Pitching the “Perfect Game”
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Word Genius (www.wordgenius.com) Today’s word is: GOCHUJANG. This word is Korean in origin with the year unknown. The meaning: A spicy paste used in Korean cooking made from red chili peppers, fermented soy beans, rice and salt. So, the next time you see: Today’s Special – Spicy Shrimp (made with gochujang, cucumber, radishes and carrots). You would be quite right to suggest that this is a Korean specialty.
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Tips to follow before applying for various jobs
Read all the instructions of a proposed job before applying. Many assignments from companies outside of the United States can require submitting writings in unfamiliar formats. These jobs can also be looking for the content to be in another language other than English. Be careful and thorough. If unsure, ask questions and never assume anything.
Make sure you do adequate research on the topic and use source quotes whenever possible. Sometimes a largely source quoted project can yield high reviews for its thoroughness. However, never cut and paste any quotes or any other content material. Use the job boards well by staying focused on the kinds of assignments you are searching for and put bids in for these as often as you can.
Find a unique selling proposition
Know your audience. Find a (USP) unique selling proposition emphasizing your prospective employer’s character, commitment and advantages. Always be clear and concise when bidding for a job. Often a review of an employer’s previous writing assignments, or any of their recently published literature can enlighten your candidacy. Once you have completed an assignment that pleased you and satisfied the client’s needs stay associated with that employer and be on call for their next task. Look to get positive feedback from these clients as well. Remember, your good reviews go far when searching for future jobs.
Expanding news can be quite challenging
If you are a digital journalist make your voice be heard. Expanding news can be challenging but highly rewarding. If you are a sports guru, this work is readily available and can lead to full time placements. Political news coverage and on the scene gigs can be especially difficult as well. Always keep your journalism critically updated and ethical. Sometimes these jobs can become paralyzing, with far too much information. Highly technical reporting can yield similar results.
Don’t give in to the masses
Just because there might be an abundant flow of certain jobs if they don’t fit your talents or excite you in any way it is important not to get discouraged. Don’t give in to the urge to work regardless of the task. Don’t be afraid to pursue a company that inspires you. You can usually propose your skills to any company where even something as simple as a product they manufacture excites you and gets your passions flowing. A company knows the importance of such passions and the usual results connected to them.
Most businesses do not carry writers on-staff. Publications and ad copy writing are prevalent jobs. When you visit company websites that are hiring you can usually find their policies for employment as well as their rates of pay.
The perfect game
Most employers are looking for experienced writers. When you can’t reach the expected criteria for a particular posting move on. Your published pieces, rated content and educational background will typically lead you to the best clients to pitch to. The perfect game will be the result of you finding the perfect client.
The amount of research you’ve done in the past will move you to postings that make you the expert in that field. Avoid topics you are unfamiliar with or dislike. If you should come across a topic that you would like to break into then do plenty of research up front so you can properly pitch the job.
Embrace the process
Find your way to embrace the process of the job pitch, pay rate requests and confident followup. You will always be responded to in a positive fashion when you display confidence, straightforwardness and urgency. Take action on any requests for samples or references. Always be prepared to write a short piece. This separates the candidates quickly and shows an urgency on their part to find the right hire. Very often with a new client they want to witness an off the cuff sample reflective of their products or services. This is your audition so don’t get caught with your pants down.
Time to follow up
After you’ve pitched the perfect job, sent your resume and samples, referenced your experience and expertise it’s now time to follow up. Having a personal contact with this employer would be ideal by contrast but not completely necessary. Emails and text messages have become more popular ways to communicate. It is vital to show great interest and anticipation, but at the same time draft urgency as a matter of fact. You cannot afford to sit still waiting for an assignment and hinder the possibilities of other job requests. Always spend more time with previous clients and any that you had success with in the past.
After the perfect pitch and follow up you might be asked to have an online or phone interview. Always be thinking ahead and be prepared to set yourself up with some time to prepare for this. It is critical to research the client and their business. Read content they have already published and know what it is that makes them special. By drawing on their recent successes you will be armed and positioned to answer their questions in convincing style. You might even interject a noteworthy sample previously withheld.
You will also need to be prepared to answer questions about availability, software, format and deadline commitments. If this interview is to take place online with video and audio requirements, make sure ahead of time to test the software. Never assume anything and this will help to eliminate unreasonable expectations.
This is your opportunity to shine and make the most of that, but avoid arrogance at all costs. Demonstrate your ability to listen, interface and collaborate as with most pending clients they want to feel their voice is being appropriated. You are not there to placate the situation so be sure not to take on anything more than you can handle. Your vow is to produce high quality content that resonates with their readers.
An ordinary response to a job posting will be an email or text that should start with the salutation: Hello John. Then you list your name, company name or domain name, phone number, email and web page. Short and to the point text. Example: I came across your job posting and consider myself a valuable candidate for your project as I am experienced and fully versed on that topic. At the same time sending at least three relevant writing samples to back up your statement.
Warm solicitation calls
You may also make “warm calls” to companies, publications or well known projects that you have not seen a particular job description of. In this case you want to reach the hiring authority. Your pitch can be as simple as: “I really enjoyed reading your company’s article in/on the magazine, website, newspaper, etc. . Have you considered publishing a piece on…….a related topic…. or possibly an expansion piece on the same topic? I’m a freelance writer dedicated to that topic…. or content… or related subject and would love to send you some samples of my work on that subject.” If you get a positive response make sure you thank the person and ask for followup protocol.
Good practice for these types of calls is to be prepared with a hand written “warm Call” script. Have it in front of you so that you don’t miss saying all you wish to say. In time like anything else you might very well excel in this practice.
The freelance writers job posting sites are the best places to find work. Some of these sites are updated daily others not as often. With time and repeated trials you will find those that appeal most frequently to you and your preferences. A strong “LinkedIn” profile should offer you plenty of opportunities as well.
Heed my warning
Stay away from ads for freelance writers in newspapers. Avoid the “Content Mills” and any sites that require actual low bids to have jobs assigned. If you rely on the “Content Mills” you will eventually run into troubles like being overworked and underpaid. Worse yet, these sites tend to have low level employers looking for cut rate writers, and often they turn out to be unreliable payers. You cannot afford to waste time trying to collect past due invoices from deadbeats. You’ve been warned.