May has finally graced us in the Mid-South with spring…and leads are a’blooming. Every writer (and company!) wants to extend their reach and boost their inbound marketing. After a month of writing endless LOIs, networking, and more, I’m starting to see my business take hold. Here’s what I’ve learned:
In-Person Networking for Copywriters
My mother nearly died when I spent a good five hours at the LA Festival of Books chatting with publishers. For most of my life, I have been an introvert and dreaded social gatherings.
What changed? Living abroad with language barriers is most likely the one culprit. After two years of struggling to be understood, you realize that socializing in your native language is a lot less terrifying. But that wasn’t the only factor.
Instead of brooding over possible failure, and likely rejection, I focused on my passion for books and copywriting. More importantly, I focused on the people and fostering relationships. During those hot Californian hours, I decided to make friends. I only gave my card to those I really wanted to talk with again. And I only bought books from publishers with whom I had genuine conversations.
And while this is a book flavored post, book fairs aren’t all books! Besides binging on the deals, you can also meet local businesses and tourism agencies.
If you are new to in-person networking, I highly suggest visiting a local fair centered on your niche or hobbies. You will not only get a better handle on your pitch, but you’ll enjoy the experience.
How to Write a Blockchain Whitepaper
Blockchain technology is the future. Companies like FedEx and UPS are already investigating its use in supply chain, and IBM believes it could help them track their carbon footprint. As more and more companies develop blockchain-based product, we will be seeing more copy projects.
Since I’m fascinated with tech, I have been reading up on a few blockchain technology whitepapers. Here’s what you need to know.
Blockchain whitepapers are long. The TraNexus whitepaper is a whopping 36 pages! And it’s easy to see why. Not only must these companies describe their technology, but they often have to summarize how blockchain works. It is essential that the reader understands why blockchain is the only reasonable technology for this product. In addition, blockchain companies often fundraise through initial coin offerings (ICO), and must document their plan for token release.
Blockchain technology whitepapers are usually concise business plans. Not only must you explain the underlying technology (blockchain), but ICO startups may include the current and future market, their unique selling proposition, company management and operation, a benefit-cost analysis, additional solutions, token distribution and fundraising, development timeline, team members, and disclaimers.
Graphics are pretty much essential. Given that we are dealing with two new technologies (blockchain + the product/solution), you need to be ready to incorporate a lot of visuals. Not all investors will double as tech gurus and will need the in-depth exposition. Charts explaining core concepts will help them feel knowledgeable and confident about the solution. Bar graphs showing revenue or industry stats are great and expected. But you may want to go the extra mile and discuss the base technology.
Don’t forget the team! As I said, the blockchain whitepaper is very much a business plan. Users and investors alike want to know who they can thank for this new tech. So it’s vital to write stellar, professional bios with clear headshots.
Something Learned: Take Home Some Trivia
Completely off the point of technology and content writing, I learned that the Ethiopian dynasty claims its descent from King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. And that their son, Menelik, brought the Ark of the Covenant to Ethiopia.
As random as that information is, I attended Catholic school from k-12, and we never once discussed Ethiopia. So this pretty much blew my mind and I wanted to share it with everyone. If you are like me and a complete history nerd, The Rise and Fall of the Solomonic Dynasty has all the details.
Time Management for the Copywriters
Last month I discussed an awesome app that helps you label plants. This week I want to talk to you about some management apps.
Ever wanted to measure how long you take on a task? Then you need Toggl. This app is available for Andriod, iPhones and your desktop. And, yes, there is a free version. However, with the paid plans, you have the opportunity to link billing with your tracked time and manage projects and teams. But even if you only need the freebie, you can link your account to Asana, Freshbooks, Github, and more. Personally, I use Toggl to estimate my time for the project, that way I can also charge appropriately based on past experience. It’s also quite useful if you want to know how much time chores and other personal activities take up.
Another useful time-tracker is 10,000+. This mobile app lets you count track hours towards a skill. Want to track hours towards a language or learning photoshop? You can log it with just a few clicks. This app relies on Malcolm Gladwell’s logic in his book Outliers: To become an expert at something, you must practice for 10,000 hours. While I believe the more you do something, you certainly improve, it’s also important to note that you must practice actively. A challenging, 30-minute study-session contributes more to your skill than hours of rote memorization or passive learning. Regardless, I find this a fantastic app and it’s free.
What have you learned this month?
What are your favorite apps, books, documentaries, podcasts, or general resources? Shoot me a tweet at @KRCopywriter. I might try it out and feature it in my next wrap-up. 🙂