I’ve been working with the same client base and content mills steadily for about four years. So, when I started sending out queries and pitches about during the last four or five weeks, I noticed things have . . . to say it lightly . . . changed. I know the writing world is constantly in a state of change.
There is no other way of saying this. I encountered this on a consistent basis while working with my “people” and websites even though I wasn’t changing where my paychecks were coming from. They types of assignments, requirements, expectations, styles, and editing shifted regularly.
That’s where the title of this post comes in . . .
Even when you’re writing for the same people, websites, and clients for a long period of time don’t let your platform fizzle. While my numbers are good (over 1,000 users) on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and my personal profile on Facebook, I wasn’t giving much credence to my Facebook pages. I don’t know why this happened, it just did. I have three of them:
- Jennifer Greenleaf Author & Artist: this page links directly to this blog site and to my Twitter account. Each time I post to this site, the link auto-posts to my Facebook page and my Twitter feed. So, if I’m not updating my site regularly…..my page and my feed is neglected. My Twitter feed has other things auto-posted on there, too, though. I also post articles from other blog sites, writing-related memes, and promotions for other authors.
- Maine-ly Motherhood: this page is linked to my other website, Maine-ly Motherhood, which is also one that has been sorely neglected. The primary reason I haven’t been updating it is because I don’t want it to be a coupon site, despite what it looks like. As you can see by the menu on its top bar, I have a content plan. I just have to figure out a better monetization plan that doesn’t involve Google.
- ArtistWriter’s Etsy Shop: this page is only a couple of days old because, until I was invited to a network event, I honestly didn’t think to start a page for my shop – ArtistWriter’s Esty Shop. As sad as that sounds, I had been sharing the link on my personal Facebook timeline, on Jennifer Greenleaf Author & Artist, and on this blog site. I need to streamline my business efforts and I believe setting up this page will help the shop see more success.
Pitching, Portfolios, Clips, & Queries
So, what does all this have to do with pitching, portfolios, clips, and queries? Before I started looking closely at the job market, I didn’t believe what I wrote above had anything to do with what I’m writing about here. I’ve written about social media responsibility and online reputation in the past on the following links:
- 6 Reasons Why Online Reputation Matters: [SNIPPET] “It is common for consumers to want to do business with a company they can trust. Can they trust your business? Believe it or not, many businesses do not think having an online reputation is very important.”
- Why Social Media is the Best Link Builder Around?: [SNIPPET] “In order for a company or small business to develop their brand on the Internet, they must create an engaging relationship with their potential clients and customers.”
- Personal Branding and the Importance of Online Reputation: [SNIPPET] “Online reputation is just as important as conducting face-to-face business transactions. Think about the last time you received poor customer service at the grocery store. That negative experience is just as damaging when it occurs online.”
- How Effective is Your Personal Brand?: [SNIPPET] “Whether people choose to believe it or not, when they own a business and use the Internet, everything they do online is part of their personal branding. This means that, when conversations take place or when information is shared publicly, people view that as how your brand is portrayed and carried out.”
Writing these articles taught me a lot about branding, online reputation, reputation management, and how to effectively conduct business. I took on these assignments because I knew I could not only use these tools for my own business practices, but share this information with other business owners I’m connected with in my networks.
What I didn’t realize was how useful this information would be down the line when working on pitching, portfolios, clips, and queries. Potential clients want to see an understanding of this material, they want to see it in action, and that want to see it in a writer’s portfolio. Like I’ve already mentioned, this is all new to me.
This is where I finally write about where Facebook comes in. Part of this whole pitching to new clients while formulating the perfect query, creating an outstanding portfolio, and collecting relevant clips scenario is just on portion of task. Now, it’s necessary to have a Facebook platform (proven – revert back to the beginning of the blog post) to show potential clients upon request. They would like to see this information so, when they need Facebook marketing or blog marketing from you, they want to see a proven track record of experience.
They do not want to see a stream of posts that don’t have anything to do with business on a personal profile. This isn’t professional so, please, don’t include this in your portfolio. Not only is this an embarrassment, but it you will lost credibility points immediately.
There are many how turn their nose down to using Facebook and choose not to have an account there at all. While I understand this reasoning to some degree, I also see it as detrimental if these same people are writers interested in pitching to these job opportunities.
Mind (Mine?) the Fields
I’m not a job recruiter, nor am I like to “miners” on Freelance Writing Jobs, so I’m not in a position to share job leads with you. So, please don’t ask me to find job leads or where to look for them. We all have our favorites – the link I just shared with you happens to be one of my favorites.
I have a few other favorites as well, but my biggest bit of advice is to be mindful when looking through job ads and “mine” through all the crap. Yes, there is a TON of bad ads out there. Experienced freelancers know this without hesitation, those new to the market have no idea. Writer Beware is an excellent resource for those who are to “Mining the Fields” and could use some help.
If you’re new to the market, read as much as you can as often as you can about finding good job market leads, sorting through the crap, and staying away from scammers. This is SO important. It’s been a long time since I’ve written specifically to new writers in the market . . . now I’m inspired to do so . . .