Category Archives: Freelance Dictionary

Brief Description of certain terms, tools, and programs you might come across.

Contracts and The Fine Print: Securing the What If’s of Freelancing

After some blunders with clients and having no paper work in place I found out the importance of Contracts and the Fine Print. I invested some time in developing solid contracts when seeking out clients for Gab Brand; here are some reasons why you should dive deeper into Contracts and the Fine Print.

Contracts Keep You Safe

Contracts and the annoyingly small print can be used to provide security for both client and supplier in the event of a dispute, late payment, or late work delivery.

Don't be afraid of the little details. The Fine Print in a contract could cost or save you a ton in the future!
Don’t be afraid of the little details. The Fine Print in a contract could cost or save you a ton in the future!

People can be caught poaching work from Freelance Writers. It is common for Clients to request articles from several writers using popular Writing Mills or Out Sourcing Platforms; they get loads of great material free to use because the writer had not said otherwise, in hopes of gaining employment.

Whether you are submitting a draft or pitching an article for consideration, you shouldn’t work under the implication of a verbal agreement. It doesn’t matter if it was delivered by e-mail, Skype Interviews, text, or by invitation using a popular Out Sourcing Platform.

It can be seen as over-cautious, but create a contract for draft submissions and add footnotes to protect any work submitted before actual employment, unless you are willingly giving out free work as a hiring incentive.

Contracts Keep Freelancers on Track

Contracts can be used to keep track of your work. Adding features such as draft confirmations or signatures upon delivery, you can include important details regarding scheduling, payments and even content structure, and use of keywords.

Use attachments with your contracts and include in the fine print any pre-set schedule, the cost of additional work, and invoices to keep track of work submitted, drafts included, the number of revisions needed, and more.

You can make use of Contracts when charging per word [in addition to keyword placement and content structure] and add overages/additional invoice procedure into the fine print area. Some writers charge more for extra back links, imagery, and use of digital files in submissions.

Resources to Develop your Freelance Contract

Developing your Freelance contract and fine tuning the small print, you want to cover the basics and also include all those What If Moments. It is important to gather resources that will help you create a solid contract for Freelance work.

Freelance Writers is already a risky business; protect yourself and your work by investing time in a multi-functional contract for the various service you might want to provide as Freelance/Contracted work-for-hire.
Freelance Writing is already a risky business; protect yourself and your work by investing time in a multi-functional contract for the various service you might want to provide as Freelance/Contracted work-for-hire.

You don’t want to be held liable for what a client does with your work; you can’t have them skating off with it for free; What if they decided they don’t want to pay but have published it anyway? Here are some resources to help you create a basic and multi-functional contract for Freelance Work:

  • While I usually discourage Wiki-Anything, it’s credibility has improved since editing guidelines have become more restrictive, This simple guideline from WikiHow is a good example of what sort of template to use when developing a general contract for freelance work.
  • Maybe you are not a freelance writer? No problem, there are freelance designer templates and other essential contracts for potential freelance work for easy use if you run a google search on your niche topic, project type and length, and any extra features such as milestones, inventory reimbursements, etc.
  • Docracy also offers a Work-for-hire- Freelance writing contract to be used for an independent contractor relationship; this sample is especially useful for those freelancers who are approached by other freelancers to supplement work they already have.

Gab Brand Wants To Hear From You

What is your biggest hassle when it comes to creating a contract between you and your client? Have you had to outsource work before and had your contract fall through? What Loop Holes would you warn other Freelancers to look out for when building a solid contract?

Share all your thoughts with us on your favorite Social Networks and be sure to use the hashtag #GabBrand and let us know how you improved your contract!

XOXO-

Gab Brand

Developing a Content Strategy with Confidence

When doing Gab Brand Consultations, I cringe as we near the Content Strategy phase. It isn’t uncommon that many small businesses, start-up projects, and first time entrepreneurs won’t know what you’re talking about. To them, hiring a Content Developer was the strategy.

You are now at a Stand-still. With no direction, how can you completely guarantee relevant content? At this stage, those larger firms would hand you a questionnaire of general questions that would help them develop one for you. However, this results in generic content that may sound awesome but doesn’t truly represent the clients’ views of their own business; Resulting in a lack of confidence in their business plan moving forward.

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Content Strategy is more important than content creation. It is not to be confused with Content Marketing or Development!

What is a Content Strategy?

Starting any Website, Blog, or Publication- the saying great content equals great business reigns supreme. While writing great material may come naturally, creating relevant content with a driven purpose is another thing. Having a Content Strategy that you can be confident in will help you move forward with Development and Marketing.

Kristina Halvorson, founder of Brain Traffic, and author of Content Strategy for the Web, defines Content Strategy as Planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content. Seemingly, a very straight forward definition, but it is also comes with advantages. Content Strategy is a valuable tool in Content Marketing using SEO, Keyword Placement, Service Pitches, and so on.

Halvorson may dive deeper into it with in her work, but her short-winded definition itself is a cave-man’s notion of the wheel. It also leaves room for error. Content Strategy is not to be confused with Content Development or Content Marketing. All are small jobs in-line with a bigger goal. If you want to go all philosophical, Rahel Bailie, coauthor of Content Strategy: Connecting the dots between business, brand, and benefits and principal of Intentional Design, breaks it down as such [and I quote]:

“Content strategy deals with the planning aspects of managing content throughout its lifecycle, and includes aligning content to business goals, analysis, and modeling, and influences the development, production, presentation, evaluation, measurement, and sun-setting of content, including governance. What content strategy is not is the implementation side. The actual content development, management, and delivery is the tactical outcomes of the strategy that need to be carried out for the strategy to be effective.”

Where would you be without a Content Strategy?

Diving into Content creation, web development, or a blog start up all begins long before you are sitting in front of your computer, with the biggest cup of coffee you could make and a fresh pack of squares to smoke, ready to type. It happens long before you finally hire someone to handle your endless, tiresome content gap for you.

The Goal of any good strategy is to deliver your readers relevant material in line with your business goals, visions, and values. Going hard with no helmet, as I would say, can leave you hurt out here! Lack of Content Strategy will cause the overall lack of Brand/Site Identity. Without it you could easily go wondering astray.

Planning a Content Strategy?

Before we begin constructing a Content Strategy, here are some areas of interest you should consider while developing one:

  • How you plan to create, manage, and maintain your content so that it remains effective and consistent.
  • The arrangement and appearance of the content
  • The topics and message delivered by your website, blog, or publication.

As a Content Developer you are also considered a Content Strategist, which means it is your job to help clients turn those ideas on random napkin towels into a reality. A lot of times a client will want one thing- Search Engine Spotlight! It is the job of a content developer to offer that but with the assurance that quality is your main focus- Nobody bookmarks webpages of no value!

Implementing a Content Strategy you can be confident in…

Going forward with your content strategy you’re confident in will show in the content you produce. Your focus point will be clear, your Brand will sell easily, and your readers will become invested in you [over time].

Take the time to write down your content goals, a deliverable message that defines what it is you want to accomplish within the next six weeks, moths, or years- your preference.

Try to make one goal flow to the next- as if milestones- and watch for a re-occurring theme. Chances are this is an area you will thrive in- a secret passion you never knew you had. This will define your Brand and it’s persona to its audience.

**If you need help turning those scribbled napkin notes into a creative blog, engaging web content, or a well written article- reach out to someone with the gift of gab here at Gab Brand. Free Consultations are always available for those in need of Gab-worthy content.

xoxo-

GabBrand

Content Marketing: Social Networking The New Word of Mouth

Traditional Marketing becoming Obsolete; Social Media New Word Of Mouth

Traditional Marketing techniques are becoming obsolete and Social Media is becoming the new Word of Mouth. Marketing your content has become easier and, best of all, cheaper! The Modern Connection claims that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about three times as many leads.

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A B2B Marketing campaign

Content marketing is a strategic  marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

contentmarketinginstitute.com

Content Marketing a Strategic Necessity for Freelance Writers

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: “Great content can only take you so far!” Creating consistently awesome material is not even half the job. Content Marketing is what drives readers interest and requires more than just keyword research! Don’t be intimidated, as it is a strategic necessity, but see it as one of the many hats you’ll wear as a Freelance Writer.

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Courtesy of AMG Content Marketing

Make it a simple task; lets break down what it really means to incorporate content marketing.

It’s basically you raising awareness about you, but with the help of popular social networks.
-It requires a great deal of self awareness & branding to reach your intended audience.
-It will be a daily task in which you must connect with other followers, but you will have the opportunity to flaunt your expertise, gain loyal followers, and expand clientele.

Which Platform is best for Your Brand? Top 3 Social Networks

It can be hard not to go for the most popular platform with the largest rate of user activity. However, take a moment to really evaluate which platforms can benefit you and which would be more time-consuming and result in the least ROI (Return of Interest) for your brand.Figure out a strategy that you can easily maintain (starting with Facebook) on a daily basis.

Facebook Most Active Platform with Largest User Base

Kissmetrics Blog states that Facebook has more than 1.23 billion active users, 62% of whom log in on a daily basis. This makes Facebook the largest Social Media Platform. With the ability to take out Ads, create Fan pages, and business pages its also the most versatile.

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Courtesy of AMG Marketing Now

According to an analysis by Forrester, Instagram has given brands 120-times more engagement per-follower than Twitter and 58-times more than Facebook.

Authentic Leads and Consumer Interaction with Instagram’s Visual Marketing

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Courtesy of Social Media Examiner

Instagram is definitely on the rise, becoming a contender among Social networks, because it was solely for mobile phones and is now accessible online everywhere. While Instagram may not be your main marketing tool, incorporating it as a visual marketing asset is a great idea. It’s not just about posting nice pictures but being personable. Try not to just push imagery out there but be specific to your brand.

 You can’t fake Instagram. Authentic, interesting and stunning imagery is what works. Don’t try to hard sell!

Twitter Content Marketing For Business

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Courtesy of Wishpond.com

Want to give your readers quick news updates or short burst of advice? Twitter is great for giving flash updates and insights into your business. Mark W. Schaefer says that “Twitter offers the fastest way to build an audience of relevant followers for your content.” in his article, 10 Reasons Why Twitter is a Content Marketers Best Friend. “The primary reason is because you have an opportunity to interact and engage with the right people for your business even if they don’t follow you back (you can’t do this on Facebook or LinkedIn).” Schaefer explained.

Social Media Alternatives for Old-School Content Marketing

For every obsolete, old-school method of content marketing there is a new soimagecial networking alternative. For printed pamphlets or brochures you now have Facebook. For Newsletters or Email Newsletters (which are still major marketing tools as everyone needs emails to log in to social networking accounts) there is Twitter. Instead of billboards or fancy commercials try Instagram or Periscope.

While these are just the tip of the iceberg, as you see I didn’t want to go near the subject of YouTube just yet. There are several advantages to each platform and their individual rights. While you might be tempted to be everywhere on social media, remember: Each platform demands a different strategy!

Gab Brand wants to Hear from You!

Which of the most or least popular Social Networks do you use for your business? How has it affected your blog or career? Has it increased reader engagement, resulted in substantial leads, and higher conversion rates?

Let’s hear your feedback on Facebook. Make sure to use hashtag #GabBrand- Can’t wait for you to share your gift of gab!

xoxo-

Gab Brand