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What do I mean by “You are Your Platform”?

Are you online?

Whatever you post, how you interact, are you helpful and engaging, have you built trust with your contacts, do you add value, and this is your platform (You).

Are your interpersonal skills good or do they need work so potential clients want to work with you.

What happens when someone Googles your name, what will they find on sites like Facebook and other social sites. Are you sure that everything you post portrays you in a good light and someone that is a good fit for people searching for what you offer.

You must always guard your reputation because it is all you have to put in front of potential clients. Do not post pictures or rants that portray you as someone extreme with views that might reflect a negative persona. This could hurt your chances to convert visitors to your site.

You as a platform, may be a foreign concept but think of it as applying for an open position. The open position is your client has and you want it. You have to present yourself as the best choice or their open position. The question is does your online and offline person reflect you as the best choice because you are in a competition with others. Why are you the best? Do you bring value?

Does your persona reflect confidence and trustworthiness? If it doesn’t, you could lose out on jobs you might like and feel are in your wheelhouse.

You must always put you best foot forward at all times. One way to do this is to answer questions that others online and offline may have. Be helpful and pay it forward. You’ll be surprised what you get back in return. Be the go to person for your niche.

If you are helpful and offer value to clients, your chances of getting referrals and testimonials increases without have to work at it, happy clients are your best advertising.

Consider being a lifelong learner by keeping up with the changes in your niche and the Federal Trade Commission rules if you are in the United States. 

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance writer, blogger, editor, proofreader, and reviewer learning marketing.

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“The free-lance writer is a man who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps.”

— Robert Benchley

Although I classify myself as a writer, blogger, editor, proofreader, and reviewer I am also learning branding, marketing, and social selling as integral parts of working as a freelancer.

“Taming the Freelance Market” is the working title of my book about freelancing. The more I write, the more that needs researching and include enough information for would be freelancers, entrepreneurs and small businesses without causing information overload.

Below is a rough draft of chapter one:

“Before I begin, according to WordWeb Pro®, a program I use often:

Freelance used as a Verb:

Work independently and on temporary contracts rather than for a long-term employer

Freelance used as an Adjective:

Working for yourself

Freelance used as a Noun:

A writer or artist who sells services to different employers without a long-term contract with any of them

What does this mean in plain English?

As a freelancer, you must maintain impeccable records of income and expenses (record keeping for taxes), medical and dental insurance, marketing, Web design, anything related to business is up to you. Freelancers receive no befits from employers, because freelancers are considered independent contractors.

Depending on the services rendered by an independent contractor, you may receive remuneration, but no credit for your work, one example is a Ghostwriter.”

I then mention some of the many types of freelance jobs available in chapter one, not just writing jobs.

“Taming the Freelance Market” is about working for yourself as a freelancer, entrepreneur, small business, independent contractor or whatever pigeonhole you choose.

If any readers have a comment or suggestions about subject(s) dealing with being or becoming a freelancer please use my contact page and send me a note, ask a question or (hint) hire me for your blog or website..

I try to help everyone with questions about freelancing, publishing, and writing; if I don’t know an answer I research to find the answer. I learn by researching, answering questions, which are a form of teaching, I am still learning about, branding, marketing, and social media but will help you wherever I can.

I for one believe in paying it forward.

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning Branding, Marketing and Social Media.

The first step is to consider your niche and the content relevant to that niche.

Content is not about your product or services. Content is about educating, engaging, helping, and informing your readers to build relationships, not sell your stuff.

This may sound counterproductive, but content is establishing relationships to build trust. Would you buy something from someone you don’t know or engage in a business deal with someone you don’t know? Then why should your readers?

The art of selling online is building trust through establishing relationships, not trying to sell your product or service to everyone that visits your site. You start by helping them through their pain point first before you try and sell.

I may be in the minority, but I believe in helping visitors to my blog and social sites over trying to sell them my services. I am willing to answer questions or offer suggestions to everyone; do you.

Don’t use jargon or large words in conjunction with complex sentences when plain English will suffice. Readers of your content should get the point you are making with ease by the use of concise writing.

Content marketing involves all content from social sites, blogs, and websites with relevant content to your product or services. Your content is your chance to position yourself as an expert in your niche and build trust with your traffic by engaging with visitors.

Your content must be relevant to what people are searching for by using search engines. Also, remember, nothing happens overnight. It takes some time to build a following and trust. If you expect instant sales, you are going to be disappointed.

Be engaging and helpful first before trying to sell products or services. A chance for you to talk more about your product or services is via newsletters when a visitor signs up for it on your site.

Content marketing might be an email if visitors opt in to receiving emails for special sells or special coupons or email only products or services and have an easy way to opt out of emails.

Send a free item if they opt-in to receiving a newsletter or emails. Many people like getting something free, and are probably willing to share their email address with you to receive it.

Free should mean free, not free if they pay shipping and handling. Something you can send an electronic copy of, and always be courteous with a thank you note when the sign up to your list of people willing to receive your emails or newsletter.

This is how to run your content marketing.

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader and Reviewer learning marketing

Whether a freelancer, entrepreneur or business, you need content marketing for awareness of your presence as an entity offering products or services.

There are forms of content marketing mentioned in a previous post.

As the search bots check for fresh content, if you are keeping up with fresh relevant content to what people are looking for, using content to explain what you have to offer them to help them with either a product or service they need.

Fresh content on a regular basis will help you climb the search engine latter.

If your content is relevant, visitors may consider your product or service. Your content must be relevant, engaging, easy to read, and establishes you as someone that has the right product or service people are looking for.

Your content should put the visitor at ease and work at building relationships with possible buyers of your product or service because customers will buy from someone they trust.

Your content should not always be about selling but showing what you do and how you have what people are looking.

If your content is about products, there should be pictures of the products. Pictures are content. This way, visitors can view your physical products and get a sense of what is looks like.

Again, I must stress that content be relevant to the product or service. Using tricks or “black hat” maneuvers is not a good tactic unless you want to run the risk of being unindexed by search engines or worse.

All content should be honest and authentic, you are the content and the content is you.

What would you do if someone offered a product and when you click to find out you find there are hidden costs or some other condition? You would probably leave and never return. Don’t do the same to your visitors. Always be open and honest.

Somewhere in your content should be a way to contact you for questions or comments.

Testimonials on your site are also content that will show visitors what others that have purchased from you think of the process and the product or service.

Author
Robert Medak
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning marketing

As a freelancer, entrepreneur, or business flexibility and change are omnipresent; as the responsible party, you need to be quick on your feet to address what is working and what isn’t working.

In my case, there is too much taking up time and not allowing me to concentrate on what is more important, writing and learning, to this end I am refocusing on my writing, blog posts, and taking courses that I am registered for.

Believing in lifelong learning, it is time to begin learning more about the interests I have in relation to being a well-rounded freelance writer and marketer.

Everyone wanting to work online must have a working knowledge of basic HTML, SEO, Social Media, Marketing, and Content Marketing to grow their business. Whether working solo, partnership, freelancer, or whatever you call what you do online, or brick and mortar you are a businessperson and must learn about how different business models operate. Even authors are business people and are entrepreneurs.

Businesses must be open to the myriad changes possible as technology and business opportunities that arise. To be flexible to be cognitive to these changes one needs to be open to refocusing how to achieve the goals of your business.

When refocusing, questions will naturally present themselves. This is a time to re-evaluate if you need to learn something new, revisit your goals, or begin outsourcing some of the administrative chores to a VA (Virtual Assistant) to perform these tasks to free up your time to make your business grow.

Is it time for you to refocus your business and join me on the journey to rediscover the joy of running a business or being a freelancer and finding the passion you once had. Without what you do bringing joy to you, why are you doing it? Is it just for money? If it isn’t fun, it will become drudgery and had to keep the civility in the business. Frustration leads to contempt for the business and family as the burdens grow.

Refocus on why you started your business in the first place. Was it because you felt you had something that made you feel good and thought you might be able to help customers and make some money as well.

Refocusing will bring the passion back you initially, and help your business prosper and grow. Enjoy the journey!

Author
Robert Medak
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning marketing

One-third of a year gone as of April 27, 2015 bm-4

This year is the year of change. I have lived in two centuries, eight different decades, cease being a sexagenarian and become a septuagenarian.

I have been a reader, learner, and driver for over half a century.

After retiring in December 2013, I began writing reviews and web content in February 2006.

It is definitely time, to begin thinking about what I want to be when I grow up, and quit being my own worst enemy.

Why did I want to be a writer?

  • I have always thought different than other people
  • I feel as though I have something to impart to readers
  • I wrote How-Tos while working and edited notes written by one of my supervisors (Pacific Telephone and Telegraph, PacBell, SBC, which is now ATT)
  • While acting as Parliamentarian for Crestline Senior Citizens Club, rewrote the bylaws
  • Wrote the job description manuals for Serenity Haven Animal Rescue and Sanctuary
  • I have edited manuscripts
  • Written Poems and Prose while taking courses online at Writers’ Village University
  • Created a writing workshop at WVU
  • Facilitated courses at WVU
  • Created a course at WVU
  • Critiqued poems and prose
  • Read from Asimov to Zola
  • Worked as an Intern copy editor for Celebrity Café
  • Built an online presence for Allbook Reviews International
  • Written and edited press releases
  • While living in Osborne, Kansas, helped a High School writing prodigy with her stories after meeting her in an authors’ group and asked to help her.
  • Wrote a letter of recommendation for a young writer for a position at a local press
  • A local magazine, Osborne Joy contacted me for a short story to be included in an upcoming issue while living in Kansas.

The question remains, what have I accomplished.

  • I began earning money at the age of around nine and a half as a paperboy delivering the News Pilot.
  • Next was working at San Pedro Marine through High School into college
  • I spent from 1965 until 1971 as an ARMY Reservist working my way to E6 and acting First Sargent over two platoons of forty troops each in Psychological Warfare Company.
  • From September 1966 until December of 2003 worked from PacBell on everything from POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) to Fiber Optic equipment as the technology changed and updated.
  • Created a trouble shooting guide for M1C equipment

What have I accomplished or learned?

Over the years, I learned much, which a good deal is of no use since I retired from PacBell.

  • I have been blogging about writing and freelancing.
  • I share what I consider interesting items
  • I try to answer question that people online may have
  • I have been working on a manuscript “Taming the Freelance Market”.
  • I have stories and poems, written or started, and some still in my head.
  • I am a freelancer who because of finances must wear many hats while trying to learn marking and converting visitors to my blog and social media accounts despite a litany of medical conditions that require daily medications. I say this not for pity but as one ages things begin to happen from a medical perspective. For some, “the golden years” are more like trips to doctors, specialists, and the hospital.
  • I enjoy reading and love editing
  • When working DIY, getting clients is difficult when competing with others from around the world.

Following some of my own advice

It is time for me to change my daily routine and make more time for writing and devote less time to that which is a time waster like Email, social media, and complete some courses I have waiting for me.

It is finally time to inhibit the procrastination bug from invading my life and work on what makes me fulfilled. Back to learning, reading, and writing is the mantra I should be living.

It is time to cull things that are not as important as what I should be doing, writing because writers write. I do consider myself a writer, 2015 is the year I should prove it.

Since money for traditional publishing is nonexistent unless I win the LOTTO, I must work on getting my ducks in a row, dot all Is and cross all Ts to get my manuscript turned into a finished book.

If I want to write, I must prove that to myself by writing and finishing my first book while continuing to hone the craft into readable content for any potential readers.

Has Nathaniel Hawthorne said, “Easy reading is damn hard writing.” I believe it.

It will take me months to whittle down the stealers of time so that I can devote more time to education and putting words on my computer’s monitor.

Be well!

Author

Robert Medak

  • Freelance writer
  • Blogger
  • Editor
  • Proofreader
  • Reviewer learning marketing, and much more

“Every day is an opportunity to learn something new”. ©RJM

During the last few of weeks of 2014, how did your 2014 goals list compare to what you accomplished in 2014?

Did you periodically analyze your 2014 goals list and adjust your time and effort in achieving your goals?

Did you reach all of 2014 milestones? Why or Why not?

Have you listed and scheduled periodic reviews of your 2015 business goals and are ready to make changes along the way?

What are going to do differently in 2015 than you did in 2014 to achieve your goals list?

The final questions for this post will be the following:

Are you willing to expend the time and effort required during the year 2015 to achieve all items on your 2015 goals list?

Have you established your editorial calendar for your blog in 2015?

Does your business have a blog? Why or why doesn’t your business have a blog?

Every business needs a blog. Businesses that have a website should have a blog as part of their website or a standalone blog to engage customers, to keep customers updated on what is new in the business.

A blog is the perfect method of interacting with customers through your clear call to action. A call to action may be as simple as getting them to use your contact form or some other action that will tell you what your customers think and want on your site.

In addition to a blog or website, businesses need a social media presence to inform potential customers of information about themselves through interpersonal communication. The main point of social media is to establish relationships with individuals that may be in need of what your business offers.

Social media is also a good platform to mention a sale, discount, survey, or what is happening in a business. Social media allows businesses to learn what customers are looking for by asking questions or have a complaint about something that a business may be able to help with.

Using social media allows businesses to view the pulse of what people want through what they share. How businesses are using social media to their advantage in finding new customers and how businesses use social media for brand marketing.

No one can learn the nuances of social media overnight. In the era of digital, social media and mobile is necessary for businesses to survive and thrive in the digital world we live in.

2015 is a new start for every business from freelancer to large corporation to learn new technologies and use them to their advantage in establishing and growing brand awareness.

Using technology is paramount for entrepreneurs to compete with larger businesses in the digital market.

Annually entrepreneurism is growing worldwide because individuals can no longer rely on the economy on a global scale. It is up to individuals to create their own economy through entrepreneurism. Taking courses in entrepreneurship is no longer a luxury but a necessity in these times of global economic uncertainty facing everyone. There are no longer jobs where one could follow in their father or grandfather’s company.

Those seeking work as more people retire and more jobs outsourced to countries because of lower pay and tax breaks, gainful employment is becoming a myth. Individuals have to fend for themselves in creating a living wage.

Is it easy being an entrepreneur? The short answer is no. Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart, but it can be rewarding for those willing to work hard and gin the knowledge required to be a successful entrepreneur in today’s economy.

Good luck in all of your endeavors for 2015 and beyond.

Robert Medak

Freelance writer, blogger, editor, proofreader, and reviewer learning marketing

Please leave a comment

I have seen Freelancers on different social sites asking about various places where they can find freelance jobs.

If you think freelancing will make you more income than your current job, think again, because there are no guarantees in freelancing, just as there are no guarantees in life. It is all about how hard you are willing to put forth the effort and determination.

Some sites where freelancers can bid on jobs are:

Elance – https://www.elance.com/ – Lower budget, highly competitive, money held in escrow account; until job poster accepts work and authorizes payment. Elance takes a percentage.

Employment Crossing – http://www.employmentcrossing.com/# : After a three-day trial, membership is $49.95 per month.

Freelancer – https://www.freelancer.com/ : Low paying, but free to register; highly competitive from bidders in countries around the world.

Guru – http://www.guru.com/ : Low budget, and highly competitive; Guru takes a percentage.

oDesk – https://www.odesk.com/ : Low budget, highly competitive. oDesk works on a percentage basis

MiNeeds – http://www.mineeds.com/ : Standard package is $24.99 per month.

Writing Crossing – http://writingcrossing.com: After a three-day trial, membership is $49.95 per month.

These are only a few notification sites where you can bid on the posted jobs with no guarantee of obtaining work on any of these sites, which are only a small portion of available sites on the internet.

Would you buy something without a warranty? Then, why would you pay for only a chance at seeing posted jobs only to post a bid or offer your services to someone with no guarantee of a job.

It does not seem right to pay only for opportunities to bid without knowing you can actually get freelance work after paying just for a chance.

There are other productive ways of finding freelance jobs locally at first, which will help you build a portfolio and gain experience in your chosen freelance niche.

No matter how much you may hate it, do not be in a hurry to quit your day job, it pays the bills for now and a paycheck is guaranteed if you put in the time.

Think about this: More than 80 percent of freelancers have side jobs accord to The Freelancers Union. Did you think all freelancers made tons of money; well think again, the number of freelancers making self-sufficient income is small.

Take freelancing slowly; build your reputation, because YOU are your brand. Freelancing is a big business and you need to learn the business part of freelancing as well as what your specific freelance niche is all about, this takes time and a good deal of reading about your niche so you are educated in what it takes to be a successful freelancer in that niche.

The more you know the better equipped you will be to understand the clients pain points and be able to address them. If you cannot understand a client’s needs, how will you be able to handle their needs?

Author
Robert Medak
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning ethical Marketing
follow the author’s Social Media at: http://xeeme.com/RobertMedak

If you would like help making your copy better, a review of your copy, or have any questions about working with a freelancer, please use the contact form.

Working as a freelancer, I have found freelancing frustrating, depressive, and irritating to the point where I have thought of saying, “I quit!” This is when I need to walk away, regroup myself, and get back to learning more about marketing my services while working on any outstanding projects.

Most potential clients already have someone whom they trust offering the same services I do, so how do I find people willing to work with me, because of finances, there is less than a shoestring budget to work with. When living on a fixed income, there is never enough money to work with a mentor, purchase programs, travel expenses to conferences, lodging, food, and price of the conference ticket.

In hindsight, there are many things I would have done differently, age should not stop anyone wishing becoming an entrepreneur. Just do not quit your day job until freelancing will allow you to keep the lifestyle you are accustomed to.

Freelancers are independent contractors; you pay taxes, purchase insurance, need a space to work, pay for any licenses to run a business. Freelancers are entrepreneurs running a business, and the money is not yours, it belongs to the business and your business pays you a salary.

Freelancers need an accountant, or learn accounting to keep clear concise records in case of an IRS audit.

All entrepreneurs are liable for paying taxes, employee withholding, Medicare, sales tax, state taxes, business licenses, and possibly medical, dental, and vision insurance. This in itself can cause entrepreneurs more than their share of frustration.

Another thing that can cause freelancers ulcers is pricing their product or services to be competitive. When outsourcing, you will have to train your virtual employee to work the way you would.

Author
Robert Medak
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning ethical Marketing
follow the author’s Social Media at: http://xeeme.com/RobertMedak

If you would like help making your copy better, a review of your copy, or have any questions about working with a freelancer, please use the contact form.

 

 

People often ask the question, “Can you reliably make a living freelance writing?”

The answer depends on many factors, and individual client needs.

First, freelance writers must educate clients what freelance writing is.

Some clients equate freelance writers with web designers wanting various languages such as Perl, Drupal, Joomla, building shopping carts, and more, this is programming, not freelance writing.

Other clients may request knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, Adobe Pro, Quark, CRM, and CMS software, to name a few.

Newcomers to freelance writing will find it hard to acquire clients if they are not up to date on the various software programs listed above, and the software clients may be using in their business.

Freelance writers must have a working knowledge of copyright infringement, plagiarism, and the latest FTC rules if they work in the United States.

The quote below posted with permission from Tim McGuinness during a discussion about the question, “Can you reliably make a living freelance writing?”

As a business that hires writers, you all need to understand the nature of the business models that now exist. When content became universal, it also lowered its value – not to me, but to the ultimate publishers of that content. In retail for example, the norm is to scrape content from other websites – retailers who consume vast amounts of content are not willing to pay much for it. If they can get duplicated content put up for $1 they will, until they get in trouble. What you all also need to understand it that a writer is just a part of a process – content production requires coordination, production management, quality assurance, and delivery mechanisms. These are all fixed costs, thus the writer makes less. There are still boutique projects out there, but increasingly, writing is a commodity job. You make as much as you produce. Sorry for the bad news, but this is the reality of the job now.”  ~ Tim McGuinness, Ph.D.

Second, some clients specify work for writers in India, Philippines, and other non-native English countries around the world if you attempt to find jobs on the various job boards, which are content mills and can hurt reputations.

Competing against non-native English countries accepting low wages for assignments, do not quit your day job until you can continue living the lifestyle you are currently living.

It could take decades for you to become an overnight success as a newcomer to freelance writing and establishing a reputation as a quality writer.

Established writers have spent years building their reputation, many while working a day job and writing part-time until their writing could pay for their lifestyle. Established writers have credentials newcomers do not have, and must build by writing.

Building a portfolio of work takes time, hard work, education, writing, and patience.

Call me harsh, pessimistic, or overly critical, I prefer realist learning daily, while working on my PhD from the University of Hard Knocks.

Freelance writers must commit themselves to writing daily, learning new software, applying the rules of perfect grammar and punctuation in their writing to establish themselves as quality writers.

Freelance writers are entrepreneurs who must embody honesty, integrity, and quality along with transparency and authenticity in all they do.

A new form of marketing is building a business platform, networking, and building a following.

Writing is a business! One must spend the time and energy required to grow it into a successful enterprise. There are no short cuts if writers desire acceptance as serious writers of quality. 

Author
Robert Medak
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning ethical Marketing
follow the author at http://xeeme.com/RobertMedak

If you need help making your writing better or have any writing questions, please use my contact form and we will work together making your writing the best it can be.

 

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