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This is a truncated version of the EFA Chicagoland Chapter News. If you would like to read the full e-newsletter, visit the archive, where you can also subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox monthly.

MIND CANDY

  • High-Speed Internet Help. The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, a Federal Communications Commission program, will cover $50 of monthly internet bills and offer a one-time $100 subsidy for laptops, desktop computers, and tablets to those who qualify. Read more here.
  • What Search Engines Want. Better SEO can not only help your clients, but also your own marketing. With 53% of website traffic coming from organic searches, understanding how search engines rank content has only gotten more important. The Freelance Creative’s Marcie Geffner walks us through a few SEO trends to keep in mind.
  • Better at Excel. Does Microsoft Excel intimidate you? Learn how to use it better with a series of four hour-long courses offered by Roosevelt University, to be held online at 2 p.m. June 8–17. Take ’em all or just sign up for the ones you need: Introduction (June 8), Formulas & Functions (June 10), Tables, Charts & Pivots (June 15), and Data Management, Validation & Macros (June 17).

FREELANCE NEWS

EFA Board of Governors Elections

Voting is now open for the board of governors elections, which runs through June 14. We are electing one co-executive, one treasurer, and seven members at large. The EFA will email voting instructions on June 1; if you don’t see the email, please check your spam folder. Read the candidate statements here. Results will be announced June 16 at the 2021 EFA virtual annual meeting.

Freelance Income ‘Stable’ in 2020

According to a new report from Fiverr, freelance income remained stable in 2020, with freelancers earning $234 billion (that’s 1.1% of total GDP). Chicago was also named in the top 25 of the most “freelance friendly” cities in the United States, but Miami overtook us to become the third largest market for skilled independents.

Social Media Support Program

The Illinois SBDC at the Chicagoland Chamber announced a new Social Media Support Program for African American-owned small businesses. The program provides selected businesses with a social media manager (20 hours per week for one month) to “become more visible, target customers, and have a stronger digital presence.” To qualify, you must be 100% African American-owned, have fewer than five employees, earn less than $75k in annual revenue (with proof of that revenue), be in business at least one year, have a business website and a FEIN #, be located in Cook County, and be a for-profit business. You also must be a client of the Illinois SBDC (become a client here) and provide a four-week social media plan. Apply online.

CALENDAR

For media- and publishing-related conferences, webinars, and other events of interest to self-employed editorial freelancers, see the Media Types Omnicalendar.