Tools Of Success for the Solo Communicator

Working as a solo practitioner can be daunting given that the marketplace is crowded with lots of award-winning journalists.

That’s what Robin Farmer, a former reporter for the Richmond-Times Dispatch (Va.) discovered when she first went solo.

She realized she needed to do something to set herself apart and to ensure her success. She shared her tips during a recent Virginia Press Women conference.

The first thing she did was attend a seminar presented by SCORE, a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. The seminar helped her determine the structure of her business and how to set up her website.

She also hired a business coach, who helped her write effective pitches.

What I really appreciated was how Robin organized her work week with each day having a specific focus.

Monday is for marketing because as Robin notes, “You have to constantly look for work.” She uses Marketing Monday to write letters of introduction and to send pitches.

On Thankful Tuesday she writes handwritten notes to sources and editors. She always includes two business cards – one for the recipient and one for the recipient to share.

Work It Wednesday is Robin’s workhorse day. She sets up her interviews and transcribes notes, for example.
Invoices are sent and contracts are finalized on Track It Thursday.

The last day of the week is Fiction Friday or Fun Friday.

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