What do you think of drive by marketers?

~~~ Notes from Minnesota ~~~

Hey Freelancer!

It’s December. Already. Yeow. Where did 2016 go? I’m not sure I’m ready to write “2017” on checks…

Nevertheless, time marches on.

As I write this, I have a trilogy in edits as well as a nonfiction title. Near as I can figure, I’ve written over a quarter of a million words since I worked through the massive writing block of 2016.

You may have noticed the Writing Etc. editorial schedule was a bit wonky this year. That would be one of the reasons. The crazy thing is that up until the cancer, I actually didn’t believe in creative blocks. Ha. I do now. :O

This block I wrestled was a big one. And it wasn’t until I started untangling its threads that I got a handle on how to deal with it.

I’ll be talking about this topic a little more… probably in the new Writing Etc. Minis (only Writing Etc. subscribers… hey you can sign up for free so why not join us?). I also penned a short book for anyone who possesses a creative message but finds the actual creation process difficult. That’ll be out soon, too.

But yeah. That’s what’s coming up the pike.

I’m hesitant to say this aloud, but I feel optimistic about the coming year. It’s a hopeful sensation I haven’t felt in quite a while.

Weird, eh?

Until next time, I hope you enjoy today’s article!

Take care,

Beth 🙂

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

jumpstart littleThink it’ll take forever to earn a great living as a writer? Think again. With Jumpstart Your Writing Career and Snag Paying Assignments, you’ll discover how easy it is to:

  • Think like a writer
  • Hone your writing skills until they’re razor sharp
  • Tackle the most lucrative branch of writing
  • Learn secrets of fiction
  • Organize your nonfiction articles
  • Write powerful queries
  • Promote your writing business for little or no money

Completely revised and updated, if you want to be a freelance writer who snags paying assignments, this book’s for you.

It’s currently 3.99 for the digital download. Nab yours when the getting’s good. 🙂

Get it at Amazon

Worldwide

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Do You Engage in Drive By Marketing?
Beth Ann Erickson

I call her a “drive by marketer.” She showed up on my Facebook feed one quiet afternoon. I was in the midst of taking one too many afternoon surfing breaks and my notification icon chirped. I clicked the button.

“Lilly L. posted to Publisher Group.”

“Huh,” I thought, “that’s interesting.”

Then my computer chirped again. And again. And again.

After a flurry of notifications, Lilly being the source of each, I clicked a couple of the links. Then I sighed.

Lilly was apparently in the midst of a massive book promo. What she did was swing by many of the more popular indie author groups and post an exclamation point laden message complete with links and a blazing book cover.

Needless to say, her messages weren’t very popular. “Quit spamming the group,” said one group member. Another commented with their own exclamation point riddled response.

Poor Lilly got kicked out of a couple groups. In another comment thread she engaged in a bit of a flame war.

All because of one post.

Now… I know the Internet can be a pretty interesting place. I know it can be volatile. I know that freelancing, copywriting, publishing, any creative endeavor sometimes feels glutted with a plethora of artists vying for attention. (That’s actually not the case, but we’ll discuss that subject later.)

Sadly, Lilly made a fairly large miscalculation with her marketing technique: She didn’t study her audience, she didn’t check out group rules, she didn’t participate in group discussions before she plastered her information on everyone’s walls. Let’s break it down.

Her audience: Lilly was selling a book for children. Turns out, a publishing group isn’t exactly her target audience. She would be better served by joining parenting groups and discretely mentioning her book there.

Group rules: Each of the groups she joined have written rules of conduct. Each one prohibits blasting the group with these types of messages. Sadly, Lilly got removed and now won’t benefit from the invaluable knowledge they provide.

Participation: There’s an old (in Internet time) marketing adage that goes something like this. “Know me, like me, trust me, buy from me.” If your customers don’t know you, like you and trust you… they won’t… well, you know the rest. If you want to build a readership, you need to offer solid information in addition to pertinent links.

The thing is, relationships take time to build. If you’re in a hurry and want to blast your offerings all over creation, that’s fine. You’ll likely make a few sales. But if you want a long term career, what you want to build is a readership. And that takes time and effort.

Had Lilly taken as much time in pondering her marketing strategy as she did spamming these groups, she would have likely experienced a far more successful launch. Not only that, but she could have grown a fair amount of good will in the process.

It’s amazing how just a little marketing savvy a creative entrepreneur needs to get an edge in this crazy online environment.

If drive by marketing doesn’t work, what does? Perhaps becoming a creative entrepreneur is a better option…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You can use any of these articles free of charge on your own website or zine. Just don’t make any changes and be sure to include this byline:

This article is courtesy of Filbert Publishing. Make your writing sparkle, write killer queries, get published. Subscribe to Writing Etc., the free e-mag for freelancers and receive the e-book “Power Queries.” http://filbertpublishing.com

Enjoy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You received this email because you subscribed at FilbertPublishing.com. You can easily manage your subscription by clicking the link at the end of this email.

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I don’t rent or share your email information with anyone. Ever. Period.

Please forward this message with your friends, writing groups, peers, and anyone who you feel will find this content useful. I think they’ll find the information helpful and I know I very much appreciate your support.

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Are you a creative entrepreneur?

~~~ Notes from Minnesota ~~~

Hey Freelancer!

Oh my. What a year! Slowly but surely life kinda/sorta cooperates with my plans.

Cancer definitely crimped my long term goals, but something amazing has evolved from the experience. I’ll talk about it a bit in today’s article.

Suffice it to say, although my public voice has dimmed this past year, I’ve been busy behind the scenes. All my titles are polished, updated, and re-edited. Some even got new covers. They look pretty spiffy.

I’m humbled at how many people seem to enjoy the Notes from Minnesota podcast. Thanks to everyone who tunes in to check out the antics of a haphazard freelancer living in the middle of nowhere.

Lastly, if you’re still reading this, you have no idea how much I appreciate your sticking with me while I sort out aspirations, projects, back list, etc. It’s taken longer than I expected, but from what I hear that’s normal in the world of cancer. So, I endeavor to be patient with myself as I sort through issues… projects… as I decide the trajectory for the rest of my life.

As for you? Since we’re nearing the end of ‘16, it’s probably smart to take stock of your freelance situation. It’s wise to keep your Polaris out front and center to keep you on your desired path.

With that theme in mind, enjoy today’s article! Believe it or not, I’ve got more coming. Soon.

Onwwonderland-largeard and upward,

Beth 🙂

P.S. My latest novel, Reclaimed Wonderland debuted at .99. Grab your copy before the price goes up.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

jumpstart littleThink it’ll take forever to earn a great living as a writer? Think again. With Jumpstart Your Writing Career and Snag Paying Assignments, you’ll discover how easy it is to:

  • Think like a writer
  • Hone your writing skills until they’re razor sharp
  • Tackle the most lucrative branch of writing
  • Learn secrets of fiction
  • Organize your nonfiction articles
  • Write powerful queries
  • Promote your writing business for little or no money

Completely revised and updated, if you want to be a freelance writer who snags paying assignments, this book’s for you.

It’s currently 3.99 for the digital download. Nab yours when the getting’s good. 🙂

Get it at Amazon

Worldwide

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Are You a Creative Entrepreneur?
Beth Ann Erickson

Sylvia (not her real name) and I struck up a Facebook friendship when one of her comments caught my eye. Someone posted about a quacky cure for cancer and Sylvia, in her most magical way, rebutted the claim with eloquence, style, and kindness.

The conversation became a Facebook rarity… a disagreement that didn’t flame out in a blaze of anger. She intrigued me.

I liked that about her. She possessed a magical ability to smooth feathers, make a sharp point, and walk away friends. Since this was something I always aspire to, I sent her a friend request.

Little did I know she was dying of breast cancer. She passed shortly after we met. My world still feels darker pondering the void she left behind.

Which brings me to you. According to Wizard of Ads, Roy H. Williams, “Everyone wants to make the same three things: money, a name, and a difference.” His question is this: How do you prioritize the three?

This was a tough question until cancer clarified my situation. Considering there’s a definite possibility I won’t live as long as I thought, I want to make a difference.

Before cancer, I always considered myself an entrepreneur. Today I think of myself as a Creative Entrepreneur. It’s a minor, yet important distinction. Entrepreneurs solve problems. Creative people enrich the world. Creative Entrepreneurs do both.

Writers, artists, poets, photographers, musicians… anyone who links a thoughtful message to their work makes this planet just a little better. And these are the people I want to work with starting early next year. More on that later.

In the mean time… money, name, a difference? What’s your answer?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You can use any of these articles free of charge on your own website or zine. Just don’t make any changes and be sure to include this byline:

This article is courtesy of Filbert Publishing. Make your writing sparkle, write killer queries, get published. Subscribe to Writing Etc., the free e-mag for freelancers and receive the e-book “Power Queries.” http://filbertpublishing.com

Enjoy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You received this email because you subscribed at FilbertPublishing.com. You can easily manage your subscription by clicking the link at the end of this email.

You’ll receive between 1 – 4 emails per month, lots of tips, articles, and announcements of our latest titles.

I don’t rent or share your email information with anyone. Ever. Period.

Please forward this message with your friends, writing groups, peers, and anyone who you feel will find this content useful. I think they’ll find the information helpful and I know I very much appreciate your support.

~~~~~

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In memory of… footwear?

The passing of a creative entrepreneur is something to be mourned. Today Beth and Jackie discuss the artists they miss. They also discuss:

  • How many world woes could be solved by sensible shoes
  • The power of author journals
  • Song writing versus long form prose

That about covers it! Who do you miss? This could be a great journal entry…

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Decluttering in Life and Career

So much stuff. Waaaayy too much. It was time to pare down the clutter in the office so Jackie and Beth discuss the pros, cons, and in betweens when it comes to clutter. Find out:

  • A fun resource (and useful trick) to decide what to keep and what to toss
  • Family reactions to drastic change
  • Do this and instantly know what to do with any given object
  • Why speed isn’t necessarily your friend
  • Some mechanics of decluttering

Enjoy!

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Creative Entrepreneurs and Moonlighting

Moonlighting can be one way to launch your creative endeavor. But it’s got some upsides as well as downers. Today Jackie and I discuss:

  • Is moonlighting as easy as it sounds?
  • A key to moonlighting success
  • Tips to successful moonlighting
  • What you “give up” vs what you gain
  • When you do you know it’s time to quit your “real” job

It’s a fun discussion. Enjoy!

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Should you reinvent your professional identity?

The only constant in life is change. Or so “they” say…

Today Lindsay and Beth discuss pen names, reasons why they’re good, why you should use one, as well as when you should skip that advice.

Of course, they stray a bit and dance around the importance of advice; when you should follow it as well as when it could turn into a rabbit hole.

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Networking Made Easy?

It strikes fear in the heart of every introvert. Yet we must do it.

Today Jackie and Beth untangle the mysteries of networking. We cover things like:

  • Whether what we consider epic fails can be salvaged
  • How to look at networking through a new lens
  • Chatting versus selling
  • Why you should forget networking and do this instead

We fully admit we’re not the slickest networkers on the planet. Good grief, we’re barely in the lower quadrant in that department. And yet we muddle through. Check out how we do it in today’s podcast. Enjoy!

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How to Freelance Like a Farmer and Get More Done

~~~ Notes from Minnesota ~~~

Hey Freelancer!

Goodness gracious! Seems like everyone and their brother is in the process of a big “launch.” Their “tribe” is all excited. Whoda thunk?

Sigh.

Here’s the deal: I’ve mentioned this before but it bears repeating. Every time you feel your emotions stirred, it’s time to put on the brakes and examine the situation. Ask yourself what kind of qualifications this person has. Check out their track record. Verify claims.

Better yet? Freelance like a farmer. Doing this makes you nearly immune to the latest short cut to freelance success.

Don’t know what this whole farming metaphor means? Check out my latest podcast. In a little more than 20 minutes, you’ll be in the know. Here’s the link.

Enjoy!

Beth 🙂

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jumpstart littleRumor has it, Amazon is messing with “buy” buttons again. Online magazines have lowered pay rates. Email opens are declining.

These bits of news can crush a writing career… if you rely exclusively on them for your income.

Check out how to freelance like a farmer, cultivate multiple streams of income, and thrive in today’s uncertain freelance environment.

Some highlights:

  • How to hone your writing skills until they’re razor sharp
  • Tackle the most lucrative branch of writing for income stability
  • Learn secrets of fiction (a blast to write, fun stream of income)
  • Organize your nonfiction articles to make them easier to sell
  • Write powerful queries to eliminate so many rejections
  • Promote your writing business for little or no money

Completely revised and updated, if you want to be a freelance writer who snags paying assignments, this book’s for you.

It’s currently 3.99 for the digital download. Nab yours when the getting’s good. 🙂

Get it at Amazon

Worldwide

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1932794034How to Do More in Less Time – Part 3
Robert W. Bly

The ability to work faster and get more done in less time isn’t slavery; it’s freedom. You’re going to have the same big pile of stuff to do every day whether you want it or not. If you can be more efficient, you can get it done and still have some time left over for yourself – whether it’s to read the paper, hike, jog, play the piano, or something else.

Here are more ideas that can increase your personal productivity so you can get more done in less time:

7. Protect and value your time. Productive people guard their time more heavily than the gold in Fort Knox. They don’t waste time. They get right to the point. They may come off as abrupt or dismissive to some people. But, they realize they cannot give everyone who contacts them all the time each person wants. They choose who they
spend time on and with. They make decisions. They say what needs to be said, do what needs to be done and then move on.

8. Don’t do everything yourself. Hire assistants or acquire equipment to eliminate repetitive and routine tasks. Going to the corner stationery store to make photocopies is a waste of your time. Buy a small photocopier and keep it near your desk or hire an assistant to make copies for you, so you never have to go out and do it yourself again. I haven’t been to the post office in 7 years, because that’s a task better done by my $10-an-hour assistant than by me, the $100+ an hour writer.

Despise inefficiency. I spent the extra money on a plain paper fax, because photocopying the curly thermal paper from the old fax machine was an utter waste of time and energy.

9. Don’t shy away from the Internet. Learn your way around the World Wide Web. It’s the most fantastic research tool ever available to writers. Information that used to require hours of research at the library to uncover can now be accessed online in a fraction of the time. Why get into your car and drive to read an article when you can bring it up on your computer screen in seconds?

I urge every writer to become Web-literate and learn how to search Web sites for information on the topics they write about. Not only will it save time, but the content (and therefore the quality) of your work will be improved too.

10. Don’t become addicted to Internet chat. The Internet has great potential for saving time, but also for wasting time – especially online forums and chat rooms. Limit your Web surfing and e-mailing to research and communication related to your business.
Otherwise, aimless online chatting can eat away most of your morning or afternoon before you know it. Use the Internet as a tool; avoid Internet addiction.

11. Don’t get up. You’re most productive when you stay in your chair. Arrange your office so that everything is within easy reach. Don’t, for example, work in the basement but keep office supplies in the attic. Going up and down the steps is wasted motion and energy.

12. Don’t go out. Or at least, be selective about where, when, and how often you go out.You can get so caught up in networking, lunches, and writers’ groups that you spend the whole week shmoozing, and consequently get little or no productive work done. Novelist Chaim Potok once began a talk by saying, “I feel guilty standing here talking about writing, because I should be home doing it.” Stop talking about writing and instead, write.

12. Don’t go out. Or at least, be selective about where, when, and how often you go out.You can get so caught up in networking, lunches, and writers’ groups that you spend the whole week shmoozing, and consequently get little or no productive work done. Novelist Chaim Potok once began a talk by saying, “I feel guilty standing here talking about writing, because I should be home doing it.” Stop talking about writing and instead, write.

13. Don’t undervalue your time. Assign a dollar value to it. If you work 40 hours a week and earn $1,000 a week, each hour is worth $25. Measure other activities you can do during writing time against that $25, and then make a decision whether these activities are worth pursuing.

A friend of ours, for example, will drive a 40-minute round trip to a distant store to redeem $5 in coupons the local store won’t honor. That works out to a savings of $7.50 per hour of labor. My hourly billing rate is many times that, so for me it makes more sense to pay the extra $5 at a local store, save myself the long drive, and spend the 40 minutes working at my hourly rate instead.

“Time is the most precious currency of life, and how we spend it reflects what we truly value,” writes Richard J. Leider in his book The Power of Purpose. “Once we have spent it, it is gone forever. It cannot be re-earned.”

Samuel Butler called time “the only true purgatory” and Emerson said time is “the surest poison.” But I disagree. How you use your time is up to you. Writers, who sell nothing but time, must use it wisely. The best time to start doing so? Right now.

NOTE: Bob’s got dozens more immediately useful techniques for successful self promotion in his book, “Bob Bly’s Guide to Freelance Writing Success: How to Make $100,000 a Year as a Freelance Writer and Have the Time of Your Life Doing It.” It’s available as an economical ebook here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You can use any of these articles free of charge on your own website or zine. Just don’t make any changes and be sure to include this byline:

This article is courtesy of Filbert Publishing. Make your writing sparkle, market smart, publish. Subscribe to Writing Etc., the free e-mag for freelancers and receive the e-book “Power Queries.” http://filbertpublishing.com

Enjoy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You received this email because you subscribed at FilbertPublishing.com. You can easily manage your subscription by clicking the link at the end of this email.

You’ll receive 1 – 4 emails per month, lots of tips, articles, and announcements of our latest titles.

I don’t rent or share your email information with anyone. Ever. Period.

Please forward this message to your friends, writing groups, peers, and anyone who you feel will find this content useful. I think they’ll find the information helpful and I know I very much appreciate your support.

~~~~~

PRIVACY STATEMENT: We will not distribute your email address to anyone. Ever. Period.

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The benefits of freelancing like a farmer.

Lisa Jenson, a long time freelancer from Idaho, shares how a diverse portfolio helps prevent income highs and lows. In today’s Convos with Pros(e) we discuss:

* How she landed not one but two ghostwriting assignments
* How she broke into the national magazine market
* How to use zines to grow your reputation
* We also discuss dirt cheap marketing techniques

Enjoy this fascinating interview with this consummate (and fun!) pro!

Websites mentioned:
http://LisaDeeWrites.com
http://FilbertPublishing.com

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Tales of Travel

Once your creative career takes flight, expect to travel. Today Beth and Jackie share their battle scarred stories of:

  • Annoying travel mates
  • The power of asking (for nearly anything)
  • The importance of planning ahead
  • Travel tips for musicians with copious equipment
  • The joy of meeting other artists face to face

Enjoy! Don’t be shy. Share your own tales in the comments (if you’re so inclined).

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