Do You Get Out Much?
I love people. Have the opportunity to network in person at events? Sign - me - up.
I was invited recently by Jillian Stambuli of Edit Global to assist at a publisher's booth at the American Night Writers Association. They had a great course schedule and were very warm to connect with. We even met a couple of fellow small independent publishers! It was a delight to see Jillian in action, sharing her dream of partnering with authors aiming to make a difference in the world. She covered the big picture questions and referred those with specific proofreading or editing questions to me.
Bring the Business Cards!
Oh yeah - that's still definitely a thing! Some things don't go out of style. Always carry a few business cards as you never know who you'll meet or strike up a conversation with. In line at the post office? Definite conversation opportunity. In line at the store? Definitely good for small talk.
I keep the back of my cards blank so I - or someone - can jot a quick note on the back to remind of the contact made or event we were at. There are some unique sizes and shapes to business cards now, but it's hard to beat a standard size that fits in folks' pockets or wallet and is simply what folks expect to see. It may depend on your business and messaging - are you in a "standard" or "unique" market? Many now have QR codes on cards for customer convenience to access websites or additional information.
Elevator Pitch Ready?
Do you have it fine-tuned and ready at the drop of a hat? This is key! Be ready for "What do you do" at any moment! Narrow your message's focus. Keep your ideal client in mind and how you serve or solve the client's problem. You have 20-30 seconds at most - the length of an elevator ride or someone's attention span, which is ever shorter these days.
In-person Networking Post-COVID
It was such a hard jolt in 2020 when the world stopped. It seems it's only just beginning to get back to "normal" to be back with people. The tech advances during that time with Zoom enabled a decent second-best option. It's remained a viable option for some events hoping to maximize attendance and participation. You can certainly network via zoom - there are people on the other end of the line - but you can't beat the benefit of seeing folks in person to really get the body language and unspoken messaging.
Do I HAVE to Network at Events?
If you're an introvert, this in-person stuff likely isn't your cup of tea. It's not for everyone. But if you have the opportunity to get to a networking event, conference, meeting, or workshops, I highly recommend it. That being said, there are ways to network that don't involve handshakes and hugs.
NOTE: I'm a Hugger. Always have been. There were these great short ribbons that hung from conference name badges at the ANWA conference noting Hugger and Not A Hugger. What a fantastic idea to help everyone be more comfortable!
Networking with Less "People"
I'll list a few ideas here to get you thinking. We can cover each in future blog posts.
How do you network with others? Do you prefer more in-person options or a bit of distance with a computer screen?
I would love to help you expand your network and influence by making sure your start (website/PR materials) and finish (proofread/edit your project) are the best they can be. Let's Chat!
Marketing and Website Management
I've noted already, I love podcasts! We reviewed podcasts more geared to editing and proofreading in a prior blog post. For the authors and entrepreneurs here, let's look at a couple I discovered recently that you may find useful as well.
If you're looking to punch up your website with SEO, key words, and light content marketing, Simple Content Marketing for Mompreneurs with Katie Flores is a good resource! You can find her podcast here and subscribe by your podcast app. You can find her blog and general website here. She has some nice lead magnets and a basic no-nonsense approach. Content warning - there are a fair amount of Christian references in podcasts.
Yael Keon is amazing! She's blowing me away with her energy and enthusiasm in every episode! Each episode is packed with tips and tricks for getting started in email marketing or growing what you have. I subscribed to her email list for more regular content. She has a great lead magnet and very affordable initial products to start you on your path.
Newsletter Ninja Tammi Labrecque is another fabulous email marketing resource! No podcasts from Tammi, but I would be remiss not to mention her so you can meet her as well. She's written two books so far, offers a number of classes, and hosts a very active Facebook group. She's an excellent resource for this aspect of your business!
SEO and Website Optimization
Debbie Emmitt is another amazing resource to keep in mind if you're creating your own website! She recently published very affordable books for authors and editors with a focus on website development. No podcasts, but great clear, simple information to get your website in top shape with your own efforts!
Do you create email newsletters and have a subscriber list growing? Do you create your own website complete with SEO key words? Love to hear your content marketing journey!
Need a hand getting an email platform or website started? I'd be honored to help get you going or manage this aspect of your business - Let's Chat!
What IS Canva?
Canva is a design tool. If you need to create flyers, brochures, business cards, social media "banners" or images, presentations, and more, Canva is a very convenient tool. If your project will involve an image or graphic, it's likely you'll be able to create it with Canva.
Is Canva Affordable?
It can be! There is a free option - perfect to test out the platform! You'll likely find in a short time if you really get into using the service that you'll wish you could utilize the more pricey design options.
Is It Easy to Use?
Generally, yes. It's a template-based product, There are some features you can change about each design's basic look, but you're best able to change or remove design details as you create. You can easily add or remove text boxes and image boxes to personalize the design. It's easy to edit - maybe too easy. There's an "undo" button to correct immediate errors or return to a prior look, but it's hard to recreate the template look once pieces are removed.
This uses "drag and drop" technology making it very convenient for novice users. It's also very easy to utilize the same design but change the size depending on how you'll use it, although you may need to shift some content to fit.
You're able to "share" the design with others. It's wise to duplicate the project for someone else to note editing ideas and maintain the integrity of your original design. You may download the project in many different formats - pdf, png, jpeg, mp4, and more. You can even have Canva download certain pages of a multi-page project to share only certain features.
Do I Need to be an Artist?
Not really - but it does help to have an eye for design or style. This isn't for everyone. The key to saving some frustration is to try to get the base design right that you'll be adapting.
If you're working for someone else, share a few design ideas before you get to work. I created a happy hour flyer for a client which would be held at a Mexican restaurant. My initial direction was more the warm, spicy background colors and a margarita. The client didn't want to emphasize the alcohol but more the fun party atmosphere. That makes a difference in images built-in to the design and that you may wish to add along with the amount of verbiage you need to include.
Can I See a Sample?
Sure! The image attached is an ad for a convention book I created recently, changing the image to my own and removing identifying language and offices/titles for client confidentiality. This was for a patriotic organization. Text boxes were rearranged quite a bit to be more visible for the amount of words needed as an original text box was in the red and white plank zone but weren't particularly visible.
How Do I Get Started?
If you're feeling adventurous and wish to give it a try, head to Canva to create a free account to test it out. If you're not sure of your skills, I would be honored to assist you. Let's Chat to get an idea of the project and style you have in mind to bring your vision to life! I prefer to work more closely with clients than not so there is input all along the way to ensure it looks the way you have in mind.
Have you played with Canva? What do you think? I'd love to hear about your experiences - leave a comment!