MINISODE: Q&A from the AHP Media Conference
Welcome to our special minisode where we share the Q&A portion of the American Horse Publications Equine Media Conference session "Recharging and Reinventing your Freelance Business.” It's not actually a "mini" episode but it's a little something extra for y'all from the conference.
Q: If you have older work and are stepping back into the industry, what is the thought process on posting older work?
A: Kate suggests using “Flashback Friday” or “Throwback Thursday” as a way to post older work and make it somewhat relevant. Abigail advises to tell a story to reconnect with the piece. But Kate cautions against portraying the item as brand new work. It can also establish that you have had a long career with experience.
Q: Do you suggest a freelancer take advantage of the AHP Press Release or to reach out to editors?
A: Marketing and promoting yourself isn’t necessarily easy for freelancers. Kate and Abigail discuss how they use the AHP Press Release component of membership to announce Freelance Remuda Podcast announcements. Kate goes on to discuss how you can reach a larger audience on social media by using popular hashtags. Social media is free, but can reach a large audience through shares by the companies. For example, if a photo is shared on social and a company sees it, reaches out and you might get work, that is worth it.
Abigail advises to use the press release as a means to promote expertise, not just as a news bulletin. The AHP “Guide to Press Release Optimization” is a good guide, and available to members online. Abigail also shares that the Equine Photographer’s Network will promote their members and that can be a business building boost when they share content. Additionally, she says tagging a source will help promote the article or photo, and can garner more work and new contacts. Organic exposure!
Q: How do you get an editorial calendar for the year? And how do you get on the list?
A: While editorial calendars are private, editors will request pitches that meet certain topics and issue themes. Sometimes editors send guidelines and photography lists.
Abigail suggests developing relationships with editors. Email the editorial staff and let them know you are a writer/photographer and are interested in contributing.
Bianca adds that some magazines do have a topic or photo list online, just need to do some digging! She adds that after AHP, some editors contact you asking if you would like to join their listserv.
Q: Do you create specific hours that you work during the day?
A: Kate works from home and sets her schedule by her assignments and goals, and to meet her husband’s schedule. She writes in the morning and set a lunchtime deadline for herself. Afternoon items include transcribing and emails. She suggests to identify when you can write or work at your best, and schedule around that time. Tracy agrees, morning writing is easiest for her. Working at home allows Kate to not force herself to write, etc., and she will take a mental break like take the dog for a walk and come back to tackle an achievable task.
Abigail has a schedule that works around her children. She works early in the morning before they get up, when they nap, and after they go to sleep. Her mother-in-law assists with childcare. She has two “to do” lists: during the off-business hours, she can do emails. After the kids are asleep for naps, she schedules interviews. Her best time of writing is early in the morning or at night because she is less distracted. She has a list of short and long tasks that she can do when a time slot comes open.
Kate references Episode 8 with Megan Arszman, who has a child and full-time job to work around.
The main thing is to know when you work best and set achievable goals. Plow through the mundane work and check it off your list! Tracy Gantz adds to be flexible, especially with sources.
NOTE: Always keep the digital recorder with you! Use Bluetooth to do interviews while driving. Try to schedule the horse when they are driving or have down time, too.
Q: How do you become an effective transcriber? What is the process for phone interviews?
A: Kate says that the way she handles a phone interview, she notifies the source they are on speaker phone. Abigail has a gadget that plugs into her phone and records from there so she doesn’t have to use speaker phone.
Kate transcribes all her interviews. LOW TECH, Kate. She uses it to help put together a story outline and type up notes that she uses in the writing process. Transcripts are also her outlines. It is also a way she refreshes the scene and interview in her mind.
Abigail: Transcribing is the bane of her existence! She has tried different transcribing programs such as Dragon Dictate and Trint. First, she sets a time limit and pushes herself to finish it in the time allowed. She discusses the processes and time each takes.
Megan A advises that while transcribing, or interviewing, she writes down or makes a note for a quote in the file. Tracy Gantz says that she puts her interview on her computer and makes notes where “good” spots are in the file and it saves time from transcribing the entire file.
Q: How long do you save notes or audio?
A: Kate and Abigail are hoarders. They don’t throw away notes or photos. However, Kate trashes audio files are chunked after the article prints but keeps the transcribed document.
Office Time is a program discussed to help organize work. The audience and hosts discuss how the program can help monetize your work processes.
Q: Comp issues – how do you decide who gets an issue?
A: The editor gets a list of all photography and interview sources from Kate. Abigail agrees, that sending comp issues is for the magazine staff to accomplish. Kate sends one email to the editor, turning in the article/images, invoice and list for comps.
Q: What audio software do you use for the podcast?
A: When Kate & Abigail are together, they record using a YETI microphone on Adobe Audition. When they are apart, they record via Skype video and the eCamm program records the audio. The episode is edited using Audition. Both sides record the audio to ensure there is a clean, or semi-clean, copy.
Thank you so much for joining us at AHP, whether in person or virtually!
Thanks for tuning in to this special minisode of The Freelance Remuda Podcast. Visit freelanceremuda.com for more episodes, blog posts and to sign up for our newsletter. Check out our Facebook group, Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter, @freelanceremuda.com. See you down the road!