Category: interviewing

Would You Rather…? A Business Owner’s Dilemma.

Remember when you were a kid and you played that game where you had to decide, hypothetically of course (hopefully) whether you’d rather wrestle a tiger or…I don’t know…like, eat a bike?

It was called “Would you rather…?” and it was supposed to present you with two equally unpleasant experiences but you had to decide which one you’d rather do. You know, for fun.

Now that we’re grown, we are presented with real world dilemmas like that sometimes. If you own a business and are under a time crunch, while I certainly hope that none of your responsibilities are comparable to fighting a tiger or eating a bike, you may have to decide whether you want to prioritize writing your promotional and marketing materials, OR:

  • Customer service – Often you’re the face of the company. You’re at the front desk. You’re greeting customers at the door. You’re answering the phone. It’s the most constant of all of these things. While you may be able to get in some writing between calls or customers, you won’t be able to give it the focus it requires.
  • Training – I’ve been a supervisor for a small company and spent hours periodically training small groups of new hires. You want to take the time to do it well so you don’t have to do it again. Probably sooner than later. You balance the desire to train them well with the desire to be fully staffed.
  • Maintenance -Little things will come up that you’ll have to take on whether it be changing a light bulb, fixing the office toilet or unclogging a sink. All of these things need to be attended to in the moment, and take up a part of your day.
  • Human resources and “the books” – If you own a small business you may be the person who does payroll, and pays the bills. You probably do the math to figure out how much you need to bring in just to “keep the lights on” and what steps you need to take to make it happen.
  • Legalese – There is a lot that a business owner has to know in order to cover their own backs. Any legal issue that comes up will fall squarely in your lap.
  • Scheduling and taking appointments – Whether it be clients coming in to do business, interviewing potential new employees, or maybe even local media interviews, a small business owner often has a lot of slots filled on their daily calendar.

And then:

  • Social media – Keeping your company’s social media up to date can be just as time-consuming as marketing/blogging. But it is also something that business owners tend to take overly seriously. Social media should be regular but it doesn’t always have to be directly about what your company makes or sells or the service it provides. It can be fun, off the cuff, and doesn’t have to take up too much time.

This is a service that Dailey Freelance does offer, though most business owners prefer to do this themselves.

  • Advertising – if you’re a small business this may involve nothing more than calling the local newspaper and telling them what you want your ad to look like. Maybe they handle the rest. But putting out the right message is a consideration that takes time.

This is very similar to the blogging service provided by Dailey Freelance, except that with your blog, you publish the content yourself. You have control over it. You own it. It’s just a matter of whether you want to take the time to write it yourself or hire a freelancer.

As the owner of the business, each of these things are of more immediate concern to you than blogging. But that doesn’t mean that blogging is of less importance. The more and more digital the market place becomes, the more essential this type of marketing will be. Why not hire someone who has the time to craft great, effective messaging for you?

Foresight 2020

Hey, Happy 2020, alright?

When the new year comes, I don’t make a point of big personal statements, soaring platitudes about what I’ve learned in the past 365 or 366 days or where I see life taking me in the year to come. I try to trust that the past has been instilled in me and installed in my consciousness well enough that its lessons will serve me well, and I usually just like to see for myself what the next year will bring as it happens.

It’s not that January 1st is just another day for me. But I am not the type of person who thinks that somewhere between December 31st and January 1st we discover a “New You” for the New Year.

If you are that kind of person, that is great. No sincere effort toward personal betterment is ever wasted.

But for me, like many people, at the end of most years, I am simply ready for it to be over. Take 2019 for example. In just these few days since Christmas I have

  • been sick
  • had a minor skin wound
  • had part of my wheelchair break off, and
  • someone sat on the laptop on which I do my freelance blogging work screwing it up irrevocably, I fear. I’m working on seeing what I can do about that. Meantime, I’m writing this on an older laptop. I’m soldiering on the best I know how.

Yet guess what. After all of the frustrations numerated above, tonight I discovered that I’ve got a new gig writing about one of the things that I’ve always told myself I am meant to be writing about. The Beatles. I can’t wait to jump into 2020 with this project immediately in front of me.

The traditional concept of hindsight will nag at me saying that I should have been doing these types of projects for years now. But I know there is no point in thinking that way. It is here now. Hindsight is 2020 because you have the benefit of…well, hindsight. You’ve been there and done that already, so you have an informed perspective on events.

I want to approach the year 2020 like that, except going forward instead of looking back. I want to approach the future of Dailey Freelance with the confidence of someone who sets goals with an informed certainty.

I want you, the client to set expectations on my work for you with a certainty as though when I discuss what I’m going to do for you, you can consider it already done.

I want to cover every freelance subject I write on with the certainty of an expert, to make myself so well-informed on the subject that it will be the most natural thing in the world for me to write your content.

So let’s put 2019 behind us and move into 2020 with certainty.



What I Learned From The Worst Editorial Blunder I’ve Ever Made.

Some twenty years ago I was on the staff of my community college student newspaper. It was there that I made the biggest editorial blunder I’ve ever made.

I was working with a small team of great minds on an ad promoting the school’s tutoring department. We bounced around a few ideas, but what we landed on was something like “Is Homework Getting to Be a Real Pain in the Ass? Come to the Tutoring Center for Help.”

I remember having strong reservations about publishing it, but I was a rookie and the person leading the charge on the project was a senior member of the newspaper staff. So I, and the others involved, agreed, and we put our names on it and submitted it.

There were admonishing emails from the college administration.

There were retractions and apology ads run.

There were lessons learned.

Yes I was young but I should have just said I didn’t want to have my name on such an ad, and that I didn’t think it was the best we could do. Sure it was eye-catching, but not in the best way. I should have suggested we talk to the people above us, or who worked in the tutoring center. At that point I think it would have been clear what we should do.

I have a feeling this ad never would have run had we done that. The opinion of those who we were doing the ad for would have edited us. And when you are doing advertising, or marketing, or doing freelance of any kind those opinions are the ones that matter.

Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes popular opinion is wrong and you shouldn’t make your decisions based on what others are going to like or what is going to be popular if you are writing something you deeply believe in. And I DID deeply believe that homework was a pain in the ass. But you pick your battles, right? This wasn’t worth all of the fallout. And it did not serve our client.

In any case, I should have edited myself.

Recently as a pro blogger, a similar situation came up when a staff member at the company I was writing for dropped a line that I really wanted to use because It was eye-catching and not just in the shock-value sort of way. But I had a feeling that the owner would prefer I leave it out. I was sure of it actually. I asked her anyway, I guess just to show her I was a conscientious of the image I was creating for her business. I was correct.

I could have gone with my gut and edited myself. I asked and let her edit me. But I was glad I at least asked.

Letting Your Interview Subject Do Your Job For You, But Not Really

Most of the work I am doing lately involves interviewing a subject. I always want to ask questions that will take the eventual product (the blog post) in a different direction than the last.

I want to keep it fresh.

Often I go in worrying that with the questions I’ve written, I haven’t dug deep enough to get the gold. But it seems everyone I interview contributes so much more than expected.

“So they do your job for you?” you may ask.
Kind of.

I still have to ask the right questions on the spot to keep the momentum going, and I have to assemble the results into something extremely captivating in the end.

But that “more” that always gushes forth in the course of any of these interviews is what makes this such a great gig. If you are a freelancer, never underestimate the power of cultivating conversation to generate great material. Never limit yourself to one area, one path down which a conversation should go. There is more. Sometimes the conversation takes on a life of its own. It decides for itself where it is going.

Speaking of more: This blog is called the “Dailey Weekly”, and it will continue to be called that. Because I have always wanted to head a publication with that name. Corny or clever, I don’t know. It is what it is. BUT I may be posting more often than weekly going forward.

Hang in there with me.