Some business lessons I’ve learned during my freelance writing and content marketing adventures this week…
Get on Google+
I had the pleasure of speaking with some really excellent experts for an article about why content marketers need to be on Google+ for The Content Strategist. I guess I kind of knew that I should be on that platform since I created a profile some time ago, but I learned a lot about how ramping up my efforts can help me establish my author credibility, improve my search rankings, and connect me with potential clients/sources, etc. So if you’re on Google+, too, add me to your circles and I’ll do the same with you!
I’ve been churning out a lot of copy — I mean, a LOT — lately, and I’ve always prided myself on not missing deadlines and being accurate. So when I was alerted that I spelled a source’s name wrong in an article, I naturally beat myself up about it, and for about a second, wondered if I’m spreading myself too thin. Luckily, the typo was online and was fixed in 10 minutes, and the source and my editor were super gracious about it. But it reminded me of my days as a print magazine editor when I’d agonize over copy to ensure that no mistake ever went to press. The lesson here is that in this super fast content creating world, I have to cut myself some slack if I make a mistake, but also, not to forget the fundamentals — one of which is to spell check the names, titles, and credentials of all people mentioned before hitting submit.
Sometimes, freelancers have to wear a corporate hat
This was one of those weeks in which I worked with new clients and sources who do things in a more corporate way than I’m used to. Waiting for a source to run an interview request past legal, reading through complex spreadsheets to map out workflow, sitting through webinars and conference calls, creating proposals… these are very different activities than when I work with traditional publishing clients. The good news is I like living this dual life since it exercises my writing skills in lots of different ways, and helps diversify my business.
Full-timers don’t quite get what I do
Speaking of which, my fellow freelancers will understand what I mean here, but I’m still struggling with how others perceive my writing business since I’ve left the cubicle world. It is, in fact, a business, but others assume it’s side work or a hobby of mine, I can blow it off whenever I want to, and that at least my husband has a full-time job to support us. Um, no. Just because I work from home now doesn’t mean I’m on an extended vacation, or watching TV all day. If I carve out an hour to go to the gym or do something with my kids, it’s because that’s one of the perks of the freelance life. It also means I’m up working that night while you’re sleeping. Believe me, I’ve never had a tougher boss than I have right now. She’s relentless, demanding, and expects me to work ALL the time! I hope over time she learns to chill out. 😉
So that was my week.
Care to share something you’ve learned?