• When is it Time to Raise Your Rates/Prices?

    This is a heads up to all clients and potential clients, not-so-cleverly disguised as an informative blog post. I am raising my rates at the beginning of April by about 10%. This is both a cost-of-living raise and reflects my improving skill-set and specializations. If you are a current client – don’t fret, I’m not going to raise the price halfway through a project. Rates for future projects may be slightly higher, or not, depending on several factors.

    If you are a new potential client and would like to lock in a project at the current rates, then contact me now – I’ll be quoting based on current rates till the end of the month.

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  • You Can’t Skip the Marketing: Or, how I ended up a certain creek without a certain paddling implement.

    This article is a friendly warning about the perils of neglecting your marketing. It’s one of those things, like brushing your teeth, you really should do every day. And yet, when we get busy and stressed and run off our feet, our marketing calendar is usually the first thing we drop. And that would seem to be perfect sense. After all, if your business is doing so well, why do you need to hunt for MORE business?

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  • Top 3 Reasons Why It’s Better to Freelance Your Skills

    Guest Post by Lamer Cook

    Working as a freelancer is a fantastic decision in our current era, and the value of freelance work seems to be on the rise. There’s a few clear reasons why freelancing skills can be better than many career options for millions of people, and many employers could even learn a thing or two from all this.

    Reason One: Build an Immaculate Portfolio or Start a Business

    Most employers these days are looking for individuals that already have experience. This creates a kind of “dead zone” for entry-level workers with marketable skills. They want to gain experience with the job, but they can’t get the job to gain experience. It’s an unfortunate catch-22, and contrary to popular belief, a college degree does not replace the desire for hands-on experience in the workplace. Businesses do not want to pay to train people any more than they have to, and this attitude is creating a shortage of trained individuals.

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  • I’m talking about Guest Blogging in the Wedding Business Evolution Summit!

    Hi everyone! So, it’s been far too long since I updated this here blog. I know, I know, do as I say, not as I do. Trust me, it has been in my mind for weeks, and I’ve even got a couple or articles half-drafted, but between working away at client work, building a house, and starting a new business enterprise (I know, because who needs sleep, right?) the idea of adding any updates here has made my brain turn to jelly. Lime-flavoured jelly – that’s the best flavour.

    But I thought I’d break radio silence to let you know about this exciting venture I’ve been involved in. Heidi Thompson is the awesome lady in charge of Evolve Your Wedding Business, an haven of advice for those marketing products and services to brides and grooms. She’s been an events and wedding professional in the UK and US for several years, most recently running The Alternative Wedding Fair events – which is just my kind of wedding show! Now she’s working on her own wedding marketing firm. Her first big undertaking is the Wedding Business Evolution Summit, which is essentially an online marketing conference for wedding professionals. It’s completely free to sign up an listen along to the seven informational webinars, and there is a truckload of useful tips and ideas for growing your wedding business within – including a webinar on guest blogging by yours truly!

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  • Pirates, irate customers and post-blogging tips: A few of my most recent client blogs and guest posts

    I like to share some of my work with you, in case you feel you don’t get enough of me on my own sites. I’ve been busy writing my way across the web, with often humorous results! I had a lot of fun writing this post – Writing Tips from Blackbeard the Pirate – for […]

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  • The Short and Sweet Guide to Setting 2013 Goals

    2012 is no more. The Mayans were wrong, and thousands of conspiracy theorists the world over are scratching their heads in confusion. We were blown off our campsite (winds up to 160kmph – we were literally blown away!) so had a New Years party in the city this year, and now I have a fridge filled with camping food that desperately needs to get eaten!

    This year is going to be one of the biggest and craziest of my life, both in terms of my business and my personal life. This year I make the transition from city girl to country lass. This year I embark on an exciting new publishing challenge (more about that later), and this year I grow my business bigger and brighter than I ever thought possible.

    The New Year is a time to reflect on the last year, and to plan for the year ahead. But with family overstaying their welcome at your house, kids home for the holidays, and a gazillion other demands on your time, it can be hard to find a few minutes to sit down and think strategically about business. Before you know it, it will be the end of February and you haven’t started anything for the year yet.

    Here’s my solution – a short and very sweet guide to 2013 goal-setting.

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  • Post-Apocalypse Christmas Holiday Plan For Your Business

    Christmas is Coming, if the Mayan Apocalypse doesn’t get us first.

    What did you do on December 21, the day the Mayan calendar supposedly stopped? I officiated a gothic Victorian wedding – I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate the end of the world!

    Although, I don’t really understand why everyone was so worried. I read recently on the Atlantic Wire that archaeologists found new astronomical tables in the city of Xultun. These new tables pre-date the previous codex, which mysteriously stopped on Dec 21, 2012, and span over 7,000 years into the future. So it seems we’re not doomed yet. It’s just that the Mayan writing down the codex got a sore hand and went down to the pub for a drink instead.

    What Does The Mayan Apcoalypse Have to Do With MY Business?

    Not much, actually, come to think of it. Except for the fact that since it didn’t happen, chances are high you’ll get to enjoy your Christmas turkey, go to the beach (or the ice skating rink) and sip vodka through a straw or whatever it is you get up to on New Years.

    You’re out-of-commission. On Holiday. And that means your business is going to have to tick along without you.

    Is YOUR business prepared for that responsibility?

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  • Pricing Artwork – Why You’re Eating Cold Noodles for Dinner Again (plus, a recipe!)

    For any new business, pricing work can be a total guessing game. On the one hand, you want to undercut the competition, beucase you know everyone wants a bargain and you want to get your product out there. On the other hand, you want to eat. How to solve this quandary?

    The pricing problem becomes further compounded with creative businesses, because the product you’re selling isn’t something people can easily place value on. Artwork doesn’t immediately solve a pressing problem, or offer some kind of stable market for which you can compare models and prices. The price a person pays for artwork is whatever they feel it is worth. If they don’t feel it’s worth the price asked, they won’t pay for it.

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  • New Work – The Great Victorian Food Fight

    And you thought tea parties were harmless fun … I recently finished a new piece that appeared in the Part Time Artist, Full Time Friend show, held at the Classic Comedy Club on Sunday 18 November. The show was a great local arts initiative combining a one-day art show, 14 bands and musicians and comedy […]

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  • Finding the “Voice” of Your Business

    If you’ve spent any length of time around writers, discussions of “voice” will inevitably arise. “I’m writing in the first person, but I’m finding the voice a little tough,” or “I really admire the richness of Margaret Atwood’s voice” or even, “I’m trying to fit my voice into a male character, and it’s just not working …”

    But if you try to corner one of us to ask exactly what we mean by “voice”, you’ll find we stammer some half-arsed answer, cry “look, a man wearing an enormous novelty mustache!” and scamper away when you back is turned. “Voice” is a concept writers understand innately, but we struggle to describe.

    But “voice” is a concept that’s vital for any business owner to grasp, as it’s an integral part of your brand. And since I’m a writer who works predominantly with small business owners, I thought I’d do my part to demistify the concept of voice and why it’s important for your business.

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