Beat the New Year’s Cash Crunch – Rev Up Marketing Now for Ongoing Pay! By Sonya Carmichael Jones

This article may be reprinted/redistributed freely as long as the entire article and bio are included.

The holiday season is synonymous with big spending. For writers this means assignment heaven. From the hospitality industry, to fashion, to auto dealers, real-estate firms, and even banking, businesses are rushing to promote new products and services in time for holiday splurging. The good thing is that a lot of these promotions carry over months after the New Year, making now a prime time for enterprising writers to cash in on the action.

Where are assignments hidden? Here are a few tips to help you start digging.

E-market Magic. Go to any popular internet job board like and conduct a search on the writing skill you’d like to capitalize on. If there’s a particular industry that you’d like to focus on, include it in your key word search. In my class, Marketing Bootcamp for Writers, we discuss the best job boards currently online. For example, I just completed a search on http://www.careerbuilder.com for “content editor”, “proposal writer”, and “desktop publisher”. Each title returned over 50 positions that became available in the past few days. Therefore it’s not only possible, but highly probable that you’ll locate someone interested in hiring you on a contract or freelance writing basis. Just create a resume that highlights your special skills and emphasize in your cover letter the advantages of contracting you over hiring a full-time employee.

Recycle/Re-sell. Review the articles you’ve sold or those you’ve written and stashed away to see which can be re-slanted to tie in with post-holiday themes. Topics pertaining to fitness, career, and finance are fast sellers because they encourage people to stay on track with their New Year goals.

Strategic Networking. Many companies conduct year-end or new year job fairs to recruit company-wide personnel. Check the classified ads in your local newspaper for upcoming job fairs. Pay attention to the list of participating companies so you can be sure to visit ones you’re most interested in. The advantage of this type of networking (besides it being free) is you have no interview pressure. Plus you get the chance to make face-to-face contact with people who are either primary company contacts or who can put you in touch with company decision makers. Another benefit is that company representatives are eager to answer questions. Collect business cards-don’t forget to bring your own-and ask each contact when would be a good time for you to follow up. Jot down what they tell you and be sure to follow through.

Get to know business owners in your community. I recently stopped to admire a new window photograph. Once inside, I struck up a conversation with the gallery manager. I learned the owner was in need of someone to help promote gallery events and help him spread the word about his new office interior line. Guess who got the job? Whether you live in a small or large town, it pays to visit businesses in your area. Build a rapport with business owners. When they need writing help, you’ll be the first person they call.

Newspaper Hey Day. Seek newspaper writing assignments by first paying a visit to your local library. Ask for your state’s media directory. It’s a regularly updated reference book that contains nearly all of the newspapers in your state, right down to the small newspapers written for your neighborhood. In it you’ll find the editor’s name, email, and phone number. In a single afternoon, I located several papers I didn’t know existed. I made a contact list and then sent editors a short note along with my resume and clips. The next day I was surprised by all the responses! In one, a newspaper publisher struggling to cover for a managing editor on extended leave called to offer me assignments after he read the note I sent.

Birds of a feather flock together. Thus creative staffing agencies were formed. To find writing opportunities with local agencies, peruse the employment yellow pages in your phone book. In my class, Marketing Bootcamp for Writers, we discuss how to find these opportunities on a national scale.

Profit from Non-profits. Non-profit companies and organizations produce newsletters, fund raising material, and booklets. They often need grant writers and many even publish magazines. Check to see if your library has an online database that you can access with your library card. If so, use it to locate national non-profit companies and charitable organizations. You can also check your city government’s website and the chamber of commerce for appropriate contacts.

And there’s more. If you have major retailers, theaters, and public relation companies in your area, contact them. They get an influx of business during winter holidays and may be able to offer you creative assignments that add significant weight to your writing portfolio.

Happy holidays to all. And to all GOOD luck!

Sonya Carmichael Jones is an independent copywriter and marketer based in Seattle. She writes for trade journals, newspapers, and commercial clients.

This article may be reprinted/redistributed freely as long as the entire article and bio are included.