What I learned in December 2016

As I draw this series to a close and reflect on 2016, my overriding need and desire remain managing my time better so I can fit everything in: work, family and me-time. I’ve been struggling because family issues have swallowed up huge chunks of my time and look as if they will continue to require my attention for some months to come. Going forward, I’ll have to try to focus harder on what matters and get my priorities right by being more organised and ruthless because I haven’t always achieved everything I set out to do. On that note, I found this short TED Talk by Laura Vanderkam incredibly inspiring.

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What I learned in September 2016

I’m posting this rather late because October has been another busy month for me work- and family-wise. It’s also been quite hectic on the blog with the start of the revision survey results (do check them out if you haven’t already. I’ve included as many comments as I can to show the range of opinions on the topic) and more MA review posts (on Cardiff and Westminster).

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22 more reasons why an agency might stop working with you

Back in October 2014 on my old blog I wrote about some reasons why an agency might stop working with you. As both the original post and the republished version on this blog on WordPress, My Words for a Change, amassed a lot of interest and comments, I’ve highlighted some more reasons below why you might suddenly find an agency no longer calls or emails you. They are based on the feedback and a few of my own observations.

Although this and the previous post focus on working with agencies, some of the points are equally valid for working with direct clients. I hope you find them useful.

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What I learned in May 2016

Unfortunately, I learned in May, and not for the first time either, that some clients show no respect for me at all. After chasing payment from a direct client for three months and listening patiently to their promises and excuses, I decided to send them another invoice detailing the late interest* now due. This is the second time I’ve had to reissue an invoice and demonstrate to a direct client that I mean business. But it’s also the second time that interest has not been paid.

Although in both cases the new invoice met with an immediate response (agreed new payment date one week later that was met, and same-day payment), I’m rather dismayed that the interest I added (which, let’s face it, is a paltry sum) was totally ignored. Besides complete non-payment and ignoring reminder emails, nothing else feels like such a slap in the face.

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What I learned in February 2016

In February I learned that LinkedIn lets you classify your connections using a feature called tagging. By using simple keywords, you can group people by where you met them, the language combination they translate, whether they interpret, live in your country, etc. I must admit I haven’t tried this yet, but it does sound quite useful.

If you’d like to find out more about how to get the most out of LinkedIn, please see my miniseries on the topic. I’ve written five parts so far and I still have at least two more to go. As with most things connected with my blog, my problem is not finding the ideas, but the time, especially as I’ve been spending a lot more it with my family recently.

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What I learned in January 2016

In January I learned that Twitter has removed the cap on the number of accounts you can add to lists (it used to be 500) and the number of lists you can have (it used to be 20). This probably happened ages ago, so I’d been missing out on making the most of Twitter, since the limits were one of the major reasons why I never bothered with lists.

Now that you can add up to 5000 accounts to your lists and create up to 1000 lists, I’ll be using Hootsuite a lot more often to keep a tab on everything that’s going on.

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Everything (!) you’ve always wanted to know about Twitter

“Not another post about Twitter dos and don’ts!” I hear you moan. Um, yes, sorry. Hopefully this post will manage to give you a different slant to previous ones on the subject. Well, that’s the plan anyway.


Who should I follow?

That depends on what you want to read. For instance, I follow lots of colleagues in the industry, as well as a few editors and copywriters, news broadcasters, politicians and political parties, charities, animal welfare, wildlife and environmental organisations, tourism tweeters, etc. Whatever and whoever floats your boat really.

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LinkedIn Pointers – Part Four: The Other Profile Sections

Welcome to part four of my miniseries on LinkedIn. Last time we looked at the “meaty” main sections of your profile page. Today I’m going to focus on the other sections that you can include to help you describe your services, give details of your qualifications and highlight any other aspects that potential clients might be interested in.

LinkedIn certificationsAs I mentioned last time, you can change the order of the sections on your page to make it your own, emphasise what you feel is relevant and stand out from the crowd (certainly not an easy thing to do these days). At the moment, I’ve decided to put the Certifications section first because I want my potential clients to know that I’ve passed the ITI exam and am, therefore, qualified. You might not agree with my choice, and that’s fine, but I would recommend you fill in this section if you can since, according to LinkedIn, your profile will receive up to six times more views if you do.

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LinkedIn Pointers – Part Three: The “Meaty” Sections

This is the third part of my LinkedIn pointers miniseries. In the first we looked at the top of the page (photo, headline, etc.) and in the second we focused on connecting and netiquette. Today I’ll talk about the main part of your page on this important business site.

Screenshot 2015-08-24 10.31.45

Tailor your profile order

The sections in the “meaty” part of the LinkedIn page used to be fixed in a particular order starting with the summary, but you can now arrange them as you prefer by just clicking the arrow in the top right corner of the section in question and dragging it where you want. This means you can highlight the parts of your profile that you feel are going to interest your potential clients the most and help you stand out from the crowd.

At the time of writing, I’ve decided to put the certifications section first to highlight the fact that I’ve now passed the ITI exam, followed by my experience and then the summary. If you have any certifications, it’s a good idea to put them in this separate section as the profiles of members that have done so apparently receive more views.

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