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The Edge

Success Strategies for People Who Work With Words

10 February 2009

In This Issue

  • Director's Spotlight: February Member of the Month, Michelle Hill, and Words Matter Week
  • New Benefits: In-Home Tech Support Discount
  • Featured Success Strategy: "Freelance Advantages in a Sluggish Economy" by member Peter Bowerman, Words Matter Week Speaker

Director's Spotlight

Dear [[firstname]],
 
We've had a few pretty days in Virginia, and they are just enough to set off the longing for spring. Swelling buds on the trees, green-tinted fields that were brown last week, and a pair of bluebirds apartment-shopping in the neighborhood tempt me to escape outdoors, but the air is still damp with winter chill. Spring is coming, though!
 
Our February Member of the Month is Michelle Hill of Winning Proof. Michelle's interview is posted on the NewsWire blog, along with a link to the interview in podcast format . Podcasts are another way to reach potential clients, so we have added them as a service to you. Michelle will be able to use her interview and podcast, along with her NAIWE website as a 24/7 introduction to her services. How priceless is that?
 
Words Matter Week is just three weeks away, and we are adding speakers almost daily. So far, we've posted photos and brief introductions to John Kremer (1001 Ways to Market Your Books), Peter Bowerman (The Well-Fed Writer and The Well-Fed Self-Publisher), Deborah Levine-Herman (Write the Perfect Book Proposal), and Jeff Herman (Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, and Agents). It's not often that you can hear so many respected experts addressing issues of concern to writers and editors, all without charge!
 
You won't miss any of the Words Matter Week week announcements if you're on the e-zine mailing list, so if you've received this e-zine from a friend, please visit www.NAIWE.com and subscribe to "The Edge." As an added incentive for signing up, all subscribers will be eligible for book give-aways during Words Matter Week. 
 
To your growing success,
 
Janice Campbell
Director, NAIWE

New Benefit and Survey News

--New Benefit (and limited-time discount): At NAIWE, we are constantly looking for products and services that will provide value and enhance productivity. We recently found a service that will assist you when you're having computer difficulties. This service is a computer help line where computer technicians are trained to diagnose and resolve a wide variety of problems that happen with PCs, MACs, e-mail, wireless networks, Blackberrys, iPhones, the Microsoft Office suite and more! You can see the Scope of Service in the Member Area of the website for more details.

How It Works – Call a toll free number that's just for NAIWE members and receive unlimited computer support Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST.  Call as often as needed for as long as needed. For more challenging problems, technicians will connect to your computer remotely to solve your problem. [Note from Janice: I had a major server problem fixed remotely in this way a couple of weeks ago, and it saved me hours of frustration!]

Cost –NAIWE has negotiated an exclusive, members-only price of $120.00 per person, per year.  The standard retail price for this service is $249.00 per person, per year. 

Sign up NOW and save even more! Any member who signs up for this service by Saturday, March 7, 2009 will receive the exclusive "Words Matter" rate of $99.00 per person, per year.  When signing up for this service, please enter coupon code, WMWEEK09 to get your discount.

I'll be talking with Tim McMullen, co-founder and managing partner of the company that is providing this service for members, in a teleseminar during Words Matter Week. We'll talk about the service and there will be plenty of time for you to call in and ask questions at the end. You'll see his bio and photo up on the Words Matter page in a couple of days.

--Survey: We are still analyzing the results of the January survey, "What do you want most?" and will be posting a detailed article soon. For now, you may get a quick overview of the results of the ranking portion at Survey Monkey . The password is  naiwe0109surveyx.

Remember, members are welcome to submit items for the NewsWire blog, including news about books completed or published, interesting projects, industry news, links to resources and articles of interest, funny writing mistakes you spot in public places, etc. Just e-mail your submission to editor @ naiwe.com

Featured Success Strategy

Freelance Advantages in a Sluggish Economy

By Peter Bowerman

CNN.com: “MORE BUSINESSES USING FREELANCERS”

Mainstream News Outlet Confirms What Most FLCW’s Know, But Still Love to Hear!

We established Freelance Commercial Writers (FLCW’s) have long known the serious bottom-line advantages to a company of hiring freelancers: no salaries, benefits and vacation; they pay for only what they need, when they need it; fresh “outsider” perspectives; and access to a wide range of talent. If you’ve ever heard me speak live about our field, that rap takes center stage. It’s crucial to establish the self-interest as a way of explaining why it’s no fad. 

An alert reader sent me a link to a CNN.com article that underscores this reality – good news in these uncertain times.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/worklife/01/14/freelance.nation/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

According to one quoted expert, “More companies are using freelancers because their businesses are becoming more project-based.” Economic uncertainty has companies shortening their vision from long-term initiatives (which would argue for full-time employees) to the next business cycle, which would drive short-term project work. Makes sense. And given that economic uncertainty, the piece points out, it’s easier to get sign-off for shorter, less ambitious projects than to hire a new employee.

One thing I noticed years back when we went through a similar contraction was this: while many companies gravitated by necessity to the freelancer model, they came to appreciate the advantages of it so much that even when things did turn around, they continued to hiring freelancers. It was an efficient model for ANY economy.

Sure, says the article, it can work the other way as well: the very flexibility of the freelancer model allows for quick, no-cost scaling-back (i.e., you stop hiring as many freelancers). Not to mention that laid-off employees can turn freelance (a great strategy for any newly pink-slipped – or soon-to-be – readers looking to build a FLCW business), which doesn’t help the existing freelancers.

On balance, we freelancers stand to benefit handsomely in a down economy. But the key to capitalizing is professionalism and teaming. Be buttoned-up in every aspect of your business, and be prepared to team with other creative pros (especially graphic designers), when the opportunities arise, to deliver the same end-to-end solutions they’ve grown accustomed to getting from higher-priced agencies or employees charged with managing projects from start to finish. You CAN eat well in these times. Many are.

Author: Peter Bowerman is the author of The Well-Fed Writer and TWFW: Back For Seconds, how-to “standards” in the lucrative field of commercial freelancing – writing for businesses, large and small, and for hourly rates of $50-125+. (For a free report entitled, “Why Commercial Writing?” click here.)

(C) 2009 Peter Bowerman

Note: Peter is a member of NAIWE, but like many others, he's been busy and hasn't gotten around to working with his website and blog. He already has a well-developed website, so getting the NAIWE site up is not as critical for him as it is for someone who doesn't have another presence on the Internet. However, the NAIWE site can provide a valuable link to his primary site, making it easier for new clients, book purchasers, and others to find him. I'm sure he'll have it up soon, and I hope you have yours up too. If you have any difficulty, just e-mail, and we'll do our best to help.
 
If you would like to have a tech-savvy teen post your resume or CV, along with samples or testimonials and an introductory blog post, we have contracted with a pair who will do this, including up to three pages of content, for a flat fee of $100.

Announcements

Words Matter Week 2009 is scheduled for the first week in March. We are lining up speakers for each day (Monday-Friday), book give-aways, and an opportunity to "Give a child a book!" through donations to First Book (just $2.50 will provide a needy child with a new book-- you can join our team and donate any time). As plans come together, I'll post more information on the website and at the event page on Facebook . If you're on Facebook , LinkedIn , or Twitter , you're welcome to send a friend request and I'll accept. 
 
Don't forget to take the writer/editor survey and pass it on! We have over 250 responses so far, and hope for more before the survey closes at the end of January.

Reminder 
If your member website is ready, and you'd like to be considered for a future Member of the Month interview, please e-mail me at janice@naiwe.com. Being featured as a Member of the Month is news that you can share with your current and former clients as a subtle promotional tool. The information in the interview can help you begin to establish relationship marketing ties that can make a difference in how well your clients and readers remember you.
 
The next available interview will be for the March newsletter, so you have plenty of time to post a professional profile and other information to your website. If you're not yet a member, there's plenty of time to go to the "Join NAIWE " page, become a member, and post your information so that you, too, can be a Member of the Month.

Copyright 2009 by Everyday Education, LLC.
This issue of The Edge is brought to you by the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors. If you're not a member, we invite you to join us , and experience all our success and support benefits!
 
You're welcome to forward this e-zine in its entirety to others who may be interested in building their word-oriented business. Please be sure to include a personal note, so they'll know whom to thank!