As some of you know a month or so ago I began offering what I call 4/40 Flash Coaching. Up to setting up this program all the coaching I’ve done, both writing and life coaching, has been in hour increments.
Frankly (there I go with more F sounds) I liked the sound. Alliteration can be fun and it can also be memorable. I was, after all, hoping to attract interest. It was an experiment. I didn’t know if people would be interested or not. Nor did I know how much work we could actually get done in a 40 minute session.
40 minutes is more time than I thought
It turns out 40 minutes is plenty of time to get some solid coaching done. Maybe it’s because with this package (4/40 flash coaching is 4 40 minute sessions for $100, price soon to go up) we take most of the first session to do a Visioning around the client chosen topic and decide exactly what we want to accomplish in the next three sessions. This provides a laser-like focus to our sessions, making it fairly easy to stay on topic. When we stay on topic we get an amazing amount done. There’s still time for the client to describe the problem and then the progress or lack of it so we can figure out what to do next. But we don’t get lost in the client’s story.
Forty minutes doesn’t interrupt the day
A forty minute session is 20 minutes short of an hour. Somehow it doesn’t seem to interrupt the day as much as a full hour of coaching can, for both me and the client. Those shorter sessions are easier for me to manage – to make sure the client stays on track. My clients tell me they like the shorter sessions, some because of the focus it requires and some because it leaves them with more time to do other stuff.
What we accomplish together
Although every person who works with me in 4/40 Flash Coaching is different and every session is different too, here a list of the four items I’m able to provide:
- Deep listening
- Re-framing of the problem
- Ask questions that are different the client asks themselves and often provide a new perspective.
- Provide a gentle accountability that allows celebration and reinvention
It’s also true that my wide and varied experience as a writer, a mother, a grandmother and an adventurous spirit means I’m able to bring many things to the table. That same experience has taught me that I don’t have any stock answers, or maybe any answers at all. Instead I am convinced you know, within if not consciously, the answers that are right for you. My job isn’t to fix you but to help you open things up so you see yourself more clearly which helps you take the right action for you.
What would 4o minutes a week focused on only you and your dreams and wishes improve for you. You can sign up for your own 4/40 flash coaching here: https://www.aboutfreelancewriting.com/2019/10/17/4-40-flash-coaching-for-writers/
You can also contact me with questions.
Write well and often,
I rarely apologize or explain myself on this blog, mostly because I dislike reading why people have not posted in ages. Obviously, I’m going to both apologize and explain today. I think it will be a cautionary tale for you and maybe even an optimistic one.
Right after Thanksgiving, and I mean almost on the way home from the family dinner I started to get sick. I had the beginnings of a cold and sore throat and taking some aspirin went to bed not thinking much about it. By morning I knew I was in for a longer siege, but didn’t expect what happened. Apparently I’d caught the real flu, perhaps even A(H1N1). I began to run a mild fever, thought umpteen times about calling my doctor and just kept rolling over and sleeping… for about three weeks. No I hadn’t yet had the flu vaccine. According to my doc, whom I did talk with yesterday, I caught it early for our area.
I won’t apologize for the fatigue
The biggest talked about symptom with A(H1N1) is the incredible fatigue that goes with it. I was absolutely drained of all energy, including the energy to write for at least three weeks, maybe longer. A better way to say it may be that I’m still recovering. I was so drained that it took me a couple of weeks to come to enough to notice I hadn’t done any writing, and I usually write daily or close to it. When I did notice I couldn’t find enough internal energy to even worry about it.
I’m often asked by beginning writers, “How often do I need to write?” In many ways this is what I call a ‘how long is a piece of string question.’ That’s because the answer depends… It depends on you, your lifestyle, your motivation and more.
It’s also a natural question. After all, in the beginning of our writing career we really don’t have a clue. We know that regular jobs require eight hours a day or more. Do we, we wonder, have to spend that much time on our writing?
Write until you trust that you’ll write
I was reminded of this the last couple of weeks. I was sick, seriously I can barely get out of bed sick. Some sort of cold, flu, something that sapped my energy. The first five or six days I didn’t even think about this blog or any of my other writing. As I began to recover there came a moment when I realized I hadn’t written a thing in over a week! That’s highly unusual for me, but I trust my writing. I knew when I started feeling even semi-human I’d start to write again, and so it was.
When it comes to SEO, we are in a constant state of learning through trial and error. What works today might be irrelevant tomorrow. What’s worse is that what works for one client or company doesn’t work the same on another. There is no step by step magic formula or a defined strategy we can follow that will help us increase ranking and bring traffic to the site.
We are scientists that are always testing out theories and trying to come up with a winning formula. It also doesn’t help that we are working with on hand behind our back, trying to guess what Google likes and approves.
What does On-Page Optimization mean for Freelancers Writers?
As Google updates the algorithms and becomes smarter, it is our job to understand what it labels as the most valuable. The common denominator we have found in all of the equations is the user. Yes, we are optimizing content for search engines, but they are, in return, optimizing for the person that is reading our content.
Yikes, I published this before I’d finished the article – see, mistakes happen to us all. Here’s the whole post:
I’ve had a brand new, for me, idea. It’s called 4 40 Flash Coaching for Writers. It looks like this:
You’ll get four 40 minute sessions with me over the phone in one week intervals.
The first session we’ll do a Visioning. Together we’ll use the information we discovered and determine the content of the next three sessions.
Included in each session will be time for you to outline your problems and get some suggested solutions that we will work out together. I will gently hold you accountable by asking for your wins and misses.
Yes, you’ll have an assignment from each session, one that you create or we create together. Yes, we will check in at the start of every session to figure out what worked and what didn’t.
You’ll also have access to me via email while we’re working together. I’ll do my best to answer in 24 hours.
Sound like a good idea?
Just click the PayPal Link below. You should be able to enter your phone number on the payment form. If not, no worries, just email me your phone number and I’ll call you to schedule your sessions. You can use the same email to ask a question or two. You can also reach me through the Contact page here.
Is there a bigger time waster than the potential client or an actual client can’t or won’t make up their mind? Of course there is, but not many that can make you feel absolutely crazy.
You know what I mean. I’m talking about the potential client who keeps you on the string and/or the client you have under contract who can’t decide exactly what they want.
Either way they are time sinks. In fact, the time waster actually costs you money because you could be using the time you’re wasting chasing or negotiating or explaining again again could be used for paying work. You deserve better.
Your goal is to ether help that time waster get off the dime and make a decision or you should decide they aren’t worth the effort.
Time waster examples
Time waster clients come in two types – those who waste your time before they hire you and those who waste your time after they hire you.
Why should they hire you as a writer?
Do you know the answer to this question? You should. You need to know the skills and talents you bring as a writer that set you apart from other writers.
When you can answer why they should hire you you’ll find landing freelance writing gigs much easier than it is if you don’t.
Here’s why you need to know
You need to be able to articulate why a client you want should hire you because you are unique. You have a particular set of writing skills that are based on any number of things, including these four:
You know your price for writing, right? You charge $X by the hour or the word or the page etc. You know your price gives you enough to for all of your expenses as well as at least some of your wants.
If you don’t know this it’s time to go back and re-figure how you’ll charge for your services.
Now, how do you feel when quoting your price? Confident? Scared? Excited? Broke? Desperate? Eager? In other words, do you worry about your client’s sticker shock?
Do you fear client’s sticker shock?
Many writers do, and it’s a shame. You know the feeling, it’s when you’re afraid your price is to high for the person you’re quoting it too. It’s a funny thing, because in the U.S. at least there’s very little bargaining for goods and not a whole lot for many services. If you buy a salad at a restaurant, the price is the price and you choose to pay it or you choose something else even if it’s another restaurant. When you hire a lawyer or a plumber you either pay their price or you don’t.
OMG! I just noticed that I have posted 2,080 blog posts – in fact this one makes it 2,081! (Assuming WordPress can count my posts accurately – I certainly haven’t tried to keep track.)
And that’s while I’m also ghostwriting books, writing about politics and election integrity, experimenting with gathas, writing blog posts for others. As well as living my life.
I’m quite impressed!
The secret of 2,000 + blog posts
The secret of writing that many blog posts isn’t really a secret. Writers like me who give other writers and would-be writers would mostly say the same thing:
You’ve absolutely got to put the words down on paper or on screen.
And you’ve got to do it regularly.