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Blizzard Conditions … in Florida?

Mindy McHorse, back to wrap up your final edition of AWAI’s Bootcamp 2013 event.

I love Bootcamp for a lot of reasons, but one of those is that it always saves me from myself. You see, every now and then, I decide I’m a crappy writer and I have no clue how to do this stuff.

And even though it doesn’t happen often, it’s a detrimental attitude that totally eclipses my seven years of successful freelancing — not to mention the fact I’ve earned close to 200% more in income over the years than I would have if I’d stayed at my old job in management.

But when I’m here at Bootcamp, all those useless thoughts freeze over. Instead, I’m pelted with shiny, fresh ideas that start to snowball. They build bigger ideas. That breeds confidence. From there, I move to action.

And I’m not the only one.

Over the past several Bootcamps I’ve been to, I’ve watched what I call “the snowball effect” start to happen all over the conference (especially at Job Fair, which we’ll be holding tonight):

  • One conversation leads to another, which leads to an introduction, which forms a relationship. That’s what happened when a copywriter friend of mine sparked a conversation with a major marketer, who invited him to lunch. The copywriter asked to bring his roommate, and the two got the scoop on how to win the paid Spec assignment the marketer was offering. One of the writers went on to be a long-term, well-paid freelancer for the marketer’s company.
  • A group of new writers who wound up poolside after the last event of the day ended up talking, connecting, and forming a mastermind group so powerful they all say it helped launch their now high-paying writing careers.
  • One female writer friend of mine found herself sharing a cab to the airport with someone who happened to be a hiring client in the financial industry. My friend made some comments about her dabblings in short-term stocks. The client asked her a few questions and learned she was well-versed on the subject. Before she knew it, she was hired to work on projects directed to the female prospects in the client’s audience.

Do you see what I mean? Just putting yourself out there … taking the first step … not worrying about what everybody else thinks … soaking up the great ideas and turning them into your own fantastic goals … and letting all that snowball … is exactly how long-term, profitable freelance writing careers are born and sustained.

To get you started, here are some of the best tips I’ve heard here at Bootcamp this year:

  • Yesterday, Ilise Benun talked about the five marketing tools worth bothering with if you want high-quality clients who value (and pay for) your services. She said something that hit home when it comes to positioning your services: “It’s not about you. Your positioning is about what your clients need to hear.”
  • Then Steve Slaunwhite covered the three things you need to know to succeed in B2B — or really, any writing niche. They are: Know the projects, know how to write persuasively, and know how to market yourself effectively. Ignore everything that veers you off-course from those three goals.
  • And Clayton Makepeace, this morning, shared a 15-point headline checklist, which included making sure your headline is colloquial, has conviction, and points the reader to the copy below.

If you let it, every conversation, idea, and new acquaintance in the writing world holds the potential for something great that will start to snowball. So get the ball rolling and take action. Write that Spec assignment you’ve been on the fence about. Send that inquiry email. Publish your professional website and let it ride the Internet. Position yourself to impress your clients. Stick to your goal of learning to write persuasively.

I know for a fact that’s going to happen at tonight’s Job Fair and that loads of freelance careers will take off at tonight’s Job Fair. So if you’re here, make the most of it. If you’re not, get Bootcamp on Demand and you'll get complete access to the Spec assignments, and you can build from there.

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Published: October 25, 2013

2 Responses to “Blizzard Conditions... in Florida?”

  1. Hi Mindy - great articles this week! I'd love your opinion on something. I have the at-home study program and just going to start assignment #1 this weekend. Do you think it is better to go through more of the program first before trying out the spec assignments? Thank you!

    Guest (Kellie)October 25, 2013 at 4:29 pm

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