Wed, 23 December 2015
As freelancers we don't have the luxury of a fixed paycheck.
Even when you're booking work like crazy, your cash flow is going to be irregular.
This is an issue that financial experts and money-management books rarely address. They're geared to helping people with steady paychecks—NOT self-employed professionals.
In this episode you'll hear from my friend and colleague Dianna Huff. Dianna has been trying to solve this cash flow dilemma for years. And she's come up with some very specific and realistic strategies for those of us who earn a variable income.
This is part one of a two-part series on the topic of money—something we haven't addressed enough in this podcast until now.
Thu, 10 December 2015
You've heard the advice before...
Position yourself an authority in your field ... and business will start coming your way.
I think many of us understand this idea conceptually. But it can be hard to figure out exactly how to become that authority.
And the negative self talk and self-sabotage doesn't help ("Who do you think you are? You're no expert! You're no authority!").
This is a big topic, and it's one I'd like to cover in more detail over the next few months. But today, I wanted to at least kick-start that discussion.
My guest is Scott Aughtmon, a consultant and blogger who writes about content marketing, and the author of the book 51 Content Marketing Hacks: Extraordinary Lessons on Creating Content That Will Help You Sell More and Gain More Customers.
Our conversation may not answer all your questions. But I hope it gets you thinking in the right direction — and that it sets the stage for additional episodes on this important topic.
Thu, 26 November 2015
There's a growing interest among freelancers in the idea of "value pricing."
The concept of pricing your work based on the value it will generate for the client is interesting. But it still feels theoretical and pie-in-the-sky to most creative professionals.
In this podcast episode, we discuss how to make the idea practical — including three simple ways you can start transitioning to this lucrative model.
You'll find the full audio (and detailed show notes) here:
Thu, 12 November 2015
Do you sometimes feel like a bit of a fraud? Are you sometimes surprised that clients pay you to do your work?
Do you feel unworthy compared to many of your colleagues? Like you will be found out soon enough ... and all your success so far is undeserved?
You're not alone. Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, Jimmy Fallon and many other people many of us consider incredibly talented — they often feel the same way.
I talked about this back in episode 22: Seven Tips for Developing Stronger Self-Confidence
But what I'd like to do in this episode is give you a taste for how common this "impostor syndrome" is. Because part of overcoming it is awareness.
Awareness about how many talented professionals struggle with self confidence and self worth.
I feel so much better when I realize that I'm not alone. And if the best people in their field often feel this way, then that gives me hope. It helps me realize that it's perfectly natural.
Thu, 22 October 2015
In this episode I interview Cesar Abeid, author of the newly published Project Management for You: How to Turn Your Ideas Into Reality, Deliver on Your Promises, and Get Things Done.
Cesar and I focus our discussion not on client projects, but rather on all those internal projects we all keep meaning to do ... but never get around to doing.
He shares plenty of simple and practical tips for breaking down these projects into doable tasks. All in plain English!
Thu, 8 October 2015
I love to read.
In fact, I have more books I want to read than I have time to read them.
Yes, I've tried some speed-reading courses. They helped, but I've yet to reach a level where I can read 50+ books a year.
So when I came across Brandon Hakim's techniques on how to read and absorb dozens of books a year, I was intrigued.
Just by applying a few of his simple ideas, I've read two books in the past two weeks — something that would have normally taken me two months to accomplish.
In this interview, Brandon will explain how he reads over 300 books a year. He describes a key mindset shift you need to make in order to get to this level. Plus a handful of practical techniques to help you get through nonfiction books much faster.
Thu, 24 September 2015
If you're in the U.S., this is an important interview.
It's about your health insurance options as a self-employed professional:
With open enrollment coming up soon ... and fines going up significantly for those who don't enroll in a plan ... this is the time to get educated and to investigate your options.
It's all here, including detailed show notes:
Thu, 10 September 2015
In today's episode, you'll hear from my friend and colleague Michael Katz. Michael is an authority on launching, publishing and leveraging a newsletter to grow your service-based business.
Thu, 27 August 2015
"How do I successfully transition out of a day job and into full-time freelancing?"
That's one of the most common questions I get asked by aspiring freelance writers
Thu, 13 August 2015
Trying something a little different this week. I'm doing a Q&A show with questions you submitted through a recent survey.
Thu, 30 July 2015
Over the past three years, I've worked with hundreds of new freelance writers and copywriters.
I enjoy mentoring and coaching these new and ambitious freelance professionals, helping them build and grow their businesses.
But through this process, I've uncovered a disturbing trend.
This is not something I enjoy talking about. Mainly because it requires that I be blunt about some issues.
But it's time to shine a light on this painful truth — and what you can do about it if you find yourself in one of these situations.
Thu, 16 July 2015
If you've been freelancing for a few years, chances are you've had trouble getting paid at some point.
The client was slow to pay. Or they lost your invoice. Or they held your payment for some weird and unfair reason.
When that happens, you have a choice. You can rant about it. Foam at the mouth. Call Tony Soprano. Lose sleep.
Or you can use that as a learning experience. And change what you do in order to prevent that from happening again (or at least to prevent it from happening as frequently).
As passionate as I about my business and as much energy as I put into my clients' work, I've chosen to focus on the latter.
Not only has it been more effective, but it has also enabled me to retain my sanity and peace of mind. And in this episode my guest, Katie Lane will share some very practical ideas for preventing these nightmares from happening.
Thu, 2 July 2015
The process of picking a niche can be extremely stressful. But I've found that most of that stress and frustration is the result of bad advice.
In fact, most of what I read and hear on the topic of picking a niche is misguided. It treats the issue as a simple, one-dimensional decision. But in reality, this is a complex, multi-faceted topic that requires you to think about your business at a deeper level.
At the same time, it requires you to take action, even before you feel 100 percent comfortable with you decision. Because in most cases, your best niche ends up finding YOU.
I've addressed this topic before. But in this episode, we're going deeper. My guest is Ilise Benun from marketing-mentor.com. Ilise is a frequent guest in my podcasts and classes. And in this interview, she'll share some practical ideas to help you solve your niche puzzle.
Thu, 18 June 2015
Do you use a creative brief when working with clients?
Have you thought about using one but not sure what to include?
Do you even need one?
You'll get direct answers to these important questions in this week's show.
My guest is Pam Foster from Content Clear Marketing and Petcopywriter.com. Pam is a seasoned marketer with extensive corporate communications experience. She's a big believer in using a creative brief when working on client projects.
In this episode, she explains:
Thu, 4 June 2015
Email is dying.
Not really. But that's what some social media pundits are claiming.
Fact is, it really doesn't matter how much texting, tweeting and "Facebooking" people are doing these days ... email is not going anywhere.
Love it or hate it, email is a wonderful tool. It's convenient and dependable. It's ubiquitous.
The trick, however, is knowing how to keep it under control.
In this week's session, we'll address the issue head on. You'll hear from Twyla LaPointe, a productivity expert and an email management consultant. Twyla will share a mix of strategy, workflow and simple tools to help you tame the email beast
Thu, 21 May 2015
Growing your income as a freelancer doesn't need to be that difficult.
In fact, there's a very simple way to do that. I've used it for years to multiply my income. And I've taught it to many of my coaching clients who have used it successfully.
But there's a problem. The idea is so simple, it's often dismissed and never put to use.
So before I reveal too much, I'd like to give you some context.
Thu, 7 May 2015
As a freelancer, there are few things more frustrating than a prospect who suddenly disappears for no apparent reason.
He reached out to get some information, indicated a high level of interest, was fine with your ballpark fee — maybe even gave you a verbal confirmation that he was going to move forward.
But then ... nothing! You can't get him to return calls or emails.
You have no idea why. And now you're wondering if you said or did the wrong thing.
In this week's episode, my friend and colleague Ilise Benun and I tackle this common issue head on. We look at the different flavors of this problem. We examine why this happens so frequently. And we offer some concrete advice for how to deal with these frustrating situations.
Thu, 23 April 2015
Many of us have been brought up to believe that talent and hard work are the keys to success in business.
But as competition stiffens and clients find it harder to distinguish freelancers from each other, you need a different strategy. You need to capitalize on (and communicate) your unique perspective and knowledge.
My guest for this episode is Dorie Clark, author of two business books, a consultant and speaker. Dorie worked as a journalist, so she knows our world very well. When she lost her job in a round of layoffs, she had to reinvent herself. Since then, she’s worked as a spokesperson for gubernatorial and presidential campaigns and executive director of a nonprofit.
In this interview, she explains why hard work and talent are no longer enough. And how you can position yourself as a trusted expert to set yourself apart—even if you don't quite feel like an "expert" in your field.
Thu, 9 April 2015
There's plenty of advice about what you should do when starting and growing a freelance writing business.
But not too many people are openly talking about things you should avoid at this critical early stage.
My guest this week is Diana Scheidman, a freelance writer and researcher specializing in the insurance and asset management industries.
Diana has developed a reputation for helping people who want to land well-paid freelance and consulting work quickly. And she recently wrote a book on the subject titled Real Skills, Real Income: A Proven Marketing System to Land Well-Paid Freelance and Consulting Work in 30 Days or Less.
In this episode, Diana shares 10 things new freelance business writers must avoid if they want to get their freelance business off the ground faster.
Thu, 26 March 2015
One of the things that I've tried to be very mindful of is painting a very realistic picture of what it's like to launch and grow a freelance writing and copywriting business today.
In fact, I take great pride in being transparent about the hard work required. You'll hear that in most of my interviews, as well as in shows such as:
Today is no exception. My guest is Mark Stone, a freelance writer from British Columbia, Canada. Mark is still in the early stages of growing his business, and he has an interesting story to tell about finding his way through this business.
You're not going to hear a talk about rainbows and sunshine. Instead, you'll get more of a status report from Mark. You'll hear how Mark is landing progressively better and higher-paying clients. And how he's pushing past fears and insecurities to improve his business and his income.
If you're just starting out or are in the first two or three years of your freelance venture, I think you'll get a lot out of this interview.
Thu, 12 March 2015
Just last week I received a call from a friend who owns a small marketing agency.
She had recently lost three solid opportunities—deals she should have won. She couldn't figure out what went wrong. So she did what most of us do: assume it was her own fault.
Maybe she said the wrong thing. Or her pricing was way off. Or she didn't have the experience the prospect wanted.
But I've lost enough deals to know the truth. She was basing her conclusions on the wrong assumption. More specifically, she was assuming that every opportunity has the same chance of success.
More than likely, it wasn't something she did or didn't do. It was simply that these opportunities weren't really "winnable."
In this episode, I'll tell you what I shared with her ... and how that shift in thinking made an immediate impact on her business.
Thu, 26 February 2015
Over the past seven years, I've had hundreds of conversations with new and aspiring freelancers who are 55+.
Perhaps the most common concern I hear from this group is, "I'm afraid that my age will prevent me from getting clients."
I can understand this fear. Especially if you've experienced age discrimination in the workplace ... or been laid off or downsized because of your age (something an employer would never admit).
Here's the good news—you have more to offer your clients than you realize. In fact, you have a serious competitive edge over younger freelancers — experience, wisdom and perspective.
And that's not just me saying that. I've heard this from several freelancers who launched their solo business later in life.
In fact, you'll hear from one of them in this week's episode. Her name is Katherine Andes, a California–based web content developer and SEO writer who went solo 12 years ago at the age of 54.
Thu, 12 February 2015
Today's show is about two topics that didn't warrant their own episodes:
I'm also going to introduce a somewhat "silent" co-host of this show (someone you might have heard a few times before). I'll tell you about two upcoming industry events you may want to check out. And I'll explain how you can be a part of a future episode of this podcast.
Thu, 29 January 2015
Yes, I really believe freelancing or contingency work is the way of the future. But if you're fresh out of school and have no contacts and no relevant experience, how can you possibly get started as a freelancer?
In this episode, I interview two young freelancers who faced the same dilemma just a few years ago.
Thu, 15 January 2015
Today we're talking about SEO copywriting. And to get the full scoop on what's happening with SEO these days, I've brought in one of the world's top authorities on the subject: Heather Lloyd Martin.
Heather has been writing, studying and teaching SEO copywriting for years. In fact, she got started way before SEO copywriting went mainstream.
In this interview, Heather is going to give us an overview of this opportunity, including:
And much more!
Thu, 1 January 2015
Fully 90% of my income these days comes from teaching, training and coaching freelancers to earn more in less time, doing work they love for better clients.
But what does that say about me, when so little of my income comes from working directly with freelance writing clients?
It's a great question. And in this week's episode, I address the issue head on.