One of the great benefits of social media is the ability to reach a large audience at little cost. Using the popular hashtag notation, you can spread your brand, take advantage of popular trends, and get your message out.
Hashtags are a great way to promote your business. Learn how hashtags work, as well as how to use popular tools to assist you with reaching your audience through social media. Continue Reading
How long have you been freelancing? Even if it’s just been a handful of years, you’ve probably noticed how quickly your industry changes.
Just look at the freelance news journalist, who initially delivered his craft in long form, typewritten prose; then transitioned to faster, shorter digital copy; and now is looked upon for instant, informative updates, delivered in micro-blurbs.
Every profession is impacted by advances in technology and social media, and to remain fresh and marketable, you’ve got to accommodate those changes. But you don’t have to invest large amounts of time or money to do so; here are 6 tips to help any type of freelancer evolve with the changing times. Continue Reading
Once you’ve attended a Twitter chat or two, you’ve probably come to enjoy the exchange of information and chance to meet new colleagues. If so, it may be time to take it to the next level: by hosting a chat of your own.
The host – also called the moderator – is like the glue that holds the event together. You’ll start and conclude the chat, keep the conversation relevant, and make the group feel comfortable.
Hosting a chat can benefit freelancers of any specialty, such as:
- Bloggers: you’ll generate buzz in your topic and attract new followers.
- Authors: you can introduce your new book or have a discussion; or, make yourself a resource to aspiring authors.
- Software developers: use the chat to discuss new features or updates, or crowdsource from your end users.
- Financial advisors: share your wisdom on targeted or seasonal topics, such as saving for college, retirement, etc.
- Groups of entrepreneurs: get together to hash out marketing strategies, problems, or share directions.
Interested? With some preparation and marketing, you can easily pull together a successful chat. Continue Reading
Do you occasionally long for the opportunity to hash things out with a group of colleagues? Whether it’s an upcoming sports game or a great new iphone app, that casual back-and-forth banter is usually absent when you’re a solo worker.
Joining in a twitter chat is one way that freelancers can replicate this. A Twitter chat – also called a party - is when a group of individuals meet on Twitter at a set time to discuss a planned topic. A moderator usually organizes the event. They’ll start things off, welcome the attendees, and keep the conversation going.
Aside from enjoying some interaction with your peers, attending a chat is a great way to grow your Twitter presence. Continue Reading
It’s probably been a while since you learned the skills that moved you ahead in your career, but to keep that success going, you need to continue learning, indefinitely. But logging classroom time isn’t the only way to grow – by keeping an eye on like-minded entrepreneurs, you can stay abreast of current trends, keep your pricing competitive, obtain ideas for ad copy, and more.
Years ago, the idea of networking brought to mind stuffy business suits, too many cocktails, lots of artificial smiles and polite nodding. Then came the internet, allowing people to network from safety, tucked away behind their keyboard. With a sigh of relief, networkers gained newfound confidence and began mingling with almost anyone. The pressure to get out and attend face-to-face events diminished.
But there’s still something to be said for personal connections, and today, successful entrepreneurs are realizing that good, old fashioned meetings are still an important part of the recipe.
If you’ve spent years cultivating a strong presence on social media, don’t panic – social networking is, and will continue to be, an important part of your overall marketing campaign. But if it’s been a while since you’ve gone out and actively met with your prospects, it might be time to see what’s out there. Continue Reading
Hurricane Sandy’s unwelcome visit to the United State’s East Coast at the end of October left millions of homes and businesses in the dark. When you’re a business of one, it’s more important than ever to make sure you are set up for any kind of weather.
While your main concern during a storm should always be to protect your home and family, it’s also important to have plans in place to safeguard your freelance business. Continue Reading
When was the last time you’d heard that phrase? I hadn’t heard it in years, until a recent assignment for a magazine article led me to sit in on a local networking meeting. As I took my seat, the woman I was sitting next to drew me aside.
“After the general business, each person can stand up and give a 60 second elevator pitch,” she whispered.
I hoped my confident smile hid my panic. The last time I’d even thought about an elevator pitch was back in college. As I listened to the other members, I felt some relief. Some speeches were smart and polished, like the business designer who opened with “Is your brand in black and white? I can provide the color..” but others were completely informal “I’m laid off, I’ve been cleaning out the attic…”
By the time it was my turn I had worked out something better than the attic cleaner’s speech but not as good as the polished designer’s. Happy to have gotten past that, I was left with a nagging sense of unfinished business. I realized that when friends or acquaintances ask me what I do for a living, I don’t take the opportunity to boost my business. I decided to take my ‘elevator pitch’ more seriously. Continue Reading
That old warning against putting all your eggs in one basket is still good advise. As freelancers, it’s important to spread your interests out: you’ll prevent burnout, and you’ll be less affected by peaks and lulls.
Teaching is a perfect compliment to any freelance lifestyle. It’s a good way to offset the typical solitary days of the self employed, and it will help keep your public speaking skills honed. Another benefit: it gets your name out there. If you teach a course in line with your specialty, you’ll establish yourself as an expert in your field.
When a student in your accounting class runs into trouble with their books, you may be the person they look up. But any connections can be beneficial, so if you’d rather teach a class about your side hobby of beekeeping, it’s still valuable exposure. Continue Reading
I’ve written about the freelancing lessons you can learn from your canine, but if you share your office space with a cat, don’t dismiss her as simply snoozing on the sofa. She actually knows a thing or two about survival in the freelance world. Here are five lessons your cat can teach you. Continue Reading
A freelancer’s efforts can be roughly divided into two areas: working toward a contracted project, and taking steps to keep your business strong. When you’re occupied working for a client, it’s easy to focus only on that effort. Deadlines should always take high priority, but don’t let the other areas slip too far, or you’ll be scrambling to catch up down the road.
So just how do you balance the two? One approach is to make a checklist of business-minded tasks that you need to do each week, regardless of how busy things get. Continue Reading
As a freelance writer, you’ll cover lots of interesting topics. Sometimes you’ll write about something in which you’re well versed, but other times a topic will land on your plate that you have absolutely no background in.
Either way, it’s important to find quality sources to contribute to your article. Experts, such as professionals in the field or academic leaders, will add credibility and value to your words; regular people who have lived the experience will add warmth and a human connection to your article.
Particularly with a topic that’s foreign to you, it may seem difficult to find the right people. But the good thing is that most people love to talk and share what they know.
Whether you’re on the hunt for a neo-natal specialist or a bicycle accident survivor, you’d be surprised at how easy it is to find them. Here are some of my favorite methods: Continue Reading