Happy new year! The turning of the calendar page has special significance for Solo PR Pros. Many newly independent communications professionals hang out their shingle on January 1, while others already in business choose to redouble their efforts to achieve new goals in the new year.
Whether you're brand new to consulting (congrats!) or you're looking to reach new levels of success in the year ahead, checkout the most popular Solo PR Pro posts of 2014 below (and sign up for our newsletter today to help keep your business resolutions in 2015):
1. Get It In Writing! Free eBook from Solo PR Pro
Legal contracts can be one of the most daunting aspects of running an indie business. You know you need them, but where do you start? What format should you use? How do you determine what to include? Solo PR Pro’s free ebook, Get It In Writing! The Communications Consultant’s Guide to Contracts, delivers 45 pages of advice and 9 full contract examples to help – join more than 8,000 of your peers in downloading this helpful resource.
2. Working with Subcontractors – Everything Entrepreneurs Need to Know
For solo professionals who want to extend their capabilities while remaining a solo firm, or for those who need extra help on their way to becoming a larger agency, working with subcontractors can be a smart strategic move. Subcontractors allow you to live out the maxim “do what you do best and outsource the rest.” But what do you need to know before you begin? This post answers some of the frequently asked questions from our community.
3. Templates: Creative Briefs and Press Release Questionnaires (PREMUM)
Whether you call them a Creative Brief or just a questionnaire, these information gathering documents are a time-tested method for gaining client agreement before work commences on creative deliverables – they can be customized and used for everything from press releases to white papers to brochures. Exclusively for members of Solo PR PRO Premium, these templates allow you to get started using these helpful tools today.
4. One No Closer to a Yes – 5 Tips for Overcoming Setbacks
Setbacks happen to all of us – from missed sales goals to campaigns that fall flat. As an independent professional, it can be tough not to take it personally. The buck does stop with you when YOU are the business. But the important question is, how do you move past it?
5. How to Get Paid Up Front (PREMUM)
Requiring some payment before you begin working is increasingly commonplace for consultants and highly recommended – it helps protect you from being stiffed for your hard work by a non-paying client. In the case of a limited time project, asking for half of the agreed upon fee in advance is customary. For an ongoing monthly retainer, billing a month in advance is the preferred method for many. At a minimum, you can ask for a deposit before you begin. For premium members of Solo PR PRO, this post provides exact wording you can use to arrange and secure advanced payments.
6. The Rise of the Independent Nation – Follow the Money
The fourth annual State of Independence in America workforce study shows that independent work in America has developed into a mega trend, with 30 million now regularly working as independents, a number expected to grow to nearly 40 million in the next five years. MBO Partners found that solopreneurs have a significant impact on the U.S. economy, providing employment and financial support for millions of Americans.
7. 11 Grammar Mistakes That Make You Sound Like a Pompous Jerk
We had a little fun with this post, which covers a serious topic. Truly bad grammar can diminish your reputation, make you appear careless, and cost you money through lost opportunities. What grammar mistakes drive you crazy? Let us know in the comments of the post!
8. Client Reporting Templates (PREMUM)
How you report to clients can play a pivotal role in keeping them happy and satisfied. This popular post, exclusively for our Solo PR PRO Premium members, provides downloadable examples and templates for immediate use.
9. How and Why to Participate in Twitter Chats – Everything You Need to Know
If you’ve never participated in a Twitter chat (sometimes called a Tweet Chat), the concept can be a bit confusing. The #SoloPR Twitter chat (held the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month) is one of the longest continually running chats on the network – here’s what you need to know to participate in any chat on Twitter, including #SoloPR.
10. When to Spend Money to Make Money (PREMUM) and Exclusive Peek Inside My Expenses (PREMUM)
Knowing when to invest in tools and services is a challenging decision for many consultants. How do Solo PR veterans know when it’s time to spend money to make money? These two posts for Solo PR PRO Premium members offer mathematical approaches, along with an exclusive sneak peek at the tools (and associated prices) I personally feel are worth my hard-earned money.
Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments, and let's make 2015 the best year yet!