The Red Jacket Diaries blog

Sue Horner is a freelance writer in Oakville, Ontario, who blogs about writing, newsletters, communications and running an independent business in The Red Jacket Diaries blog.

Team up with others for growth (and fun!)

Working with other freelancers can help you bid on projects too big for one person. It’s a growth strategy when you can’t fit any more work into your day. And sometimes, it’s simply a way to work with people you enjoy. Here are some tips for collaboration, as discussed by a panel put on by [...]

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Past clients aren’t ‘dead,’ they’re just resting

Don’t think of former clients as “dead” clients. They may just be “resting,” as the shopkeeper tried to say in the famous Monty Python parrot skit. If you had a good relationship with past clients once, you may be able to rekindle it or encourage a referral by keeping in touch. The key? “Be direct,” [...]

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Networking? You need a business card

Twice in the last two weeks, I ran into people I knew at a networking event. They were networking. Actively seeking work. Meeting new people. Neither one had a business card. Some people think that a printed business card is terribly old school. Yet it’s still the simplest way to give your contact information to [...]

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Easy ways to market your small business on a shoestring

How do you market your small business when you have limited marketing bucks? Oakville’s Chamber of Commerce sponsored a panel discussion on the topic for last week’s Small Business Week, to which moderator and entrepreneur Michele Bailey graciously invited me. Here are some of the tips I took away from speakers Grace Attard, Ben Molfetta [...]

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Writing for impatient readers, in my October newsletter

Have you run across “TLDNR” yet? It stands for “Too long, did not read.” That’s the response impatient readers are increasingly leaving for long, wordy, dense blocks of text posing as a blog post. The October issue of my monthly newsletter shares some tips for avoiding TLDNR, including “get to the point” and “use familiar [...]

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How to set up your website for success

Visitors to your website are either on a mission to find information or they want to be entertained. Either way, it’s your job to make the site welcoming and easy to navigate. “Usability is the term for the art of making a site easy to use,” Andrea Dubravsky of ADWebcom told a recent meeting of [...]

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Be seen as an expert with LinkedIn

Your LinkedIn profile can help you be seen as an expert in your field. At a recent meeting of one of my freelancer groups, Communicators Connection, my colleague Carl Friesen suggested paying attention to these areas: Photo: Use a head-and-shoulders professional photo, in which you are dressed for business and smiling. Make sure there aren’t [...]

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Tips for getting and using quotes

The Canadian Press Stylebook is all about practical. Yet I love that it says using quotes in your writing will “put the rosiness into the cheeks of the palest stories.” The September issue of my monthly newsletter, Wordnerdery, has a few suggestions about getting and using quotable quotes, including don’t make stuff up. This may [...]

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How to put together a great Paper.li newspaper

At a recent session about marketing yourself with social media (described in this post), Donna Papacosta told the group that a great way to share content that engages and attracts your target audience is by using Paper.li. This online newspaper pulls in content from the places you specify to “automatically find, publish & promote engaging [...]

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Are you keeping up with the adorbs new words?

You may have missed the latest crop of words welcomed (or possibly just reluctantly allowed) into the English language, but you have surely heard many of them. Binge-watch is one example, something I did with some friends catching up on Downton Abbey seasons, and others did watching episode after episode of Breaking Bad. Besides binge-watch, [...]

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