Introducing — Monday Sparks for Freelancers [VIDEO]

Beginning today, I’ll be publishing a Monday Spark each week.

The idea is to wake you up, inspire you, get you revved up, and give you a little spark to start the week.

Why? Because freelancing can be a great way to live and work, but it can also be a challenge.

Yes, we are free and independent. We don’t have to go to the office or listen to a boss. As freelancers, our lives are our own, to do with as we wish.

But we are also alone, and it isn’t always easy to start the week fully motivated.

We are in free flight, without a parachute, flying low to the ground, and trying to stay aloft and achieve our dreams…but sometimes we need a little push, a little inspiration.

Which brings me to this morning’s spark…some free flight, literally… courtesy of the remarkable Jeb Corliss.

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Social media enables conversation. But do you?

using social media as a broadcast medium, talking at peopleOver the last few days I have been putting together a presentation about how to drive engagement through social media.

As I looked for examples, a couple of things struck me.

First, engagement is just a trendy word for conversation, and conversation is a big word for talking. In other words, social media is about talking with people.

Second, I discovered that almost nobody was actually using social media as a means to talk with people.

By far the most common use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social sites was simply to talk at people. Here is what I’m doing. Here is what I’m thinking. Here is what I have written. Here is some news about our latest product or service.

In other words, most companies are still using social media as a broadcast medium.

However, I did find companies that were taking the trouble to talk with their prospects and customers through social media.

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Your new site visitors and subscribers don’t know who you are, yet. [TIMELINE]

Yesterday I was reading an excellent post by Chris Brogan, Start Fresh.

In his post he talks about how while you move forward with your career, many of your readers have stepped in half way through the narrative. They may not know where you “came from” or how and why you do what you are doing today.

Very good point.

For myself, I have been earning my living as a writer for 30 years now, and I have been publishing my online newsletter for over 10 years.

I guess a small proportion of my current newsletter readers have been with me from the beginning. But I’m sure most haven’t.

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3 Key business assets every freelancer should nurture and protect.

As freelancers we keep ourselves busy either doing work or looking for work.

Nothing wrong with that. But there is something wrong with ignoring the key business assets on which your future success will be built.

Here are the three assets I consider essential to any freelancer who wants to grow an enduring and healthy business.

#1 – Deep relationships

The freelancer who completes one project and then seeks out another company for the next project is working inefficiently.

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A short video on how freelancers can profit from social media.

You don’t need to me to tell you how fast social media is growing. But you may not be aware of some of the actual figures…like how there are almost 700,000 updates being published on Facebook every 60 seconds.

Within the ongoing growth of social media, opportunities abound. And this is particularly true for freelancers who are, in many ways, ideally positioned to profit from social media.

To give you an idea of the scale of the opportunity for freelancers, I have created this short slideshow video…

The teleconference call mentioned in the video has come and gone, but you can learn more about my social media program here.

Think like Michelangelo: A freelancer’s guide to choosing great clients.

part of the sistine chapelHistorically, artists have always needed to find a patron. Sometimes the church, sometimes a nobleman or a merchant.

Without the support of a patron, artists wouldn’t have had the resources to do great work. We all have to eat.

And those patrons often gave pretty clear instructions regarding the topic of the art. For example, painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel wasn’t Michelangelo’s idea. The work was commissioned by Pope Julius II.

In fact, Michelangelo was reluctant to take on the project. He would rather have been sculpting.

But you know how it goes…what the client wants, the client gets. (Particularly when, in addition to being the Pope, you are also referred to as “Il papa terribile”.)

The thing being, the artist’s life isn’t so very different from the freelancer’s life.

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