Rock Your Marketing (Even if You’re too Busy for Marketing)

What if you could rock your marketing while you’re busy so you stop having dry spells? (Spoiler: You can, and I’ll tell you how.)

Rock Your Marketing

Freelance writers are business owners, busy business owners. We’re so busy, we lack the time to work on our business because we’re always working in it for our clients.

Blogs, social media posts, and marketing in general fall by the wayside in favour of the now money. But what about later? Do you go back to hustling when the gigs dry up? Do you stockpile your rainy day fund in case there’s no work for a while?

Before I get into how to rock your marketing, I have a little story for you.

I’m part of a bi-monthly marketing challenge in one of my professional networking groups and the most interesting parts of the challenge is how many people “sit this one out” citing they have a full client load so they don’t need marketing.

What? You’re too busy for marketing!?

This is difficult to hear. Because this tells me you’re not thinking about the long game, you’re focusing on the here and now. Don’t get me wrong, you should. But the present can’t be your sole focus on.

Here’s what no marketing plan gets you:

  • Scattered, inconsistent presentation in front of potential clients
  • Random posts and self-promotions on social media
  • Irregular networking (in person, virtual networking groups, bi-monthly marketing challenges…)
  • Unfamiliarity with competitors’ strategies

Oh, and no new clients. Unless you’re so busy month after month that you’re turning away new clients, you need marketing. Even when you’re too busy for marketing.

So, how do I rock my marketing even if I’m too busy for marketing?

I’m glad you asked. Since we’re at the beginning stages of this conversation I’m not going to ask you to do new things…yet. Right now let’s focus on what you’re already doing and sprinkle in some focused marketing. Getting it going is the first step.

Rock your marketing with these three tips

First, think about the content you put out on social media right now

Be honest. When you post something on social media, what is it about? Personal? Photos of your weekend? Political memes? Food? Is anything you post related to your business or how you serve your clients?

If you’re going to rock your marketing, I challenge you to consider your social media platforms places where you can attract new clients and brand yourself rather than something separate. Who is your ideal client? How can you help him/her today? How can what you post be useful in moving him/her ahead? Even better, how can you inspire someone?

Need help? Here’s your five-step social media strategy for freelance writers.

Second, carve out time to connect with your ideal clients or colleagues

And no, this does not mean sending out cold pitches by email. CONNECT!

Remember, I’m not asking you to do anything new…yet. So who are the people you speak to every day? Do you pass them on the street? In a store? In a restaurant? Look them in the eye and make a connection. Start with hi, hello, how are you. One or all of those will do. Next? Have a conversation. It doesn’t need to be deep or time-consuming, but make sure you mention something about how what you’re working on lights you up and you love your job. Make a connection, then continue on with what you were doing.

But what if you don’t go out because you’re chained to your computer desk all day? How about a nice email to a contact? A check in, a hey how’s your business going? Is there anything I can help you with today? Or how about an old client, why not send a nice note and see if there’s a project you can help out with. If not, no biggie. But you tried. You reached out. You connected.

Third, you don’t need to post new content every day

Hear me: you need to post content, but it doesn’t have to be new. Whoa.

This was a huge mental shift for me. When I let go of the idea that every blog post was a slam dunk and lived on in my readers’ minds I was free to re-use them as appropriate. (By the way, I wrote about my favourite tools to re-share content here.) I combed through my archives and pulled the articles I thought my idea clients would enjoy. Then I plugged them into a content library, created a schedule and let them go. I’m still amazed at the freedom I feel setting up this small automation. Because I can accept that not everyone will see my LIFE-CHANGING articles and freelance writing tips the moment I write them I’m free to keep sharing them on various platforms. All it takes is this careful balance of humility and pride.


See? That wasn’t so bad. Don’t you feel ready to rock your marketing? These three itty bitty marketing tweaks can help you ROCK your marketing! Visualize how stress-free your freelance marketing game could be. Dream big, my friend.

Now, a word of caution.

You can go down the marketing rabbit trail and end up overwhelmed and not sure which shiny object to focus on. Because there is always more you can do. All we’re talking about today is not doing nothing. Don’t do nothing.

Keep putting yourself out there, even if you’re busy and have a full client roster. Continue networking, keep posting relevant, helpful content on social media, and putting your work out there even if you haven’t created anything new in a while. Keep going!

What if you could rock your marketing while you're busy so you stop having dry spells? (Spoiler: You can, and I'll tell you how.)

One more thing. If you’ve got these three daily tasks down you may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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Extra credit: How to Weather Cash Flow Problems. Helpful advice from Ed Gandia.

How to Find a Digital Agency

If you work in media or run a business you will, if you haven’t already, come across a digital agency. Digital agencies are everywhere! In fact, it’s possible you’ve worked with one in the past and didn’t even realize it.

Digital Agency

How to find a digital agency

If you’re a freelance writer or content creator then you may be considering starting your own digital agency. Or maybe you want to take on agencies as clients. If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner you may be considering hiring an agency. They can be a huge help with your digital presence, online marketing and SEO.

Deciding to work with a digital agency in any capacity is a big decision to make. There are many different types with varying specialities and capacity. Here are a few things to consider when you’re ready to get started working with agencies.

5 tips for getting started working with agencies

Tip 1: Do your homework

Since every agency is different it’s important to research the company. Before agreeing to work with them you want to make sure they’re a good fit for you. Starting from scratch? Look for local marketing agencies and make a shortlist based on their skills and services.

Tip 2: Make sure your industries are aligned

While the agency doesn’t have to be an expert in your field, they should have some experience in your area. For example, if you run a bakery but the digital agency specializes in landscaping it may not be a good fit. Alternatively, if you’re a tech writer and the agency has mostly fashion clients, you’ll be a mismatch and nothing will come easy.

Tip 3: Ask for case studies

Case studies are helpful whether you’re looking to work with an agency or hire one. If you haven’t heard of these before in essence they’re a study analysis where you overview a business problem, outline options for solving the problem and what happened in the end. It gives you a solid idea of the type of work the agency does and you’ll get a feel for how they work. For an agency example, check out Vine Digital.

Tip 4: Meet in person if possible

While this isn’t required, face-to-face meetings always help build rapport and relationship. For many freelancers, the idea of meeting clients in person is terrifying. However, it’s an important part of growing your business. By the way, in-person meetings are also a great way to test and refine your elevator pitches.

For business owners, meeting with an agency owner in person allows you to connect on a deeper level and give them a peek at the heart behind your professional exterior. This will help them craft campaigns and strategies that better-suit your needs than if they didn’t have that added insight.

Tip 5: Compare costs

If you’ve decided you want to hire a digital agency but still have a few options, it may come down to comparing the costs. Of course you want to base your decision on other factors as well but this should definitely be one of them.

Extra credit: For more information when it comes to weighing up agency costs, you can visit this guide here.

If you’ve decided you want to work with an agency this is also an important step! Make sure your pay is adequate and the scope of your responsibilities is clear. And get it in writing.

If you work in media or run a business you will, if you haven't already, come across a digital agency. Here are five tips for working with agencies.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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How to Create a Digital Business Card

Think of your email signature as a digital business card. It’s a perfect opportunity to promote your business through everyday communication.

How to Create a Digital Business Card for Your Freelance Writing Business

What if you had a digital business card that you could pass out to all your friends and colleagues to help you get paid work?

When you’re a hungry freelance writer it’s difficult to know where to look for work. Things like job boards, Craigslist, and cold emailing queries are what people lean towards but these are (in general) low paying, competitive, and an exhausting hustle. Your chances of landing solid clients are low so your pitch rate has to be high.

If you’re wondering how established freelance writers generate leads they’ll tell you most of their work comes through warm leads (existing relationships) and referrals. Even if you’re just starting out these options are available to you too. The trick is letting people know what you do and that you’re available so they think of you when an opportunity comes up.

Today we’ll focus on one of the easiest yet most overlooked way to put yourself in front of warm leads and set yourself up for referrals. It’s your email signature. We do almost everything by email so this is a golden opportunity to add a little bit about yourself and your business.

Creating a digital business card for your freelance writing business

No, this doesn’t make you look desperate. Think of your email signature as a digital business card. It’s a perfect opportunity to promote yourself and your business through your everyday communication.

Here’s what a good email signature can accomplish.

  • Makes you look professional
  • Advertises your expertise
  • Lets people know you’re available
  • Lets people know how you want to be contacted
  • Serves as free marketing
  • Is professional and shows you’re serious about your business
  • Makes it easy for people to contact you

Convinced? Great, let’s do this.

Already have one? Wonderful! Take a few minutes to review your email signature and adjust as necessary.

What should your digital business card include?

Best practice recommends between four and seven lines for an email signature (although I say less is more here), so pick and choose the information you will include. Some suggestions include the list below.

  • Your name
  • Your title/type of writing you do
  • Company name (if relevant)
  • Contact information (How do you want people to contact you? Remember including your email address is redundant)
  • Website address (link here to your professional site or the site you want prospective clients to see—where they can learn more about you and your services)
  • Tagline (what sets you apart from your competitors) or marketing message
  • Social links (if relevant, and only if you want your prospective clients to see)

Avoid adding images—most people have image blockers or read email on phones these days. If you feel you need your photo, logo, or social icons then use a service that will embed it into your email signature like Wisestamp or Hubspot.

Another tip is keep your email signature brief. There’s no need to list every social platform. Dial back your contact information to the best way people can reach you and your best website, which will give people more information about you and your services.

I’ve linked instructions for adding your signature to your email below.

  • Adding your signature in Gmail
  • Adding your signature in Outlook

And don’t forget about your smarphone!

  • Adding your signature to your iPhone
  • Adding your signature to your Android

Be brave, put yourself out there!

If you’re wondering how established freelance writers generate leads they’ll tell you most of their work comes through warm leads (existing relationships) and referrals. Even if you’re just starting out these options are available to you too. The trick is letting people know what you do and that you're available so they think of you when an opportunity comes up. Today we'll focus on one of the easiest yet most overlooked way to put yourself in front of warm leads and set yourself up for referrals. It's your email signature. We do almost everything by email so this is a golden opportunity to add a little bit about yourself and your business.

Other articles about marketing


One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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Freelance Writing for Beginners | 4 Tips

When you research freelance writing for beginners all sorts of tips and tricks pop up. It’s a bit overwhelming, I know. You wonder how people get started, how it works and if it’s possible to make a living writing.

Freelance Writing for Beginners

Freelance Writing for Beginners

I landed my first freelance gig by accident. I had blogged for a while, for fun, and one day I received an email asking if I would help promote a movie by writing a preview on my blog. It paid $35.

Because I didn’t understand, well, anything about freelance writing and didn’t know anyone who was freelancing I continued blogging for fun and taking freelance writing gigs as they came to me.

Over the years I became savvier and joined professional associations I thought would help me figure things out. It has taken a while but the pieces are falling into place and I believe there are more opportunities than ever for people who want to get started freelance writing.

Don’t Let Technology Hold You Back

These days you can launch a blog or website in an afternoon, get YouTube famous with a couple viral hits and apply for remote gigs from your smartphone. So why not give it a shot?

Launching a successful freelance business is an entrepreneurial venture like any other, and requires a good deal of hard work, focus and discipline. Here are a few quick tips for getting started.

Four Tips | Freelance Writing for Beginners

  1. Set up a website and optimize it for search engines
  2. Think of your website as your digital business card, you resume and your writing portfolio all in one. This is the most important resource in your toolkit and worth spending time creating.

    If you take time to optimize your website for specific keywords, you’ll increase your chances of prospective clients finding you. If you’re looking for some SEO help, here are 6 simple steps to ranking well on Google.

    Although it’s not mandatory to have a website before you can land a paying client, having even a simple site with your name and contact information on it will go a long way to giving you credibility and status.

    Extra credit: Wondering what goes on your website? Here are essential freelance writer website elements.

  3. Create a writing portfolio
  4. When you don’t have experience it’s tough for potential clients to take a chance on you. Writing samples are the freelance writing industry’s version of education and/or experience. In lieu of samples, consider writing blog posts and using those to demonstrate your skill until you build your portfolio.

    Here are a few other ideas for getting writing samples for your portfolio.

    • Offer to write for local charities
    • Guest post on other websites
    • Submit letters to your local newspaper

    Anything that shows that you’re a capable writer is worth displaying in your writing portfolio.

    Extra credit: As you gain experience, collect testimonials from clients. This will help build trust with future prospects.

  5. Market like crazy
  6. Even if you land a retainer client on your first at-bat, consistently marketing your freelance business is one of the best things you can do.

    When you’re just getting started, your marketing will be more outbound than inbound. Think outreach, pitches, cold calls/emails, etc. As you build your brand and establish yourself in your niche your marketing will be more inbound than outbound. Think books, podcasts, interviews, referrals, etc.

    Extra credit: I believe in the power of marketing to transform people’s careers and businesses. Here are three marketing ideas for writers who hate marketing.

  7. Turn up each day, and do the work, whether you feel like it or not

As writing can be seen as a creative job, people sometimes leave their work until inspiration strikes. However, freelance writing is a job, not a creative exercise.

It’s important to turn up each day and do the work, whether you feel like it or not. In no time you’ll be on your way.

Extra credit: Setting goals and dreaming big is well and good but figuring out how to be productive even when you don’t feel like it is key to a thriving freelance business.

When you research freelance writing for beginners all sorts of tips and tricks pop up. You wonder how it works and if it's possible to make a living writing.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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How to Be Productive Even When You’re Unmotivated

Setting goals and dreaming big is well and good but figuring out how to be productive even when you don’t feel like it is key to a thriving freelance business.

How to be productive

How to Be Productive Even When You’re Unmotivated

When you’re the one juggling all the balls and keeping your business going, there are times when you might wonder if it’s all worth the effort. No one said running your own business would be easy but sometimes it’s harder than you imagined. So what do you do when you have no motivation?

Tip 1: Stop Making Excuses

If you find yourself blaming outside forces or other people for why you’re not more productive it may be time for some honest reflection. There will always be obstacles and reasons why you can’t work on your business. Stop making excuses and figure out a solution. Keep moving forward.

Example: I can’t market my business, I’m awkward/introverted/etc. Nope. Get over it. You have to market your business. Figure it out. (By the way, here are some marketing ideas for people who hate marketing.)

Tip 2: Celebrate the Victories, Big and Small

While you were analyzing your freelance business did you stop to celebrate the small wins? Take a moment now. You’ve worked hard, you’ve had some good times. Acknowledge it.

No matter how small the accomplishment, give yourself some credit. Savour it. Pat yourself on the back. Being a business owner is tough, whether you’re a plumber or freelance writer. You’ve earned this moment of celebration!

When we’re stressing about how to be productive and worrying about how far we still have to go it’s easy to miss the progress we make. Try to see it. Try to feel positive.

Once you’ve found a few victories write them down and remind yourself of your progress every time you’re feeling down. Use the small wins to spur you forward.

Tip 3: Ask for Help | How to Be Productive

Just because you’re an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to do everything by yourself. If you’re feeling stressed, overworked or under pressure it might be time to ask for help. Sure, you may have a time management issue and if there are systems you can implement and changes you can make to your routine then you should do it. But it also may be time to ask for help. Outsourcing isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of growth. Finding the right strategic partners could make all the difference.

If this sounds like what you’ve been looking for, learn more here about marketing and SEO agencies.

Tip 4: Analyze and Evaluate

Rather than digging in and pushing harder, it might be time to take a step back and take stock of your situation. Give yourself some space, evaluate where things are at compared with where you want to be.

Here are a few questions to consider. Are you circling burnout or do you just need a bit of help? Is your work/life balance in tact? Are you working towards your S.M.A.R.T. goals or are you just working?

If your business financial health is in question, it may be time to dig out last year’s reports and take stock of your actual numbers. How did things go? What’s changed?

Once you have a good idea of where things are at you can re-evaluate where you’re going. Take a look at your road map and adjust as necessary.

Setting goals and dreaming big is well and good but figuring out how to be productive even when you don't feel like is key to a thriving freelance business.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

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