over.

But for others, it’s a lot more serious than that. Case in point, a recent blog post by Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing.net reporting that Sky News has issued strict new social media rules for its journalists with regard to Twitter use on official accounts.

Doctorow writes, “Under the new policy, Sky reporters are prohibited from retweeting from rival journalists and the public (though they are allowed to retweet each other). They are also not allowed to tweet about subjects that aren’t their beat. Finally, they’re prohibited from “personal” tweets in their professional accounts.”

When it was still called “new media” and the anything-goes frontier had many treading without care or caution, some thrived, some lost their jobs, and some just didn’t participate in the social media fun and games. But all that’s changing and more than ever, freelance or not, social media is a vital part of networking and information gathering.

The fact that professional codes of conduct are being formed on an organizational basis means in the next couple of years you might wake up finding a de facto standard of professionalism with regard to these things that wasn’t here at the time I’m writing this.

Sure, there are plenty of unwritten rules of the road now, but lest we forget, once upon a time the rules of journalistic ethics weren’t so formalized, either.

Now, it’s easy (at least for an experienced observer) to distinguish between the practices of a blogger, who can rant on and on with few consequences (except to reputation and future employability) and a bona fide journalist who is guided by a set of rules for fact-checking, source verification, attribution, etc. Not that all journos follow those rules all the time, but you see where I’m coming from…

These types of stories are the ones to watch for anyone interested in social media theory, journalism, etc.

Joe Wallace Vinyl Collector and authorJoe Wallace is a writer, editor, social media manager, and collector of weirdness on vinyl LPs.

Wallace runs the vinyl record collector’s blog, Turntabling.net, has snarky things to say about bad album covers, and writes short italicized bios about himself in the third person.

His book, WTF Records: A Turntabling.net Guide to Weird and Wonderful Vinyl, is in the final stages and should be inflicted on an unsuspecting public by Christmas. He’s not saying WHICH Christmas yet, mind you…

Worst Clients and the Pay-to-Hassle Ratio

By Jake Poinier

I was on a Twitter chat this morning with the Editorial Freelancers Association, and the topic came up of “what if you have tons of work, but aren’t making much money: what to do if you’re charging too little for your time?”

Perhaps a bit flippantly, someone answered “Charge more!”, which I rejoined with “STAT!”

But upon further reflection, as much as a fast-moving Twitter chat allows, I added, “dump your worst client on an annual basis.” To which the moderator responded, “how do you choose your worst client?”

Ah, now we’re on to something. How do you identify your worst client? My gut reaction was that it’s your lowest paying one, but that’s not true. Your worst client is…drum roll please…the one with the least favorable pay-to-hassle ratio.

For example, your lowest paying client might offer interesting projects or pieces that look great in your portfolio, or they might offer a wellspring of referrals that make it a more lucrative relationship than shows up in Quickbooks. So, my equation includes the following factors:

  • Pay: Do they pay well? Do they pay promptly, or are you always chasing them?
  • Project quality: Is it work you enjoy? Is it stuff you’re proud to have in your portfolio to attract new clients?
  • Maintenance level: Is the client pleasant to work with or do they require lots of handholding/revisions/weekends?
  • Ancillary benefits: Do you get referrals from them? Discounts on their company’s products and services?

No two clients are the same, and some of the items may be more important to you than others. (Personally, pay rate weighs pretty heavily!) And while you may not necessarily want to dump your worst client, it’s worth having perspective in order to take corrective action.

Freelancers, what would you add to the equation? Which factors are most important to you?

Jake Poinier blogs regularly at DoctorFreelance.com. His most recent post was “3 ideas beyond the freelance echo chamber.” And he’s happy to swap Twitter follows at @drfreelance.

How to Get 5,000 (or even 50,000) Followers on Twitter

by Mike O’Mary

logo_twitter_withbird_1000_allblue copyOver the last few months, FZ has featured some very helpful and insightful posts about social media in general and about Twitter in particular. If you missed them the first time around, be sure to check them out now:

Today, I’d like to add to the conversation, not by sharing my own (very limited) knowledge, but by introducing you to Lynn Serafinn, a real expert when it comes to Twitter, social media and online marketing.

iStock_000005894033XSmallWith Lynn’s help, I went from no Twitter account nine months ago to 5,600 followers for @TheNoteProject on Twitter today. Lynn herself has 50,000 followers across four Twitter accounts.

What good is 5,600 followers on Twitter? It’s been very important to me. My goal was to spread the word about the Note Project, a campaign to inspire people to write more notes of appreciation. My contacts on Twitter led to media interviews, posts and guest posts on various blogs and websites, and free gifts to Note Project participants by people and organizations that support the Note Project. In fact, more than half of the Note Project’s 50 sponsors came via contacts on Twitter.

What is the secret to Lynn’s success? It’s not as difficult as you think – and fortunately for us, Lynn recently shared all of her secrets in a three-part series on her Spirit Authors website. Click below to read all three segments – and start building up your community on Twitter today.

“10 Tips to Get Followers on Twitter and Why You Should” by Lynn Serafinn

Mike O’Mary is founder of the Note Project, a campaign to make the world a million times better by inspiring 1 million people to write notes of appreciation, and of Dream of Things, a book publisher and online book store.