In this episode, I'm joined by Yolander Prinzel, Lori Widmer, and Cathy Miller for a round table discussion about the changing freelance writing industry, marketing freelance writing services, and more.
Freelance Specialties and Getting Started
The girls share their freelance writing specialties and the stories behind how they chose them (or fell into them). An interesting note, all three of them specialize in different areas of the insurance industry (not sure how I ended up the odd one out in the group!).
Freelance Marketing Strategies
Each guest shares their top marketing tactic for landing freelance writing gig. Yolander doesn't think she markets at all. But she does. No worries. We set her straight. Lori talks about letters of introduction (LOIs). And Cathy weighs in on LinkedIn (she's the LinkedIn queen, and my go-to source on the network).
How the Freelance Writing Industry Has Changed
Lori, Cathy, and Yo talk about some of the changes they've seen in the freelance writing industry and their specialty areas, from an increase in the number of freelance writers flowing into the market to an increased value placed on quality.
Yolander made the "mistake" of bringing up Google (and how they did a good thing by helping to dampen the rush to content mills). So I weighed in on this question too with another perspective on Google, and why I consider them at fault for the decreasing quality of blog content in the past couple of years. So if you want to hear a rant about false authority and bullshit advice about things like blog post length, this is the section of the show for you. Yolander also brought up a fascinating new trend in freelance writer exploitation that newer writers should be aware of -- underpaid freelance fiction.
If You Knew One Thing Then...
I asked the ladies: if you could have known one thing when you got started as a freelancer that you know now, what would it be and what might you do differently?
Cathy points out the importance of preparing for the business side of being a freelancer.
Yolander wouldn't have done much differently as she felt the mistakes she made were valuable learning experiences. (Plus, hear the story of how Yo and I met and why I've always had so much respect for her.)
Lori focuses on having confidence in yourself early on -- especially the confidence to say "no."
Advice for Newer Freelance Writers
Finally, I asked the girls to share one piece of advice with newer freelancers. Yo suggests learning to adapt early on. Be open to change because the freelance writing industry is always changing. I take that a step further and suggest you try to stay ahead of changes -- be a thought leader rather than a follower.
Lori and Cathy agreed that new writers should be cautious about freelance advice and find ways to tailor that general advice to their own careers and markets rather than simply parroting or copying colleagues or "coaches."
Links for This Episode
- Yolander Prinzel's Website
- Yolander - Twitter
- Lori Widmer's Website
- Lori - Twitter
- Cathy Miller's Website
- Cathy - Twitter
- Lori's E-book: Marketing 365
- LinkedIn Guide to Little Stuff (one of Cathy's many LinkedIn resources on her blog)
- Blog Post Length vs Number of Shares (a forum thread in which I dissect the misleading statistics bloggers often cite when claiming you must write "epic" -- read: long -- content if you want it to be shared on social media)