NASW09 McKenna ppt

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NASW 09 preso on business aspects of freelance writing

NASW 09 preso on business aspects of freelance writing

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  • 1. Running a business about writing is like programming a dance about architecture (with apologies to Mies, Miles, Elvis, Immanuel, or whoever really said that) Maryn McKenna NASW 2009
  • 2.
    • “ The old stuff gets broken faster than the new stuff is put in its place.”
    • Clay Shirky, 13 March 2009
  • 3. The post-papers transition:
    • THEN:
    • You are a writer.
    • NOW:
    • You are the sole proprietor of a business that sells a commodity: the use of your time .
    • (You use it to write.)
  • 4. As business owner you have to…
    • house the business, pay mortgage or rent, and deductions
    • handle payroll and benefits
    • procure office supplies
    • provide technology and manage IT needs and crises
    • identify new clients and market the business to them
    • retain and manage relationships with existing clients
    • produce and distribute your product.
  • 5. There are things you cannot do without
    • Work space (studio, friend’s spare room, writers’ rooms - NOT coffee houses)
    • Tech (the best you can afford unless you are a geek; old stuff will waste your scarce time)
    • Business-ops software (NOT the best you can afford because there’s too much free stuff out there:
    • )
  • 6. … tasks you have to perform
    • Group stupid errands or assign away
      • Amazon sells filled cartridges cheaper than big-box stores
      • Barter, trade, offshore
    • Tune up your productivity
    • Assess your earnings per-word v. per-hour
      • $2.50/word at 1mm-circ magazine may be less/hour than .50/word website
      • Aim for a mix that includes prestige names, easy income, steady work
  • 7. … be ruthless with those so you have time to do these
    • Claim your niche (NASWers already have)
    • Maintain and build your network (it’s where work comes from )
    • Market your name/reputation/brand
      • Website, blog, other’s blogs (and host on yours)
      • Facebook, Flickr, whatever fits your product
    • Pay knowledge forward visibly
      • Digg, Reddit, Twitter
    • (Yes, this is all uncompensated)
  • 8. Contact the author at:
    • [email_address]