Category Archives: social networking

Wanna Be Headhunted?

Joe-Wallace-Vinyl-Collector-and-authorby Joe Wallace

I’ve got a super-busy schedule these days; my writing gigs have increased exponentially, I’m enrolled in the Recording Arts program at Tribeca Flashpoint Media Academy here in Chicago, and I’m working the post-production end of my short film, 45 RPM.

So naturally, I have absolutely no time whatsoever to consider the gig that was offered to me today via e-mail; a digital managing editor slot for a startup near me.

I didn’t apply for this gig–far from it–it came to me in my inbox today from a creative placement agency. I didn’t have to wonder how they found me, as I’ve got a little strategy to help me track where my random e-mails come from and how I’ve been discovered on the Internet.

My resume site for my work in multi-media has a site-specific e-mail address. So does my writing-specific resume site. Ditto for my vinyl blog and my filmmaking blog

The headhunter found me, oddly enough, via my multimedia resume page. So it’s likely the headhunter did a keyword search for a set of specific terms and my site wound up in the page one or page two results.

If you want to be discovered this way, there are plenty of ways to do it–mine includes having a resume page that’s been online at the same address for a very long time, using SEO-optimized resume writing techniques, along with plenty of images also with SEO optimized filenames. But none of this is my point, really.

If you really want to open up some additional freelance options for yourself, I strongly suggest you check out the creative temp agencies in your market. They can be an important source of income for a creative freelancer. Some of my highest profile and best-paying work has come from agencies, and I did some good work for these household name-type companies.

If you’re frustrated with a lack of work, a creative temp agency might just open up some new income potential for you. I have no time whatsoever to consider the position e-mailed to me today, but maybe YOU do.

Joe Wallace is a writer, editor, indie filmmaker, multi-media artist and time management fanatic. He has many projects going at once, and has finally realized he’s not truly happy unless he’s beating deadlines, rushing for trains, calculating the amount of remaining natural light, editing video, and planning his next recording session all within the same day. He blogs about filmmaking at

Can You Reach the Right People via Social Media?

by Helen Gallagher

You might think being on blogs, Facebook and Twitter gives you enough exposure for your professional profile. But what if your desired reader or client isn’t out there?


Numerous studies show that men and women have differing online habits. While this may seem obvious, it is important if you’re counting on people finding you online and hiring you to work with/for them.

Examples from recent news items in The Atlantic and Christian Science Monitor:

— Fewer men use social media, and they are dramatically less likely to log on everyday.
— Men spend 28 percent less of their online time on social networks than women.
— Males don’t “Like” brands, update their status, or comment on others’ pictures as frequently as women.
— Women view social networks as a way to connect with family, friends, and co-workers. Men do not.

So, before wasting time on social media, hoping to reach the right contacts, consider spending more time reading up on sites that share meaningful industry-specific content. In other words, go where your clients are. Ideas include:, and for business contacts industry-specific groups for journalists and media industry news

And, don’t overlook traditional trade magazines. (See  Whether your client works in insurance, housewares or transportation, you’ll keep up with industry news, and be ready to talk business the next time the client contacts you for a freelance assignment.

Helen Gallagher blogs at to share her thoughts on small business and technology. She writes about, coaches and speaks on publishing. Her blogs and books are accessible through

Back From Chicon 7 In Chicago Illinois

Worldcon Chicon 7 Chicagoby Joe Wallace

I am a book nerd, it is true. I do have quite a background of sci-fi nerdiness too, so it was only logical that I’d attend Chicon 7 and cover it from a writer/producers/freelancer perspective. I didn’t go to the show thinking I’d find a ton of material for freelancers who specialize in non-fiction writing, but surprisingly enough, I did uncover quite a few resources and seminars non-fiction writers can get useful takeaways from.

Chicon/Worldcon, for those of you who aren’t familiar, is a science fiction convention that is held in a different major city every year. From Helsinki to San Antonio, there are cities the world over vying to host this show that features some of the legends of science fiction. This year’s luminaries included Ben Bova, George R.R. Martin (most recently famous for Game of Thrones now that it’s hit a cable audience) and Joe Haldeman. Neil Gaiman was there to accept a Hugo award for his work on Doctor Who, so you get the idea of how large this convention gets…

I discovered plenty of seminars and panel discussions aimed at working writers, artists, and other creatives; some of the most enlightening sessions covered raising money on Kickstarter, e-publishing, and social media. For a convention that would seem to appeal more to a consumer of books rather than a writer of them, this show offered plenty for the pro or would-be pros in our midst.

If you have never attended a genre-specific convention such as Worldcon (science fiction), HorrorHound Weekend (horror, naturally) or a related program, you might just be missing out on some interesting perspective on the craft and networking opportunities.

I attended Worldcon (AKA Chicon 7) looking for things to write about for but soon discovered some interesting opportunities as a filmmaker and script writer seeing as how there was an ongoing film festival featuring some high-concept sci-fi material, new projects by up-and-coming hopefuls, and Chicago indie filmmakers trying to make their mark on the scene. There was a whole lot of writing and filming talk going on–very inspirational.

So it was a show full of surprises. Yes, the standard sci-fi convention features were all there including people in costume, raucous after-con parties, and a dealer’s room crammed full of t-shirts and books. But there were plenty of hidden treasures to discover too–freelancers should give serious thought to finding a convention to attend and getting some new angles on their work they might not have thought of before.

Conventions are great networking tools for obvious business reasons, but they also get you out and about among people you wouldn’t otherwise meet–that’s the value of these events for me; the chance to look at what I do in a different way, through different filters, and thinking of new angles for future development.

–Joe Wallace

Freelance Social Media Management: Mutate and Survive

Joe-Wallace-Vinyl-Collector-and-authorby Joe Wallace

Any regular reader of this blog knows that some of us (myself and Catherine L. Tully) are freelance social media managers as well as writers and editors. I myself have been working with several websites where my duties could simply be listed as “all of the above”.

Since I started working in social media, the landscape has changed so much, so often, and in so many ways, that my advice for newcomers is now essentially boiled down to one sentence, cribbed from a creaky old Rush song: “Constant change is here to stay”.

A great example of that concept is found in the Ad Week post, Agencies Start to Get Really Anti-Social, by Christopher Heine. Here’s a sample:

“Just a few years ago, legions of businesses practically tattooed themselves with the label “social media agency” so they could ink deals with brand clients looking to get on Facebook. But as the marketing landscape shifts toward cross-digital solutions and demands for big data, the term is beginning to be seen as too limiting by some.”


“Agencies have always adapted to a changing media world. Just as brands some eight decades ago began seeking ad services that facilitated both print and broadcast, companies may soon routinely expect that digital services (display, retargeting, search, etc.) and social get packaged together.”

It’s funny—when I first started working in social media, I knew people who were “giving up writing and editing” to work more exclusively on campaigns for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. I simply added social media services to the people I blog for in addition to my other work–with an expanded billing rate to match the time investment, naturally. But I never felt entirely comfortable giving up one thing for another.

And now, it seems, current trends–and my cash flow–justify my position. But I do wonder what people who are social media-only these days are thinking about the Ad Week article, the implications, and how they are planning for the future. What’s a social media marketer to do in an age where traditional PR and digital strategy are locking arms? It’s an overdue trend, in my opinion–at least from the point of view of a company that needs the services.

Will digital-only services become an endangered species? Is this a trend, a fad, or has it always been this way in certain sectors but not in others?

Joe Wallace is a freelance writer, editor, social media manager and part-time film maker. His current projects include editing a book for voice actors, social media campaigns for the retail banking industry, and he is currently developing a video series about rare vinyl records. Wallace accepts new assignments on a limited basis. Contact him for more information at

Want Better People-Skills?

Here’s another bit of advice from Robert Bly’s book: “Make Every Second Count.” discussed last week.

This list is even easier than his ideas to gain ten percent productivity.

A long long time ago, BF (Before Facebook) there was a concept known as “people skills.” Bly’s suggestions for better people skills are worth reading, and can be distilled down to a few basics that can carry you far when working with others.

I’m distilling them down to the essence, so you can tweet or  put ’em on your phone and carry them with you today:

  1. Make a conscious effort to be positive.
  2. Answer emails and phone calls promptly.
  3. Take an interest in people’s lives.
  4. Meet people halfway.
  5. Listen before speaking, maintain eye contact, and admit when you’re wrong.

Read more in Bly’s book if that list doesn’t turn you into a charmer. He explores the psychology behind these traits. People tend to want to work with you if you communicate well and can keep impatience or annoyance off your face.

If you want to be on the ‘preferred vendor’ list in your world, it couldn’t hurt to apply these few principles.

BIO: Helen Gallagher blogs at to share her thoughts on small business and technology. She writes about, coaches and speaks on publishing. Her blogs and books are accessible through Helen is a member of ASJA, Small Publishers Artists & Writers Network (, and several great Chicago-area writing groups.

Digital Marketing Maxims as Advice For Freelancers

Joe-Wallace-Vinyl-Collector-and-authorI’m a big fan of, the Portland, Oregon-based brand agency. Dave Allen blogs for North (in addition to many other things in his role as the director of interactive strategy) and shares his insights on marketing, digital strategy and much more.

One of his most recent posts includes fifty-two maxims about marketing, the internet, technology and more–pretty amazing stuff, especially when you filter them through the needs of a freelancer trying to market services and products. One of the biggest problems for some freelancers–I’m thinking of freelance writers and editors here–is catching up with the ever-evolving online world, its aesthetics, and its demands when it comes to keeping yourself and your brand as a freelancer as viable as possible.

It’s not enough to simply show up when it comes to creating a marketing strategy for yourself. Online, “I’m here” as a marketing/networking tactic probably worked in, say, 1989. But those days are long gone.

The Dave Allen blog entry linked above is a lengthy post, but a very worthy read, especially in the food-for-thought department with some of these–a very small sampling of the insights you’ll get from all 52 maxims, (which I should mention, Dave Allen gives credit for compiling to Katie Rauber.) If you don’t have the time to read the entire post, do yourself a favor an scroll down to the 52, all in bold as quoted from below–really outstanding stuff:

42. There are no rules to creativity
43. Know your audience (or else)
44. Start with a minimum viable product
45. 81% of the top global Internet sites are outside the USA
46. You can’t litigate human behavior
47. Apps can be tested and analyzed then updated based on user use. You can’t do that with print or TV
48. 1% of your consumer data may hold 99% of the best insights (handle with care)
49. Ask: What do people naturally do? How/why will they interact with your brand?”