KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Self-Employed Editors, Can You Build a Clientele Instantly?

I’m seeing requests everywhere from new editorial freelancers who are seeking tools and techniques that will get them get a steady clientele very fast.

I’ve been self-employed almost 24 years, and my experience tells me what other self-employed editorial pros have said in various venues: building up a clientele takes time. There are no methods that work instantly. It would be lovely if there were.

But keep marketing, to make your presence and skills known. This involves doing things like these:
  • Blogging
  • Commenting on the blogs where potential clients hang out (without doing a hard sell)
    • Participating in professional associations
    • Contacting clients (past, current, and desired) to talk about how you can help lighten their project load—and not starting by reciting all of your academic degrees and training
    • Sharing your professional knowledge (without doing hard sales pitches)
      • In email discussion groups
      • In Facebook discussion groups
      • On Twitter
      • On LinkedIn
      • All over the place
    • Doing presentations to share helpful knowledge at meetings where potential clients hang out
    • Teaching courses in person or via the internet
    • Finding ways to build up the number of word-of-mouth referrals you get

    If you don’t take the time to do at least some of those things on a regular basis, clients just won’t land on your desk. There are ways to do them without using up all your editing time and without spending lots of money.

    I know you can do this. I’m an introvert, and I do it.

    Thursday, May 31, 2018

    How to Scope Out Associations' Cultures, Keep Up with Their Conferences, and Learn from Them

    Here is a 3-part tip for those who can't afford to attend annual conferences of editorial associations and/or who are considering joining one or more associations:

    • First, bookmark links to the websites of associations you're interested in. If you want to know about more associations than just the few you've already heard about, check out the association links in the "Networking" section of the Copyeditors' Knowledge Base (CKB).
    • Second, watch those websites for notice of upcoming conferences. During conference time, head to Twitter to find the associations' Twitter accounts. (Follow the links to those Twitter accounts that appear in the "Networking" section of the CKB.)
    • Third, follow those accounts' tweets that are about the organizations' conferences. Most associations include an appropriate hashtag, or topic marker, in their conference tweets. For example, ACES: the Society for Editing is using the hashtag #ACES2020 for its tweets about its 2020 conference. You can search Twitter for that hashtag if you know it. [Updated October 11, 2019.]
    You'll get a good sense of what the organizations have to offer you, and you'll also be engaging in some continuing professional development. Note: You do not have to have a Twitter account of your own to follow those tweets.

    Wednesday, January 24, 2018

    A Tale of Parenting and Self-Employment from the Low-Tech Days

    This tale may resonate with those of you who are self-employed and have small children at home to care for. It's funny to me now, way after the fact.

    Back in 1996, I was already self-employed as an editor. A child of mine, who shall be referred to as Toddler here, was in diapers. [Kind readers, please do not reveal Toddler's real name in the comments.] One morning I was editing a book manuscript—I don't remember whether it was fiction or nonfiction—and needed to do some fact-checking using reference works other than the ones I owned. I didn't yet didn't own a computer or cell phone, much less a smartphone, so I couldn't do Internet searches for the information I needed. That meant a trip to the library.

    Did I want to take Toddler with me? No, Toddler would be bored because the reference section was nowhere near the children's section of the library. What to do? Brilliant idea: leave Toddler with my father-in-law, who at the time was a jazz-and-blues musician who worked nights, so both Toddler and I would be happy during the 30 minutes or so when I was at the library. Father-in-Law agreed, so I left him with Toddler and some of Toddler's toys.

    I did my research at the library, and I returned home, thinking how happy the book manuscript's author and acquisition editor would be with the thoroughness of my fact-checking. I went to the downstairs apartment within my home, where my in-laws live and where Father-in-Law was taking care of Toddler.

    I opened the door, and there stood Toddler, wearing a disposable diaper that was secured on each side with silver duct tape. I found that very odd. How had the duct tape gotten there?

    I had forgotten to leave Father-in-Law with extra diapers, so when Toddler filled up his diaper, as toddlers will do, Father-in-Law improvised. He removed the diaper, disposed of its contents, put it back on Toddler, and used duct tape to secure it because he couldn't get the diaper's adhesive strips, put in place by the diaper's manufacturer, to work.

    And that happened because I had no cell phone on which Father-in-Law could have called me to request clean diapers.

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