Episode 14 – Year-End Wrap-Up AKA No Golden Bullets

This freeform conversation about our 2017 year is a loose follow-up to our goal setting episodes! But is it better than the Star Wars Prequels?! I dunno, that Duel of the Fates song is PRETTY GREAT. How was your year? What goals did you meet, and where did you fall short? We talk about our income, our achievements, and what we want to do better next year. Which definitely means more books and singing in a Welsh choir.

Also, send us your questions for our Q&A in two weeks! Ask em here or on the Facebook group.

Episode 13 – How to Pitch the Media AKA Giller Longlist Nominated Editor Writes Press Release; Is Hilarious

Everything I do MUST be important enough that SOMEONE from the local TV station will SEE ME, right?

Uh, not exactly! Clare puts her expensive journalism degree to work for this episode and explains what makes certain stories so compelling, because we’ve all wondered how a journalist’s brain works, right? No, you only want to hear us talk about Outlander some more? YOU GOT IT. Sam elaborates on why tofu is tasty the time-honoured tradition of writing press releases: when you should do it, how to do it, and David Demchuk is a real person, right? Is Sam really a Giller longlist nominated editor, and if so, does that make Clare a Giller longlist nominated eBook coder? No, c’mon now, let’s not get ahead of ourselves and dig into the BONE MOTHER of this great topic.

Episode 12 – How to Book Launch AKA I Don’t Expect Wine

“My book is coming out, time to throw the biggest party, invite the media, and have very high expectations about who is going to come!”

Well, prepare to have those expectations dashed – because what happens if NO ONE SHOWS UP?! Clare and Sam discuss the different book launches they’ve attended, to the fun laid-back house parties to an all-out magical circus. There’s no wrong way to launch your book, but there sure are wrong ways to show up and act during your book launch! Don’t worry, we won’t rate your event badly on Book Launch Yelp (TM). Also, it’s okay if you don’t have wine. I GUESS. 😉

Things Mentioned

McNally Robinson
Owl’s Nest Books
Sam’s book is out – PUT IT IN YOUR EYES
Craig DiLouie

Also, Sam and Clare were on Greg’s new podcast, you can listen to them talk about themselves and their creative process here.

Episode 11 – How to Network AKA Garbage Jesus

Man, I thought freelancing meant I could stay at home in my pyjamas eating BONBONS!

Bzzzt. Wrongo! Clare and Sam are here to tell you that meeting people in your field is crucial to building connections, even if they’re loathe to call it networking. Learn some basic tips for overcoming that anxiety, how not to over-pitch yourself, and what tools you’ll need to turn any interaction into sweet sweet business. Guest starring Sophie the dog, AKA Garbage Jesus.

Links

Scott Henderson

Episode 10 – Building Your Brand Pillars AKA So POWERFUL BEAUTIFUL WISE

Who do you think you are?! No, really–it’s an important question, and one you’d better drill deep and ask yourself if you’re ever going to solidify that brand of yours. Wait, what brand? Exactly!

Clare and Sam dive into what exactly branding is, why it’s important, and turning the intangible into something your customers can connect with. Go beyond the logo and the colour scheme–the Business BFFs got your branding back!

Links

A Better Lemonade Stand – Branding Guide
A Better Lemonade Stand – Branding Strategy
Shopify Blog

Episode 9 – 3 Day Novel Contest AKA Give Me Your Demon Powers

Get in gear, gather your story ideas, and invoke an arcane power that includes but is not limited to demons—Clare & Sam did the Three Day Novel contest! A month ago!

The only question is, did they survive? What kinds of trials and tribulations did they endure working on their own respective projects? Have their skulls been scooped out like so many pumpkins, and what are the benefits, if any, of front-loading a ton of writing in three days?

Join the BFFs on their 3 Day Journey into Madness and maybe you’ll learn a thing or two about the discipline of writing—or, at least, the sheer pigheadedness of it.

Links

Extra music in this episode by Podington Bear.
3 Day Novel Contest
Kelly Robson’s Clarksworld article – “The Dream of Writing Full Time”
Clare’s Storified Tweets
Sam’s Storified Tweets

Episode 8 – How to Create a Marketing Plan AKA Because I’m a Leo

We know you have these big dreams, but are you struggling to achieve them? Time to learn how to create a marketing plan.

This week, Clare and Sam discuss how to break your dreams down into achievable goals. They go through a list of ten important questions you need to ask yourself, such as: What makes my business unique? Who is my target audience? How do I make a plan when I’ve got so much to do? Did the position of the stars at the time of birth really contribute to Clare’s awesomeness?

Climb aboard a submarine OR a tall ship (toot toot!) and learn how to navigate the high seas of marketing plans.

Sign up for the newsletter and receive a special gift: the marketing plan cheat-sheet, made so you can jump-start your marketing efforts.

Subscribe here!

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Episode 7 – How Much Money Should I Charge Freelancing AKA Magic Comes At A Price

Money money MONEYYY! Without it you can’t exactly make a living, but what if you aren’t charging enough of it? How are you determining what it’ll cost for you to DO a given job as a freelancer, anyway? What if you live in the Enchanted Forest and you have to make magical deals with the Dark One?

More importantly, how do you define your value in a crowded Hustle-based marketplace where everyone’s trying to get a deal?

Sam and Clare have been there, done that, still learning—but they’ve got a pile of personal experience, tips and tricks, plus software suggestions and how to handle hypothetical clients with ‘budgetary restrictions,’ all wrapped up in this episode that’ll have you choking on dollar signs (if you aren’t already)!

LINK: If you are interested in learning more about Harvest, our time-tracker & invoice software, click here!

Episode 6 – How to Bullet Journal & Plan Your Creative Business AKA Inside Joke Black Hole

Ever feel like you’ve been sucked into a black hole of entirely your own making? Ever feel super overwhelmed by your to-do list but unable to not only complete it, but fill up your year in a meaningful way?

BIFF BANG ZOWIE—what if we told you you could PLAN your way out of that black hole?

Fresh off a farmer’s market, Clare’s birthday, and the When Words Collide writers conference, the Business BFFs spend today’s episode talking about one of Clare’s tried and true methods for staying organized—bullet journaling. Sam discusses her own methods, but honestly by the end of this episode she sounds like she could use a new one!

Join them in getting your sh$&t together in style and keep your calendar from consuming you!

UPDATE:

Since recording, Clare has gotten a thousand pens for her birthday and thus treats her bullet journal a little nicer. Here’s some pictures of how she organizes her days.

Day by day.

Goals for the year – organized into quadrants – from which I plan my weeks.

All my pretty supplies I got for my birthday! New pens, a pen holder for current colours I’m using, my washi tapes, and file organizers. My desk is much cleaner now!!

Episode 5 – How to Speak on Panels AKA Pick Your Battles, PUT SOME BATTLES BACK

Whoa nelly, you are just chomping at the bit to get into the convention scene, aren’t you? Now that you’re equipped with Maximum Tabling Knowledge, it’s time to check out the other side of the curtain—programming! If you’ve got a lot you can talk about—writing, business, marketing, promo—then you’re set! But what if you’re fresh and green, like we’ve all been? How do you get onto programming in the first place—and what even IS IT?

You have so many questions. It’s going to be okay. Clare and Sam are here to walk you through different types of programming, why it’s important to participate in it, and some good and bad moments from their own years of Con Experience.

Episode 4 – How to Sell at Conventions, AKA Be Ms. Frizzle

“Anyone can make a living as an artist! Selling your book, comic, or artwork is super easy and straightforward. In fact, I don’t have to worry about selling it at all—bookstores and art galleries would do that for me! All I need to do is sit around and wait for the Benjamins and Lauriers to roll in!”

*BUZZZZZZZ*
*Cue Poor Unfortunate Souls*

If you ever thought the above, welcome to reality! Clare and Sam spend this episode slapping that uninformed thought right out of your body. But don’t worry: they have the info you need to successfully sell your work through these magical things called conventions! Sounds easy, right?

Part I of an ongoing series, learn all the things you need to take into consideration before diving head-first into the handselling game, how to get started, how to make your display shine, and all the tools you’ll need to make your pop-up shop mission successful, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT! *explosion*

Links

Clare’s Post-Mortems

Episode 3 – How to Write a Novel in 3-30 Days, AKA Scoop Out Your Brains

Schwing! Schwang! Write that book! Write it in a year? No. Ten years? GOD NO. Write it in a month…or even worse, THREE DAYS! That is totally a real thing that can happen, right? But how?
Step 1: WRITE.
Step 2: EDIT.
Step 3: ????
Step 4: Profit and become a famous author!
If only it were that simple. Clare and Sam take you through their experiences writing full-length novels in short windows of time, whether it’s to a contest or a publisher deadline, and they share their tips and tricks for Not Dying before that precious word-count finish line. At the end—a challenge!

Episode 2 – Facebook Ads & Promotion, aka Firing Cannons Into the Night

Sam and Clare discuss one of the hottest, most effective paid advertising methods on the market: Facebook ads! They test out boosted posts and targeted ads on their businesses over the course of four weeks and report their successes and failures. How do you deal with trolls? How do you budget for failure? How much money should you spend? What’s a pop-up tent, is it like Merlin’s bag in reverse? If Merlin ages backward, and the bag ages forward, will anyone still read this podcast description? Don’t just fire things into the night–heed our Facebook wisdom and you will be leagues ahead with your next promotion.

Episode 1 – Freelancer Exercise, AKA Horny Birds

Sam and Clare officially land their ship on planet business. Which train do you take to get to fitnessville? TRICK QUESTION YOU HAVE TO RUN THERE. Sam and Clare talk about their efforts in a two week exercise-specific experiment. How do you make a habit stick? Are creative entrepreneurs too busy to be fit? Is bragging about your half-marathon medals just fine? Are there too many birds? It’s okay, just take a break from work, put these two in your earholes, and start moving.

Episode 0 – The Intro, aka Landing The Ship

Hey, you know what’s a really great way to start off a podcast? Making a bunch of annoying beep and whoosh noises! Yeah! Join Sam and Clare on this brief introduction into their creative business schemes. What do they do for a living? What glorious business tips can you expect from this show, anyway? Will they EVER say the name of the podcast? C’mon, just get in the ship, it’s easier if they show you.