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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Don't Shortchange Yourself: Another Smart Marketing Tip

Who's attending ASJA's ConCon in Chicago November 13 and 14 this year? If you do content marketing, or you're a freelancer who wants to break into this field, consider this Chicago event. I went last year (and was on the ASJA committee behind it) and will be there this year as well, speaking on a panel about setting and negotiating rates as a freelancer.

But as of last summer, I didn't even know what "content marketing" really meant--and yet I agreed to help run a conference about it! What the hell, I thought--I'll go and figure it out once I'm there. But a few weeks later, when I was talking to another freelancer who does it, I realized I did know what it was. I'd actually done quite a bit of it already. 

"Content marketing" what used to be called "branded content" or "custom content." If you've been freelancing for a while, you've probably heard of custom magazines (think, Home and Away put out by AAA or WellBella, published by GNC) and may have even written for them. Expand your definition of "content" beyond articles to anything a company creates for consumers with a specific marketing purpose--web copy, white papers, videos, audios--and you've got "content marketing." 

My point? As a freelancer, I've been doing content marketing for years, writing articles for a variety of custom publishers. Not recognizing that that's what it was called hamstrung me from promoting that work to potential clients. Now I'm positioning myself as a content marketing writer, and getting work from companies to do more of it as a result. 

Take a look at your experience and consider how you're marketing yourself to clients. If you have experience that's valuable to potential clients, make sure they know about it! Don't shortchange yourself because you haven't labeled your skills in the most appealing way. 

**My latest book,Goodbye Byline, Hello Big Bucks: Make Money Ghostwriting Books, Articles, Blogs and More, Second Edition, shows writers how to break into the ghostwriting/content marketing field. Want more advice about making more money as a freelancer in less time? Check out Six-Figure Freelancing: The Writer's Guide to Making More Money, Second Editiona freelancing classic that helps both new and experienced writers boost their bottom line. And if you're brand-new to freelancing, I recommend Dollars and Deadlines: Make Money Writing Articles for Print and Online Markets