Five Podcasts I Love and Recommend for Freelancers

Why are podcasts so great? Well I think it has something to do with the medium. Listening to a person speak connects you in a way the written word doesn’t.

Five Podcasts I Love and Recommend for Freelancers

Five Podcasts I Love

I love podcasts. LOVE podcasts. You know, I’ve loved them since the moment I heard about them. Whenever that was. And I’ve dreamed about having my own podcast for years now. I even built a business plan around a knitting-themed podcast but it never launched (still have all my notes though…).

Why are podcasts so great? Well I think it has something to do with the medium. Because I think radio is pretty great too. Listening to a person speak connects you in a way the written word doesn’t, and that’s saying something since writing is my passion. But podcasting? I love podcasts. In fact, I like them all: conversations, interviews, monologues, stories, poetry, scripted, silly, and everything in between.

Here’s when I listen to podcasts:

  • If I’m doing a brainless task I listen while I’m working
  • When driving
  • At the gym
  • Walking
  • When I’m weeding/watering the garden
  • Whenever I’m by myself
  • Sometimes I will listen with my husband while we’re on road trips, but he’s not as open to any and every podcast as I am so our playlist is a bit smaller

I often am asked what podcasts I recommend so I thought today I’d share my top five of the moment. I’m always listening to more than five but these are five I recommend over and over. Click on the image to check out the podcast.

The Fizzle Show Podcasts

The Fizzle Show Podcasts

With this podcast, I have an on-again, wow-I’m-sick-of-them relationship but I have listened since the beginning and am still subscribing, so they must be doing something right! Each week the team at Fizzle uploads a new episode aimed at small business owners who want to earn a living doing something they care about. They focus on modern business essentials, self employment, marketing, productivity, work-life balance, and more. Everything in their podcast points back to their small business training courses, which I have subscribed to for the past two years and have found amazing. I trust this team to give me the tools I need to run my business.

Copyblogger FM Podcasts

Copyblogger FM Podcasts

I love everything Copyblogger does and when they started podcasting I subscribed to every show. Well, there were a lot of shows and after a while I dropped most of them (or they got dropped…I’m not 100 per cent certain what’s going on TBH) and circled in on my favourite: Copyblogger FM. This is a short-form broadcast with solo shows and interviews focusing on content marketing, copy writing, email marketing, conversion, optimization, and more. They offer a few courses and products but I haven’t taken part (yet). But I do love their advice and would recommend their podcast and blog to anyone interested in improving their online communication.

Myths and Legends Podcasts

Myths and Legends

This is a new show in my podcast rotation. My husband and I discovered it while on a road trip earlier this year and while I thought it was something we’d listen to when together, I’ve gone ahead and listened to most of the archive plus all the new shows on my own. So I guess I like it. This is a solo podcast telling stories from myths, legends, and folklore from around the world. Some of the stories I’ve heard before, but I don’t think they ever get old. And yes, there are wizards, knights, and dragons—oh my!

Most of the podcasts in my rotation I’ve chosen because I think they can help me move the needle forward on my professional life. This one? Yeah, it’s pure entertainment. Of course there are valuable tips on how to creatively tell stories and create engagement, so I can still say I’m learning something! There seems to be an entire sub-culture around this podcast but I haven’t checked any of it out. So I guess I’m not there yet.

Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast

Online Marketing Made Easy

I think I have also listened to this podcast since the beginning. This (usually) solo podcast is a smart, in-depth look at online business. It focuses on all sorts of topics like marketing strategy, email list growth, Facebook ads, and more. I trust what I hear in this show to be a few steps ahead of me and teach me what’s going on in the ever-changing world of digital marketing just before I need to know it. I can’t say enough good things—this one has always been on my playlist and I continue finding great value from it. This podcast also points back to various courses you can purchase. I haven’t tried any out but they sound pretty good.

Under the Influence Podcast

Under the Influence

Before Under the Influence there was the show’s precursor, The Age of Persuasion. This show also airs on public radio in Canada and the US and I’ve loved everything about it for as long as I’ve known about it. This solo show is as scripted as it gets and while it takes a little getting used to, I wouldn’t want it any other way. Under the Influence is a behind-the-scenes look at the advertising industry and filled with fascinating case studies from the past and present, showing how marketing and human nature intersect. I think it’s so amazing the moment I learned the host was coming to speak at a local event I dropped everything to go. I booked off work, hustled my way into a ticket, walked 18 blocks in the rain, and showed up 30 minutes early to get the best seat. Yeah. Big fan.


And those are my top five podcast recommendations for you! I hope you can find something new and interesting to listen to—something that inspires you to take action on whatever you’re holding back on right now. Oh, and I’m always taking new podcast recommendations too so if there’s one I need to check out please let me know!

Other Podcasting Posts

Why are podcasts so great? Well I think it has something to do with the medium. Listening to a person speak connects you in a way the written word doesn't.

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.

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Why are podcasts so great? Well I think it has something to do with the medium. Listening to a person speak connects you in a way the written word doesn't.

How to Write an Elevator Pitch

The phrase “elevator pitch” comes from the idea of communicating what you do, who you serve and what makes you different in the time it takes to ride an elevator. It’s a short, compelling sales pitch.

How to Write an Elevator Pitch

Do you want the worksheets that go with this training?

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How to Write an Elevator Pitch

We know how our writing can help others but our potential clients don’t. If they did they probably wouldn’t need a writer. It’s a classic conundrum. We can get so wrapped up in our writing world we forget that those not in our world have no idea what we do or why it matters. It’s our job to educate them. This is where the elevator pitch comes in.

I know, how can you explain all the facets of your writing business in a way that both makes sense and persuades someone to hire you? How can you craft a pitch that not only positions you as an expert but convinces the listener you’re the right person to deliver the solution he or she wants? (Yes, this is the hard part.)

Telling people “I’m a writer,” is great but it’s vague. What do you write? How do you make money? Who reads what you write?

See what I mean? Think about what you do and then expand your definition to include someone who has no clue about your industry. Think of your grandmother or someone in an unrelated field. How would you describe the service you provide to them?

Break it down

Before we write the pitch let’s answer these questions:

  • Who do you help (in an ideal world)
  • What problem are you solving
  • What is your solution?

Who do you help?

When I first went through this process I realized I couldn’t be a generalist and “help everyone with their writing stuff.” I needed to zero in on an audience/group. It took some soul searching, but I recognized I had a passion for helping new/emerging writers learn how to make money from their writing and helping established writers market themselves. Yeah, I know. Specific. Scary stuff, right?

Except it’s not scary. It doesn’t mean I can’t help non-writers with writing (I do it all the time), it just means I have an ideal client who I focus on the most.

In the end I found the easiest way to write an elevator pitch was by filling in the blank. Here are two formulas I found helpful.

How to write an elevator pitch example ONE

The biggest problem my audience has is _________________ and I can solve this problem by (showing them, giving them, etc.) ___________________, which will allow them to ________________ and that really speaks to their desire to ________________.

I found this over on Zach Spuckler’s site in a freebie called Your First Course Playbook. I have no idea if it’s still kicking around but I thought it was a good exercise.

How to write an elevator pitch example TWO

I help _________________ (target population) with/gain/develop _________________ (problem) by delivering _________________ (your solution).

This is from a six-week coaching program I did last summer called Simplify Your Social Media and Spark Your Sales. It isn’t offered anymore but if it ever is again I will let you know. I LOVED every second of it and ran through it a few times after the initial course. I like how simple this sentence is. It helped me narrow my gaze enough to commit to an elevator pitch.


Do you want the worksheets that go with this training?

I’ve added the two elevator pitch templates from this post as a free download to my resource library. This is a freebie you’ll need a password to access the library itself. You can get the password by popping your email address into the form below.

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The phrase "elevator pitch" came from explaining what you do, who you serve and what makes you different in the time it would take to ride an elevator.

Other Helpful Articles

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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Elevator speech. Elevator statement. Elevator pitch. Why are we on an elevator all the time? The phrase came from the idea you need to figure out a way to explain what you do, who you serve, and what makes you different in the time it would take to ride an elevator. It's a short, compelling sales pitch. So, how do you write an elevator pitch?

What’s a Social Media Manager and Why Should I Care?

I heard of the social media manager title years ago, but never considered I would or could be one. I figured it was for someone else, someone who went to school for new media or social media management (things that didn’t exist when I did my bachelor of journalism). But then my LinkedIn job suggestions started getting…obvious.

What's a Social Media Manager?

But I’m a writer! Who cares about what a social media manager is!

Here’s a splash of what I see whenever I check LinkedIn Jobs to see what’s new and who’s hiring.

  • Social Media Coordinator
  • Copywriter
  • Office Administrator
  • An Open Letter to _______’s Future Marketer
  • Client Success Coach
  • Marketing Specialist
  • Social Media Manager
  • PR Consultant
  • Marketing and Events Coordinator
  • Brand Publishing Specialist

Keep in mind these are the jobs posted in the past seven days in my area, which LinkedIn thought I’d be a good match for. If you’re a writer but have collected different skills, experience, connections, etc. you may have a different snapshot. But do you see what I’m talking about?

Two reactions come to mind I must choose between.

  1. Wow, this social network doesn’t know me at all
  2. When did I become a social media manager?

So I begin wondering, what’s a social media manager and is it different from what I’m doing now?

Well I’ll cut to the chase, all 10 of these postings are about the same. The type of work, the skills involved, the experience required, everything. No matter if it’s administrator level, coordinator level or management level. Now that’s confusing!

This tells me a few things. First, I need to understand all the ways people think of the skills I have—calling myself a writer without attaching any of the other keywords strips out nine of these jobs. Wow. Yet all require the exact same skills. OK…

What now?


Here’s what’s in the modern-day social media manager’s toolkit

  • Fluent in social—all social (paying attention to social trends, dos and don’ts, what’s hot and what’s not)
  • Strong writing skills (with a specialization in content marketing/copy writing)
  • A people-first approach to everything (a service mindset, which not only has you listening to your customers and industry chatter but being engaged in your community)
  • Graphically inclined (not a pro, but you need the basics of design and video production)
  • Comfortable with social selling (and understanding how this is done)
  • Competent at SEO and analytics (yes you will have to run campaigns and reports)
  • Confident public speaker (yes you will have to use Instastories and Facebook Live—you may even have to speak on a panelin person)
  • An understanding of human behaviour (you don’t have to have a psych degree but you do need to understand what works and what doesn’t, what people want and what they don’t)
  • Reasonable budgeting skills (show me the money! Er…show your clients how you’re spending their money!)
  • Adaptable (this industry is like a river—moving fast and constant, you have to keep up with the changes and adapt as necessary)
  • Curious and savvy (in order to succeed as a social media manager, you need to know what works—but if you’re ahead of the curve you’ll be able to move your clients’ business strategies forward faster and won’t be distracted by fleeting trends or vanity metrics)
  • Strong grasp of marketing (specifically strategy and digital, email, and funnel marketing)

If this seems like three jobs in one, you’re right.

And if it seems like a lot of different skill sets wrapped up into one, you’re right again. But this seems to be where the industry is at these days and if you want to compete, you need at least a cursory knowledge of these tools.

Keep in mind the typical day-to-day tasks a social media manager executes each day are a little less overwhelming: writing and scheduling posts, running ads, replying to fans and creating graphics.

See? Not so bad. However, the only way this works is with a strong foundation—a strong social marketing strategy. This is where the real value of a social media manager comes in. If you have good instincts and can build a strong strategy for your client, you are going to see great results. So stay at it and invest in yourself!

Are you looking to level-up your business on social? Need a social media manager? Let’s chat! Let me know what problems you’re looking to solve and I’ll be happy to send you a quote.

I never considered I would or could be a social media manager. It was for someone else, someone who went to school for new media or social media management.

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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Creative Places to Find Clients

There are a lot of places to find clients but the well-known places are competitive. Since I like avoiding hustle whenever possible (unless, you know, I need clients YESTERDAY) I like looking in less-obvious places for freelance work.

creative places to find clients

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Creative places to find clients

Part of me wants to keep these creative places a secret so I’ll be the only one who knows about them but a bigger part of me wants to help other freelancers find work so here we go. Maybe there’s a new idea or two in here for you today.

Idea #1: From your day job

While this is an awesome place to find clients you do need to pay attention to your company’s privacy policy and it’s better if you keep your boss in the loop with any outside-of-work relationships you have with work affiliates.

Assuming everything is above board and your freelance work happens outside of your day job, doing some side gig stuff with people you interact with every day makes a lot of sense. On a professional level they know, like, and trust you as you do them. And you already know you can work well together. You just need to keep the boundaries in tact so you don’t overstep in either direction.

Idea #2: From your family and friends

I’ve mentioned this before (the best way to let people know you’re available for freelance work is by telling them you’re available for freelance work) but it’s one of those sort of awkward things so I want to mention it again.

What you don’t want is to bug your friends and family and have them throw pity work at you. You also don’t want them to assume since they’re your friends and family you’ll work for a massive discount (or for free). So how do you create an environment where your friends and family know you’re available for freelance work and are happy to pay you for it? Now, that is the finesse of it. Everyone will find her own balance so the takeaway here is to put yourself out there and let people know you’re available.

Idea #3: From places you’re a client

This is another time where you’ll need to tread with care and be sensitive to appropriate timing but there’s nothing wrong with mentioning you’re a freelancer while engaging in small talk and allowing the conversation to go where it may. I’ve had many experiences where I’m asked to leave my card behind or picked up the odd client from a place where I’m a client. I love it!

Of course you’re not becoming a client in order to find clients…that’s not a hustle I’d recommend, but if it happens organically…awesome!

Idea #4: From guest blogging

Guest blogging, guest writing (whatever), is an interesting beast. If you look around the Internet for long enough you’ll see a wide variety of opinions and teachings on why you should do guest blogging, why you shouldn’t do guest blogging, why you should never write for free, why you should write for free sometimes, etc.

I’m not here to talk about any of that. I think you should figure out what is going to move the needle forward and then do it with abandon. Anyway, got a little off topic there. If you get into guest blogging and are choosing good partners, this could turn into a writer-client relationship. Honest! I’ve seen it happen! So keep building into your relationships!

Idea #5: From partnerships

This idea launches from the last one—build relationships with others and form mutually-beneficial relationships. This could be an agency, a freelancer with complimentary skills, or a local business. The big idea is you share clients. No you don’t get 100 per cent of the pay but you also don’t have to do 100 per cent of the work and in some cases this is an awesome arrangement.

Idea #6: From local events/workshops

Something I’ve noticed about freelancers is they’re out in the community a lot. Working freelance has them attending events, observing meetings, and talking to a lot of different people. So what about throwing a little extra networking in while you’re already out? Do what you’re there to do but also mention you’re a freelance writer and if it makes sense, mention you’re available for hire or pass out a business card or two.

This last point is extra exciting to me these days because I’m in the midst of building a workshop for freelancers, which developed from a pre-existing relationship, turned into a collective and is now a collaboration. Wow. When we began building these relationships this workshop was not even a dream. And yet, here we are.

Places to find clients: In conclusion

I hope I’ve given you a few new ideas to try here. Remember, marketing is a long game and it’s something you sprinkle into every day—while you’re busy doing other things. If you want some more tips and tricks you’ll enjoy my article on learning how to rock your marketing even when you don’t have time for marketing.

There are a lot of places to find clients but the well-known places are competitive. Since I like avoiding hustle whenever possible (unless, you know, I need clients YESTERDAY) I like looking in less-obvious places for freelance work. Part of me wants to keep these creative places a secret so I'll be the only one who knows about them but a bigger part of me wants to help other freelancers find work so here we go. Maybe there's a new idea or two in here for you today.

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

* indicates required

Firing a Client | Freelance Writing Tips

If you’ve freelanced for any amount of time you may have considered firing a client at some point. It sounds harsh and scary, I mean…you’ve worked so hard to land these clients! And now you’re thinking about firing them? Isn’t that a bit ungrateful?

Firing a Client | Freelance Writing Tips

Firing a client

Truth is, sometimes it’s not a good fit.

Here is a story to put this type of situation in context. A few weeks ago a fellow freelancer contacted me. She said, “Have you ever quit a client? I am seriously considering it and I am having trouble finding wisdom!”

Of course, I was happy to talk it out. This isn’t an easy decision to make. Because you want it to work! Or you feel guilty because you thought it was a good fit but now that you’re a few months in you can tell it’s not. It’s OK, this happens.

My friend said the work just wasn’t what she thought it was. The way her clients assigned, reviewed and approved work felt to her like someone was always watching over her shoulder and tweaking her work over and over until it no longer resembled something she would have created. This didn’t work for her.

She knew she couldn’t continue like this, no amount of sucking it up was going to fix it. So she wondered if she should fire her client and make a clean break or if she should offer feedback and see if they were willing to change their processes.

How much did she want to keep this client?

No matter what she decided, she knew she had to make a change. When a freelancing situation goes a bit sour it can make you feel inept and underpaid. It’s frustrating and tricky and when this happens it’s definitely time to consider firing a client or two.

If you are in a place where you feel like your client isn’t a good fit it doesn’t mean you’re being a diva. It may just mean you’re becoming clear on what kind of freelancer you want to be. Sometimes the right decision is a polite yet clear discussion about the situation and finding a workable solution. And sometimes the right decision is referring the client to a different freelancer and moving on.

Blogger turned copywriter

Sometimes you outgrow the relationship or go different directions.

One of my first regular clients was my DREAM COME TRUE. I was tasked with tackling DIY projects with a bent towards upcycling and then writing a blog post about it. I loved DIY and upcycling and I couldn’t have asked for a better freelance writing gig.

Things went well for quite a while and I enjoyed the different projects I got to work on. But as my writing improved and my career progressed, I found myself less and less engaged. The projects were time intensive and the pay was low. While I was fine with this when I was first getting started after a few years it didn’t make sense anymore. Plus my other freelance writing clients were not in the DIY/crafting space so my portfolio was moving further and further away from this niche.

The big sign that it was time to move on was the sense of dread I felt whenever a deadline loomed. I no longer scoured Pinterest looking for new and exciting projects to try. Now I looked for projects I could do in an hour or less composed of materials I already had on hand.

When I took an honest look at the writing projects I had on my plate and how they made me feel, I realized I had outgrown this client, my heart was no longer in it and it was time to move on.

Freelance writing opportunities

Sometimes your current clients are holding you back from your ideal clients.

Even if your client is a decent fit and you enjoy the work there may still be a case for firing a client. I learned this when I worked with business writing coach Ed Gandia.

The problem he was helping me solve was increasing my freelance writing revenue without taking on additional clients. Because I work a day job and have limited time available for freelancing, I had no other option but to raise my rates!

Ed challenged me to go for better-paying clients and as I landed them to let go of my bottom 20 per cent of clients.

This was a big move for me and definitely brought my insecurity to the forefront. In order to charge more you have to believe you’re worth higher fees. And you have to figure out strategies to state your fees with confidence and not buckle when prospects tell you you’re too expensive. Terrifying!

How did I finally get on board?

I started valuing my time better. I only have a few hours a week I can spend on freelancing so the work I do and the projects I take on have to be worth it. Working on my freelance business means time not doing other things, for example hanging out with my husband. So I needed to come to terms with a rate that I can feel confident about my choices/priorities.

And part of that coming to terms included identifying which clients were in my bottom 20 per cent and learning how to let them go as I landed better-paying ones.

If you've freelanced for any amount of time you may have considered firing a client at some point. But you've worked hard to land these clients! What gives?

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

* indicates required