WordPress Camp 2018: The place to be
I had a delightful time on 17th March, 2018. No, I am not talking about watching a movie or partying. I am referring to the Word Camp 2018 organized by WordPress/ Automattic.
The venue was Infinite Corridor, Academic Section, IIT Powai, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
I attended two session; both on writing.
The first session was on ‘To do list to follow when you get into freelance writing’ by Fairy Dharawat
The second session was a workshop on Story Telling by Dhara Kothari
To begin with Fairy discussed about
- How to start as a freelance writer?
- You need to have clients:
Before you launch yourself as a freelance writer ensure that you have enough clients. Otherwise it would turn out that you’ve begun as a freelance writer and you don’t have much work to do nor do you earn much.
You have to get in touch with everyone who you know can hire you for writing assignments. Get into the habit of calling people and informing them that you are a freelance writer now and you need work. I know it feels as if you are begging but, that is how you will get work. Just network extensively.
- How will you network and get in touch with people?
Call up your previous bosses and get connected to them through social media, especially through LinkedIn. It’s a professional networking site and you are bound to get some assignments through LinkedIn, which provides a premium offer for a month which is totally free and you should certainly avail to it.
Attend conferences and meets like Word Camp. Be in touch with people no matter how much you dislike socializing.
- Learn to write great messages:
When you write messages show interest in the work of the person you are connecting with. Hit a connect by appreciating people and try to know more about them. Gradually, you can share that you are a freelance writer and you are searching for assignments.
Writing great messages in an art and if you wish your business to grow, learn it.
- Building relationships and maintaining them:
You are writer, so sometimes treating this as a business is difficult. But, you have to, if you want to survive and grow as a freelance writer, build relationships and maintain them.
Keep meeting a lot of people and know what they are doing presently. You never know, work might come your way through them. Also, meet online friends and stay connected with people always.
- Two vital questions to ask yourself:
Before you choose freelance assignment ask these two questions to yourself:
- Can I write what clients are asking for?
Know your strengths; can you write technical or creative stuff? There might be times when you are expected to write on technical topics but, do you have the skills to write technically?
- How much time you are dedicating for the assignment?
Calculate how much time you are going to dedicate to the assignment.
When work comes your way, its tempting to take it up. But, its wiser to consider if you have the skills to justify the kind of writing you are expected to do. So learn to say ‘no’.
- Things to know about your client:
- Is the client going to be flexible about the timeline and going to adjust to you?
- Will the client be available to answer your doubts?
Often clients think that since you work from home, the work will be delivered soon or according to their timeline. But, you have to clarify that you are working on multiple projects and you have to fit things into a certain time frame. So be assertive to demonstrate to them that content will not be available on urgent basis.
Be sure to ask for an advance before starting to work. Ideally ask for 50% advance. If that is not acceptable ask for atleast 25%. Be firm about this and safeguard your interest. There are chances that you won’t get paid, but don’t be demotivated in this case.
Its good to work with people you know or if you are working with someone you don’t know its best to develop a great relationship with them or probably have a contract signed.
Two things you need to keep in mind:
- The time and efforts you will require to complete the assignment.
- Does the content expected to deliver match your skill and talent?
- The brand – which brand you are working for? If it’s a prestigious brand you should charge more.
- Ask how much people in your industry charge for the kind of work you are doing?
Prepare a to do list every month:
- To do list per month:
- Workshops you attended?
- How many people you met at the workshop?
- Emails and messages sent to people to collaborate and request for assignments.
- People and friends, you met
Remember guys, map your energy and replenish it by spending time with your friends and family. Because, often freelancers work a lot.
Story telling workshop by Dhara Kothari
After the to do lists on freelance writing, Dhara Kothari an extremely experienced writer held a workshop on story telling.
She emphasized on the purpose and uses of story telling through two games that she played with the audience. It was an extremely interactive session and the audience kept asking for more.
She said that storytelling is with humans since ancient times and it is used to convey a message or a moral.
She had cards that had pictures on it and someone from the audience came forth to pick three of them and connect them to tell a story. Interestingly, a wonderful story got woven in the process.
Also, she initiated a story by mentioning two lines and the audiences bit by bit carried it forward to give it a fabulous end. Story telling is fun, entertaining and you also get to unearth your creativity through it.
Through a story you can convey thoughts and sometimes convince others of your thoughts and ideas. You can get your point through convincingly and it also grabs the attention of audiences.
Writing is my passion and both the sessions were focused on it. One was more on the practical aspect of it and the another on creativity. Both the session beautifully balanced passion and practicality of being a writer.
© Copyright 2018 Rashmi S. Malapur All rights reserved.