Beware: The 2 Worst Enemies in Freelance Writing Business

By : Ngulli Kyallo


Couple of months ago, a friend showed me how to set up a Google alert and for the fan of it I set up my name and forgot the whole ‘crap’ of the tool.

Recently I got a pop up notification alert on a literature piece I had been tagged on as the author. But then I can swear I had never posted the piece on the ‘strange’ blog though I could remember writing the article at one point.

BEWARE OF the Identity thief and the Scam client who like in any other business keep prowling to eke from other writers’ sweat. In a recent social media discourse a freelancer was conned of seventeen articles by a client who just disappeared.

So how do you spot them and protect your freelance writing business?

  1. The Identity Thief

 S/he targets the seasoned writers and uses your name or picture to post articles pretending to be you for financial benefits.

The tricky bit in handling this situation is the balancing act between building an on line authority and protecting yourself, besides the law being an ass on this.

However at the very basic protect your online accounts by changing passwords periodically and creating a second level protection like a security code authentication.

Nothing scares off a thief like knowing that they are busted. This is how:

Conduct a search on articles bearing your name or picture using Google Alert functions. With a keen eye on social media outlets, look out for strange activities on your online accounts.

Next step, stop the thief from using your identity by getting in touch with the blog editor and demand the article be pulled down.

Of course you will need to produce your proof. Use screen shots of your earlier drafts or correspondence you had on this article with friends or other editors.

Get as much information from any discussions that the editor may have had with the fake guy.

Further, alert other editors you work with about the fake identity and the possibility of being contacted by the scammer if not yet.

Next, send a mail to the thief and tell them you are aware of the vices and that you would expose them at all cost. At this point be cautions of a libel suit especially if your article was non-copyrighted and the thief smartly had out done you on this.

And since this may not be the only situation that you may have been conned off, repeat the process above to pull down all other similar cases on your articles.

2. The Scam Client

 This second cadre thief targets writers who deal with direct clients, content mills pick or bidding gigs.

Since most of the work is submitted without a byline, it is near impossible to claim ownership once submitted.

Nevertheless if you understand article ownership and how to sniff potential scammers, you will be able to avoid them as early as possible.

These guys come in different forms;

The plagiarist will want you to re write other peoples content without your knowledge or express authority from the original owner.

You risk being charged for second liability infringement besides being blacklisted or tarnishing your reputation on such authority sites as Google.

Often this client will offer meager payment and it’s best turning them down at the earliest time.  A simple first hand solution is to run the article on a plagiarism checker.

The reluctant payer will be uncomfortable when you bring up payment discussions. Usually wants to push these discussions to a later time and will not be clear about the payment milestones or deadlines.

When pushed they opt to use payments systems that are unpopular, complicated or you are not comfortable with.

It is best to run if such discussions keep on dragging or the client becomes non committal.

The ‘go-easy-contract’ guy is probably the easiest potential scammer to identify. Such thieves will avoid signing a contract deal often citing time constraints or the unnecessary hustle involved.

You will notice how they often hurry the whole process and ask for unpaid test samples at first. Any client, who does not email a contract within the first hour of an agreement or insists on unpublished sample, is not worth your precious writing time.

The mind shifter keeps changing his mind or instructions multiple times and is easily noticeable through a history of cancelled contracts or low writer reviews.

This scammer either is not sure of what he wants or is out to fleece extra information from you other than what the project requires.

If such a client is not willing to pay for any extra work, then your time is best committed to the other gig in your line.

However, that as it may be does not mean that good and honest clients do not exist, they do and many value their reputation and business that they would keep off such dirty games. Yet, while an encounter with the two scammers I pointed out can be de-motivating, sink or kill your writing business, it is healthy to face up to them as experiences and lessons learned.

 

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10 Quick Tips about Successful Mentorship

Ngulli Kyallo

A Mentor doubles up as a coach by providing skills that advance a mentees performance; while on the other hand, is a role model who psychologically supports the learner towards career development and socio-work balance.

Wanberg, Welsh, and Herlett in their research review ‘Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management’ noted that mentored personnel are committed and satisfied more than non-mentored ones.

These tips will assure a successful mentorship program.

At the onset, the two ought to set goals and create a vision statement that will be a basis for monitoring and evaluating the program’s success. Once this is completed, they should construct a road-map and identify milestones to follow through. Here, it is important to note the mentees’ potential challenges that may impact on the learning process, in order to be proactive from the start.

A sure way of motivating a mentee is to share career histories and review each other’s curriculum vitae. By examining and discussing these documents together, success and failure stories are shared while identifying how achievements are represented at different career path levels. This way a learner will have a mental picture of his journey.

As a trainer, being a coach means focusing on strengths and targeting at weaknesses. Strengths are skills and competencies that a learner has, and can be improved; while weaknesses which are viewed as potential opportunities can be enhanced and utilized productively.

Networking- If a mentee is to grow, then a mentor will offer networking opportunities as part of the guidance. Professional forums and exhibitions with subsequent debriefs, are rich exposures for tapping on a variety of experiences from experts. By sharing professional contacts, you offer the learner alternative sources of knowledge for consultations.

Role play and job shadowing have been proved to be effective learning methodologies. Dramatic play to challenging situations puts into practice learned skills. On the other hand, through shadowing the trainee is invited to meetings, thereby granting him a chance for practical experience. Again a postmortem brief would determine if any proficiency was attained or not.

Instantaneous oral and verbal reactions improve communication and can be used to motivate. It’s also a reflection of effective speaking and listening skills. Besides they serve as means of storing and sharing information on lessons learned and best practice. When they highlight both weaknesses and strengths, they are resourceful for informed decision making.

Consider volunteer engagement- through this a mentee will put into practice desired skills as well as participate in community service. While such avenues offer workouts for skill development, they are openings for building professional and social networks too.

Discuss interpersonal skills – At whichever facet of life, these skills shape how people relate to each other socially or in a formal set up. Excellent interpersonal skills build good leadership qualities and team spirit.

Reference other readings and review them together. By reading professional journals, books, etc., a protégé acquires more knowledge about his area of specialization.

Prepare a close out plan – At this point, the mentor can engage a neutral partner to carry out a final evaluation of the project’s goals by interviewing and skill testing the learner. From the report generated a determination is made whether the mentorship program succeeded or not.

Bottom-line, the relationship of a mentor and protégé is mutual and goes beyond formalities to a more personal interaction that calls for selflessness and patience on the one hand; resilience and perseverance on the other besides willingness to learn from each other.

6 Reasons Why Marketing Has Taken a Successful Turn


By: Ngulli Kyallo

last updated Oct 2017

6 Reasons Why Marketing Has Taken a Successful Turn

The latest global trend is that people are doing their shopping from the comfort of their computers. Serious businesses have adopted website marketing services because of the impact it has on their business.

Why has marketing taken such a turn?

1.Internet marketing establishes an online presence. For the business with a physical location, the internet helps in tapping into a wider reach of online customers. Besides, home-based businesses become credible as they give a point of reference when on the internet.

2.Marketing has never been made effectively handy; with a technology that is literally in front of our face and on our palms throughout, nothing puts you in front of your customers as on-line marketing.

3.Unlike print media internet marketing is fast and cheap; moreover, internet directories are free and provide customers with more information through added links.

4.Website marketing builds a storefront for a business which translates to brand building and hence revenue generation.

5.A website helps in creating customer leads with a high potential of converting them into actual sales. The more contact leads are created; the more sales are made through lead conversions.

6.A website is a sure way of ensuring a business is running 24/7 and customers can access services at any given time. While you are asleep, your online shop is actively running, and customers can even make orders.

Whether a business is in a physical location or online, whether involved in product or service sales, one of the best tools for a business is website marketing. A serious businessperson will go further and engage an SEO marketing company or personnel.