Send Us Money ‘Cause We’re Cool, and Other Great Business Ideas

Jowtfamireadingb hunters, start your resumes: a new digital travel publication is looking for a senior producer. According to the ad on wework.com, the successful candidate will “run point on all things digital, with full accountability for every phase of the production cycle.”

Sound good?  There’s just one catch – you have to pay yourself.

To quote the ad, “To join the running, send us 1) a cover letter explaining why you’re the perfect match; 2) a CV; and 3) a proposal/action plan on how you would go about fundraising for your compensation package” (emphasis mine).

In other words, you are invited to kick-start your own salary in support of someone else’s publication. If you get the job.

I’m no stranger to the capitalist system. I know we’re all here to make money (although this organization, offassignment.com, unaccountably has  501(c)3 status).   I’m fine with showing ROI — in the form of sales, new customers, a higher profile, awards, whatever — to the people who hire me.

But “fundraising for my compensation package?” Isn’t that just freelancing?

I’ve got an idea: I’d like to hire some writers for my consulting firm, deborahgaines.com. To show your interest, please send me three writing samples, a check for $1,000 and a photo of your living room (which we’ll be using as our corporate headquarters).

May the best decor win.




A public service: free stock photos


Courtesy of Tom Wilkinson, Vince Vaughn and the cast of the film Unfinished Business. I don’t know about you, but a few of these speak to my soul. http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/vince-vaughn-and-costars-pose-idiotic-stock-photos-you-can-have-free-163239

Fight flab(by writing)

Helena Rubenstein famously said, “There no ugly women, just lazy ones.” The same applies to writing.

The worst work I’ve seen isn’t poorly written–it’s lazy. Language is overly general and stuffed with cliches. Sentence structure is juvenile and/or repetitive.

Here’s an example: “Higman’s Hideout offers fine wines and good food at prices that won’t break the bank. Higman’s has everything you need for a memorable night out.”

This is the literary equivalent of a beer belly: flabby and unappealing. Yet a couple of authentic details–the kind you’d know if, say, you’d been to Higman’s–would turn it around.

Now available: pitch letter review

Sending out unedited pitches, queries or cover letters can be a fatal error. Reasonably enough, clients and customers expect these documents to show your best work. If you can’t promote yourself professionally, how are you going to do a good job for them?

With this in mind, I’ve started reviewing documents for the bargain price of $25 a page (up to 250 words). I’ll copy edit and suggest revised wording if needed.  Turnaround time is 48 hours, with faster service for an additional $10 rush fee. Payment is via Paypal, and rewrite is not included.

I don’t expect to make my fortune through this service—just hoping to give you a better shot at a positive outcome for your important communications. Contact me via email or 973.444.4202.