Booklet Tips – Going on Automatic

Do you sometimes find yourself going “on automatic” when sharing your expertise? Whether you have been in your field a long time or not, you may be telling your same stories, sharing your same ideas, using your same delivery formats. It can be easy to fall into that since it’s what you know and what has worked for you. Why change what works?

While your audiences may be learning some or most of your knowledge for the first time, you have been talking and writing about it for what can seem like forever. Unless you add or subtract something from the mix, there is a high risk of you getting stale, burning out, becoming less interesting to those who could hardly wait for what you offered, and feeling like there must be more to life. It’s one thing to eat the same food every day for every meal, or wear the same color clothes each day. It’s another thing to do the same lesson dozens if not hundreds of times over again.

Imagine what changes you can make from small to medium to large ones. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking.

Expand how you deliver your information – hard copy, electronically, written, spoken.
Consider a different audience for your expertise – younger, older, different industry.
Speak your presentations in different ways – in person, by phone, recorded, Skype.
Bundle what you have – put individual products and services together for packages.
Change location – bring your information to a different state, country, region.
Expand your reach – license your presentations and knowledge to others to deliver.
Partner with others – co-present with someone whose expertise compliments yours

This is far from an exhaustive list of possibilities as much as a short list to get ideas flowing for you. What did that trigger? Did someone or something come to mind for the first time, something that can breathe new life into what you’ve been doing, something that can turn monotony into fun, something that seems like a great idea that you’re not completely sure how to execute?

There is no idea that is too small to consider or too unimportant to have value either in and of itself or as a trigger to something else. Before you are tempted to cancel it out or to think you are missing the how-to of it, take a breath. Think of who you know who can be a sounding board, who, whether they can provide you an answer or not can give you a place to hear your own thoughts which may give you answers as you listen to what you are saying! After all, you’ve gotten this far with your business, even if it is to the start line. There are plenty of people who can help you take next steps, steps to keep you from being on automatic any longer.

ACTION – Look around your life for the people you know in all parts of your life. Choose one or two to talk with about the information you offer in your business, your expertise, your bite-size brilliance. Run some ideas past them of what you’re considering for next steps to take to enhance what you’re doing, and ask them what suggestions they have. It is completely possible they can offer you something you never considered.

New Year, New Career

Last February I gave up a full time job and steady paycheck to become a full time freelance writer.

I’m not new to the online world of writing. Writing and research, in one form or another, has been my life’s career. Whether it was as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, technology analyst or book author, the skills are the same.

What I didn’t expect, though, is the plethora of freelance writing assistance online.

There is no shortage of help online to guide me into a very successful and six figure freelance writing career. Wow. The stories they tell about how they got started, the mistakes they made and then broke through the freelancers glass ceiling to become highly successful freelancers that command a boatload of money for their work.

So I wanted to research which of these successful freelance writing tutors had the best advice. Where would I choose to spend my hard earned freelance fees to get to a higher level of earning? Surely there had to be some differences. There are so many, it took time to make a list. I finally picked several to get started.

Here are just a few:

The Seven Secrets of Successful Freelance Writers

To Become a Successful Freelance Writer, Start Here

4 Things to Know To Be a Successful Full-time Freelance

The Secret of Successful Freelancing

How Do You Become a Successful Freelance Writer

4 Key Lessons from an Awesome Freelance Writing

How to Become a Freelance Writer – Leaving Work Behind

Being a Full-Time Freelance Writer: 2 Experts Reveal Their Secrets

25 Famously Successful People Who Started Off Freelancing

How to Find Success as a Freelance Writer

In reading through the various Websites, here is what I learned from all of them:

1. Build a Website.

2. Start a blog.

3. Set a regular writing schedule.

4. Pitch for jobs.

5. Be realistic about your knowledge of the freelance industry. Sign up for my newsletter or book to learn what you need to do.

6. Learn how to write a good query letter.

7. Be persistent about going after assignments.

8. Decide what you want to write about. Do you specialize or are you a generalist.

9. Do your research on your subject to be sure it is factual.

10. Promote your work on your Website.

The Websites tell me that if I follow their guidelines, I will be as successful as the posters. All of the posts offered sold books that went into the various points in detail. Some promised me I’d make $5,000 a month if I bought the book and followed the advice on how to be a successful freelance writer.

It’s comforting to know there are some very successful freelancers out there. Hopefully when I’m doing well, I too, will promote my success and maybe write a book about how I did it and offer it on my own “How to” freelance writing advice.

Booklet Tips – Non-Retail Quiet Time

Is the end of December a quiet time in your business? For many, especially those not in retail, hospitality, travel, or financial services and other fields this is a very quiet time, often right into the first week or two of January. Some of the best ways to use that quiet time may surprise you, based on your personality, how your life is structured overall, and what the past year has been like.

Consider these possibilities and notice what other ideas they trigger.

Start a product you’ve been thinking about because you can now concentrate more.
Cut your typical work day in half to balance getting things done and also relaxing.
Brainstorm with a colleague, friend, or family member about your business and life.
Visit someplace locally that you rarely go or have never gone, for fresh perspective.
Read a publication that interests you that you never make time for otherwise.
Do the reverse of what you typically do in some way and notice what you discover.
Finish something you started that you keep hearing yourself think “someday.”

As tempting as it might be to think of filling this otherwise quiet time as full as you can if that’s your inclination, you may actually accomplish much more in ways you could not have anticipated by taking things slower, opening up time to notice and experience more, and doing things that break your usual routine.

While some of your people may be more reachable because things have slowed up for them, too, they may be less mentally available since they are making the best of a slow time for them. Or it could be the ideal time to explore the possibilities you’ve been chomping at the bit to discuss with them because they don’t have their day fully scheduled.

Their staff is not pulling at them. Their clients are on vacation. Now could be the perfect time to map out a year’s worth of business you can do together – booklets to be written and delivered in print and as downloads, audio recordings of parts of your content, teleclasses and webinars to schedule for their staff and clients, a promotional campaign to drip a tip a week on their mailing list, and things you jointly unearth.

It is impossible to know the best approach since one size certainly does not fit all. Based on what is best for you, reach out at whatever level you decide to during this time of year. If you decide to go on a vacation for three or four weeks so you can come back completely refreshed, that’s great. If you choose to do a reduced approach during this time, there are others who are mirroring your decision and you’ll know that as you contact them.

ACTION – Determine what you need, physically, emotionally, financially for the weeks at the end of December and beginning of January. That may be a casual or a more formal decision on your part, and one you may very likely modify as you go. Be sure to do what is best for you, whatever you choose!