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Archive for the ‘writers’ Category

Justifying your price

Posted by Vicki Moulton on February 3, 2010

I came upon Mikelann Valterra’s Savvy Women Earning blog in a kind of roundabout way this evening, and after looking at her recent posts, I found one about pricing and couldn’t stop saying, “That’s so true!”

Here’s a little taste:

So when you tell prospects what you charge and the type of results they may gain from your work, this is not about justifying your price. You are helping them make an educated decision. You are looking for a win-win.

If you’ve ever hesitated before setting a price for your services or products, you absolutely MUST read this article: How can I justify my price? 

After that, you can join me in becoming her follower on Twitter. This woman is definitely onto something.

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Posted in communications, freelance, marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Giving it away

Posted by Vicki Moulton on January 11, 2010

It’s the secret weapon in every entrepreneur’s closet–the willingness to offer services or products for free just to keep the business moving. I’ve been (and still am) tempted to offer free marketing services to people who really seem to need my help but just can’t afford it, are related to me, or are really nice to me and deserve a break (like my dentist). I think of it as pro bono work that helps me sharpen my skills while giving my company free publicity.

This is my favorite story about freebies. There was a woman sitting next to the window on a flight last October who was very nervous about flying. My daughter was sitting (squirming, actually) on my lap and being occasionally adorable enough that the lady by the window smiled at her through white-knuckled anxiety. Eventually she even laughed and made funny faces at my daughter. The flight seemed to go by quickly, and once we landed, the lady reached into her carryon and pulled out a little paperback book. She gave it to me with a smile, thanking me (and my daughter) for helping her get through a scary experience. She said that it was a book written and self-published by her mother, who had instructed her to give it away only to people who helped her in some meaningful way. I was honored by the gesture–and quite amused by the hilariously dry wit in the short little book. So, in the interest of helping this nice lady’s mom sell more books, you can find “Helpful Household Hints for the Domestically Challenged” by Carma Allen on amazon.

The lesson I took from this savvy bit of self-promotion was this: if you’re going to give something away for free, it helps to set up some rules beforehand. Give away only a very small supply of your latest product. Decide how often and under what circumstances you’re willing to work for free. Offer free stuff for a limited time period, like 10 days. Write down your pro bono rules and stick to them. You’ll be less tempted to work for free in the future if you’re actually making money in the present.

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Posted in communications, marketing, writers | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Enjoying the season

Posted by Vicki Moulton on December 21, 2009

‘Tis the season… to share something that puts a smile on your face, makes you feel warm inside, and helps you appreciate this time of year for all it can be.

Therefore, here’s an amazing original poem I received from a really good friend today. Do enjoy!

A Seasonal Verse
by Rollin H. Marquis

A Solstice is here.
It’s reason to cheer!
Light sparks in the dark
When the year is most drear.

More day will appear
And the sun will grow sere,
Until soon, in late June,
We again reverse gear.

Don’t fret and don’t jeer!
There’s nothing to fear.
We’re sound in this round
Until life throws us clear.

So, draw loved ones near
And praise whom you revere.
Lad or lass, grab a glass
Of nog, glühwein or beer!

Posted in writers | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Juggling act

Posted by Vicki Moulton on December 14, 2009

One of the biggest challenges facing business owners who work from a home office and also have small children to raise (like yours truly) is setting aside enough time for handling a business project from start to finish. When interruptions are the norm–whether it’s phone calls, doorbells, or diapers–that means you’re always falling behind.

What business can thrive on being behind?

So here’s my answer: sometimes you just have to shake things up. In my case, that meant finding offsite childcare a couple days a week so that I could dedicate a specific number of hours per week to running the business. Instead of juggling family and business simultaneously, I decided to focus on one issue at a time, at least for a couple of days per week, to restore some of my sanity.

While it’s tempting to think about how this might make me a less-than-perfect parent, I can’t waste time on that. My business deserves quality time and attention, just like my daughter. And when it thrives, so does my family.

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Posted in communications, freelance, marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Getting grilled

Posted by Vicki Moulton on September 10, 2009

grill fireI did it: I wrote my elevator speech. I can finally check that task off my to-do list. Whew!

This short speech is supposed to be a creative and/or intriguing answer to the casual question tossed one’s way at a Saturday barbecue, “So, what do you do?” The goal is to make the questioner want more information while avoiding putting a short little label on yourself (e.g., I’m a lawyer, I’m self-employed, I’m an artist, etc.).

So here is my elevator speech, subject to change after next Monday’s feedback-filled networking meeting. I welcome comments and suggestions before then, of course!

“I am an expert at marketing communications. I know how to get to the heart of the message and communicate it effectively. Through my company, Movick Marketing, I help clients design new ways to promote their services. Together we figure out exactly what they want to say and the most persuasive, creative, and affordable way to say it. Here’s my card. Check out my website!”

Posted in communications, MarComm, marketing, messaging, networking, writers | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Working can be fun

Posted by Vicki Moulton on August 14, 2009

ferris wheelEver heard of something called “free work”? It’s a freelance-style, resume-building type of career move that is completely different from the traditional unpaid internship, according to a new eBook I came across today called “The Recession-Proof Graduate” (by Charles Hoehn).

While this is written from the Gen Y, new-grad perspective of an early 20-something who clearly had enough cash on hand to work for free that first year out of college (which most don’t, especially in a recession), I must admit that there’s something intriguing about the concept. Who wouldn’t want to do work that’s fun and interesting, on your own terms and your own schedule, without the stress of competing with the faceless masses to become the next underpaid, overworked office drone?

Been there, done that.

Here’s a good intro to this concept, along with a link to the interesting eBook:
Seth Godin’s Blog

P.S. Many thanks to my always-resourceful college classmate, colleague, and good friend Louise Griffin for passing along this great link!

Posted in freelance, marketing, networking, writers | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Trending toward video testimonials

Posted by Vicki Moulton on July 7, 2009

video cameraI keep hearing about the future of social networking being video rather than text. Everyone knows that YouTube is leading the way in making DIY video uploads easier than ever, and if you’ve got a fast Internet connection, linking videos to blogs and Facebook pages is a snap.

Last night, at our monthly Creative MasterMinds networking group meeting, one of my well-informed colleagues talked about how some experts are predicting that the not-so-distant future will have everyone carrying little digital video cameras to record and publish images to Facebook and Twitter (ad nauseum)–in essence, replacing written words with videos.

It’s an intriguing idea. This could prove useful even today, in the area of client testimonials. A video testimonial would involve interviewing a happy client in person or via Skype to capture a positive review, for posting on one’s website, blog, Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, or wherever.

The written word is still priceless, as far as this longtime fan of writing is concerned, but video adds a new layer of excitement to the mix.

Posted in communications, marketing, networking, writers | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Building a cohesive network

Posted by Vicki Moulton on June 12, 2009

mosaic_webI’ve been a longtime member of a private, mostly virtual network of 250+ DC-area freelancers who specialize in various areas within the field of communications (writers, editors, technical experts, web programmers, designers, marketing experts, etc.). A colleague of mine from a freelance gig back in 2000 recommended me for membership, and I did the same for another colleague with whom I’ve worked since the mid-90s.

I haven’t made it to very many of the monthly meetings, as worthwhile as they are, because the location is not close enough to my home office to make it worth the commuting time (usually midday on a Friday, which tends to be deadline day). But I’ve stayed in the group because of the many virtual benefits of being an email away from a few hundred great minds with lots of great advice on all things freelance.

Today I received an email from the group’s founder and most passionate cheerleader, explaining what membership in the group means, how it works, and how it has enhanced everyone’s professional experience. I thought it was so concise and well-written that I wanted to post it here (sans identifying information, of course).

Membership can be extended to anybody any of our members feel (1) would benefit from such membership and (2) would be a benefit to the other members. 

(1) [The group] differs from other lists and online groups in that we are a community.  Some of what we share online is strictly business – rates, job leads, articles.  Much is not – announcements of personal triumphs, pleas for pet causes, the occasional bit of humor.  All is offered warmly and accepted graciously, because in [our group], everybody is somebody’s friend.

(2) [The group's] only criterion for membership is that the person being recommended be someone whose work the sponsor can vouch for.  That criterion gives us the comfort of knowing that everybody in [the group] is considered by someone else to be a pro…

We are an unusual group, and the reason we work so well is that everyone here wants to be here and wants to contribute to the group’s continued success.  It’s quality (of relationships and interactions), not quantity (of member rolls), that we’re all about.

Amen to that.

Posted in communications, freelance, MarComm, marketing, networking, writers | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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