I’ve leaned into the reality that I’m a full-time freelancer. In many ways that’s a freeing situation because I get to do what I love – write, primarily – without the hassles of corporate politics and other issues. I love working from home and being available to my family. While I’d welcome the chance to get back into a full-time job, that doesn’t seem to be happening any time soon. So I am doing what it takes to succeed in my current situation.
Part of that involves showing off my experience, expertise and skills. To that end, I’ve been spending some time recently expanding and editing the places where all that is on display.
Agency Blog Posts
As I stated before, I made sure all my contributions to the corporate blogs of MWW Group, Bacon’s Information, Voce Communications and Porter Novelli/PNConnect are all archived here or accurately linked to. Highlighting these posts is meant to convey and display the industry thought leadership I’ve worked to provide, show my thinking on relevant topics and communicate my ability to remain up to date on industry news and conversations.
They are also writing samples, hopefully showing how I can write in a “corporate” voice that is still opinionated but also professional, with the goal being to enhance the reputation and standing of my employer, eventually leading to more business.
Hosted on this site are a number of portfolio items/case studies involving the projects I’ve tackled and work I’ve done. These are offered here to show off the kind of work I’ve accomplished over the years.
A lot of people will offer case studies, but too often they focus on the work and not the results. Where possible, mine include not just an explanation of what the work was but also how I achieved success in execution. I’ve also added notes where possible of the kind of platforms involved in the program and the size and makeup of the teams I managed. I’ll be adding to this over time but here’s what’s on display now:
- DC Entertainment (Content Strategy): How we took DC’s struggling social media marketing efforts and grew it into a powerhouse both with fans and internally through work on brand voice, live event coverage and other work.
- Sony Entertainment Network (Content Strategy): How we help Sony Entertainment Network launch and maintain social media support for its video and music services, tailoring content to best resonate with the fans our research showed were interested.
- White paper creation: How I helped Bacon’s Information get out in front of the emerging social media world, educating on new technologies while helping to collect leads. Also, how a series of internal knowledge-sharing documents were used within Voce/PN to help those not immersed in social media know how to speak about them with clients.
- Freelance writing: An overview of some of the projects I’ve executed in the last year involving blog post writing, social media content creation, white paper writing and more.
While the above link offers a brief synopsis of some of the companies I’ve worked with and what those project have entailed, my Contently-hosted portfolio has a number of additional items. Some of my ghost-written work is there alongside the bylined posts I’ve written for Adfreak, Ad Age, The Drum and other outlets over the years.
All of that should show even more examples of my writing abilities – including the ability to adjust to brand-specific style guides – and convey simply that I’ve been busy. While my resume currently lists me as “freelancer,” it’s important to show that time has been spent actively and that while it’s been 17 months since my last full-time job, there’s no gap in my experience.
Freelance Marketplace Listings
“Putting yourself out there” is an essential part of finding freelance work. That’s why I’ve established profiles on the following freelance marketplaces, all of which I can be contacted through:
A recent study on freelance trends showed that these and other marketplaces are where companies are turning when looking for talent to fill roles that aren’t handled by current staff. So it’s essential that all those are active and well-maintained. All have lists of my skills and services.
For years I shied away from doing the kind of showing off of my experience and work skills, believing that doing so took the attention away from clients or was unnecessarily boastful. Now I realize that making all of that information available is essential to success in the reality of the freelance life.
Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.