Skip to main content

Ways to Boost Your Freelance Writing Career

image1

 

Freelance writing is a reliable way to get out of the nine-to-five routine, but it takes a lot of work to build a successful business. Passion alone won’t carry your career, so you need to learn the ins and outs of freelancing, publishing, and project management to reach your financial and lifestyle goals. Here are some tips to help boost your freelance career.

Know the Rules

Familiarize yourself with different style guides and formats so that you’re prepared when clients have a preference. Understand industry terms such as:

SEO
Content optimization
Slug
FOB
Hook

Look up terms and trend specific to your area of focus. If your freelance career is geared more toward newspapers and magazines, get the know the vernacular of the industry to demonstrate your competency.

Stick to a Routine

You can’t always wait for the muse to speak before starting a project. To be a successful freelance writer, you need to learn how to write on command at any time of the day. If you’re used to working on your own variable schedule, perhaps it’s time to develop a plan that fits around the times you’re most productive. Change isn’t easy, but if you want to advance in your career, you need to buckle down and develop a routine that lasts.

Learn How to Juggle

No matter what industry you’re writing for or what types of clients you work with, the key is to practice building strong relationships with the people who pay you. Some clients can be a pain, but it’s best to practice professionalism and composure in all situations. No matter how great of a writer you are, you need to develop exceptional people skills to set yourself apart from the competition and show publishers that you’re the writer they want to work with.

Cite Your Sources

Nothing says “amateur” like plagiarized statements and uncited sources. Oftentimes, writers don’t mean to steal other authors’ work; they just don’t understand the rules or how to properly write a citation. There are plenty of free web resources to help you check for plagiarism before you publish. However, don’t rely on technology to do all the grunt work. Review national and international copyright rules and popular citation formats. For extra help, USC provides some good tips on correctly sourcing written material and images.

Utilize Free Spaces

If you occasionally meet with clients or a team of writers, you don’t always have to meet at the coffee shop. Consider using free spaces like parks, business courtyards, and even lawns of government buildings that are open to the public. Your local library is another reliable place to check out. Libraries often have meeting rooms that you can reserve advance. For more ideas on how to maximize your usage of your local library, click here.

Learn to Take Risks

You’re going to make mistakes no matter how long you’ve been in the writing business. Why not branch out and try something new? Once you’ve established a solid routine and learned all the essential skills needed to freelance successfully, take the plunge and explore new territory. Challenge yourself and work on continuous improvement every step of the way.

Get Discovered Online with These Awesome Tips

Royalty Free Photo

There are a lot of new job opportunities on the market today. The positions you can pursue are more diverse than ever before, from entry-level jobs to top-level management positions just waiting to be filled. Normally, you would brush up your résumé and apply for the jobs you want. Although there is nothing wrong with applying for the position you want, getting discovered can land you a much better, more rewarding job.

Getting discovered online is not as complicated as you think. There are a lot of tools and websites that will help you build a strong online presence and boost your credibility. You can even establish yourself as an expert in a particular field; at this point, you’ll get even more job offers. Here are the top tips to help you get started.

Keep Your LinkedIn Profile Up to Date

Did you finish a cool project recently? Are you moving up the corporate ladder and getting a promotion? Make sure these changes are added to your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is where all the companies – and headhunters – do their research. Having an awesome LinkedIn profile will get you the recognition you need to be discovered.

Don’t stop there either. Branch out to other social media pages and build a strong online presence. Start a personal blog and talk about the things you know best. It takes time to drive traffic and get recognized, but the time and effort spent is well worth the results.

Be Everywhere

There are a lot of platforms that allow you to post – or even create – your résumé. The key to getting discovered for the best jobs is, quite simply, to be on most (or even all) of these platforms. You can start by creating a résumé on Crowded, one of the hottest hiring sites on the internet today. The site offers great tools to create an interesting résumé in just a few clicks; not using them would be such a waste.

Other job sites also allow you to post PDF or DOC résumés directly. If this is the case, you need to take some extra steps to make sure your résumé stands out. Pick a design that works with the industry you’re in and compile a résumé that really represents who you are. If you’re in advertising, for instance, a plain résumé just won’t cut it.

Connect with Industry Influencers

There is one added benefit of having a strong online presence, especially on social networks: you can connect with industry influencers and top names easily. Don’t just spam influencers with a request to follow you back. Share valuable insights, exchange ideas and get involved in meaningful conversations on social media.

Even when the influencers don’t retweet or repost your ideas directly, a lot of people – most of them recruitment agents and big industry names – will still read the conversation. It is a great way to expand your network and get discovered that much sooner.

These tips are very simple and easy to apply. Get started today and you’ll start getting dream job offers in your mailbox before you know it.

Perpetual Job Changing Syndrome: Is the Grass Really Always Greener?

Whereas workers once aimed to stay with the same company for life, job-hopping and career-hopping have become the norm for millennials today. The average American now changes jobs four times by the age of 32, a LinkedIn study found. Workers in entertainment, the media, government and the non-profit sector change jobs most often, while most stable jobs are found in industries such as manufacturing, automotive and oil. Some career advisers such as Monster contributor Joe Issid are even advising the workers change jobs regularly in order to continue building skill sets, keep up with technology and promote continual career advancement. But having too many career options can also promote a “grass is always greener” syndrome, which makes it difficult to stay content in any one job. Here’s a look at some of the issues that can plague perpetual job hunters and some tips for how to find contentment in a job.

The Siren Song of Too Many Job Options

Internet tools such as job boards, LinkedIn and the Labor Department’s website give job seekers more resources than ever to research career paths, companies and job openings. Unfortunately, having so many options can make it easy to overlook ways of achieving greater job satisfaction with your current employer, as career management coach Barb Poole illustrates through case studies. For instance, Mel received an offer for a management position at another company and immediately accepted. But he soon found that he wasn’t satisfied with his new job because he was treated like the new kid on the block, he didn’t fit into the company culture and the pay increase wasn’t worth the headaches. He began to miss his old job, and upon reaching out to his former boss, he learned that a management position had opened up, and had he remained where he was, he would have been first in line for the promotion. Poole says she advises prospective job seekers to first consider how they might get what they want while staying where they are.

The Problem of Elusive Job Satisfaction

A pioneering study of career changers by researchers Adrian Chadi and Clemens Hetschko pinpointed one of the underlying problems with perpetual job change. The study found that changing employers voluntarily does tend to produce relatively high job satisfaction due to increases in earnings, a sense of empowerment and the appeal of a new environment. However, the contentedness these factors produce is a temporary feeling that soon wears off as the employee settles into the new routine and must eventually face their new job situation more objectively. Satisfaction with a new job declines sharply as time goes on. Eventually, the employee is back in the same position of needing to seek a new job to recreate the emotional high of a job change. This can promote a perpetual cycle of temporary short-term job satisfaction amid long-term career dissatisfaction.

Settling into a Satisfying Career Path

Staffing consultant Robin Reshwan echoes Poole’s advice to consider whether staying at your current job is an option before seeking a new position. She also recommends asking other questions before moving on. How do your current job and your prospective job compare in a detailed, head-to-head match-up> What will the long-tern impact of your short-term job change be? How will it affect your image? How will it affect other’s perception of you in your job network> This is important if you’re depending on future job referrals.

Carefully researching prospective employers to find the right company fit can also have a major impact on whether or not your career change is satisfying. For instance, Amway has a track record of delivering exceptional job opportunities to people all over the world with a wide variety of backgrounds. Identifying a company with strong career advancement potential can bring you the best of both worlds, with the opportunity for continual change in an upward direction and the chance to remain with a stable employer.

Bill Clark

Bill is a freelance journalist who specialises in writing about culture and the arts, however will write about anything that piques his interest including business, travel and lifestyle. @BilboClark01

film industry

Is Crowdfunding the Future of Indie Film?

image1

 

There’s a saying that if you don’t adapt, you die. While this is certainly true in nature, it is a philosophy that is also equally true in the business world. The entertainment industry is one that is notoriously competitive; something that is painfully evident by the fact that each generation seems to contain no more than a handful of so-called A-list actors. It is so competitive that, many talented thespians go years without being discovered – if they get discovered at all.

Rodney Dangerfield, everyone’s favorite self-deprecating comic, didn’t make it to the big time until he was 46 – and may not have gotten there had The Ed Sullivan Show not needed a last minute replacement for a cancelled act. Harrison Ford, the gruff actor that played the late Han Solo in George Lucas’ Disney’s Star Wars franchise, didn’t score his first big role until the age of 31.

The point is, because there are so many aspiring actors, directors, special effects makeup designers, and set builders, and so few movie studios (at this point, there are just three major studios who seem to enjoy a monopolistic grip on film production) it seems improbable that even a fraction of them have a snow ball’s chance of making their dreams come true.

For years, industry professionals trying to eke out a career had, at times, no other recourse but to take matters into their own hands, turning to or producing their own small independent projects. To their credit, they did spawn a sub-genre of moviedom that continues to exist to this day, and for many moviegoers, remains one of the purest forms of cinema. Indie film.

And suddenly, there’s crowdfunding. While it may not be the solution to everyone looking to get a piece of the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, it certainly shows promise.

What is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding allows anyone, anywhere to raise capital from the general public for a wide variety of purposes; everything from helping families that have lost everything to a horrible natural disaster to helping aspiring entrepreneurs bring their innovative ideas to life, to funding a film project.

At first glance, crowdfunding could be exactly what the indie film scene needs – a no strings attached source of funding – and is seemingly of equal benefit to the movie going public. Are you of the mind that Hollywood isn’t producing enough sci-fi films? Why not fund one yourself? Perhaps you can find one that’s been mired in the pre-production purgatory known as fund sourcing and chances are good that crowdfunding isn’t off the table. In a way, crowdfunding puts more power back into the hands of the consumer – the more people want to see a particular finished project, the greater likelihood that it will be funded.

And it’s not just those who are down on their luck or suffering their craft in anonymity that are turning to crowdfunding. In 2015, Oscar Award winning make-up effects artist Barney Burman took his latest project – which happened to be his directorial debut – to the crowdfunding site Indiegogo to raise the necessary capital for his passion project.

So what’s the catch? Is there a cautionary tale all potential backers should hear?

The answer, to put it simply, is that crowdfunding a project comes with no guarantees. Speak to anyone that has rolled the dice and they’ll likely tell you that they’ve had a great experience, but they are also just as likely to tell you the opposite. If you’re interested in backing a project, do so knowing that the project may never come to fruition.

In one extreme case, a team of fund seekers offering backers a 3D printer for a $300 pledge ended up taking legal actions against some of their backers for defamation. Without knowing the exact details of the case it’s difficult to say who is right and who is wrong, but what is known is that the company refused to deliver their product even once the promised date had long since passed.

Is crowdfunding a boon or a bust for the movie industry? To the perpetual optimist it absolutely is. One needs only look at Zach Braff’s Wish I was here (raised $3.1 million) to see the potential; the project went on to gross $5.4 million.

Wireless Payment Technology

The Rise of Wireless Payment Technology and How It Can Help Your Business

The way businesses operate has changed dramatically over the years. Advancements in technology have affected the way in which businesses communicate, offer their services and most recently, how they get paid. Wireless payments come with many benefits, so it’s not hard to see why so many businesses are making use of them in this digital age. If you’re not making use of wireless payment technology, then now may be the time to change that.

Helping to drastically increase revenue

The number one thing all businesses care about is revenue. Wireless technology allows customers to pay via card no matter where they are. Smartphones have made shopping on the go quick and easy. Customers expect to be able to purchase things online and they usually do this via wireless payment technology.

It’s not just something that’s important to UK consumers either. Wireless payments are popular throughout the globe. As stated on Australia Business Review, companies that accept credit card transactions typically see an increase of 30% in sales and revenue.

It makes sense, the easier it is to buy from a business, the better. Wireless payments are quick, simple, secure and convenient.

Impulse buyers prefer card payments

There are certain types of customer’s wireless payments attract. Take impulse buyers for example. If a consumer sees something they really like, more often than not they will use their credit card to pay for the item and worry about paying it back later. Businesses also see an increase in mobile sales when they offer this type of payment.

A trend that’s unlikely to slow down

Cash was once the most popular payment method. However, the amount of consumers using cash today has dramatically declined. In fact, as stated on Card Cutters, three quarters of retail spending is done via cards. This highlights just how important wireless payment technology is.

Businesses can accept wireless payments in a number of ways. If they run an offline store, card machines can be bought or rented. The technology can also be used to accept payments via a website. Terminals can also be rented for short term use, ideal for taking to events for example.

Overall wireless payments are here to stay and are likely to grow in popularity the more technology advances. Any business not currently making use of the technology could be seriously missing out. There are a lot of wireless payment merchants out there so it’s important for businesses to choose a company that’s respected within the industry.

Success Stories of Commodity investors

There have been thousands of stories regarding commodity investing that have created success within a person’s life. Commodity trading is where livestock, metals, food, and other items are bought, sold, and traded through a stock-type process. The commodities are not bought and delivered that day. Therefore, they can be held for a length of time or until the trader decides that it is time to sell or trade their value off. Commodity investing is not for the faint of heart due to the high number of risks with returns. Many investors sought out a commodity trading broker to help them plan their next move with commodity investing.

Commodity Investing Success Stories from Investors

One of the best ways to prove that a method works is to have people try it and then provide feedback or testimonials. The two success stories below are true success stories of commodity investing.

Mark was an engineer and attempted to buy commodities and hold them. When he started to become worried about the market, and after his retirement, he decided to move a large portion of his portfolio from stocks to commodities. By doing this, he not only yielded higher returns, but he also came out of a crunch that he had previously been in. His success created a very comfortable retirement nest egg for him to enjoy.

Bob and Susan spend a decade investing into different stocks and bonds. They also chose the buy then hold approach as their investing strategy. Once they saw the market headlines that surfaced in 2008, they decide it was time to hire their financial advisor. In hiring this advisor, they decided it was best to relocate a portion of their assets to the management company. The strategies of the management company not only netted them higher returns, but it also helped them from losing percentages in their portfolio when the market fell later that year.

For more help with investing in commodities and other resource investing, contact UK Universal Group now.

What Will It Take To Own A Business?

It’s an interesting question isn’t it. How much will it take to own a business, and effectively become your own boss? The answer is, probably not as much as you would expect or have been led to believe. Indeed, in recent years, the internet revolution has made it easy for the small start-up companies to make a name for themselves online. The boom and dramatic increase in e-commerce businesses has made the process of getting the tech, machinery, and advice a piece of cake. We could also mention the fact that marketing your new business has come cheap thanks to online promotion. Already becoming your own boss probably seems quite a lot simpler than it did a few minutes ago.

However, while starting a business from scratch is a possibility, it is not for everyone. But with a little help and a good source of determination you can and will succeed. If you need help getting started, try seeing what our guide can do for you.

3

Image Link 1

Step 1: Decide What Your Business Is Going To Be

What your business is going to be will affect a number of different factors. For instance, it will determine how much funding you want, what you will need to buy and how much marketing to put into it. Obviously, your first thought should be whether or not you can branch out from a business you are already working in. You should speak to your boss and ascertain whether or not they are looking to expand their company, opening up new branches. If they are, you can put your name forward as a potential head of the new branch. If not, then it’s time to start looking for funding outside of your current company. This is a gamble because it means that you will have to quit your current job.

Step 2: Gaining Funding

As you start looking at ways to gain funding, your first thought needs to be formulating a business, model. This needs to be a long-term plan that does expand over at least several years. When you speak to investors, it’s important they understand your model has longevity. There are three possible ways that you can get funding for your company. You can either, ask the government. Governments are more than willing to invest in start-up companies that they think have a good shot at success. Or, you can look into crowdfunding. If your business idea is commercially viable, there will certainly be interest online. Particularly, if you already have a strong online profile. Failing that, you can attend a trade show. However, you will need to spend a lot of money in your attempt to get noticed in the first place. But, you might be at an advantage if you are looking to bring something fresh to the market.

Using one of these three branches, you will have a good chance at getting funding for your business. We recommend exhausting these possibilities before you consider a risky, private loan.

Step 3: Marketing Your Business

Once you have gained a supply of funding for your business, it is important that you start to market it as quickly as you can. You need cut as much of the cost here as possible because when your business is just starting out, it is important to keep spending low. We recommend that you do this by putting most of your marketing effort into online promotion. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, marketing online is quite cheap and secondly what you pay for will be good value for money.

You can start with free online marketing such as using social profiles. For instance, you should set up a business Twitter profile. Start tweeting about recent updates in the industry that your new business belongs to. Once you have done this, you can then start retweeting your competition. This will give you the possibility of attracting their followers. Once you have done this, you can tweet links to your new business website.

When you set up your business site, you should be using SEO services as well as web design. It is vital that people find your site as well as being impressed by how it looks. This is how you gain site viewers and in turn, transform them into customers.

Step 4: Outsourcing

As we have already stated, keeping business costs in the first year low is vital to the success of your business. Your business is going to be quite a small fish in a very big pond with some rather nasty sharks for competition. That said, a lot of business owners have walked the path that you are now following. Most manage to keep costs low by outsourcing a lot of workings in the business, giving them more time to manage their company. Peninsula business services come highly recommended in this category because of the broad range of issues they deal with. They can help you deal with health and safety issues in your new business as well as tackling problems you face on human law. Outsourcing a problem to a good consultant can be the best solution because it will allow you to deal with the matter quickly and quietly.

4

Image Link 2

It’s not just about consultancy, though. There are a lot of business sectors that you can outsource to other companies, managing your costs in the process. For instance, as a new business you are going to have to call up homes, in the hope of gaining new clients or customers. It’s an ugly business and that is one of the reasons owners don’t like their employees getting their hands dirty with it. Instead, they outsource this issue to a call handling service, leaving their new workforce to deal with more important jobs.

Step 5: Persevere

Remember, we did say that owning your business would be a tough road. But if you are determined, and you continue to persevere, you will come out the other side of that first difficult year. After that, it’s a case of keeping up your marketing and looking at ways to expand while managing your funds. Good Luck.

 

How to Start a Taxi Firm

Starting up a taxi business can seem like a relatively simple process at first, all you need is a car and a few customers right? In fact there is a bit more to it than that, especially if you have grand ambitions to turn it into a full-time, by the book, profit making venture.

Taxis are one service which every city requires so there is never likely to be no demand whatsoever. For this reason it can be an appealing business to set up. It will require plenty of research and working some unsociable hours but the rewards can be worth it.

Choose a Good Location

Research the existing competition in your area before deciding where to set up base for your new taxi business. If there is one particular region lacking a taxi firm nearby but with a large population then consider it. Think about whether there is a demand for taxis in the area. Look up the number of drivers the competition have to get an idea and what they provide. You will need to stand out so offering special discounts or larger vehicles could be one way to do this.

Apply For Licences and Insurance

Contact the council covering the area where you set up your taxi firm for information about operating rules, as they change from council to council. Commercial driver’s licenses are essential for anyone driving your taxis and it is important to register all vehicles properly. Whether public or private hire, taxis run more of a risk so taking out specialist taxi insurance is a legality for keeping your back covered.

Hire Employees

Due to the expensive insurance costs it is a good idea to only hire drivers over the age of 25. You will need to do background checks that they’ve held their EU licence for over 12 months too. Hiring a few people to man the phones is important, so at least two people can work during busy periods and there’s room to have two days off a week each.

Advertise

When everything else is set up it’s time to spread the word about this great new taxi service that’s in the area. Creating social media pages and a website is incredibly cheap, while having someone develop an app is a must in the current taxi climate. Advertise locally too, in newspapers and magazines as well as the traditional leaflet method. This will soon have people trying your service and (hopefully) spreading good word about it.

How To Become A Freelance Business Consultant

5

Link for image

Would you like to make your living by informing business owners of their mistakes? Do you love the idea of working on a freelance basis? Then becoming a business consultant could be the perfect solution to your employment issues. Today, we’re going to describe the path you need to take to become successful. There is lots of competition in the marketplace, and so you need to carve out a good reputation. We’ll do our best to keep everything organized into steps to avoid any confusion. In truth, there are lots of different ways in which you could prepare yourself for such a role. We’re just going to list the most straightforward route.

  • Get a degree in business

First thing’s first. You’re going to need a degree in business if you want people to take you seriously. It doesn’t matter too much which areas on which you focus. You just need official qualifications to say that you know what you are doing. The area in which the subject covers will become your speciality. So, make sure you select something that interests you. Accounting and marketing are always top choices. However, broader business courses could be suitable in this instance.

  • Start a small company

Experience is key when you are trying to convince people of your expertise. So, you need to start a simple company as soon as possible. Your goal is not to take the business world by storm. Instead, you will use the company as a platform for showing clients your abilities. It is critical that you take the firm from humble beginnings to success quickly. After that, there is no reason you can’t sell the brand. Just make sure you keep accurate records. You can use those to promote yourself to business clients in the future.

  • Get friendly with modern business technology

To properly assess external businesses and offer advice, you will need access to lots of information. Business intelligence software can become a critical tool. It will allow you to look at many different aspects of a company and utilize all the most relevant information. Tableau training is vital for all professionals working in this industry. So, it’s vital that you learn how to use it as soon as possible. Your clients will expect you to backup your suggestions and ideas with evidence. Tableau and other software can help you to do that.

  • Advertise your services

Ideally, your first few clients will come from contacts you have in the business world. However, you need to advertise your services to make a good living. It’s always wise to start by using freelancing websites. Once you have a long list of satisfied clients, you can build a website. Once that is completed, you can pay for banner advertising online. It also makes sense for your to contact business owners directly. Your target market is made up of small and new companies. Large firms will employ in-house experts.

Now you know how to become a freelance business consultant, there should be nothing stopping you from getting started. Feel free to let us know how you get on with the idea. We’d love to hear from someone who read this article and turned their life around. You have our full backing, and we hope to see you making millions in the future.

 

How Can I get My Business off the Ground?

If you’ve just started your own business then it is highly likely that you’re full of nerves. Although a highly exciting prospect (and rightly so), you’ll doubtlessly be worried about getting your business off the ground – after all, it’s a huge financial and emotional commitment. Thankfully, there are a few simple hints and tips that can go a long way towards helping you relieve these stresses. Here are a few of our favourites to help get your business off the ground.

Consider Strategy

Before you spend your money, you need to ensure that you’re making a sound financial decision.

The more time you spend considering your business strategy the better, as it should give you a sound financial basis. Money is always tight in SMEs, so ensure that you’re justifying every spend that you make. It may seem like ‘penny pinching’, but it will be well worth it as you’ll be able to maximise how far a business loan can get you.

Once you have a full and proper strategy, you’re ready to start getting your business off the ground, but this preparation is vital.

Boost Professionalism

Once your business is launched then you must think about how you’re perceived. For instance, a home office will probably be the most convenient and cost-effective business environment to begin with, but it’s inappropriate for client meetings.

For this reason, you should consider also coupling this with a serviced office from a reputable provider such as LEO. This way, you’ll have a professional face for your clients to see and visit, which may set you apart from your competitors, without the prohibitive costs of purchasing property. If you can’t afford a fully serviced office, then hiring a meeting room on occasion is also a very good option.

Establish an Online Presence

Finally, one low cost area that you can look to expand your business from the day you ‘open the doors’ is online. Through active social media accounts, you’ll be able to reach a high volume of customers, thus leading to an effective marketing strategy.

As well as this, an online presence such as a website and active social media presence can help set you apart from your rivals, making you easier to find and making your brand values clear to all customers.

To conclude, you’re right to be worried about whether your business will be a success, but you should be excited too, and there are little hints and tips that you can use to help you. By following these closely, and by planning your moves with a carefully considered strategy, you should be able to ensure that all of your decisions are financially sound. After this, by establishing an online presence and boosting your professionalism, you’ll be able to attract and keep customers, easing your cash flow and getting your business off the ground. Good luck.