Advancing my business, online and off–part 2

These days, entrepreneurs in general, and we editors in particular, seem inseparable from our screens. Rarely does my phone ring, but I feel obligated to check my email addresses and social media accounts several times a day, lest I miss an opportunity. Therefore, the first step I took when I was ready to launch Ann Kennedy Editorial Services to the public was raise my profile online, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and my own website. I joined several organizations, figuring that membership in Plain Language Association International (PLAIN), Biographers International Organization (BIO) and the Indexing Society of Canada (ISC) would help my professional standing as well as increase my network. But face-to-face meetings with people involved in these specialties and other editors who work with them is key to my strategy.

I believe there’s nothing like putting a face–and a personality–to the name when trying to build a reputation. I’m friendly and curious and genuinely want to help potential clients. After a meeting, I hand over my business card, which has my photo on it. We all exchange so many cards and despite the best of intentions, not all of the people register in our brains when we go back to review our collection. New acquaintances often comment on my big smile, so I’m counting on that visual characteristic to ring the proverbial bell!

So, whether it’s attending an Editors Canada event or volunteering at Word on the Street, offering to host the branch meeting of the Indexing Society or registering for the annual conference of Biographers International, I am also doing the “networking thing” old-school, and it has paid off in work three times in the last six months! Even as an introvert, plunking myself in the middle of a group of people with which I have an interest in common helps me meet colleagues and build connections. Combine what I know with who I know and put it all on shareable social media, where getting in touch is convenient and instant–that’s my two-part plan. Feel free to follow me!




Advancing my business, online and off – part 1

I thrive on routine; it gives me benchmarks for achievement throughout the day. Get out of bed – check. Turn on the computer – check. I’ve found that, when I spend the early hours of my day online, sending emails, doing research and writing my blog, the important business things are accomplished and I set myself up for success the rest of the day. Problem is, life happens and we rarely have control over what will throw our routine off the rails.

With a new freelance business, anything that makes me stand out is an advantage, so early on I decided that I wanted to choose some specialty areas in which I have personal experience and interest. For me, those are travel, biography and memoir, and disability culture. The latter I have been immersed in my entire life. However, the former require me to do research, which can feel overwhelming. So, this past week when my routine was disrupted and I just did not feel up for hours of internet mining, I headed for my happy place–the bookstore!

My latest purchases include Lonely Planet’s How to be a Travel Writer, Adventures with Camera and Pen by writer, adventurer, and photographer Anthony Dalton from Bookland Press in Toronto, and The Best American Travel Writing 2016 which includes contributions by guest editor Bill Bryson (and one of my favourite travel writers) as well as Elizabeth Gilbert, Paul Theroux and many more. I also picked up a copy of Roberta Temes’ How to Write a Memoir in 30 Days. The rationale for my shopping spree, (aside from being able to count these as business expenses!) is that, in order to edit the material, I need to know the elements that are generally considered to constitute great memoir and travel writing. So, when I need a break from the computer screen or I’m in transit, I can pick up a book and keep checking things off my to-do list. After all, my love of books and the written word is the whole reason Ann Kennedy Editorial Services exists!