Archive for the ‘writers’ Category
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.
Posted in communications, marketing, writers | Tagged: book, Carma Allen, free publicity, free stuff, marketing, pro bono work, promotion, self-promotion, self-published, set up rules beforehand, writers | Leave a Comment »
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: holiday poem, solstice, tis the season, warm inside | Leave a Comment »
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.
Posted in communications, freelance, marketing | Tagged: home office, interruptions, juggling family and business, shake things up, small business, time management, to-do list, work-life balance | 1 Comment »
Posted by Vicki Moulton on November 16, 2009
I am pleased and proud to help announce the launch of JennyNess Designs, the new freelance design business of my incredibly talented logo designer and fellow networking colleague, Jenny Ness Decker!
Here’s Jenny in her own words:
I’ll finally be leaving my day job in January to launch a new career. I’ve published an online portfolio at jennynessdesigns.com. I’m looking for job opportunities (both full-time positions and freelance jobs) so please keep me in mind if you (or someone you know) are in need of design services.
I am more than happy to provide a recommendation for Jenny’s work. She’s the best!
Full disclosure: Her new website features a bit of marcomm direction and messaging help from Movick Marketing. (Glad to help, Jenny!)
Posted in communications, freelance, MarComm, messaging, networking | Tagged: artist, colleague, design services, freelance, Jenny Decker, JennyNess Designs, job leads, launch, logo, MarComm, networking, online portfolio, recommendation, website | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Vicki Moulton on September 10, 2009
I 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: elevator speech, marketing, networking, promotion, Saturday barbecue, to-do list, website | 2 Comments »
Posted by Vicki Moulton on August 14, 2009
Ever 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: book, Charles Hoehn, faceless masses, free work, freelance, Gen Y, internship, network, office drone, recession-proof, strategy, website | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Vicki Moulton on June 12, 2009
I’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: colleague, communications, DC-area, editors, freelance, great minds, job leads, MarComm, marketing, meetings, members, membership, network, networking, quality, relationships, specialize, sponsor, virtual, writers | Leave a Comment »