Tag Archives: freelance gigs

Don’t Let The Freelance Competition Get You Down

Unfortunately a lot of people new to freelancing or considering the leap feel the way this YouTube video poster does (see the clip below). Freelancing can be an intimidating thing indeed–the staggering amount of work it can take to find clients and establish new relationships makes people want to look for short cuts in the that process.

Unfortunately, there are no short cuts. Word of mouth business, for example–something this video poster brings up–only comes when you’ve taken the time and care with your existing clients to generate that word of mouth buzz. The person in this video expresses hope for a shortcut by using a third party service, but such hopes are misguided for more reasons than just the obvious ones.

That’s because the Youtube clip winds up being a shill for a seemingly defunct company called ManifestingInMotionNow.com. The website returns a 404 Not Found error when you try to see the site. But freelancers can still learn a great deal from this video–especially when it comes to how NOT to market yourself or your company.

Marketing should be clear, direct, and to the point, and after watching this video, please tell us–were those qualities present here?

Talk Tech-y To Me

By Amanda Smyth Connor1stGen-iPad-HomeScreen

January 19th brought a wave of excitement as Apple announced their latest and greatest technology. Not only will they be selling iTextbooks (at $15 a pop) but they will be offering iBooks Author, a new self-publishing app that essentially allows authors to upload PDF’s, edit, complete layout and upload to the iBookstore.

This is clearly not the first self-publishing platform to emerge and it won’t be the last, but as an editor, I find myself a traitor to the cause for selfish reasons and not-so-selfish reasons.

Obvious questions arise that Apple has yet to address. How will they approve these new iBooks? Will they offer editing services? What requirements are there for content, layout, etc? What kind of reimbursement can writers expect from offering their books in this fashion and will Apple offer various packages that would include marketing or promotion?

Furthermore, will this lead to an increase or a decline in the quality of self-published books? I like to think that by enabling authors with better tools and resources, the quality will increase, but you have to wonder –  if the increase in the volume of new self-published uploads increases, will quality remain top priority, or will these self-published books look as messy as my Freelance-Zone posts? I shudder to think.

What are your thoughts on this buzz story?

Amanda Smyth Connor is a social media manager for a major publishing company, owns her own wedding planning business 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.

Branding Yourself pt. 100…

By Amanda Smyth Connor

Make Mo' Money
Make Mo' Money

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve discussed the importance of branding yourself and marketing yourself as a means to growing your freelance business, but I really can’t stress this concept enough.

As a freelancer, you are your own business. You are the CEO, the administrative assistant, the Senior VP of Marketing….janitor… Basically, you can’t just produce a great product without covering all aspects of running a business, and my favorite part of running a business is in branding and marketing myself.

With regard to making yourself into a “brand,” the more high-quality exposure you have, the more recognizable your name will become as an authority in your industry.

1. Do you have a professional blog? Are you maintaining it regularly (2-5 times per week)?

2. Do you optimize your blog with good keywords so that Google knows what kind information you’re offering, thus helping others find your site more easily?

3. Do you Tweet often (at least 4 times per day?) and do you maintain a professional Facebook page for yourself/your business that you also update regularly (once a day)? Do you use these social media sites responsibly to establish credibility for yourself?

4. Have you joined several networking groups within your industry (starting with those found on LinkedIn)?

In order to start your magical journey into the world of self-branding, your answers to the questions above need to be a resounding “yes.”

Amanda Smyth Connor is a social media manager for a major publishing company, owns her own wedding planning business 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.

Who’s Hiring?

By Amanda Smyth Connor1362732_happy_friends

In this crap economy, is anyone still hiring freelance writers?

Yes! Squee! Oh for joy, some wonderful companies are still hiring! And you might be surprised to hear which companies are in need of fabulous writers like yourself.

1. Gaming companies. Game development companies like Zynga and EA are in a state of fast growth and are pumping out games for various platforms faster that you can say “Alec Baldwin playing Words with Friends.” Look for jobs like “community manager” for social media positions and “content developers” for freelance writing positions.

2. Political campaigns. I’m not talking about writing speeches for Obama (although if you can get that gig, I’d ask that you put in a good word for me.) I’m talking about offering your services up to local politicians in need of bloggers, content managers and social media assistants. Just beware the skeletons in the closet.

3. Start-Ups! Keep a close eye on any start-up that you hear about. It may mean short-term gigs because funds are tight, but start-up companies notoriously need content created in large quantities very quickly as they work to build SEO and marketing campaigns. This will mean flexibility on your part when it comes to tight turnaround and jumping from one project to the next, but if you can get in good on the ground floor of a good start-up, you can position yourself for loads of steady freelance work. ps. Etsy is hiring bloggers right now. FYI.

4. Hit up my favorite industry job boardMediabistro.com. They have full-time, part-time and freelance job listings for the writing, editing and social media industries. Check it out.

Amanda Smyth Connor is a social media manager for a major publishing company, owns her own wedding planning business 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.

A Job Opp You May Not Have Considered

By Amanda Smyth Connor1151807_to_do

Being a freelance writer means staying on the ball regarding finding new job opportunities and clients. It also means staying flexible in your job search. One job opportunity you may not have considered is within the community management and social media realm.

Many major corporations are outsourcing their community management needs and many of these job skills encompass what you are already good at: writing, planning and coming up with creative ideas.

What does this role call for specifically? Community managers are in charge of developing and maintaining the style and tone of content that is posted within a community. They develop editorial calendars and make recommendations for specific content. They gather feedback from the community and make decisions about how best to engage the community. They suggest various means of revenue. They control most of the social media channels and messaging, and they develop content – from marketing messaging to blog posts. Community managers straddle the marketing departments, member services departments and editorial departments. They may even have a say in product development. For being a relatively new field, community managers are in greater need now that major companies are realizing the need for such a diverse position.

While networking and job hunting, keep this position hot on your radar!

Hey, Tweet Thang

by Mike O’Mary

iStock_000005848850XSmallOkay, I never thought I’d say this, but there’s some fascinating stuff on Twitter for writers. I see lots of job postings and writing advice. Have you gotten a freelance job via a Twitter contact? I haven’t gotten that far, but I’m finding decent advice and interesting revelations in 140 characters or less. Here are some of the results from a recent #writing search (followed by selected parenthetical comments from Yours Truly):

“Marry somebody you love and who thinks you being a writer’s a good idea.” Richard Ford @AdviceToWriters (Do you think Richard Ford really abbreviates writer + is = writer’s?)

I have a Leadership Devel (sic) Freelance Writing Jobs (sic). @writingjobs_in (As they say, the devel is in the details)

Article Writer Needed for 20 Articles on Health. @TWeelanceWriter (Writing the articles is cheaper than actually going to the doctor.)

To (sic) Good Online Writing Websites. @williamswafford (Because to is better than won?)

I have an online class. I want you to take it and do it for me. @Elance_Writing (That was my post from 30 years ago. Except classes weren’t online back then, so I had to pay somebody to actually go to class for me too.)

A brief rundown of novels and historical fiction set in Vancouver. @vancouver_rt  (I think that was the full text.)

Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said.” Elmore Leonard (He said knowingly.)

Writer wanted for occasional work. @writingjobs_in (Is there any other kind of work for writers?)

FlashFiction vs Short Stories: What’s the difference? @iwritepoetry (That’s what I keep saying!)

Have a new idea for a story. Gotta start writing it down. @AntMan0623 (Doh! Too late. I forgot it!)

The Impotance of Edditting @OnUrge (Very clevver.)

I just cried writing a scene. So either it was really good, or I’m totally delirious from being locked in this room all day! @capetownbrown (I cry when I read my own writing, too. Good writing? Delirium? I attribute it to writing with an onion.)

Possibly the best book I’ve read about writing and living the creative life. @DreamofThings (Hey! I said that!)

Bottom line: Don’t waste a lot of time there. But if you have a few minutes, get your Tweet self on over to Twitter and find some occasional work!

Mike O’Mary tweets as @DreamofThings and @TheNoteProject