The show for those who want to build a successful freelance business. We are NOT about the hustle. We are NOT about the feast-or-famine cycle. We are about building a business. Deliberately.
#167: How to Use a “Cornerstone” Piece to Build a Content Marketing Plan, with Cassandra Le
Today’s guest is Cassandra Le, owner of The Quirky Pineapple Studio, a brand strategy and content marketing studio that works with Black, Indigenous and people of color, queer folks and intersectional feminists.
Cassandra is originally from Virginia in the United States, but she now lives in Spain. For more than 13 years, she has been creating content across all mediums (written, graphics, audio, video, photography), and through her business. She works with mission-driven brands and thought leaders around the world in English and Spanish — helping them share their story, connect with their community, and drive brand awareness with content marketing that is enjoyable and anti-oppressive.
Cassandra believes believe business and marketing can be fun AND be used as tools to dismantle systems of oppression.
In this episode, we talk about:
How Cassandra’s studio, The Quirky Pineapple Studio, got its name. How she went from freelance travel writing to running her agency. Why content marketing is important, even to those who traditionally are able to rely heavily on referrals. Cassandra recommends that you start your content marketing strategy with a “cornerstone” piece of content. Why you should plan your life before you plan your content. Some of the current content marketing trends. How to get started on TikTok (and do you need to?). Why you should use LinkedIn more. How content marketing has changed and why it’s now a long-term game. How Cassandra builds an inclusive content marketing strategy through cultural competency and why that’s important to her. The new app for Gen Z: BeReal. Biz Bites: Put phone on “do not disturb” mode. And, “group tabs” on Google Chrome.
The Quirky Pineapple Studio website The Quirky Pineapple Studio on Instagram Cassandra on Instagram I’m lost, so what? podcast How to group tabs on Google Chrome NPR article: BeReal is Gen Z’s new favorite social media app. Here’s how it works Support Deliberate Freelancer at Buy Me a Coffee Connect with Melanie on Threads @MelEdits_DC Connect with Melanie on LinkedIn Deliberate Freelancer Facebook group
#166: Smart Advice from the Content Byte Summit
On today’s show I provide a recap of The Content Byte Summit, which was held in Sydney, Australia, September 15-16. I attended virtually and was super impressed with the content, particularly all the discussion around artificial intelligence. There was also a lot of great tactical advice about running your freelance business, so even if you’re not a writer, I think you can learn from some of the advice I’m sharing today.
Here’s what I share with you in this episode:
A panel about humans versus AI discussed how a writer can stand out nowadays. Where AI fails and isn’t helpful. AI is a word predictor, so that means it has no original thought, no anecdotes, no creativity, no vulnerability. Those are areas you should include in your content. Why Ed Gandia no longer uses the word “strategy.” How to stop giving away your strategy and advice to clients for free. Tips from a panel on how to escape the low-paying cycle and make more money. Why accountability partners and mastermind groups can be good for you. What types of letters of introduction (LOIs) to send out. Tips from a session on how to find new clients. A recap of Jennifer Goforth Gregory’s keynote presentation: “The Secret to My $15,000 Months and How I Consistently Hit Income Targets.” Important questions Jennifer encourages us to ask as we build our business. Biz Bite: Provide a luxury good
The Bookshelf: “What the Dead Know: Learning About Life as a New York City Death Investigator” by Barbara Butcher
Support Deliberate Freelancer at Buy Me a Coffee The Content Byte Summit The Content Byte podcast Ed Gandia’s podcast: High-Income Business Writing Jennifer Goforth Gregory’s book and blog: The Freelance Content Marketing Writer Writer and editor Carrie Hutchinson Freelance journalist Cameron Bayley Claire Kimball, founder and managing director of Squiz Media (an Australian news podcast) Lindy Alexander and her blog, The Freelancer’s Year Episode #156 of Deliberate Freelancer: The Risks and Opportunities of ChatGPT Episode #11 of Association Station (Melanie’s other podcast): In Conversation with Jemilah Senter, about Opportunities and Risks of AI Tools Like ChatGPT Episode #100 of Deliberate Freelancer: Lessons from a Pandemic Year, with Jennifer Goforth Gregory Episode #4 of Deliberate Freelancer: Work Only with Nice Clients, with Jennifer Goforth Gregory Episode #164 of Deliberate Freelancer: Using a “freakout” protocol to get work now, with Austin Church Episode #98 of Deliberate Freelancer: Six-Figure Freelancing: The Benefits of Selling Strategy and Outcomes, with Austin Church Episode #81 of Deliberate Freelancer: Six-Figure Freelancing: Focus on a Niche and Partner with Other Freelancers, with Lynne Testoni The Content Byte podcast episode with Melanie: Melanie Padgett Powers, US-based healthcare writer and podcaster, shares the secrets of her success Connect with Melanie on Threads @MelEdits_DC Connect with Melanie on LinkedIn Deliberate Freelancer Facebook group
#165: I’m Back! Time to Get My Act Together
The podcast is back after my summer hiatus! Thanks for continuing to listen and support the show.
Here’s what I share with you in today’s episode:
The importance of taking breaks for your mental fitness and for better client work. The types of breaks you should be thinking about and planning for. Why planned and unplanned mental health breaks are important. What happens when you neglect your networking and marketing and slow down too much. Why you have to work at getting referrals. How I’m ready to embrace this new “back to school” season — and why I need to get my act together! New episodes of my second podcast, Association Station, that might also appeal to you (see links below). What happened to my Facebook account and the status of the Deliberate Freelancer Facebook group. Biz Bite: The 1% rule of thumb (by Brian Hood)
The Bookshelf: “Beyond That, the Sea” by Laura Spence-Ash
Support Deliberate Freelancer at Buy Me a Coffee Melanie’s other podcast, Association Station Episode #10 of Association Station: In Conversation with Nabil El-Ghoroury, PhD, CAE, about Stress, Burnout and Other Mental Health Issues Episode #11 of Association Station: In Conversation with Jemilah Senter, about Opportunities and Risks of AI Tools Like ChatGPT Episode #13 of Association Station: In Conversation with Crystal Shelley, about the Importance of Using Conscious Language in Our Writing and Editing Connect with Melanie on Threads @MelEdits_DC Connect with Melanie on LinkedIn Deliberate Freelancer Facebook group Brian Hood’s 6 Figure Creative podcast Episode #65 of Deliberate Freelancer: The No. 1 Way I Find New Clients (Referrals) Episode #152 of Deliberate Freelancer: How Mary Tindall Began to Earn $200,000 a Year as a Freelancer Episode #162 of Deliberate Freelancer: My Solo Business Retreat Reminded Me to Always Be Marketing
2023 Summer Hiatus Time (June-September)
Deliberate Freelancer is on a summer hiatus and will return toward the end of August or early September. Take this time to listen to some previous episodes or relisten to favorite guests! Or make a playlist of specific topics, like finding clients or pricing projects.
The Deliberate Freelancer Facebook group will be active during this time, so please join us over there for great conversations with other listeners. You can ask for advice and share your experiences.
If you have benefited from this podcast, please help support the show financially at Buy Me a Coffee.
And check out Melanie’s second podcast, Association Station. Season 1 debuted last summer, and season 2 will be released soon. So, subscribe now on your favorite podcast app.
#164: Using a “freakout” protocol to get work now, with Austin Church
Today’s guest is Austin Church from Knoxville, Tennessee. Austin helps e-commerce founders stand out online with their brand strategy. Lately, he’s been working as a fractional chief marketing officer (CMO), consulting for creator economy companies. He also coaches freelance creatives.
Austin was one of the six-figure freelancers I featured on the show in May 2021. We’ve since become friends, and his podcast, Freelance Cake, was in my ears during my recent solo business retreat — because I needed all his marketing advice!
I realized you all could benefit from hearing some of his great marketing strategies and tactics too, so I invited him back on the show.
In this episode, we talk about:
What a “fractional” role is for a freelancer and how Austin moved into that role. How Austin defines and sells strategy. Why templates are so important. How Austin works through a “content road map” with clients. Austin’s marketing strategy and his “freakout” protocol. The difference between “cold” leads and “warm” leads. Austin’s 3 R’s of marketing: repeat business, referrals and relationships. How Austin uses LinkedIn to get new clients: tips from Sharon Wu. Don’t be afraid to ask other freelancers you know for referrals. Biz Bite: Have a shut-down ritual that identifies three priorities for the next day and include “marketing” as one of the priorities.
Join the Deliberate Freelancer Facebook group. Support Deliberate Freelancer at Buy Me a Coffee. Austin’s website and his free freelance course: AustinLChurch.com Austin on LinkedIn Austin’s Freelance Cake podcast episode: 7-Step Freakout Protocol for Getting Last-Minute Freelance Income Episode #98 of Deliberate Freelancer: Six-Figure Freelancing: The Benefits of Selling Strategy and Outcomes, with Austin Church How Austin uses LinkedIn to get new clients: tips from Sharon Wu Find email addresses: Hunter.io
#163: Dealing with Overwhelm and Uncertainty: A Mini Coaching Session, with Helen Jane Campbell
Today’s guest is Helen Jane Campbell. Helen is from Wales and recently moved from Hay-on-Wye, Wales, to Worthing, England.
Helen is a life and business coach for ambitious and creative entrepreneurs, bringing authenticity and energy to all she does.
Clients turn to Helen when they feel ready to bring more joy, energy, and abundance into their lives and their teams. She helps people create space and reconnect with their self-worth and creative freedom.
Prior to becoming a coach, Helen spent two decades of her career in PR and communications strategy — with a focus on creativity and on building and leading effective teams. She worked directly with decision-makers and CEOs.
Helen is the author of the book “Founders, Freelancers & Rebels” and the co-founder of Hay Pride, the Pride celebration Hay-on-Wye. She also hosts monthly sessions on Zoom called Powerful Journaling.
In this episode, we talk about:
How Helen went from employee to freelance PR professional to business coach. Helen’s book, “Founders, Freelancers & Rebels.” What Helen’s clients are feeling and dealing with now in 2023. Ask yourself: What assumptions are you making about your business? Dealing with the feeling of uncertainty brought on by the pandemic. How Helen responds when people are feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. What did you love to do when you were 12? “RAIN” technique to try when you’re feeling scattered or unmoored. The phrase Helen hates and why. Biz Bite: Fall Back in Love with Your Business
Helen’s website Helen’s monthly Powerful Journaling workshop Helen’s book, “Founders, Freelancers & Rebels” Helen’s Substack newsletter Helen on Twitter Tara Brach’s RAIN technique Join the Deliberate Freelancer Facebook group. Support Deliberate Freelancer at Buy Me a Coffee.
Helpful and direct
I really enjoy the direct, clear and helpful approach of this show. The host does a great job of focusing on what will really help the freelancer.
Real, relevant, actionable
Melanie brings a ton of expertise to her audience, and she does it such a real and relatable way. I’m also really impressed by the caliber and variety of guests she brings on to the show. This is one of my all-time favorite business podcasts.
Usable and thoughtful advice
My favorite resource for thought-provoking discussion of freelancing that includes tons of practical, actionable tips. The host does a fantastic job of curating interviewees. This podcast has helped me over the years as I've grown and redirected my business, both with work hacks and with getting in and staying in the right mindset.