Thursday, November 04, 2010

What Do You Actually Do?

Some time ago Naomi Dunford at Ittybiz challenged her readers to answer the question: "What do you actually do?" I meant to do the post at the time, but something else happened and I blogged about it and never got round to answering Naomi's question.

So today I decided to do the quiz:

What’s your game? What do you do?

I thought you it was very clear that I'm a writer. Says just that on the masthead of my blog  :-). But then I realised that I need to clarify: I'm a writer for hire. That means I write content for other people, be it articles, press releases, blog posts, case studies, web content etc.

I'm also developing products that I plan to sell directly to my customers. Still trying to wrap my mind around how I will get that done. In the long term, I want to write more books that get published by other publishers ( and earn royalties) and that I self-publish ( and make nice big profits. LOL!)

And when business is slow, I transcribe/translate audio Setswana interviews for companies (insurance companies dealing with legal claims, researchers doing programme evaluations etc). It's a good way to keep practicing my Setswana and paid doing it.

Why do you do it? Do you love it, or do you just have one of those creepy knacks?

I write because  I love it. It's an ongoing passion I've had since I understood what books were and that there were people out there who write them. I've done other things - been a waitress, TV presenter, literacy tutor, account executive, communications manager... but writing makes me most content, even when I face life or career challenge.

As for creepy knacks, mine is to connect people. Say A tells me she's starting a farm to grow flowers like lavendar etc for an essential oil extracts business. My first thought is, "you should meet B! I met her at a fair and she sells beauty products wholesale to hotels in SA and other countries, and she mentioned in passing that needs wants to get into the farming end of the business so she can produce her own material." I don't know how to use that knack to make money though...or if it's even a business option.

Who are your customers? What kind of people would need or want what you offer?

For the writing? Companies, large and small, which need marketing and promotional material developed. Communications /PR agencies needing writers to generate copy for their clients. NGOs that have a campaign message they want to spread to society. Writers who have overflow work and are able to sub-contract their work. Government departments that are still trying to come to grips social media and need someone to update their web site, blog for them and create Facebook, Twitter and Ning pages for them. Individuals who have a story to tell but need someone to help them with the craft end of the writing process.

What’s your marketing USP? Why should I buy from you instead of the other losers?

I bring my skill and experience as a communications professional, so I don't just write the words, I make sure that the material fits in with your communications plan. And I'm happy to teach you or your staff what I do, so you're not stuck with an expensive "consultant" more than you can help. This is usually a very good thing for small business owners and NGOs who have very limited budgets. Funny thing about helping my clients get emancipated though....  they brag to their business associates about what they learnt, which brings in more recommendations for my business.

What’s next for you? What’s the big plan?

I've finally registered my company, Damaria Senne Media, so I'm no longer a sole proprietor. I've hired an administrator to help with the day to day running of the business, so I can focus on two things: getting more clients ( and therefore doing more writing),developing book projects and launching my own products.

P.S.  Do the quiz too. This post helped me clarify some things in my own mind, so I learnt some new things about myelf and what I want to do too.

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