Sunday, June 2, 2013
Recently I decided to pitch some freelance articles to one of my favorite clients. I don’t have much extra time for freelance but when I do, I pick subjects that benefit my time in more than one day – I’ll interview someone I admire and would have wanted to meet anyway. So I reached out to about five of these people via LinkedIn for the article that I was writing – and to be honest, while they all had great expertise for the piece, one of them particularly is both well-known and brilliant so I thought, she’ll never bother to get back to me, I’m sure she’s too busy.
As it turned out, this person was the *only* person to respond to my query.
It got me thinking: What if she is well-known and successful because she makes herself available? She’ll be quoted in my story, so maybe that gives her name a little SEO, and perhaps some clout for the content of the piece. Her career might not need it at this point but if it’s been a longtime habit to make herself available for other people’s projects, I am sure it adds up.
So, I went through my email and responded to the three people who had reached out asking me to either moderate or participate in a panel – all peripherally relevant to what I do, but those things get my name out there and give me exposure to people and often lead to further opportunities (plus, it’s good experience for future public speaking).
I’ve long believed that you can build a good career on talent but a great career requires relationships. Helping people by participating in a Q&A, submitting a guest blog post without pay and moderating panels is not hard work, especially if it becomes a habit, and it would seem the results can be exponential.
The most important thing for those taking their first steps is to put together the most professional package they can: a good book which has been professionally edited, a striking cover that speaks to your genre, a compelling blurb that entices your target audience, a killer opening that will hook any readers who sample, clean formatting that won’t pull the reader out of the narrative, and a price that won’t make them think twice.
great tips on self-publishing!
Last night I attended an event in NYC focused on discussing content and the future of journalism. Naturally, conversation shifted to native advertising and sponsored content, the latest trend.
Two things stuck out to me:
First, one of the members of the panel mentioned that in the magazine days, you could do a page of ads and a page of editorial, and call it even. That is, I think, the best example of why sponsored content is the way to go for digital publications. You can’t put small display ads *next* to “real” content because they are ignored, and also because they disappear altogether on mobile. However, if we return to the page model, imagine if every publication had one sponsored/branded content article for every one editorial piece? I think they’d start breaking even again. And that’s just one source of revenue (events, ebooks, subscriptions).
Second, someone on the panel argued that news content should never be sponsored. But wait, said the audience, how about Red Bull? It’s a media company, with branded content, but not *news* content. Much of news is pessimistic, and there’s not a single brand that has “pessimism” on its list of brand values. Therefore, VICE uses its investigative news content to generate and audience, and then sells that audience via subchannels (music, tech, design). So there is indeed a separation of church and state, even though advertising=content now.
With Elisha at Warby Parker’s store opening. Was impressed with the photo booth (as you can see!), the smart hashtag marketing – #121Greene, the address – and of course, the bookshelves, arranged by color with carefully selected classics of various hues.