Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Nov 13-19

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, communications, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From Canada:

From The U.S. and beyond:

Recently on Story Board:

  • Working from home during personal chaos: How can you keep your freelance career on track during times of change? Here are some ways to cope when the boundaries between your professional workspace and personal life become blurred…
  • November media mixer in Toronto: Toronto-area freelancers, media workers and students, it’s getting darker and chillier out there, but CWA Canada is holding a social event that will brighten up your November…

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on November 18, 2018 at 9:10 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Working from home during personal chaos

by Meagan Gillmore

I pursued a writing career hoping it would allow me a more flexible home life, perhaps the possibility of staying home to raise any future children. Freelancing was, I believed, a buffer against the financial instabilities that seemed guaranteed for those who entered adulthood during the Great Recession of the mid-2000s.

But for much of 2017, some of the most-productive months of my young freelancing career coincided with a period of near-constant change and relational instability. I quickly learned that working from home, at times, seems more of an invitation to chaos than an inoculation against it.

A part-time contract job allowed me to report on national labour affairs while continuing with previous freelance gigs. But with the increasing number of bylines came growing chaos in the workplace: my home.

In eight months, the two women with whom I had shared a two-bedroom apartment for the better part of four years both got engaged – and married. It was a busy time that meant neither was readily available for household chores and companionship. After the second wedding, I spent nearly two months crashing on friends’ couches before securing a place to live with two other women. One married a few months later, and the search for another housemate began. The changes continued. So did the deadlines.

The struggle to maintain a proper balance when working from home and dealing with life transitions is a “normal, expected conundrum,” says Sharon Ramsay, a registered psychotherapist and registered marriage and family therapist in Toronto.
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Posted on November 15, 2018 at 9:35 pm by editor · 2 Comments · Tagged with: ,

November media mixer in Toronto

Toronto-area freelancers, media workers and students, it’s getting darker and chillier out there, but CWA Canada is holding a social event that will brighten up your November.

Come out to Craft Kitchen (410 Adelaide St W, just west of Spadina) on Tuesday, November 20 from 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm for a free media mixer with complimentary snacks and drinks.

Mix and mingle with your colleagues working in the media, meet old friends and make some new ones. There will also be mentors from several media outlets, including VICE, CBC, and the Canadian Press.

Register for your free ticket to this event on this Eventbrite page.

This event is hosted by CWA Canada, the country’s only all media union, with 6,000 members at media companies and newspapers coast to coast. CWA Canada has a free membership for student, volunteer, precarious and emerging media workers through its Associate Member program. CWA Canada is the parent union of the Canadian Media Guild, which represents members at media outlets such as VICE Canada, CBC, and The Canadian Press, as well as freelancers through its voluntary membership program.

This venue is wheelchair accessible and has gender-neutral washrooms.

Posted on November 13, 2018 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Nov 6-12

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, communications, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From Canada:

From The U.S. and beyond:

Recently on Story Board:

  • The Born Freelancer on the Power of Gratitude: These dark days of autumn rapidly turning into even darker days of winter can be especially trying for those of us who work on our own. It is easy to fall prey to negative thoughts and allow ourselves to be put into in a less than optimal mind set for daily tasks ahead…
  • Webinar: State Your Worth: how to price your services or an experienced contractor looking to boost your income, CMG Freelance’s next webinar will help you determine what you’re worth…
  • Factual TV/Cineflix class action Q&A and webinar: If you work in factual TV and are wondering what’s going on with the class action lawsuit against Cineflix Canada, you’ll have the opportunity to find out more about it and ask questions next week…
  • A Freelancer’s Guide to Content Marketing: It’s a job that requires the imagination of an advertising copywriter, the inquisitiveness and writing discipline of a journalist and a bit of an understanding of data science…

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on November 12, 2018 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

The Born Freelancer on the Power of Gratitude

This series of posts by the Born Freelancer shares personal experiences and thoughts on issues relevant to freelancers. Have something to add to the conversation? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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I was talking over the importance of mental well-being for freelancers with a fellow writer.

These dark days of autumn rapidly turning into even darker days of winter can be especially trying for those of us who work on our own. It is easy to fall prey to negative thoughts and allow ourselves to be put into in a less than optimal mind set for daily tasks ahead.

Of course, anyone can develop bad psychological attitudes, but for creative workers the potential predisposition seems greater.

And so my colleague brought up the concept of gratitude.

It seems many self-help gurus posit that a sense of gratitude is important for optimal mental health. It can help achieve balance and perspective.

This makes perfect sense to me.

Once upon a time, in my salad days as a freelancer, I used to feel envious of and occasional bitterness towards some colleagues who appeared to be achieving success they didn’t deserve (IMHO) while at the same time I was not (again, IMHO).

Envy can be a great catalyst for creative expression. Many times I’ve read or seen something that I knew I could do better and was whipped into a frenzy of activity to attempt it.
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Posted on November 8, 2018 at 10:15 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

Webinar: State Your Worth

Whether you’re a new freelancer wondering how to price your services or an experienced contractor looking to boost your income, CMG Freelance’s next webinar will help you determine what you’re worth.

Understanding where to start (or sometimes re-start) when it comes to rate setting can be a painful undertaking–but it doesn’t have to be.

Join us for the webinar “State Your Worth” on Thursday, November 22nd at 6pm ET/3pm PT and learn how to get into the right mindset for negotiating. The webinar will teach you how to figure out what you’re worth, and will explore various popular freelance pricing models. Webinar participants will also gain access to a Freelance Resource Guide, which lists links, books, communities and other useful material.

“State Your Worth” will be led by negotiation and compensation professional Annika Reinhardt, the founder of Talent Collective, an organization focused on supporting individuals on their career journeys. After failing miserably in her first salary negotiation, Reinhardt bounced back and was able to nearly triple her salary in only a few years. She now focuses on helping individuals state their worth and negotiate their compensation and freelance rates with confidence. Annika is also a Certified Compensation Professional and can often be found sharing her thoughts on topics like gender equity and pay transparency on news outlets such as CBC, CTV and the Globe & Mail.

To register for “State Your Worth” click on this link. If you’re a CMG Freelance member, enter the code “CMG-FL” when you are asked for an affiliation code. If you are not a member, you can enter the code “SBoard” to register to participate in this webinar for free.

Live viewings of webinars are open to everyone. Archived webinars are available for viewing by CMG Freelance and CWA Canada Associate Members on this members-only page on the CMG Freelance website. Recent webinars have covered subjects such as legal advice on defamation, tax tips, and social media strategies for freelancers.

Students, volunteers and emerging media workers can sign up for a free CWA Associate Membership right here. And for information about the price and benefits of CMG Freelance membership you can check out the CMG Freelance website.

Posted on November 7, 2018 at 11:27 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Factual TV/Cineflix class action Q&A and webinar

If you work in factual TV and are wondering what’s going on with the class action lawsuit against Cineflix Canada, you’ll have the opportunity to find out more about it and ask questions next week.

The Canadian Media Guild is holding an interactive webinar and Q&A for anyone interested in finding out more about this legal action. It’s scheduled for Tuesday, November 13 from 7:30 pm to 8:15 pm EST.

During the webinar you’ll hear from the ‘representative plaintiff’, Anna Bourque, about why we need this action now. You’ll be able to ask questions to the lawyer at Cavalluzzo LLP, Tassia Poynter, who is heading up this lawsuit. And we’ll also talk about how forming a union can help us go beyond the class action to make permanent improvements in our industry.

This free interactive webinar is hosted by the CMG’s Fairness in Factual campaign. You can register to participate at this link. You’ll have the option to participate in this webinar anonymously.

Posted on November 6, 2018 at 7:32 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , , ,

A Freelancer’s Guide to Content Marketing

by Steven Threndyle

Freelancers perusing job listings on Indeed or Glassdoor will often come across content marketing writing gigs. It’s a job that requires the imagination of an advertising copywriter, the inquisitiveness and writing discipline of a journalist and a bit of an understanding of data science.

Increasingly, this kind of writing is being outsourced by major brands to digital marketing agencies who then, depending on workflow, assign these stories out to freelancers.

Quietly is a Yaletown-based digital marketing firm led by two successful Vancouver tech-preneurs; Dario Meli from Hootsuite and Sean Tyson from Invoke Media. Using advanced proprietary software to tease out consumer insights, Quietly consults for world-wide brands such as Sotheby’s Realty, PWC and Okta, a Silicon Valley software security company. Quietly seeks to “quietly” nudge consumer awareness through engaging storytelling, rather than bludgeoning them with blatant sales messages (TODAY ONLY—75% OFF!).

Kristin Ramsey is Quietly’s editorial director. She says, “We like to think of the internet as this giant focus group. We ask our clients questions like, ‘How do customers find your company? How does your website currently perform? How would you like your customers to find you?’ In some industries, the average consumer will look at five or six pieces of content before they purchase a product or service. Our data-driven approach uncovers what those pieces of content should be.”
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Posted on November 6, 2018 at 6:00 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Oct 30-Nov 5

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, communications, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From Canada:

From The U.S. and beyond:

Recently on Story Board:

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on November 4, 2018 at 5:00 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Always be closing: How to keep marketing even when busy with projects

By Nkiru Asika

Halloween may be over, but there is nothing more frightening to a freelance writer than the deathly spectre of no work on the horizon; when your clients literally go ghost.

It’s tempting, when you have client work, to forget all about marketing and simply bury yourself in the writing. But that is a costly mistake that triggers the freelancer’s curse of feast or famine.

Staying consistent with marketing while busy with clients is no easy feat. “Always Be Closing” was advice given to the hard-nosed salesmen in the movie Glengarry Glen Ross. But it’s probably not what you envisaged when you set out to live “the writer’s life.”

I spoke with three successful freelancers from different writing backgrounds about their approach to balancing their marketing and writing.

SHARON ASCHAIEK, HIGHER ED COMMUNICATIONS

Sharon Aschaiek

Looking back on her 14-year freelance business, writer, editor and content consultant Sharon Aschaiek admits, “I worked on my marketing in fits and starts and when client work would pile up it would fall by the wayside.”

This led to periods of her thinking, “am I ever going to work again?”

Today, her approach is both systematic and strategic, especially since rebranding her business and launching a new website in April 2018 to reflect her specialty of higher education.
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Posted on November 3, 2018 at 1:13 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , , ,