The Easiest Place to Find Clients

Grape arbor illustrates the easiest place to find clients (low hanging fruit)

New freelancers know that the easiest place to find clients is your own network. But what if you don’t know anybody who would want what you provide? There’s a reason why your network is such a great place to find your first client. Quite simply, people want to buy from those they know, like, and … Read more

What do freelancing prospects really want?

A new freelancer asked, “What do prospective clients look for, and how can I show that I have those skills?” The first time a prospect reached out to me, I wondered the same thing. I know it’s an exciting moment, but nerve wracking too. For your first two-way communication with the person, you want to … Read more

Choosing and Using Fonts on Your Website

Examples of fonts

Do you know what makes your web page readable? Here’s a thought from curator, educator, and critic Ellen Lupton, from her book Thinking with type. The impatience of the digital reader arises from culture, not from the essential character of display technologies. Users of websites have different expectations of print. They expect to feel “productive,” … Read more

You volunteered, but you didn’t ask for this

Christine Inherits a Website I first got to know Christine, the president of my community league, when I approached her about starting a community garden in our neighborhood. She liked the idea, but when we talked about how I can spread the word to get volunteers, I began to think this will take years. And … Read more

Barefoot Writer writing challenge

Check out my winning entry for the June 2018 writing challenge. The question was, “If you could spend an afternoon writing from anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?” JoAnne Burek: June 2018 Barefoot Writing Challenge Winner Skills: Writing

Old School Goal Setting: How Richard Nixon Kicked Off His New Year

I’m a voyeur when it comes to the brains of accomplished people. So, when I saw Richard Nixon’s famous yellow pads at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda last week, I was thrilled. Nixon was a lawyer when he entered politics. Naturally, the yellow legal notepad was his tool for making … Read more

Oblivious in the Jargon of Good and Evil

Recently, my copy review group was picking apart a sales letter. When we came to the term “buyer’s journey” we stopped and had to ask ourselves, is this jargon? Usually we know jargon when we see it. But this time not everyone was in agreement. (I almost typed “not on the same page,” but…you know.) … Read more

Fresh Ideas Where You Haven’t Been Looking

Fish in a tank Hong Kong 2010

One of the things I do as a freelancer is write indexes for the back of books. Many people would say this sounds tedious. To that I say, it’s not for everyone. After all, you have to be willing to read a book more than once—even if you don’t think it will interest you. Most … Read more

For smoother, faster writing, create an office style guide

I once worked at a company that wrote detailed technical proposals for bids. Everybody on the project team wrote their own sections. On the weekend before the proposal was due, some effort would be made to make the proposal read as one voice end-to-end. But usually, we ran out of time. It was embarrassing to … Read more

Thinking about the blockchain

As a retired technical person, I find it unsettling when I feel ignorant about an emerging new technology. The first time I heard about the blockchain, I was watching the documentary Banking on Bitcoin. And then “blockchain” starting popping up in articles about new IT career paths and directions. Ever since, I’ve been curious about … Read more