Blog to support the book "Creatively Self-Employed: How Writers and Artists Deal with Career Ups and Downs" by Kristen Fischer

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Location: Point Pleasant, New Jersey, United States

30-something Jersey gal working as a freelance writer. Starbucks addict, beach-lover, kitty mother.

Creatively Self-Employed Website

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Today's gem comes from Gail McMeekin, the author of The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women. I think this has some great tips on getting publicity for your creative business!

Success Strategies for Creative Souls #98: Tips for Great Publicity

I have been blessed over the last 9 years with lots of publicity. I've been quoted in the Sunday New York Times, Redbook (4 times), Self, Woman's Day, Shape, Woman's World, The Boston Globe (twice), Boston Magazine, The Improper Bostonian, Investor's Business Daily (twice) and the list goes on.

I've also done lots of radio and some TV and I have 2 new radio clips posted in my Pressroom on my website now: My Website. The two radio spots are about creativity and what you need to do to be successful with it, so you might want to give a listen.

I have read many books and could write a book about getting publicity, but that's not in the cards. But I do want to share with you some key strategies that have worked for me so that you can develop a PR campaign for yourself or your business now:

1) Send out regular press releases about something new that you or your business are doing. Let them know about new groups, e-books, media appearances, new products or services, awards, memberships, etc. Use Bacon's Media Directory as a resource and check with your library to see if you can access it online. Go to http://www.prnwire.com for their best deal to mail out a release for you.

2) Your local media are always looking for good stories. See if your local media will do a story about you and your business and watch your local cable TV station to see what show might be appropriate for you to be a guest on. I was once the co- host of a show called Professionals in Transition and we got great exposure plus we all got TV reels.

3) Social Media--Decide which social media you want to frequent and post helpful information regularly as well as publicize your events, appearances, new blog posts or articles, research in your field, etc. Again, try to form relationships with people that are mutual and collaborative. Don't post constantly with nonsense--be thoughtful.

4) Direct mail still works. Try mailing postcards (I use http://www.modernpostcard.com) about your business and mail them out to your target market as well as pass them out to people you meet. Collect snail mail addresses when people go to your website, when you speak to a group, and mail cards out to friends and colleagues as well so they know what you are up to.

5) As you read magazines, newspapers, blogs, etc. identify key press people in your niche market and begin to email to them regularly or post on their blogs. Invite local press people to your events and always ask how you can be helpful to them as a resource.

6) If you enjoy writing, start a clever blog or newsletter, write a column for a magazine or post articles on your website. This will give your credibility and create ongoing new material to use. Try to get your articles posted on other websites like http://www.ezinearticles.com .

7) If you want to do speaking and are a novice, check out Toastmasters or a speaking class or get a coach. Put together a press kit and a workshop/seminar flyer and send it to adult education centers, workshop centers like Omega in NY, networking groups, local Chambers of Commerce, conference planners, etc. Make a DVD of you speaking as part of your press kit.

These are just a few of many ideas about getting publicity. I always advise people to do things that interest them and showcase their best talents. You won't be consistent if you don't enjoy what you are doing. Have fun!

Article by Gail McMeekin

Executive/career/creativity/life choices coach and expert; Author of The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women, The Power of Positive Choices and Boost Your Creativity, Productivity, and Profits in 21 Steps. Sign up for the Creative Success email newsletter at http://www.creativesuccess.com
Phone: 617-323-1442
Fax: 617-323-1963

link | posted by Kristen at 8:43 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, May 21, 2009

There are so many wonderful creative books that I've been reading, or been meaning to read, lately. And yes, they're of the female persuasion but have practical advice for all creatives. I love a spunky book that doesn't offer the technical textbook look and content. Here are a few I like!

My So-Called Freelance Life by Michelle Goodman offers a candid look at freelance life, but she puts in a lot of practical information as well. I love this gal's conversational--and sometimes sarcastic--tone.

The Boss of You by Lauren Bacon and Emira Mears: I haven't read this one yet--next on my list. They have a tasty blog for women in business with plenty of cool resources--check it out!

Escape from Cubicle Nation by Pam Slim seems like a great book for those who are itching to start their own business.

Career and Corporate Cool by Rachel Weingarten
: Looks like a humorous read and got snaps from Entrepreneur.

What resourceful business books are you reading? Please share!

Oh, and find me on GoodReads.com so we can share resources!!

link | posted by Kristen at 7:25 AM | 2 comments

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Artwork by Christine Mason Miller

I was so excited to hear Christine Mason Miller talk on Kimberly Wilson's Tranqulity du Jour show (formerly Hip Tranquil Chick!) Christine is a friend I made through writing my book and she's remained such an awesome creative friend. I love watching her journey because it's so very inspiring and I hope you find inpspiration from hearing her, too.

Check it out--Christine talks about all of her creative ventures!

link | posted by Kristen at 12:37 PM | 0 comments

Friday, May 08, 2009

You know I'm a sucker for the honest and the raw--that was the whole impetus behind releasing Creatively Self-Employed.

So when I saw a recent blog post by Ali Edwards, I had to feature it. She talks about creative fears: You know, those insecurities you may never want to fess up to because you feel grateful enough to be doing what you love.

Some of her fears include:
1. Messing up.
2. Thinking this is the one and only chance to tell this story so it simply must be perfect.
3. People not appreciating what we create.
4. Being seen as selfish or extravagant for indulging yourself in your creative endeavor.
5. Not getting anything done.

So I decided to make my own Top 5 List of Creative Fears...and here goes:
1. Not accomplishing my goal of getting published in a top womens glossy magazine. Being ripped up and red-penned when I do get published in said magazine.
2. Losing steam and letting my entire business fail. (But really, how can I lose steam?)
3. Having clients not like my copywriting work.
4. Not being able to get a solid idea to publish my third book and not publishing another book. Being thought of as a failure for not continually putting out books.
5. Not having time to do creative fun things (painting, beading, art journaling) and becoming uninspired.

It's liberating typing out these fears. It really is.

So I dished. Ali dished.

Now it's time for you...what are your creative fears??

link | posted by Kristen at 5:20 AM | 2 comments

Monday, May 04, 2009

I just wrote another article for www.freelanceswitch.com and it really helped me get a lot off my chest. Generally, when I write for them, I try to draw upon my own personal experiences. Often times, I can be a little rigid in what I say--but always practical. This was one of those posts.

The topic was setting boundaries and I can't stress this enough. Whether you're just painting on the side or you're a full-time writer, if you want your creative talents to turn into profits, you have to be business-like. And since you're on your own as a freelancer, you'll have to rely on yourself to set and enforce these limits.

I wrote about exploring setting boundaries in the following areas:

  • Meeting on time.
  • Turning in work/revisions and completing projects.
  • Setting your rates.

There are, of course, a million other areas that I can address when it comes to setting boundaries. This can be hard--especially if you don't like confrontation. That's why setting good business rules and relying on your intuition comes into play. And we only learn that, I'm afraid, through trial and error. I've gotten burned by a few clients who have not shown up for meetings, waited a few months to finish the project and tried to get me to work for peanuts. (That's why I focused on these areas.)

I'll let you know when the post is up, but I wanted to pose this loaded question: What kinds of boundaries have you had to set with your clients? What happened when you didn't stick to them? What were the outcomes when you did? Why is boundary-setting vital for those who are creatively self-employed?

link | posted by Kristen at 7:38 PM | 0 comments