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.
- Banned-wagon. In response to book banning across the country, several organizations and public libraries have created programs and book clubs (and an unburnable book), including The Authors Guild, New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and Nashville Public Library.
- Track That. Freelance writer Rachel Simon walks us through the importance of and how to create a master pitch spreadsheet to document all you do to bring in business and keep your projects on track. And Baidhurya Mani gives tips on how to manage multiple clients at once.
- Best Places. Four Illinois towns were named to U.S. News & World Report’s list of 150 Best Places to Live for 2022-2023. The “brawling, bruising, sometimes bawdy” Peoria topped the list for Illinois, coming in at No. 50, followed by Moline-Rock Island at 53, Chicago at 73, and Rockford at 127.
Business Check-In: It’s Time for a Midyear Review!
We’re halfway through the year, which makes it a good time to check in with yourself and your business and do a self-review. Suzanne Boles at “The Freelance Creative” writes, “Taking the time to assess your short- and long-term objectives, including whether your business and personal goals are aligned, pays off in the long run.”
According to a Fiverr Workspace article, calculating your break-even point is the first step in creating a sustainable business that meets your income goals. Boles takes this further, assessing whether your business goals align with your life goals.
She recommends monitoring your income and hours to see which business services or clients generate the most work, as well as noting how they found you. Knowing where your money is coming from (and where it’s not) allows you to focus your time and attention on the services, clients, and marketing avenues that are most rewarding—both in terms of personal satisfaction and money.
Boles suggests using SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely) goals to hone in on what works best for you, making your mental health needs an important part of the self-assessment (for more on how freelancers can make mental health a priority, see this article on work-life integration), breaking goals into manageable chunks, and celebrating both your wins and your losses since knowing what not to do is just as important as learning what works.
“Compiling self-feedback once a quarter or at least once a year,” Boles writes, “can help you identify both accomplishments and areas of improvement—financial and otherwise.”
Level Up Your Digital Marketing
Business Link is presenting a second round of its 12-part Level Up Series: Digital Economy Program. Each Thursday from May 19 to Oct. 6, Kelly Doody will host hour-long classes to help you “level up your digital marketing.”
The classes include the following:
- May 19: Purpose & Value Proposition
- June 2: Audience Identification
- June 7: Digital Economy Program Q&A
- June 16: Story & Content
- June 30: The Marketing Mix
- July 14: Social Success
- July 28: E-mail Marketing
- Aug. 11: Metrics That Matter
- Aug. 25: Social Selling
- Sept. 8: Websites That Work
- Sept. 22: Digital Advertising
- Oct. 6: Recurring Revenue
Take just one or take ’em all! Classes start at 2 p.m. CDT and are free to attend.
PODCASTS TO PONDER
By Amy Spungen
- The Editing Podcast. Editing the language of illness can be challenging—for one thing, the language preferences of those with terminal illnesses aren’t homogenous. Hosts Louise Harnby and Denise Cowle tackle this topic in “Editing the Language of Illness” with editor Louise Bolotin, whose cancer diagnosis prompted her to challenge “normative narratives” around cancer and terminal diagnoses. (May 11)
- The Writers’ Co-op. Not all freelance editors and writers are actively thinking about buying a house. But hosts Jenni Gritters and Wudan Yan bought houses recently, and the challenges they faced in doing so are revealing. For one thing, freelancers seeking loans face barriers that many traditionally employed people don’t, so it’s wise to be prepared. Learn more in “Freelancing + Buying a House.” (May 2)
- The Book Review. In an episode of this The New York Times-produced podcast titled “The Invention of the Index,” author Dennis Duncan discusses his book Index, a History of the, which is possibly the most brilliant book title ever. Some EFA members do book indexing, and many of us use indexes frequently, depending on them to guide us to specific places in the books we read and use for our work. Turns out the topic of indexes is a fascinating subject, at least for us book geeks. (Feb. 25)
For media- and publishing-related conferences, webinars, and other events of interest to self-employed editorial freelancers, see the Media Types Omnicalendar.
All copy written or compiled by Kandy Hopkins, unless otherwise noted.