It’s already 6 years since Bryn Mooth left her cozy full-time job as Editor of HOW Magazine to strike out on her own as a freelance food and wellness writer. I caught up with her at HOW Design Live and had a chance to hear how she has used what she learned to build a 2nd career doing what she is passionate about. See more at Writes4food.com and brynmooth.com. And if you like what you hear, subscribe on iTunes and sign up for Quick Tips from Marketing Mentor.
Podcast: Ilise Benun of Marketing-Mentor.com interviews Bryn Mooth on where she is after 2 years of freelancing and her upcoming CFC session: What to Expect When You’re Freelancing, which is perfect for those who are anywhere on the continuum from "I’m thinking about it" to "I’ve made the move but I’m still struggling," Come hear her in person at CFC 2013, June 22-24 in San Francisco. Details here: www.creativefreelancerconference.com
Join us for another conversation with writer and journalist, Bryn Mooth. This time, we talk about Bryn’s goals for growing her network in 2013 and reaching outside her current sphere. We focused on 2 questions: how to keep track of her best prospects (that doesn’t involve learning a new software) and how to pitch those new prospects with ideas tailored to them without doing spec work. Also, we talked a bit about the new 2013 Creative Professional’s Marketing Plan + eCalendar to Get Creative Work. Details at www.marketing-mentor-toolbox.com
It’s already been a year and a half since writer and journalist, Bryn Mooth (http://brynmooth.com/), former editor of HOW Magazine, started her freelance writing business. Listen to our recent interview to about Bryn's progress and learn why patience is a freelancer's friend.
In my latest interview with Bryn Mooth, we talked about what she learned at CFC and how she is putting that learning into practice. She suggested a technique for taking potentially overwhelming information and putting it into action.
Listen here to hear exactly how Bryn does her one-chunk-at-a-time approach.
How is newbie freelancer, Bryn Mooth, progressing?
Listen to April's interview with wellness and creativity journalist and copywriter, Bryn Mooth.
Join us at the Creative Freelancer Conference, June 21-22 in Boston. Details here.
Bryn Mooth is an independent journalist and copywriter focused on food, wellness and creativity—she blogs at www.writes4food.com -- and I’ve been following her marketing journey since she became self-employed less than a year ago.
Lately, we’ve been talking about the merits of LinkedIn, and Bryn has dedicated time, twice a week, to gain visibility and find prospects using it. This past week, she turned a LinkedIn connection into a client! How? (If you want to learn by doing, join the next Basic Marketing Group that starts Wed. March 14).
In our latest interview, Bryn describes what she did:
She narrowed: To be with her ideal prospects, she joined a group on LinkedIn called “Food Industry Marketing and Communications Professionals” – looking to find people at food brands or in food marketing – rather than the broader “food industry.”
She participated: This is an active group with 6500+ members, with people posting links to articles and questions. Bryn participates by commenting on articles others have posted, responding to questions and initiating her own discussions.
She reached out directly: Bryn also scans the group members and reaches out to connect directly if it looks like a good fit. Recently, she connected with one member in Texas, the principal of marketing group in the food industry, and now that’s turned into a small project for her company – but there’s larger potential, if it goes well, for this agency to hire Bryn for their client projects, making her an excellent referral source and collaborator.
What did Bryn say to connect with this prospect? Listen here to find out.
Last time I talked to independent journalist and copywriter, Bryn Mooth, from Writes4Food, she confessed to slowing down in December and paying the price in January.
When I asked her, “What could you have done differently to avoid this slowdown?” Bryn said, “I should have put more effort into marketing in October and November.”
Bryn realized, “This marketing stuff isn’t hard, except if you wait until you’re really slow and you’re desperate and have to do it all at once.” By plugging marketing into her calendar, and doing marketing steadily, she says, “It’s not hard, it’s not time consuming, it’s not overwhelming.”
In this 19-minute interview, we talk about the actions Bryn has been taking to ramp up her marketing machine, with a special focus on how she’s using LinkedIn to:
• Decide which groups to join
• Ask and answer questions
• Get introductions from her connections
• Turn connections into phone calls
See how her marketing efforts have paid off in just one month.
When it comes to taxes, are you deducting everything you can?
Bryn Mooth is an independent journalist and copywriter at Writes4Food. We’ve been following Bryn’s journey, and recently, we talked about taxes.
In the first meeting with her accountant, Bryn had a big surprise:
She had a percentage in mind for Uncle Sam, but says,
“It was significantly higher than I expected… I knew that I needed to account for self-employment tax and social security; what I didn’t realize is that, as an independent contractor … I need to pay my income tax quarterly… When I was employed by someone else, it was sort of off my radar…”
Having to pay a much bigger percentage than she expected was a “rude awakening” for Bryn. Fortunately, she had built up a financial cushion before becoming self-employed. This cushion was a huge relief.
Now, Bryn has a different mindset. Going forward:
She realizes that she can expense a lot more than she thought. All of a sudden, knife sharpening, food for recipe development, and props become expenses.
Every time a paycheck comes in, half goes into a tax account (just to be safe).
Bryn is now very careful about keeping receipts and updating her spreadsheet on “Finance Friday.” This way, when she files next, her estimate will be more manageable and realistic.
Listen to this 10-minute interview here.
Have you experienced any tax surprises?
For guidance when it comes to taxes, we adore June Walker, tax advisor for the self-employed. Read her guest posts on the Creative Freelancer Blog and check out her books, Self-employed Tax Solutions + Five Easy Steps, and her free resources.
Bryn Mooth is an independent journalist and copywriter at Writes4Food.com. I’ve been checking-in with Bryn for the past 8 months (since she went freelance) to follow her journey, and last week, we did our first calls of 2012.
How did she do? Overall, 2011 “exceeded” her expectations. Bryn was pleased with the income she earned and the work she did.
January is slow.
Bryn says she “checked out” in December. She put off doing things like following up on completed projects, “slacked off” on networking and contacting, and now, she’s “paying the price.”
What’s her plan of attack? She says, “I’m starting from scratch, a little bit.”
Bryn has identified the kind of projects that really appeal to her, and in 2012 is going to actively pursue that kind of work. She spent the last week on LinkedIn building a list of prospects. Then, she’s seeing who in her network can make an introduction.
What she’s learning about the marketing process:
Like most freelancers, I’m not really good at it. Early in this freelance career… some things were landing in my lap… I was doing some networking and yielding some good projects. But I wasn’t doing as much of that as I need to be. I got busy. I kept thinking, I need to allocate some time to think about who my ideal prospects are and get that planning going, and I didn’t. So, that’s what I’m doing now.
In this 11-minute interview, I suggested for Bryn a three tool combination to turn these prospects into clients:
1. Use LinkedIn to connect.
2. Use email to follow up.
3. Use the phone to make it real.
Bryn is going to do this—and we’re going to talk to her next month to see how she did.
How long does it take to take to turn cold (or warm) prospects that you find on LinkedIn, and turn them into actual clients?
Stay tuned to find out…
But as a lot of new freelancers do—Bryn is finding pricing to be a challenge. Why?
She’s calculated an hourly rate, refined an estimating sheet, and learned to price by the project—but the problem is—she’s really fast.
With 20 years of experience, she finds that using hours to calculate project costs is leaving her with a price that doesn’t equal the project’s value. Her clients often share a budget, but when she calculates her project cost—it’s way too low.
With her current approach, there’s an apparent disconnect between what the project costs—and what it’s worth.
Listen to this interview to find out where the discrepancy is—and how she can solve it.
Should she double her hourly rate? Make room for higher profit? Find out here.
Bryn also shares how she’s:
• Dealing with pricing
• Determining her minimum project rate
• Using an estimating worksheet to figure out hours for each project
• Starting to track her hours/rates over time
She also shares why pricing should be “uncomfortable.”
Listen here. Have any advice for Bryn? Please share.
It’s 3 months into Bryn Mooth’s career as a freelance food writer, and I’ve been interviewing her along the way. (See our previous interviews: Asking Questions = Looking Stupid and The First Week as a Freelancer.)
In today’s interview, we talked about the importance of tuning into what’s around you. Bryn says,
“Once you start thinking about something that’s next, or something that’s possible, then you tune in somehow to those opportunities you would have missed otherwise.”
We also discuss some issues related to the “lazy” days of summer and the mindset of self-employment, such as:
- Is it okay to have an “off” day and cut yourself some slack?
- The right approach to a non-productive day…
- Is the glow still going, or has it faded?
- Do you start believing the things you tell yourself when you’re in the non-productive mood? Does that spiral into non-productivity?
- How to deal with not knowing where the next project will come from…
- Learning to be patient…
- How to interpret really enthusiastic prospects
- And more…
If you have a case of the summertime “I don’t wannas,” get back on track by listening to this interview.
If you’ve been following along with our story about Bryn Mooth, who left her 20-year publishing career to pursue a career as a freelance writer, you’ll remember our interview a month ago when she was in the glow of Week 1 of self-employment.
I interviewed her again in Week 5 to see how she’s coming along. One especially interesting topic that came up in our conversation was how asking the right questions of clients and prospects will make you look smart, not stupid.
Bryn says, “People are afraid to ask questions because they think, if I do… it might dampen the impression I’m making with this prospect. But I think asking questions is a sign that you’re interested in their business… and really helps you deliver what they’re looking for instead of taking a wild shot in the dark… Take the time up front to ask a couple of smart questions so you’re not flailing when it’s time to deliver a solution.”
I couldn’t agree more. In fact, there’s whole chapter about this in my new book, The Creative Professional’s Guide to Money. In the chapter on positioning your price, there are 8 pages on asking questions, plus 20 questions to ask before you do a proposal.
In this interview, Bryn also shares how she’s:
Discovering what she doesn’t know
Getting better at managing her time, and making time for marketing activities
Trying to build a reputation in food/healthy living
Using online and social media activities, finding places to participate
Using her previous career as an editor to help her get ahead
Recently back from vacation, Bryn also describes how her vacation as a freelancer was different from when she was a full-timer.
What are some of the questions you ask, that get you the information you need?
Bryn Mooth recently left 20-year career in publishing, and she’s embarking on her own as a freelance writer. Her blog at Writes4Food.com started as a way to spark her own creativity, and has turned into a business where she writes on food, cooking, nutrition, and healthy living topics.
In the beginning of Bryn’s 2nd week as a self-employed person, I interviewed her to see what the first week was like. She shares insight on:
• What’s been most energizing and gratifying during this transition
• Getting her head into self-employed mode
• When she realized she wanted to leave her job
• How she prepared for self-employment
• What it feels like to be “ready” to make the leap
• Building a viable business that creates income to exceed that of a full-timer
• How she knew food was a good market to focus on
• How to balance her own marketing with paid work
• Using the cushion of her network during the transition
• & more…
Any advice for Bryn?
If you’re considering leaving your full-time job and going out on your own, check out the Marketing Group for moonlighters. It will help you get clients in your pipeline—before you make the jump.
At last year’s Creative Freelancer Conference, there was an attendee named Lauren Hybinette. She was employed by a company at the time, but she had an epiphany that made her decide, then and there, that she wanted to be self-employed.
Where is Lauren one year later? Find out. Read this blog post from Bryn Mooth on the HOW Design Blog:
http://blog.howdesign.com/how-conference/catching-up-with-a-creative-freelancer/listen to the interview I did with her where she talks about:
Do you need the inspiration and know-how to finally turn freelancing into a full time career?
Join us at CFC—June 23-24 in Chicago. Don’t miss the early bird discount. It ends April 1st!