Trapped by Anonymity in the Freedom Economy? A 6-Part Guide to Freelancer Self-Promotion

Let me clear something up before we get started.
This isn’t another “6-figures in sixty days” blog post promising a “winning formula” to “make money while you sleep.”
I know the online world is filled with entrepreneurs who have achieved an automated revenue stream. And I ain’t knocking that. But I’m not there yet. And that’s not what this post is about.
Today, I’m giving you real insights from the POV of a freelancer who, in the span of 12 months, went from the worst possible place – that is, earning pennies per word

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Just Released: A New (Free) Way to Join the StudioPress Community

Want to know the best part of my job?
I have the privilege of gathering a community around our StudioPress products. I have the honor of helping people build businesses based on the products we create.
I didn’t set out for the place where I’ve landed. And yet today, I wouldn’t change a thing.
To be honest, I’m still kind of starry-eyed about the whole thing.
After all, it’s the unexpected events that give our lives meaning. And it’s the movements that grow organically that seem to be the most interesting.
The StudioPress community has been one of the most fascinating organically-grown movements I’ve ever been a part of.
And the newest podcast on the Rainmaker FM network, StudioPress FM, is going to celebrate this idea with every episode.
Read on to learn more about it.
We’re building community and bringing people together
One of the happiest surprises of my professional career has been the StudioPress community — the StudioPress family — that has developed around our products.
It’s a community we value as a company, and it’s a family I feel a lot of personal affection for.
With the new StudioPress FM podcast, we’re expanding into new territory — audio podcasts. But we’re doing it in the spirit of helping other people’s platforms grow.
Our long-term plan is to invite in people from our StudioPress community to hear their stories. We’ll discuss what the industry as a whole is doing.
The StudioPress FM podcast will be a way for us to grow together as

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3 Grim Realities about Online Authority that Will Make You Smile

You’ve heard the whispers, haven’t you?
“The internet has too much content already. You can’t get anyone’s attention with content marketing anymore.”
I beg to differ.
Sure, the internet is a vast sea of content. And the water level rises every day. But so does the discernment level of the average content consumer (read: all of us).
We’re not satisfied with slapdash information anymore. We won’t waste our time reading if your page looks uninviting. You won’t get our clicks if your headline promises nothing in exchange.
We’re not satisfied with junk content. Our content palates are more sophisticated than they used to be. This may seem like disheartening news. How can you hope to build online authority in such a challenging environment?
But I’m here to tell you that the grim realities of today’s internet give us many reasons to have hope for a bright future.
We’ve been preaching the three “grim realities” below since 2006, and they’re as true today as they were then. Today, in 2016, there has never been a better time to learn content marketing the Copyblogger way.
Here’s why.
1. Building online authority takes time
Online authority isn’t built in a day, or a week, or a month. It takes a sustained effort over a long time.
How long?
Well, there’s no magic formula. It’s going to depend on your skills, the field you’re entering (and how much competition is there already), how often you publish, your positioning, and a myriad of other factors.
The one thing I can tell

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How to Write So Vividly that Readers Fall in Love with Your Ideas

With a deep sigh, Helen Fields switches on her PC. Another Monday. Another article to write about leadership.
Hasn’t everything been written already?
Helen checks her Twitter stream and answers a few emails. She doesn’t feel like writing. Not yet. She googles the word “leadership.”
756 million articles. Ouch. But still … Helen knows she can help, encourage, and inspire her readers.
While sipping her green tea, she leafs through her notebook with article ideas. Nothing feels right. Everything feels bland.
She doesn’t want to write a humdrum article. She doesn’t want to dump her ideas online. She wants to write with power, passion, and pizzazz.
She wants to wake up her readers, electrify them with her words, and jump-start them to change the world.
Why write if you can’t inspire change? Why write if people only skim your subheads before clicking away? How do you choose vivid words that make readers not only remember — but also love — your ideas?
Craft a red poppy in a sea of grey content
In this distracted world chock-full of content, inspiring readers with your message may feel like an impossible task.
But when you learn to harness the power of visual language — when you sketch vibrant images with only words, your message bursts into life.
Your message stands out like a red poppy in a sea of grey content. Vibrant. Proud. And memorable.
Want to ignite and inspire your readers too?
Visual language energizes your ideas
Remember 2001?
You probably

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Rainmaker Rewind: The Story of StudioPress Founder Brian Gardner

We’ve got a special treat for you on Rainmaker Rewind this week: the premiere of StudioPress FM, hosted by StudioPress founder Brian Gardner and Vice President of StudioPress Lauren Mancke.
Each week, they’ll help creative entrepreneurs build and grow powerful digital businesses. In this episode, they dive into the story behind StudioPress and the world of premium WordPress themes.
And, as always, be sure to check out the other great episodes that recently aired on Rainmaker FM.

StudioPress FM. Brian Gardner and Lauren Manke discuss all things digital design on the new StudioPress FM: The Story of StudioPress Founder Brian Gardner
Copyblogger FM. Pamela Wilson sits in for Sonia Simone and talks with Stefanie Flaxman about crafting magnetic headlines: Are You Leaving Money on the Table with Weak Headlines?
The Writer Files. Kelton Reid chats with Stephanie Danler, bestselling author of the acclaimed debut novel Sweetbitter: How ‘Sweetbitter’ Author Stephanie Danler Writes: Part One
Youpreneur. Chris Ducker and live-streaming star Alex Pettitt explore how live-streaming has changed the marketing landscape: The Live Video ‘State of the Nation’ Discussion, with Alex Pettitt
The Missing Link. To pay LinkedIn or not to pay LinkedIn … that is the question. LinkedIn expert Viveka Von Rosen is back to tackle this hot topic: LinkedIn Premium vs. LinkedIn Free, Part Two

And, one more thing …
If you want to get Rainmaker Rewind sent straight to your favorite podcast player, subscribe right here on Rainmaker FM.
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6 Questions to Ask for Powerful Testimonials

Most of us ask for testimonials. And if we follow up and pester our customers enough, we receive testimonials.
There’s only one problem. These testimonials have no power.
Testimonials are stories. And stories potentially have power and grace, flow and rhythm. Look around you and you’ll see none of that in most testimonials.
Limp testimonials are a fact of life because clients don’t always know how to give testimonials and we often don’t have a clue about how to ask for testimonials.
We’re going to fix that today by examining six key questions you can use when asking for testimonials.
Ask these 6 questions to get a powerful testimonial

What was the obstacle that would have prevented you from buying this product?
What did you find as a result of buying this product?
What specific feature did you like most about this product?
What are three other benefits of this product?
Would you recommend this product? If so, why?
Is there anything you’d like to add?

Some folks may use slightly different terms for Question 1, like “What was your main concern about buying this product?”
You can tailor this question for your specific product or service, but don’t stray too much away from asking about objections and obstacles; it’s critical to learn about objections and the reasons why this customer (and others) may have been hesitating to buy.
Why these 6 smart questions work
Let’s discuss each of these six questions.
1. What was the obstacle that would have prevented you from buying this product?
We ask this question because

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Mad Marketing 100: Health Struggles and Personal Reflections

It’s podcast time my friends, and in this very personal episode I step away from discussing business and explain my recent diagnoses with a rare disorder called “Cramping Fasciculation Syndrome.” It has, at least at times this past month, been very difficult. But it has also been a powerful learning experience. I decided to give…
The post Mad Marketing 100: Health Struggles and Personal Reflections appeared first on The Sales Lion by Marcus Sheridan.

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How to Dig Deep and Discover the Treasure in Your Niche

Let’s take a moment to sing the praises of counterintuitive moves that propel our businesses to a whole new level.
Every so often, you try something completely different. And every so often, it really works.
Take Jelle Annaars, for example.
Jelle has spent years offering copywriting services to a long list of clients. But when he shortened that list, business improved.
He’s also spent years building a robust online presence. But when he incorporated offline techniques, that’s when things took off.
And he became a Copyblogger Certified Content Marketer by submitting writing samples in English — and English isn’t his first language!
Speaking of our Certification program: doors close tonight at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Register now before it’s too late. (Authority members: log in first.)
Jelle’s story is this month’s Hero’s Journey feature. We’re tapping the collective wisdom of our community members to bring you reports from the front lines of the content marketing world. See all the Hero’s Journey posts here.
Read on as Jelle shares the counterintuitive moves that have made a difference in his business.
The nail-biting decision that now seems obvious
Jelle Annaars: I’m a content marketing consultant and copywriter. I often tell people I’m a one-man agency for content marketing: I do content strategy, planning, and production. I work mainly with small businesses that have 20-250 employees.
I give my clients a bird’s-eye view of both their current content marketing efforts and future possibilities. That’s the strategy part.
When they need to actually produce content, they can rely on me

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