All Posts in Category: Freelance Psychology
With our early bird registration, we offer a chance to get a huge discount (more than 25% off!) for being one of the first to snag a spot in one of our live retreats at our private retreat location in the Catskills.
We’re especially excited to open up this batch of retreats, because they’re one of the sweetest times to be in the Catskills—literally!
Summer retreats get to take the best advantage of our on-site farm, with salads festooned with edible flowers, more than a dozen different types of heirloom tomatoes, and special produce we grow from all around the world.
Even If You’re a Pitch Wizz and an Idea Magnet, You’ll Still Struggle to Get Pitches Out if You’re Missing This
People who aren’t happy with the types or quantity of the paid travel articles they’re writing tend to come in two flavors:
- they’re established writers, even established magazine writers, that always work with the same editors and have lost the confidence to pitch new-to-them markets
- they pitch so infrequently (and spend the rest of their writing time writing assigned work for content shops OR for themselves on their own blog or a novel project) that sending five pitches in one month is a serious event
On a very basic level, you could say that a regular, concerted pitching effort could bring about serious changes for people in these situations.
And pitching is actually very easy. It just involves writing 150 to 250 words. That only takes ten minutes! So these folks are all set, right?
We’ve done a huge upload of our webinar library, and you can now grab packages with audio, video, slide, and transcript versions of:
- The Difference Between the Photos You’re Shooting Now and What Magazines are Publishing – The photos you’re shooting for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and your blog won’t cut it for magazines.
- Creating a Shot List to Organize Your Trips Around Saleable Photography – This one technique will keep you from coming home without the photos you need to land photo contracts with your pieces.
- Plating, Staging, and Food Photography: Bringing Still Lifes to Life – You could pay $1,200 for a weekend food photography workshop, but here’s what you need to know to get started.
- The Art of the Follow Up — The Simple Key to Dramatically More Assignments – Your guide to what might be the most valuable hour of your entire week.
- What Types of Articles Should You Be Writing? – Once you see each article idea in 10 different formats, you’ll never hurt for pitch ideas.
- Mastering Style at a Sentence by Sentence Level – Your pitches will be the only clip you need when the quality of your writing shines through.
- Story Structure to Take Your Feature Travel Articles to the Next Level – Narrative writing can be terrifying. Once you learn the underlying structure though, it’s smooth-sailing.
- Annual Review Part 1: What is Standing Between You and Your Travel Writing Goals – The most likely roadblocks between you and your travel writing goals–and how to tackle them.
- Annual Review Part 2: How to Clearly Catalog the Work and Opportunities You Have Now – To know where your travel writing business needs to go, you need to be honest about where it is now…in numbers.
- Annual Review Part 3: Taking Stock of the Past Year to SWOT Yourself Into Shape – Align your freelance business with the marketplace and the best place in it for you.
- Annual Review Part 4: Getting Crystal Clear on What You’ll Accomplish in the Next Year – Rather than goals–an all-or-nothing approach to what you’ll do next year–focus your year with this method.
- Annual Review Part 5: Mapping Out Your Step-by-Step Plan for 2018 Success – Follow along with your year-long work plan as we workshop three attendees’ live.
- Article Nuts and Bolts: Putting Together a News Brief – Learn the core of how all front-of-book magazine pieces are constructed.
- Article Nuts and Bolts: Putting Together a Front-of-Book Round-Up – Hone in on the easy-to-write (and pitch!) staple: the front-of-book round-up.
- Article Nuts and Bolts: Putting Together a Trend Piece – An in-depth look at the staple of magazines front-of-book and feature sections everywhere: the trend piece.
- Article Nuts and Bolts: Putting Together a Business Profile – An in-depth look the type of article that should be the bread and butter of your freelance travel writing toolkit.
At an event for business executives I attended last week, the facilitator shared something that is a bit of a myth in the business world.
The short version is: in a room full of nearly 1,000 entrepreneurs, when asked how they track and check in daily with their goals, it turned out the that four wealthiest people in the room all carried a paper with their goals in their wallet on somewhere else on their person.
Let me say this again, because it bears repeating. In a room full of people who had successfully started their own businesses, the ones who made the most looked at their goals regularly.
Uncertainty causes stress.
I didn’t pull data on this, because I think it’s something we can all agree on anecdotally. Viscerally in fact.
When I first started helping travel writers finally reach their goals and dramatically grow their income, I saw, straight away, that the single, simple, easy answer to how to get from where each writer was to where they wanted to be was simple: pitch.
So I worked up live and online programs, workshops, and webinars to combat this great “evil,” the fear of pitching.
But, of the course of that work with writers, I found that while they were telling me their pitches were the problem, the responses they were getting from editors were telling them (and me!) that their ideas were really the problem.
That’s why, based on our live IdeaFest retreat, our new four-week program is designed to provide a serious and lasting foundation to turn you into an idea machine, turning up dozens of article ideas every day. And I’ve already seen the transformation happening daily with the writers beta-testing the program this past month, who regularly share exclamations like:
“The tips were really useful! I managed to double my article ideas for the magazines I identified!”
“Done! Love this exercise. Makes it visually accessible to see all the ideas for one place, along with the magazines and the sections to pitch.”
“This was a super useful exercise!”
“This actually helped me discover sections of magazines I might not have looked at otherwise.”
“As I started this exercise I really didn’t like it too much, but did finally break past a little barrier and thought of some good stuff!”
“Woo-hoo! I managed to find ideas around all nine articles types from the one concept. “
“This was fun! Each trip has so many aspects to share!”
“This was a really great exercise for me, and it helped me realize that even small things from an experience can lead to an entire article.”
It sounds totally counter-intuitive, but we have spent a lot of the past four weeks in our five-week series on reviewing your past year and setting the course for the year ahead talking about why goals don’t work.
I wholeheartedly believe that goals can be a real impediment to moving your travel writing career forward.
Before I reached a point where I had clients I enjoyed working with, enough work (at at least $100/hour) that I didn’t need to do any marketing, and complete control over my schedule, I had a lot of goals for my freelance lifestyle and my writing.
And a lot of the folks that come to me for freelance business coaching have very strongly held goals as well.
In fact, I think it’s one of the things that separates the dreamers from the doers in many ways.
I’ve been so delighted to hear by email and in the chat rooms of our webinars from many of you how our annual review webinars are making you see where and how you can improve your business in the year ahead.
If you haven’t yet joined the series, here’s what we’ve covered so far:
- What is Standing Between You and Your Travel Writing Goals: As the beginning of our series on working through a comprehensive inventory of your business, where it’s going wrong, and a clear tactical plan that fits with your life to move you through the next year, we devoted a full hour to discussing the most common issues that keep travel writers spinning their weeks and how we will chart a course through them in the coming weeks.
- How to Clearly Catalogue the Work and Opportunities You Have Now to See When Your Need to Go: We dove head first into an honest look at exactly what each of you has in your income, relationship, and opportunity inventory as we continue our series on annual reviews as a travel writer. We not only walked through exactly what data on your business to collect for your review, but also how to draw conclusions from it as to what you need to do differently or more of in the year ahead. *BONUS* This work will also give you a huge leg up on your taxes, in addition to positioning you to be just the helper your favorite editors need this time of year.
We’ve looked a lot on our blog in the past week about what can happen when you don’t tune into exactly what is going on with your business.
But I know general freelance advice can seem so abstract.
That’s why I like to put specific numbers on things.
When I start working with new one-on-one coaching clients, the first thing they do is complete a detailed form about their income goals, satisfaction and income level with current clients, and how they are spending their time and one what.
And I’ve noticed a very disturbing trend around the number two.
It’s the descendent of Marmite, if that rings more bells.
Both are classed by most people as disgusting, but something you need to try at least once when visiting Australia (Vegemite) or the U.K. (Marmite) for the first time.
But aside from being a seriously acquired taste (or mouth-puckering, depending who you ask), most visitors don’t really know what they’re putting in their mouth–or why it’s the perfect example of the gap between successul and struggling businesses.