Thursday, June 30, 2005

the catch-up blog

I've allotted myself a half hour this morning to casually play around on the Internet. This normally includes checking my personal email account, getting my strip fix of For Better or For Worse, and reading up on my favorite blogs. This last item reminded me that I haven't posted here this week, so here goes. Thought I'd provide an update on current projects:

1. I've got a speech looming over my head...on July 12 I'll be speaking at the Association for Women in Communications. I'm still working on my presentation outline, but I'll essentially be addressing ways to make your marketing and promotional copy more effective.

2. In July I'll be working on a major editing project and will probably begin the 6th or so. I won't know how extensive the work will be until I get into it, but chances are I'll be shying away from other time-consuming projects until August. Smaller jobs, however, will be welcome!

3. Writing/revising brochure content for another client.

Other news: I got the good word yesterday that my article on jazz trumpeter Nicholas Payton will be published in the next issue of Windplayer magazine. I actually conducted the interview and wrote the piece last fall, so I'm certainly ready to see it in print!

Have a safe & happy 4th of July!

Friday, June 17, 2005

3 simple networking tips

June is flying by! I guess that's partly because I've been busy writing copy for a couple of website projects--one of which just went live this week--plus newsletter and article work. In July I'm supposed to begin a major editing project, so the summer is looking quite good.

I've updated the What's New page on my website, so if anyone is interested in specific project details, that's a good place to look.

And of course, I've been networking like crazy. Can't get enough. You never know what might lead to business! My general rule(s) of thumb when talking with new contacts:

1. Ask what they do/what their business is. Listen--really listen--to their response.
2. Exchange business cards.
3. Smile.

Yup, it's that simple. Just be friendly and professional. With everyone.

And that's my tip for the week. Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

to join or not to join?

When I first went freelance, I immediately decided to join my local Chamber of Commerce. At the new member orientation, I was approached by a woman who invited me to visit her BNI group. I visited twice and decided that this group would also allow me to develop relationships with other professionals, so I joined. I'm still very active in both groups as an Ambassador for the Chamber and President of my BNI group.

I've attended several other organized groups, and if I could join them all, I would. But most require dues and of course, time. Because both are limited, I've had to shy away from other potential sources of networking, referrals, etc. I did, however, recently decide to take part in a small start-up group in town for home-based business owners. We had our second meeting today--I believe this will be an excellent resource not just for making business contacts, but as a support group for other people who work at home.

We face a lot of the same issues. Nobody tells us to be at work at a certain time. We can work in our pajamas if we want. These may sound like perks (and indeed they are), but think about's easy to sleep in until noon and not get dressed or showered all day. But that's not very conducive to keeping a business running, so you have to make yourself adhere to some sort of discipline. And you have to do it alone, usually. This support group will address issues that we, as home-based biz owners, face. We'll talk about what works for us and what doesn't, how we overcome challenges and how we manage to wear the many hats that sole proprietors often do.

I think it'll be a good thing for all of us.