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Roundtable Report 2023 | President's Post by Laura Stigler

31 Oct 2023 12:54 PM | Laura Stigler (Administrator)

Harking back to our September 12 (and popular as ever) Writers’ Roundtable, let’s give a round of applause for the resounding success that it was! As is our custom, we did not record the meeting out of respect for everyone’s privacy. But that doesn’t mean those who didn’t attend should be kept in the dark. I’d like to share some of the knowledge gained during that fruitful hour just in case the issues raised happen to be what's on your mind as well.   

Which brings me to the first topic raised by Moderator Jeff Steele. Starting the back-and-forth with a bang, Jeff asked that loaded question, “How do you find work?” From there, the questions, answers, advice and opinions went flying.

1. How do you find work? This is the $64K perennial question that comes up in all our Roundtables – and frankly, whenever freelance writers get together. The answers offered up were multiple and all worth exploring. Here's a sampling:

  •  LinkedIn: Always a popular suggestion. The success rate varies, but there are definitely jobs to be found there – specifically, if you sign up for LinkedIn Premium. No promises but one attendee spoke of how it resulted in some very lucrative and steady gigs.
  •  Freelance Success (FLX). A membership-based website and publication, when you subscribe for a monthly or annual fee you’ll have access to a treasure trove of resources, job listings, classes and more. IWOC members who have experience with FLX swear by it.
  • Directory of AssociationsAssociations are always in need of content – for newsletters, trade magazines, press releases, etc. The directory lists associations for nearly every category imaginable – all across the country. Check it out. Then start connecting!
  • The karma of Cold Calling. This technique is as old-school as you can get, yet arguably grants you with the most tried-and-true results when dialing for clients. That personal touch goes a long way in making connections in this otherwise email- and X (formerly Twitter)-obsessed world. But there are rules, such as always starting at the get-go by succinctly identifying yourself and asking “Do you have a moment?” when a prospective clients picks up the phone. 
Most miraculously, once you get on a cold-calling roll, don’t be surprised if a client that wasn’t even on your list comes calling you out of the blue. That’s the karma part. A very readable cold-calling guide can be found on our Member Resources Page. Scroll down to “Speaker Handouts” and click on Jim Leman’s “Cold Call Marketing.” The advice is timeless.

2. Handy resources for content creators...

  • Help a Reporter Out (HARO) Journalists, researchers – anyone needing a source for their content will find this website invaluable.
  • is where you can “find experts, guest speakers and story ideas instantly.”

3. How do you write a CV(curriculum vitae, Latin for “course of life.”)? Much depends on who you’re writing it for. A CV includes a brief account of one’s education, qualifications and previous occupations. Similar but more detailed than a resumé, the “voice” should be appropriate to your target. Applying to an academic, research or financial institution would be more conservative in tone than if you were applying for a job at an advertising or public relations agency. Don’t be afraid to infuse it with your personality – something that surely makes you stand apart from other applicants. And there’s always Google, where you can find any number of templates and suggestions as to how to write a CV that will work double time in helping you land the job. 

4. Just say, “Yes!” to an assignment. Even if you have no experience in the subject you’re asked to write about. You’ll surprise yourself at what you can do, and the satisfaction you’ll feel when you’ve tackled it. Plus, taking on something you’ve never done before will expand the diversity of your portfolio. That said, on the occasion you feel the assignment is way out of your wheelhouse, perhaps recommend another (IWOC) writer who may be perfect for it. (Just make sure you get their permission first!)

Much more was covered -- and discovered in our session. Even then, it was only the tip of the iceberg. (Good reason to have another Roundtable in early spring!) But as far as this last one, if you weren’t there, wish you were. To those who did attend, thank you so much! Please feel free to mention other helpful advice that was shared around the table. Just click the dots next to the headline to comment below. 

Till the next round...

-- Laura Stigler

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