Savvy Writing Careers Has Moved to Better Serve Creative, Freelance and Ghost Writers

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Savvy Writing Careers has moved to its own self-hosted website.

I felt the move was necessary because I wanted to do more with this blog. I wanted to provide more resources for creative, freelance and ghost writers than I could provide in the past. Now that Savvy Writing Careers is on its own server, I can better help aspiring and experienced creative, freelance and ghost writers reach their goals.

I’m in the process of updating the website. I look forward to seeing everyone at Savvy Writing Careers.com! Stay tuned…

Amandah

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Four Simple Things You Can Do Today to Get In Front of More People & Claim That Expertise!

“Presence is more than just being there.” ~ Malcolm S. Forbes

Here’s another guest post from Katy Tafoya is teacher and a coach who finds joy in helping women claim their passion and expertise. She guides solopreneurs to make their lives and their businesses juicier, more fulfilling and more successful. She also leads the Val Gal quarterly networking dinners which are always open to the public and in the greater San Fernando Valley. If you’re ready to identify, claim and leverage your expertise and live your passion you can sign up for a a F.R.E.E. subscription to her weekly ezine at SuccessForSolpreneurs.com.

WANT TO SEE MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS ONE? See Katy’s blog at SuccessforSolopreneurs.com/blog.

When was the last time someone contacted you completely out of the blue? When did someone you’ve never personally met before tell you that they’d love to work with you, or interview you, or even create a JV (joint venture) relationship with you?

Better yet, when was the last time you Googled yourself?

I ask about Googling yourself because if you don’t like what you see when you look at the information attached to your name, how will others like it? And why would they bother to reach out to you?

Whether you like it or not, we all develop relationships with those we know, like and trust.  And all the information that is out there on the Internet attached to you and your business builds up that knowable, likeable, trustable factor (yes, I know that trustable isn’t a real word).

In fact, when you have control over what is being said about you and your business, your message, it opens the doors to so many new opportunities (like people coming out of the seeming woodwork who want to work with you).

Here are four simple things you can do today to get started taking control of your online presence…

  • Join those social networks. You don’t need to be active (except on the ones where your clients and colleagues spend their time), but you do need to have an account. The more the merrier.
  • Fill out those profiles. When you join the various social networks, make sure you fill out your profile completely…add a photo, link to your site, import your blog. It’s all great fodder for the search engines and that’s what you want.
  • Spread the word.  When you read something you like, share it, “like” it; give it a +1 or a retweet. Tell your friends. Tell your community. Do what you have to do to spread the word…in doing so, others will also spread YOUR word. And the more you share, the more it shows your shares (especially with Google +) in Google search results.
  • Leave Comments. The more comments you leave (make sure you provide website URL when doing so, but only where it’s asked for) the more links you have that point back to your website. Which again, means the more search results that come up for your website or your name.

And of course…the great and positive side effect from having that strong online presence is that it really helps to demonstrate that you are the expert and the authority. And as an expert in your field, your community looks to you for advice and for resources.

That’s a pretty powerful place to be. So get out there and get busy!

ACTION PLAN: Google yourself today. Devise a strategy to get more relevant search results using any or all of the ideas mentioned above.

I hope you enjoyed this guest post. I find Katy’s articles to be useful to creative, freelance and ghost writers. After all, we are solopreneurs!

Amandah

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What’s the Word: Creating a Theme For the New Year

This post is from Katy Tafoya, a teacher and a coach who finds joy in helping women claim their passion and expertise. She guides solopreneurs to make their lives and their businesses juicier, more fulfilling and more successful. She also leads the Val Gal quarterly networking dinners which are always open to the public and in the greater San Fernando Valley. If you’re ready to identify, claim and leverage your expertise and live your passion you can sign up for a a F.R.E.E. subscription to her weekly ezine at SuccessForSolpreneurs.com.

WANT TO SEE MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS ONE? See Katy’s blog at SuccessforSolopreneurs.com/blog

“I’m a woman of very few words, but lots of action.” ~ Mae West

Happy New Year!

No, really, my wish for you is that this year you will discover and experience your HAPPY new year. So now that we’re a couple days in, how are things shaping up for you?

Have you made those resolutions? I’m not one for making resolutions myself. Like many folks out there, I found that I made these promises and within days, I’ve broken then. And then I feel crappy, like a failure for not being able to follow through.

So instead, I like to focus on setting an intention or a theme for the year. Following my mentor, Christine Kane’s advice, I choose a word (any word or short phrase) that can become the theme for my year. For example, in the past I’ve used, “let go,” “create,” and one year, “giggle.” I know others have used joy, love, peace, strength, bold, etc. The word can be anything that resonates with you, inspires you, makes you smile or motivates you.

I’ve noticed that for me, the word that I start the year with and the word that I end the year with, are not always the very same word. Take last year for an example…I started the year with “create.” My intention was to spend the year not only creating new products, new services and new business, but I also wanted to remind myself to BE more creative. I wanted to get out there and embrace my inner artist.

Well, about mid-way through the year, my word changed to “imperfection” (which I’ve no doubt you noticed as I wrote about it all the time). I realized that I couldn’t be very creative if I was always striving for perfection.

So to allow more creativity and moments of actual creation, I had to learn to allow imperfection. I had to just do it, and not stress how perfect it turned out. In my mind, it was better to have something out there imperfectly, than to have nothing out there at all because I was still stuck on making sure everything was perfect. This opened the world up for me. In fact, it brought me to this year’s word…expand.

This year I want to expand — my life, my relationships, my products and services, my presence and my business as a whole. I want to be BIGGER and BOLDER. I want to be more audacious and more approachable. I want to be the me I know I was put here to be.

At the same time though, I want to it to be easy and effortless. I mean why make it difficult, right? Which then brought me to the phrase — effortless expansion. This year will be the year for effortless expansion.

Will I change it up mid-way again? Quite possibly. It really all depends how things go and expand. Either way, I’m open to whatever sort of “expansion” the new year brings my way.

I encourage you to find a word that empowers you, brings you joy, has you feeling focused and in charge. It can be a short phrase. It’s not carved in stone, so don’t stress over this.

Get silent and see what comes to you. Then put that word up somewhere where you can see it throughout the day. Let it inspire you. Let it BE you. Then remember to live your life….with intention. And if all else fails, there’s always the 2012 Resolution Generator.

I’d love to know what your word or short phrase is for this year. Feel free to respond back to this newsletter or send me an email.

ACTION PLAN: Pick a word for your year and try it on for size. When it feels right, embrace it! 

I invite you to share a little about who you are, what you do and your successes as solopreneur by joining the conversation at the Success for Solopreneurs community.

I hope you enjoyed Katy’s post!
Amandah

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Freelance Writers: Rebranding Doesn’t Have to be Painful

Freelance writers are no different than companies when it comes to branding. We have to creative a website, a web presence, and logo; stay on top of social media, communicate effectively with clients, etc. The owners or board of a company will rebrand because it could be time to go in another direction. Other times, a company will re-brand if it’s suffered a publicity scandal. Ouch! In any event, I’m no different than a company and have decided it’s time to rebrand me along with my portfolio site Savvy-Writer.com. Change is good, and I anticipate only good to come from my decision. With that said … my new, balanced name is Amandah Tayler Blackwell (Amandah Blackwell); it has a nice ‘ring’ to it. For business purposes, I’ll use Amandah T. Blackwell as my signature.

I was surprised at how common it is for solo professionals to change their name. Let’s face it; most actors and actress change their name or use a stage name instead of their legal name. All of us know that Norma Jean became Marilyn Monroe. Marion Morrison is best known as John Wayne. I can’t imagine the movie poster for True Grit with the words, “True Grit starring Marion Morrison as Rooster Cogburn.” I don’t think so.

What’s this: Did you know that some freelance writers and authors use ‘pen names‘ instead of their ‘real’ names? Some of the best-selling authors don’t use their legal names and or publish under different pen names. Some authors have five or more pen names. That’s too many for me!

You may be wondering how I came up with Amandah Tayler Blackwell. Well … I contacted a company in Vancouver, B.C. that specializes in business and personal name changes. It’s not a decision I made lightly. In fact, I’ve been contemplating changing my name for quite some time. Family and friends may need more time to adjust to the change, but I believe it’s in my best interest and look forward to the new ‘energy’ around my ‘new’ name.

How to rebrand your company

1. Life is constantly changing, nothing is stagnant. Embrace change, and it will embrace you.

2. Re-branding can breathe new life into a business and or take it in a totally new direction.

3. What is your mission? Why are you in business? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you embrace rebranding your company.

4. Talk to your clients/customers. There’s a reason why companies conduct focus groups — they want to know what they’re customers want and or how to improve upon products and services. You may as well go straight to the ‘source’ and ask, “What can we do for you?”

5. Ask for help. If you’re in a ‘niche’ that’s saturated, partnering with other businesses is a great way to expand your market.

6. Rethink your target market. Can you expand your target market without having to introduce new products and services?

7. Consider renaming your company. Did you know that Pepsi was first known in 1898 as Brad’s Drink? The name was changed to Pepsi-Cola in 1903 and later to what we now recognize as Pepsi. Talk about an evolution! Pepsi is well-known throughout the world, with many satisfied customers.

8. Communication is the key. It’s important to show and tell clients and customers ‘why’ you’re rebranding and how it will benefit them. Create a video, infographic, etc. Change doesn’t have to be hard — it can be exciting and take you places you could have only imagined.

Thanks for tagging along on my journey. I appreciate everyone who reads and likes Savvy Writing Careers!

Best,
Amandah T. Blackwell

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Writing Coaches with Low Conversion Rates – Stop Writing Well

In my blog post How to Stop Writing Fairly Difficult Content, I wrote about how my assistant editor emailed me statistics on my content which was rated as ‘fairly difficult’ to read based on The Flesch Reading Ease Readability formula. Unfortunately, writing coaches may have to stop writing well. This sounds ironic, but approaching your writing from a different point-of-view could increase conversion rates.

Tip #1: Most readers ‘scan’ blog posts and articles they find online. Write ‘How To and Top 10’ posts that are easily read by your target audience.

Tip #2: It’s important to know your target audience and write for them. Forget about using one dollar words and writing long-winded paragraphs. Use simple language readers will understand.

Currently, newspaper reporters write articles to be understood by readers at a 5th grade level. It’s not the best ‘news’ to read or hear, but it is what it is. Keep this in mind when you write your newsletter, blog posts and articles; and create content for your YouTube channel. Get to the point, make it and move on. Don’ drone on and on because you may lose your target audience if you do.

Tip #3: Be like a newspaper reporter and write content that’s understandable. Analyze your writing to make sure it could be understood by your readers.

When was the last time you read your writing out loud? Before you post a blog post or submit an article to Ezine Articles, read it out loud. Does your writing flow? Or is it choppy? Did you edit your writing? How long are the sentences? Are you using ‘simple’ language? Make sure your writing is ‘spot on’ before your writing goes public.

Tip #4: Avoid using industry jargon/lingo because readers may not understand it.

If you’re a writing coach, it may be difficult for you to stop writing well because you’re in the business of ‘coaching’ writers. It’s an oxymoron! The writers you coach need to understand that if they write over their target audiences’ heads, their books sales could remain stagnate. It’s a conundrum!

Rebecca

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What Doesn’t Attract Clients

This post is from Barb Wade, M.A. who specializes in teaching Coaches to create thriving, 6-figure practices in under 20 hours a week! For a FREE “How To Get Clients” BUSINESS BREAKTHROUGH KIT just for Coaches, visit Barb Wade.com today.

Even though this post is targeted towards coaches, freelance/ghost writers and writing coaches need to market their services. Remember, you’re in business for two reasons: 1) To market your products and services and 2) To solve a problem.

Some coaches just don’t like marketing. They don’t like to promote themselves and they may even find it distasteful! In fact, until I learned that marketing was nothing more than letting others know how I could help them with their biggest problems, I thought marketing was a “necessary evil” at best.

On the other hand, there are some coaches and entrepreneurs who have no problem with marketing – or so it seems. BUT they use it as an excuse for not moving forward or to “hide out.”

Do you know what I mean? It’s the endlessly tinkering with your website.

Or taking forever to craft your “elevator pitch,” and then never actually using it!

Or spending tons of time, energy, and money getting just the right logo… or business card… or… well, you get the idea.

Of course, doing this comes from good honest intentions. Those things do help support spreading the word about your services. But it’s all too easy to get stuck in an endless loop of tweaking and fiddling with the minutia.

The truth is, doing so can actually keep you from getting clients!

Here’s the big news: your clients aren’t attracted to your coaching practice because of your business card, logo, website, or any other collateral. Even if they are really beautiful and elegant and “cutting edge.”

Yes, those things can help get your potential client’s attention, but that’s not what holds them or compels them to come back.

Ultimately, your clients will respond to the connection you create with them. Those people that you are meant to help will resonate with your authentic and unique brilliance. It is you being willing to share your experience and expertise – in the way that only you can – that makes an impression on people.

Your clients want to be seen, acknowledged, heard, understood and helped by you. And the more they get to know the real you, the more they will want to continue to work with you.

This is the concept behind the “Know, Like, Trust” factor you may have heard of. It works like this. First, your potential clients hear about you somehow – on the Internet, at a live event, on a tele-seminar, etc. And the more they get to know you, they more they begin to “like” you (note: this is not a popularity contest. Instead think of “like” as “appreciate” or “value”) And the more they like you, they more they begin to trust you as a teacher, advisor and friend.

And what I have found is that when you cultivate that kind of connection with your market, it actually accelerates your ability to attract clients and it makes your work so much more joyful!

So, if you find yourself spending too much time “crossing all the T’s and dotting all the I’s,” try adopting this mantra that was taught to me by one of my mentors: “Completion Not Perfection.”

Get into action and get it done – perfection is highly over-rated!

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