An American Editor

June 30, 2014

Worth Noting: The “Be a Better Freelancer!” Countdown — LAST DAY

The Countdown Ends: Last Day

Today is the LAST DAY to take advantage of the special discount that An American Editor subscribers can receive for the upcoming “Be a Better Freelancer! (Re)Invent Your Business,” the ninth annual Communication Central conference for freelancers, September 26–27, 2014, in Rochester, NY.

Topics include launching your business, macros and other efficiency/productivity tools, working with MS Office, organization tips, a self-publishing roundtable, balancing freelancing and family life, resources, benefiting from social media, and more.

Until midnight (New York time) today, AAE subscribers can receive a special discount. Use this link to register and receive the special AAE price (the password is 2014c-c). Be sure to make your hotel reservations early — the conference coincides with the last weekend of a film festival and space will be at a premium the closer it gets to September.

Questions? Contact Communication Central owner Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, at conference@communication-central.com or 585-248-0318.

Remember that the countdown ends today. This is 0 day — the day when the AAE conference discount expires. You have until midnight (New York time) today to register and receive the AAE subscriber discount!

Disclaimer: Neither I nor the An American Editor blog has any financial or other interest in this conference. — Richard Adin, An American Editor

October 2, 2013

I’ve Been to the Mountain . . .

Generally, when someone says “I’ve been to the mountain,” the person means they have gone somewhere and been enlightened about some topic. Well, that’s me — I’ve been both to the mountain and enlightened.

Last week I both participated in and attended the Communication Central conference, “Be a Better Freelancer! Marketing Magic and More for Your Business.” I admit that before the conference I wondered whether I would learn new things or just hear things I already knew. I should have known better than to wonder.

Every session I attended as a conference goer, taught me new things. My biggest complaint is that I had to choose between sessions; were it possible, I would have attended every one of them. Next time I’m asked to present at the conference (assuming there is a next time), I think I’ll try to negotiate the right to set the schedule so that I can attend more sessions that interest me. 🙂

This was the eighth annual conference put on by Communication Central; I have attended six of the eight, sometimes as a presenter, sometimes just as an attendee. I have never been disappointed by the depth and breadth of the offerings and of the speakers. The conference is almost always held mid to end of September or early October, so for those of you who didn’t come this year, you should begin making plans to attend next year’s conference.

The conference is an excellent way to network. I am aware of one participant who has already received a referral and I suspect others have also. It is also a time to catch up with “old” friends, that is, friends one has met at prior conferences or just in online groups, and learn more about how others view the state of our business. And it is also a time to learn.

The one thing that I noticed at the conference and which disappointed me about my colleagues (again, this is a sweeping generalization and does not apply to all of my colleagues in attendance) is the low self-esteem that seems to hang around editors. When I went to the mountain, I knew I was the best, the greatest, and the smartest editor in the world. What surprised me was that so many others did not think the same of themselves.

Editorial success is much more than being able to identify a part of writing or to query a sentence that reads as if it had been stomped by a team of Clydesdales pulling a wagon of beer. Success in editing is, in great measure, a belief in one’s self, a belief that one is the best, the greatest, and the smartest.

It is not that we need to emblazon that mantra on our letterhead and ram it home to clients; rather, we need to ram it home to ourselves, and our messages — written or oral — to clients need to convey that “I am the best; I am the greatest; I am the smartest” and that the client can search forever and not find a better editor than “me.”

This is much the same message we discussed just a few months ago in Business of Editing: “I Can Get It Cheaper!” in which I wrote:

What I am doing is making the client confident that the only smart decision is to hire me as a professional editor.

Think about this: If you don’t believe you are the greatest, who will? (Right-click on the following link to download a PDF that can be printed and then posted near your work area to remind you to believe.)

If you don’t believe

Business success is always a combination of skills, acumen, and attitude. A positive attitude goes a long way toward building a successful career. Positive attitudes are infectious. More importantly, if you display confidence in your skills and proclaim that confidence, there is less likelihood that your clients will doubt or question the decisions you have made. Timid attitudes make clients wonder and question.

This does not mean that you should tattoo the client with your proclamation of self-esteem. It does mean that you should project confidence in your decisions, in your questions, in your statements.

There is one other thing that I noticed at the conference that is worth discussing here: efficiency. Many of the attendees I spoke with thought that they were highly efficient in their work habits. That is not a good thought to have because if you believe you are efficient, you will not strive to be even more efficient.

As efficient as your process is, it is not efficient enough!

should be your guiding philosophy. Successful freelancers are always reevaluating the procedures they follow and try to wring ever greater efficiency out of those procedures. And if you cannot wring greater efficiencies out of a particular process, you should think about the process and whether there is not a better process that you should implement.

Efficiency and productivity are two cornerstones of successful freelancing. They require constant attention because improvements that can be made in them have a direct impact on profitability.

These were some of the general lessons that were passed on to conference participants. I expect there were others to which I was not privy because I could not attend all of the sessions. Next year come to the conference and see what lessons you draw. Whatever they are, you can be assured that they will help you in your freelancing business.

July 15, 2013

A September Meetup: Make Your Plans Now

On September 27-28, 2013, I will be in Rochester, NY, attending (and presenting* at) this year’s Communication Central conference, “Be a Better Freelancer: Marketing Magic and More for Your Business.” Ruth Thaler-Carter, owner of Communication Central and today’s guest columnist, talks about the conference.

There are two important points for readers of An American Editor:

  1. A special discount has been arranged for An American Editor readers. By registering for the conference by July 31, 2013, using this special link, An American Editor Registration, you can save at least $50.
  2. Early registration will not only save you money, but it will give you an advance opportunity to reserve a seat for my two-part, 4- hour session on The Business of Freelancing. This will be an opportunity for you to ask your questions and get in-person responses from your colleagues and me.

Now, about the conference — here’s Ruth:

____________________

Coming to Rochester:
An Opportunity to Learn from and Network
with Colleagues Up Close and In Person

Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, owner, Communication Central

In this increasingly electronic world, opportunities to meet, learn from, and network with colleagues in person are still valuable — and may even be more useful than some of the online interactions we all depend on so much these days.

That’s one of the factors behind Communication Central, an annual conference I created a few years ago as an opportunity for colleagues to get together in person to make their freelance writing, editing, proofreading and other communications businesses more effective and successful by learning from each other. As I’ve been putting finishing touches on this year’s speakers and topics, I’ve been thinking about why it’s worthwhile for colleagues to come to this event.

First, the conference offers a variety of topics that most, if not all, of us find useful or challenging. This year’s event includes sessions on:

  • using Acrobat, because clients increasingly ask for Acrobat-related services;
  • several aspects of marketing, including creativity, which can be a lot of fun; learning the secrets of success; and branding, which not enough of us think about as a way of distinguishing our freelance businesses from the herd (especially the Internet herd);
  • juggling work and family, which is a constant challenge;
  • creating and using macros, which can save a lot of time and make our work more efficient;
  • self-publishing, which offers both writers and editors some exciting opportunities, if we could only figure out how to take advantage of them;
  • social media, which only gets more important as time goes on; and
  • the business of freelancing, from the unique “tough love” perspectives of An American Editor, Rich Adin, as only he can relay important points.

Conference speakers are among the gems of our profession as freelance editors, proofreaders, writers and more – people with solid credentials and impressive expertise: brand marketer Chuck Ingersoll; publisher and blogger extraordinaire Yvonne DiVita; macro magician Jack Lyon; self-publishing pro Ally Machate; Copyediting newsletter editor Erin Brenner; National Association of Independent Writers and Editors leader Janice Campbell; creativity guru Ellen Koronet; editing expert Geoff Hart; Editorial Bootcamp owner Laura Poole; and, of course, Rich Adin — the American Editor himself. Those who are new to the event will add fresh perspectives, while those who have presented at previous conferences have new insights, topics, and experiences to share. Their generosity in sharing their expertise is amazing — and all are great examples of how we must constantly look for new ways of doing business as freelancers.

Second, there’s that personal interaction. Sure, you could get some of the basic information about any of these topics online. You can get immediate answers to urgent questions through e-mail discussion lists, LinkedIn and Facebook groups, professional associations, etc. But you can only get the personal touch from an in-person event. And you can only go in-depth on some of these topics when the expert is right at-hand to ask about details or demonstrate important points.

Most of us freelancers have few opportunities to get out of our garrets and into situations where we can meet and mingle with each other. Beyond the content and the personal touch of attending a conference like this, there’s also a wonderful sense of camaraderie among participants, some of whom have become good friends over the years, and some of whom have established working relationships as a result of meeting in person at one event or another. (Even in this increasingly digital age, some people still prefer to hire or subcontract to people they’ve actually met.)

Finally, as an incentive to attend, there is a special deal for this year’s conference just for An American Editor readers. This is especially appropriate, as Rich is both our keynote speaker and also will present a special two-part, four-hour session on the business of freelancing. The special discount is available only until July 31, so don’t delay! To take advantage of this offer, go to this special link:

An American Editor Registration

The conference will be at a Staybridge Suites hotel, with rooms that are sharable. The hotel is on the Genesee River, across from the University of Rochester, with a bridge to the campus for exercise and a dock for one of the local riverboats. The Rochester area offers plenty of activities for spouses/partners and kids who might want to tag along.

More information about the conference itself is available at Communication Central’s conference website.

For your special registration rate as a subscriber to An American Editor, go to An American Editor Registration.

____________________

As you can see, this year’s conference will be exciting; I know I am looking forward to it and am already planning on which sessions to attend. I encourage you to take advantage of the early registration special and join me, Ruth, and the other conference speakers in Rochester.

Remember that the An American Editor registration discount is only available via the links above and that it expires on July 31, after which the link will no longer work and the pricing will no longer be available.

*Disclaimer: I will be an attendee and presenter at the conference. I have no financial interest in Communication Central or the conference. In exchange for my presentation at the conference, I will receive reimbursement for my actual expenses, but no other compensation.

July 29, 2011

Worth Noting: Editorial Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century

Just a quick note to remind you of the upcoming “Editorial Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century” conference sponsored by Communication Central and scheduled for September 30 – October 1, 2011, in Baltimore, MD.

The sessions are described here; registration information is available here. Presenter bios are available here (you may need to scroll down to see them).

Here’s my disclaimer: Although I am presenting and doing the keynote address, I will receive no compensation — direct or indirect — other than expense reimbursement. I look forward to participating in Communication Central conferences as a way of sharing with colleagues what I have learned during my 27 years as a freelance editor.

For those thinking about attending, you can save some money by registering early. The cutoff date for early registration is August 15, 2011. Information about early registration is available here. I hope to meet many of you at the conference.

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