The three sources of leads, or why it pays to be nice

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There are three basic ways for a freelancer to get business: inbound queries, referrals, and community participation. They have one thing in common: being nice pays off. Inbound is effective, but expensive Inbound marketers would have you believe that if you create awesome, SEO-enabled content, leads will roll in. They are right, but it is … Continued

The 10 gotchas of book graphics

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Illustrations, diagrams, and charts clarify. They’re worth including in your book. But every time I work with authors, they underestimate the challenge, delay, and cost that comes with graphics. If you’re going to use graphics, you need to be prepared. Let me put this simply: If something is going to trip up the production stages … Continued

How smart people make a decision

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There’s a misconception that the purpose of experts is to tell you what to do. That’s not right. What they do is help you think. Imagine that you are a person making a momentous decision. You could be the CEO of a large company pondering an acquisition, a consumer deciding whether or not to buy … Continued

Words of wisdom for the Asimov centenary

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Isaac Asimov turned 100 years old yesterday. It’s a shame he didn’t live to see it, because we could use a man like him right now. My admiration for Asimov started when I was very young. I read everything of his that I could get my hands on, since his highly accessible writing made it … Continued

How to be a terrible client (and what it will cost you)

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Working freelance is like a dance. When your partner works with you, it can be glorious. If the partner is oblivious, it is painful and ugly. Here’s the thing: I love my clients. I really do. There is the bright and energetic woman whose book will deliver great advice about how to succeed at work. … Continued

Two habits for a successful 2020

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How long will your New Year’s resolutions last? And what will you do once you have broken them? Ditch them and the guilt that goes along with them. Here are two easy habits that will propel your career this year. 1 Try new stuff This year, someone will put you in an uncomfortable position. You’ll … Continued

The end of the No Name Restaurant

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There was once a seafood restaurant in Boston that had no name. It never marketed itself; the food did the talking. It lasted 102 years. Now it’s bankrupt and gone. When I first came to Boston in 1979, I lived in graduate student housing in Cambridge, a four-bedroom apartment with three other guys. The day … Continued

A stupid column about Jewish geniuses

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Are Jews smart? This is a really stupid question, but New York Times columnist Bret Stephens asked it anyway. His December 27 column “The Secrets of Jewish Genius” puts forth the theory that Jewish geniuses are different from other geniuses because of their Jewishness. It included a link to a racist and discredited study that … Continued