Its a brand new year and I am excited to start on a high. More about that and other new announcements in the coming week. Meanwhile, I am taking this first day of the year to enjoy some rest and relaxation from a fun yet hectic holiday season. While I vegetate in my cozy apartment, I am leisurely filling in some of my goals for the year onto my 2016 American Express Appointment Book which I so love - its my NYE gift to myself every year. It is going to be a fantastic year and I can already feel it. I wish you, wherever you are and whatever you do, purpose in your direction personally and professionally, good health, prosperity, happiness and the warmth of near and dear at all times. To also keep me somewhat on track, I have embarked on this 31 Day challenge and hope you will join in too. Here's to an amazing journey ahead and may this year be the best one yet! Onward bound!
I wouldn't be writing professionally today if not for parents that encouraged me writing and reading as a child. Nurture the writing talents in your kids with these fun tips courtesy BIC in Shelton, CT.
You might not know it but the number of staffing firms representing freelancers in the corporate environment has increased over the past few years, keeping up with the freelance demand and supply in the workplace. Gone are the days when staffing firms were only for permanent or full-time employment. Many staffing firms today, especially freelance staffing firms, are focused on solely project-based, temporary, seasonal and part-time employment opportunities. For freelancers, it not only opens up the avenues for applying for freelance positions but also puts you in the playing field with an agency representing you and promoting your skills actively to their audience. Sometimes this audience does happen to be large clients that a single freelancer might never have been able to approach. So while you might have other channels you actively pursue to attract freelance gigs, do not write off staffing firms, especially those representing the creative fields. A simple search for creative staffing firms or agencies in your area should pull up a few viable results. Reach out with an introduction or complete their talent forms on their websites and rest assured, if what you have to offer meets with some of their client needs, they will get in touch. Some of my best work, by which I mean, both, well-paying jobs as well as challenging roles and those with brands and big name clients, have been because of my agent at a creative firm representing me on the right roles. Some of these staffing firms also offer national presence so no matter where you move to in the country, and if you are lucky, even internationally, they are happy to represent you and send work your way. Of course, the personal rapport you share with your agent also weighs in. Refusing every opportunity they send your way is a surefire sign they won't be thinking of you top of mind when a new client comes through. Be open to exploring opportunities your agent thinks might be a good fit - you never know, you could end up enjoying something you had never considered before! Here are some based in L.A for easy reference:
The Creative Group
(These are not affiliate links and I don't get anything out of mentioning these companies, they came up on my search and I figured it wouldn't hurt to share this information with other freelancers)
It has officially been a month since I moved from Atlanta to Los Angeles. This day, a month ago, we drove into L.A in our car with a trailer towing along carrying our belongings. We lived in an AirBnB rental for close to a month, during which time we tried to find an apartment we liked, could afford and wanted to call home for the long haul. Happy to say we have moved into one such space now and are busy unpacking. Professionally though, this move has meant leaving behind everything I had built over almost 10 years in Atlanta and building new professional connections and networks. Much of that has happened online with virtual introductions and emails. I have only yet started meeting with folks in-person to see how I can continue freelancing, editing and writing in this new city. I have a few things lined up but as always, you never know which ones come through and which will fall away, along the way. Keeping my fingers crossed for some promising projects in the near future. Stay tuned here for updates!
1. Travel blogger
Is traveling the world your life-time passion and you always complain about the routine office hours? Is adventure the only thing that truly motivates you? Then you are probably one of the free spirits who would make an excellent travel blogger. Although traveling and writing about it it sounds like the dream job, there is much more to it. Blogging requires all your attention if you want to transform it into your full-time job. Here are a few aspects to consider in order to be successful: build an audience by writing content that travelers find useful. This could be food and accommodation advice, destination reviews, interesting activities and so on. Don’t forget to include interactive content like pictures and videos, which are like magnets for readers’ attention. Be a social media guru: explore different social media channels and stay very active on them! Also, try to promote yourself in media outlets and among well-known bloggers. Again, this will depend on the content you share with your readers and the activities that you are involved in. But don’t be discouraged! If traveling is your passion, your blog can be your travel diary and readers won’t hesitate to come. You just have to be perseverant in following your dream!
2. Yoga/fitness instructor
Probably the most active freelance job you could ever find, being an independent sports instructor can be very fulfilling. Are you already passionate about working out and are craving an active lifestyle? It’s never too late to change your career path. Having a healthy lifestyle is very important to more and more people, therefore the interest in the fitness industry is at its highest point. Fortunately for you, many working professionals have busy schedules, so it is hard for them to go to the gym regularly. This is why many request the help of personal trainers who can build a workout routine tailored to their needs. After you get acquainted with the job and you specialize either in yoga or another fitness programme, it is probably a good idea to get some certifications in the industry, so your services appear trustworthy. Another way is to start a blog or set up a Youtube channel with videos of your routine, so you can attract clients. The more people hear about you the better. Even though the beginning may seem hard, think about the benefits you will get later on: leading an active and healthy life and being paid for it!
3. SEO consultant
The digital age we live in has had an impact in many business sectors. Every company needs to be visible online in order to keep an active relationship with its clients. It is why so much emphasis is being put on the success of websites. If you rank at the top of users’ searches, they will easily find you and this will increase both your reputation and your business revenue. SEO stands for search engine optimization and specialists use different techniques to optimize web pages, such as creating interesting content that others in the industry will share. If you have a flair for marketing or IT and you are creative, this could be the right job for you. You don’t need a permanent employer to do this. You can easily work as a consultant for different projects. If you get good at it and you set up a network of clients, it can be a very rewarding job.
4. Event planner
If you have great organizational skills, you are outgoing and creative, then perhaps you can freelance as an event planner. The first thing you have to consider is that this market has a lot of competition. Finding a niche for organizing events is probably the best idea. For example, you could specialize in events for children or theme weddings. Second, you have to keep in mind that your success depends on how well you network with people. You need to find the right opportunities and build a chain of customers. But you also need to interact with caterers, contractors, venue managers and so on. So if you are a social butterfly, then this is definitely for you. The rest is all about organization and promotion. So if you collaborate with the right people and are a good planner, you are headed to success. Add a touch of creativity and you can actually make a career out of this.
How many times did you express your opinion about a product and wanted more people to hear it? Maybe you found a great product or an amazing discount or maybe you were rather dissatisfied with your acquisition. Either way, sharing your opinion seems like a great way to do something that matters. The great news is that you can actually make money by writing product reviews. You can start your own site and share your opinion about different products. Or you can answer online surveys about different products for market research companies and get rewarded in cash or gift vouchers. One such example is surveybee.net, a trustworthy platform that connects you to different survey panels, so you don’t have to do all the research work. You may think that being a product reviewer takes up too much of your time, especially if you have a full-time job. The truth is that it just requires good organizational skills, attention to detail and a touch of creativity. Think about all the products you buy all the time anyway and how amazing it would be to get some of your money back.
Found yourself in one of the above descriptions? Then you have no excuse to postpone your fresh start as a freelancer!
About the author:
Diana Popescu is a blogger for surveybee.net, covering topics on money management, working from home tips and ideas and much more. Follow on: @surveybeeNET or SurveyBee.net
In a rare case of my two loves - writing and travel - in the same book, I was excited tor receive a review copy of Island Journeys and am happy to share it was well-worth the read. The author has done a great job of sharing his own travels to different island nations while also bringing attention to the issues that concern islanders, being a native of St Kitts and Nevis himself. I loved reading his stories of travel and also his memories of his childhood in his homeland, while throwing light on matters of importance to island nations. Few images in the book give you an idea of the places he is talking about. I realized I really don't know much about islanders, their way of life or have even considered them as countries in and of themselves so I think the author's efforts are in line with what he is trying to achieve. I certainly looked up a bunch of information as I was reading the book so I could learn more about the places he was describing and the experiences narrated. This is a light read but very informative and highly recommended. For a travel-centric version of the book review, please head here.
How many hours do you spend at home? Being a freelance writer means staying at home a lot. In short, your home becomes a place for both work and rest. It is not a secret that freelance writers constantly need a productivity boost. It can help manage time, write high-quality papers and even play a big role in the journey to becoming successful writers.
Here's the deal: you need to organize your workplace. Consider these three main steps:
Remember your health. Pick a comfortable chair that supports your lower back. Remember to stand up and rest. Also, work standing up sometimes as this gives your upper back and neck some relief. Try it!
Divide where you work and where you relax. Try to organize your workplace area into two zones: computer and non-computer. Work in zone 1 and relax in zone 2. See how it impacts your productivity.
Prepare your writing desk. Always keep it clean. Decorate your desk with plants, keep your cup of green tea within reach, and start working hard!
I have only scratched the surface of workplace organization; to learn more, a useful infographic by OmniPapers would be worth checking. Don't hesitate to share it with your friends and colleagues, as it might be useful not only for freelance workers but for students, too.
Do you have your own secrets of workplace organization? I am waiting for your ideas...
About the author:
Emily Johnson, content strategist at OmniPapers blog, loves the writing process. She plans to publish a self-growth and self-development book next year and teach English to non-native speakers as a private educator.
I love reading. If you've read my blog before, you know I am a huge fan of anything Chris Guillebeau. I was recently at the World Domination Summit 2015 in Portland OR - a conference organized by Chris for 5 years now. Part of the swag bag was a copy of his book "The Happiness of Pursuit" - Finding the Quest that will Bring Purpose to your Life. Did not realize it at that time but I had already purchased his book so now I have an additional copy to giveaway. So here's the deal - follow this link and sign up for my newsletter which I only send out every other month (and you can unsubscribe from at any time)! Random winner will be announced 1st September 2015. Good luck!
A quick search online will tell you Jonathan Fields heads the Good Life Project and is also the author of Uncertainty and Career Renegade. I was introduced to his work through a reading project where I remember his name mentioned. To this day, his Good Life Project living creed and this quote - “Our greatest opportunity for impact lies not just in connecting people to us and our ideas, but in creating a safe place where people can connect with and support each other in the quest to take the sustained action that leads to profound change.”- are printed and pinned to my work-board so I read it every time I look up from my laptop. I now have both his books as well on my reading table.
Jonathan spoke recently at the World Domination Summit held in Portland OR on RevolutionU: How to Tap Revolution-Dynamics to Fuel Rapid Business Growth, Build an Army of Evangelists and Change the Damn World but I could not attend, kickass as that session does sound. I did, however, listen to one of his podcasts and while I am in no way commencing on a revolution at this time, I felt that much of what he spoke resonated with me as a freelancer and entrepreneur.
As a foundation, Fields notes it is important to understand whom you serve and what pain point it is that you are addressing. Every business owner will agree that right there is the make or break factor for any business. As the leading force of your efforts, especially if you are looking to get a revolution going, it is important to not just have humility and vulnerability but also the desire to serve and be truthful in your actions. I believe these are great characteristics to have as an entrepreneur as well. When people see that you are one of them, they are willing to take your lead. Having some way to bring these people together, whether that is through a book or an event, is integral - great takeaways for those wanting to become business leaders in their communities.
Secondly, a clear idea of your messaging is vital. Again, many business owners fail at this and quite a few of us are guilty of giving clients vague ideas of exactly what we do. Fields stresses on having an understanding of what you are moving away from and what you are moving toward if a revolution is what you have in mind – unifying beliefs are what bring people closer together. He also talks about building your story and crafting your manifesto, which I think, depending on what stage your business is, could apply just as well to your ethics as an entrepreneur as it would to leading a revolution.
Thirdly, the execution of that theory into action by defining the path of what you will do and how. In a business sense, I would essentially look at this as a business plan. Fields offers two ways of moving forward – a transactional or a sustained path – to build your tribe, your community. To deepen that tribe mentality, he talks about shared symbology and language, which in business terms, really boils down to your logo and your tagline or buzzwords that attract clients to you. Assembling torchbearers and key resources is next, to put their faith in your products and services and then recommend that to others.
Lastly, there is the big launch, of course. Accompanied by social media in all its glory these days. It is important to have mechanisms and milestones, and be transparent about your goals, as it is with any business. Other considerations such as thought triggers and emotional attachments, observable practical value of what is on offer and the power of storytelling that ties it all together is just as important to a business as it is to any revolution.
Fields provides useful ways to understand narrowing your field of ideas to clamp down on whom you want to serve. He also throws light on the starting point of your efforts, small group focus, the why of what you do and the role that connections and solutions play in the larger picture – all things useful to running a thriving business as it is to sustaining a revolution. And arriving at that tipping point when your revolution has its own momentum. To a business owner though, and a solopreneur at that, what would that tipping point be? The day you don’t have to market your services any more? The month you make 2x more than you did the same time last year? The minute people call you for your work? The first time you publish on LinkedIn?
I believe I might have accomplished a few tipping points in the few years I have been a full-time freelancer, and that I have a few more such tipping points to look forward to in the future, but at what point is a business considered to be in that momentum as Fields speaks of with revolutions. What do you consider your tipping point?
The Write Life is a website I have been following for a few years now since I began working full-time freelance. I have found many useful resources shared there but never thought of writing for them until recently. So I sent in a guest post draft and they decided to publish it today. If you read it, please share any feedback you may have. I look forward to your comments! You can read the post here.