In the past couple of weeks, I have been presented with people who don’t know what to write, don’t know how to get ideas, or haven’t written anything in some time because they just haven’t been inspired. Whilst I understand this feeling and have also waited for the spark of creativity, I also believe that turning up to work is the best way to be inspired. As a professional writer, I have to turn up and write every day, even when I don’t feel like it. So here are some tips, collected from writing groups and business groups, to help when you’re just not in the mood. Read more
At the start of the year I began some self-examination of who I am and what I do. Not so much a New Years’ Revolution, but an assessment of 2016, what this year could be, and a look at some of the feelings I have around being a writer. One of the things I have picked up through this process is the Writer’s Journal. This is helping me focus on what I find important in writing, reminding me to be a writer, and keeping me aware of when I am falling back into the traps I set up for myself as a writer in the past year or two.
I am not a journaling kind of person. I don’t have piles of notebooks full of my innermost thoughts and feelings. I have been told time and again that I should, but it just isn’t me. Strange, considering that I like to write so much anyway.
During the first week of January when I was looking at ways to write, to consistently write, to BE a writer, one of the suggested items was a Writer’s Journal. This was not a journal where I pour out my feelings and thoughts and demons and stuff. This was a journal where I talk about myself as a writer. That might not sound like a huge distinction, but for me, I am okay being a writer, I am okay with telling people I am a writer, and all the trials and turmoils, highs and celebrations of being so. Hence, having a personal journal about being a writer was a little stretch, but still within my comfort zone. Or rather, it was just outside my comfort zone enough that if I got scared I could come back at any time. Read more
Getting new clients can be difficult. Competition is so tight that you need to find a way to give a new client something which shows them how awesome you are, but won’t cost too much for them. Classic Sales Funnel techniques, where you offer a little bit, and then a bit more, all the way to the bottom of the funnel where they get massive value for the biggest bang for their buck. It’s that first step into the funnel which you need to think about things.
I have heard many businesses offering a free one-hour consult, or a free catch up to see if what they offer is what you need. For me, I call this the ‘Free Measure and Quote’. It should not be seen as something magical and fantastic that you’re offering. This free consult? It should not be THE THING which gets a new client on board. You really need to be giving this free meeting as standard for anyone, and have something different, something unique to you, which grabs the attention of a potential new client.
So, if the ‘free measure and quote’ is going to be complimentary and a part of the standard sales funnel, what can you do to wow your new leads? Read more
Every person I know has the potential to do awesome things. Every person you know has the same potential. It is not that difficult to do really good things, to create fantastic stuff for the world. The biggest thing standing in our way are ourselves. Self-sabotage is the biggest hurdle every creative person faces when it comes to creating good art. I am learning that the excuses are simply that- excuses, which should be ignored, put away, stomped on, and I just need to get on with it.
Let me set up my most magnificent example of self-sabotage. Back in 2012 I self-published my first novel – The Girl From Out of Town. A rollicking Steampunk adventure, featuring a Royal Refugee from another dimension, and a bored office worker from Accounts. Adventures, gun fights, swordplay, skyships and dragons! How awesome!
It is now 2017 and I am having to be threatened, pushed kicking and screaming, to work through the edits to try and get book 2 published by the end of March. A book whose first draft was finished at the beginning of 2014. And, Book 3? Only 2/3 of the way finished. Why am I not writing and publishing books! It is what I have told people I want to do! Read more
If you want to succeed in life, in the big things in life, you need a plan. Easy enough to say, right? If you also want to succeed in the smallest things in life, having a plan is a good idea too. And I have discovered the best way to have a plan, to create a plan, is by writing it down, making it with your hands, and not a computer. Go old school, take your time, so you feel more invested in the plan.
I will be honest with you. I am not one for plans. I am not good at making them, and I am not good at using them. I know the process of creating a content plan for others, I even have a worksheet I make my clients fill in for me – http://www.matthewfarmer.com.au/linkedin-products/download-resources/. And yet, for me, I haven’t been able to plan things out. Why is this?
While I could say it has to do with the creative side of myself, the need to be spontaneous. However, looking harder at myself, there is this gap of confidence in what I do as a business. I don’t know how long I will be able to keep up the freelancing lifestyle. If I plan to do all these things, what happens if clients drop off? What was that famous quote? If you fail to plan, you plan to fail? Good old Benjamin Franklin And strangely enough, he is true, in a sense. While I am not failing, I am certainly not rocketing to the heights of success… yet. Read more