Creating-Content-Every-Day-Dont-Overthink-It

Creating Content Every Day, Don’t Overthink It

Here Is A Challenge For Call Creators

Quality is large in part an end product of creating. If you are judging the work before or mid-process, you are setting yourself up for failure. Judging your work should only begin after your audience has judged it. Then you can insert your ego.

 

Some of your best work will also be the work you hesitated the most to publish. You will surprise yourself more often if you give your content a chance to see the light of day. Yes, your work should be edited to achieve maximum results. However, there comes a time when you need to pull the trigger.

 

Finding a reason to start creating content is easy, learning how to create content consistently is hard. I recently decided to take up a challenge that author Seth Godin proposes to all aspiring writers: we should write every single day. I propose that this practice is important to adopt for any kind of creator, whether your photographer, painter, graphic designer, or filmmaker.

 

Even if you don’t publish your work, the simple act of creating something every day will create a foundational process. This process can then be refined over time, helping you to create better work. Incremental improvements are often unnoticeable yet, if you trust that they will happen you will see results. These results may reveal themselves within a year’s time or in ten years. Your audience will let you know when the results are visible.

 

Creating content on a daily basis will also let you see if you like doing it! It will also reveal whether or not you need working with the best format. Maybe you would be a better podcaster rather than a filmmaker, or perhaps writing is a better option for your voice. If you create something every day, you will certainly learn more about what works best.

 

Don’t overthink the process. Don’t overthink your content. Trust that you can create something special and useful and it will eventually happen. Even if you have a gift, without a practice of creating that is built upon hard work you will give up when the going gets tough. Talent is only a part of the equation.

 

Make it so that all excuses are non-existent, that all barriers to entry are gone, and you will see that you can create. It can be done, every single day. Stop getting in your own way and your audience will thank you.

The-Best-Credit-Card-You-Could-Ever-Own

The Best Credit Card You Could Ever Own

Focus on creating a financial commitment to yourself first

The day I started to actually commit to saving my money was when I learned how debt works. I was shown a Youtube video called, How The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio. In the video, Ray describes debt as a means of increasing spending in the present and decreasing it in the future. Once I realized that that is how debt works, I wanted to only create debt between my “current self” and my “future self.”

 

Instead of owing money to a bank, why can’t we just owe money to ourselves? Savings in its simplest form is postponed spending. You are giving money to your future self. If you think of your savings as your “most important credit card bill” that you have, the obligation to pay your future self becomes easier.

 

“Seeing your monthly savings account deposits the same way you see your monthly credit card bills may help you prioritize them more.”

 

We often prioritize the wrong financial obligations. The most important bill that you should pay first, before paying any other bills, is your monthly savings deposit. If you reframe that deposit as a bill, you will prioritize that commitment to yourself even more.  We tend to spend within our means, so we might as well spend on our future first.

 

Are you another statistic?

Even if you decide never to own assets, doing the bare minimum of saving 10-20% of your after-tax income every month will put you ahead of so many other people. After all, the average American doesn’t have $400 in emergency savings. Although this statistic is regularly debated, trying to get $400 in savings is an attainable goal to start with. If you can achieve this, next try to maintain a consistent monthly contribution that can only be used by your future self. Even better, open an account that will penalize you for early withdrawals, like an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

 

Don’t be a statistic. Saving your money can help you do so many things, like setting yourself up for a mini-retirement, preparing for future debt payments like a mortgage, or it can just provide simple peace of mind (this is why I have a savings account).

Focus-On-Owning-The Category-A Not-So-New Approach-To-Building-Your-Personal-Brand

Focus On Owning The Category: A Not-So-New Approach To Building Your Personal Brand

Promote A Category, Not Your Name

The purpose of a slogan is to promote a brand that your prospective customer can identify with. You want the slogan and eventually your brand’s name to become so synonymous with the product or service that you’re selling, that you become generic.

 

Band-Aid is a company that sells bandages. Scotch Tape is a company that sells tape. When you hear the phrase, “Just Do It,” Nike is the first thing that comes to mind. When you hear these brands’ names, they appear to be the most generic in their categories: bandages, tape, and shoes. They own these categories.

 

These companies don’t only focus on promoting their logos, they focus on promoting the utility of their product categories. That’s what we all need to do if we are seeking to expand the reach of our personal brands. Thinking of ourselves as large corporations, it is better for us to promote the category of services rather than our brands themselves.

 

To give an explicit example, Tim Ferriss explains in  Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, that he focused on selling the category of Lifestyle Design. He did this so successfully that after the launch of his book, The 4-Hour Workweek, many other copycats came out of the woodwork. Now there are thousands of people who promote themselves as lifestyle designers on Youtube and Instagram.

 

Now we may not be as lucky as Tim in both owning and creating a phrase that ends up becoming a whole category of service providers, but we can learn something from his approach. Your prospective customer is being sold to every minute of every day. They aren’t only being sold to by your direct competitors, hundreds of other brands outside of your industry are also trying to get their attention.

 

Instead of doing what everyone else does and promoting your services as, “Look what I can do for you,” the better approach is, “Look what this type of service can do for you.” You come off as more educational, rather than promotional.

 

How To Implement This Idea For Yourself

I’m currently trying to own the category of copywriter. I am not the first nor will I be the last copywriter. My main challenge right now is that I am working uphill, competing with every single copywriter in the world.

 

Even if I were to hone in on a niche, that currently being product review writing, I am still in fierce competition with other copywriters who write the same type of content. The only way to distinguish my personal brand to stand out more is by modifying the title of copywriter, promoting content on why businesses need copywriters, and showcasing my expertise — what I know.

 

People only remember the top three to seven brands in a given category. We have to aim for becoming, at the bare minimum, the number three person in our field if we are going to even have a chance at having a client consider hiring us.

 

Creating content for your personal brand is only the first step in this process. While you create your online footprint, you have to constantly keep in mind, “How am I creating or owning this category?” The older and bigger the category, the more difficult it will be to do this.

 

If you’re trying to build your personal brand as a newcomer in your industry, the most accessible option will be to promote the category you are in. For the more seasoned professional, Tim Ferriss approach might be the better option. Try creating a new category and have others copy you so that you become the leader in that category by default. This is certainly harder to do but, it beats trying to stand out in a sea of other professionals who have the exact same title as you do.

 


 

I just recently finished reading The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk! by Al Ries & Jack Trout. Taking the ideas proposed by the authors, I wanted to know how I could actually retain the information more. I want to make the book more useful. They cover a wide history of how several companies gained prominence (or lost it) within their industries.

 

I’m taking what I’ve learned from the book and applying it to my personal brand. If you’re interested in learning more about marketing in general, I highly recommend buying this book. It’s a fast read and it is certainly an enjoyable way to spend a weekend at home.

How-To-Charge-A-Client-Kenny-Soto

How To Charge A Client: Time, Creation, Or Results

Unclear Pricing Doesn’t Get You Clients

A freelancer’s hardest task is getting clients. You can be the best vendor or consultant in the world, yet if you cannot attract and retain a clientele, your work doesn’t matter. Part of gathering clients is determining how much you will charge them. You can only calculate how much to charge a client by using three methods of measurement:

  • Through time spent working
  • By what you’ve created for them
  • Or by using measurable results.

 

You may use a mix of all three of these methods but, there will always be an anchor. The anchor will be the main method by which all negotiation revolves around. In my field of copywriting, I charge by what I create. Instead of charging for my services by hourly rate, I charge by article or word count. I could charge by the time it takes to write an article or by the number of page views an article generates, but I personally don’t like those pricing models. The exact method you use is large in part, determined by the type of services you are providing.

 

Always Keep Your Pricing Flexible

When pricing your services, consider the exact dollar amount you will use as a starting point in your negotiations. You always want to be open to negotiating the price, as clients often provide you with more than just money in exchange for your work. A client’s value also comes from their network, as referrals are often the best way to grow your business and your reputation. A client’s value can also come from the project they are inviting you to contribute to, as certain projects are better for your portfolio than others.

 

Regardless of which of the three methods you decide to use, it is important to experiment with all three of them. Certain clients will only hire you if they can clock your hours, while others will only care about results and charge you a commission from actual revenue made. If your services necessitate it, you may want to include a retainer fee in your contract.

 

The retainer fee is a percentage of your services that you will charge before working for your client, which is used as proof that the client is committed to working with you. The price is usually between 5-10% of the total service fee but, you can charge more if your reputation allows for it. Some clients don’t accept retainer fees and you should use your best judgment when deciding to work with them. I would only work for a client without a retainer fee if they have a big network that I could leverage in the future.

 

Having a clear pricing model and a way of showing this to your clients before starting your work for them will always save you time in future discussions. You always want to make sure that your clients understand what it is you are doing for them and why they are being charged the price you are setting. If either of these are vague, you are doing your client a disservice. If you are shy about this topic of conversation when sending project proposals and setting initial client calls, there is a way to tackle that fear.

 

Questions Are The Best Starting Point When Explaining Your Pricing Structure

The best way to become more confident in talking about your fees is by showcasing your ability to understand your client. Instead of selling before naming the price of your fees, ask as many questions as possible. This will provide you with information necessary to tie your fees to their needs. When describing why you are pricing your services using your time, output, or results — bring the topic of conversation back to what the client needs from you.

 

If a client truly needs your services and if you are able to demonstrate how your services will clearly solve their problems, the conversation of setting your price will be easier to navigate. Hopefully, you will be able to communicate that you are charging not only for your services but, for an ongoing relationship with the client. You are charging to solve their current and future problems.

 

Lastly, finding the right price for your clients comes with experience. Additionally, you don’t need to leverage your own experience. Researching the advice of expert freelancers in your field can give you a ballpark figure to start working with. At the end of the day, play with the numbers.

 

If you find that prospective clients aren’t receptive to the current prices you are setting, perhaps you are charging too much or you need better clients. Experimentation will be the only way to determine which of these two scenarios is the real one.

The-Cons-Of-Being-A-Digital-Nomad

The Cons Of Being A Digital Nomad

Look Beyond The Posts

If you’re thinking about becoming a digital nomad, know that it is certainly possible. The hard part isn’t becoming a digital nomad, the hard part is sustaining the lifestyle. If you find yourself comparing your current life to that of Instagram influencers who post about the #workandtravel lifestyle, know that they are struggling too. If they aren’t struggling, it is because they have struggled to the point of understanding what there is to anticipate and how to prepare for it.

 

If you want to become a digital nomad, let’s first start by discussing the difference between a digital nomad and a remote worker. A remote worker is someone who works for one company. They are someone who has a stable income and they work from one fixed location (usually their home office). A digital nomad is a type of remote worker that travels while (usually) working for several clients. Their income isn’t stable and they have to juggle several hustles to maintain their picturesque lifestyle.

 

A Digital Nomad’s Unique Challenges

The first challenge you should deliberately try to solve is that of your finances. Your journey as a digital nomad will not be feasible without a proper financial plan set in place. This plan must consist of a budget for your trip, however long you plan on making it, and a budget for your life after your trip. In the event of an early failure, you want to make sure you have an emergency-savings account ready. This will be for a flight back home, a month’s worth of basic necessities and for your accommodation while you lick your wounds. Save two to three months of your current income before even thinking about purchasing your first plane ticket.

 

Next, you will want to tackle the issue of overwork. As a digital nomad, you will end up working for work’s sake. It is important to create a set routine, at least for your work schedule. This routine will be designated for working only and for checking your email. Outside of these hours, you want to close your laptop, put it in your room and then leave.

 

Don’t have your email app on your phone and have all notifications from social media off while exploring the country you’re in. The digital nomad lifestyle can quickly seem like a regular nine-to-five, only with sandy beaches, if you don’t take the time to stop working and actually go out for a swim.

 

When faced with boredom, you’re going to want to find a muse. I prefer using writing for tackling boredom, as it inevitably comes every day. The pictures and videos you see of digital nomads online only capture seconds, if not minutes, of their actually daily life. Most of it is finding a balance between not working too much and not dying from boredom. If you focus on creating something — a podcast, vlog, or a blog — you find a way to tackle your boredom. You may even use your muse to help fund your travels, if you take the time to grow it.

 

Lastly, the most difficult challenge you will face is loneliness. I’m lucky that I have a partner who is willing to work and travel with me, some digital nomads aren’t as lucky. If you want to become a digital nomad you have to know that you’re going to get lonely, a lot. Even if you meet people and make meaningful connections, those connections will be short. You won’t be able to stay in one place for too long, due to visa restrictions. This will make it so that you have to always meet new people.

 

If this is an issue for you, video calls with your friends and family may help, but only to a certain point. Anticipate lots of loneliness and start your journey with the goal of self-discovery as a focus. If you do this, the loneliness and boredom that comes from this lifestyle will be welcomed and it will provide you with opportunities to learn more about yourself.

 

Why I Don’t Regret The Decision Of Becoming A Digital Nomad

I don’t regret taking the chance to become a digital nomad because I have learned so much. I have learned how to be more responsible with my money. I have learned how to manage my time better and how to commit myself to write every day. Also, I have seen so much that I would not have seen if I stayed in a comfortable job. Even if failure were to occur, I now know how easy it is to try this again.

 

If you want to become a digital nomad, know that failing is okay. No amount of preparation prior to your adventure is going to prepare you for the challenges you’ll face. I am certain that your unique story is going to have challenges that aren’t mentioned here. Embrace them.

 

The challenges you encounter will make for great stories. Take the chance and just know that there are cons to this lifestyle. Do your research, prepare as best you can, and then just give it a try. It’s worth it.

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