Erica Holthausen

Content Marketing Strategist. Writer. Editor.
Hi, I'm Erica! I help socially-conscious consultants demonstrate their expertise, expand their influence, and increase their impact through insightful content. On a more personal note, I am a writer, an avid reader, and a novice printmaker.
I had no idea. But apparently I reached that limit today. August 5. I can't imagine how I did it!Β 
Good on you for pushing it to the limit – I'm not super surprised, I'm sure that's when they upsell Premium?
Erica Holthausen replied
  ·  1 reply
Helping consultants who have writing anxiety create writing standards so they can stop stressing and start producing consistently professional-looking proposals | Technical and Business Writer
Ugh! I remember those caps. Before I committed to premium, my workaround was to use Google to search prospects on LI. My searches looked like this: urban planning consultant site:linkedin.com

If you're eligible for a free trial of premium, check it out. If you cancel before the trial is up, they'll likely offer you a discounted premium subscription for X months. I think my discounted premium lasted for 6 months.

A musical suggestion and a proud Auntie moment. Okay, so I'm not really Zach's aunt, but I've known him since he was a pimple-faced pre-teen and I think he's wildly talented. He is alsoΒ Laura Ciampa's youngest son. And you can find more of his work on Spotify!Β Β 
What! First of all, this is great. Second of all, isΒ Laura CiampaΒ quickly becoming our resident celebrity??
1. Thank you, Erica, for giving Z (aka Haelphon) a shoutout!
2. So far out of my comfort zone, it isn't even funny.
3. Lol, Jay. 3 words that have never been together in the same sentence- Laura C and celebrity. Haha. ;)
I haven't known Alex long. In fact, we met here at Freelancing School. He is also in content marketing, and I always enjoy learning from other writers, content marketers, and editors. But it's Alex's perspective that I so appreciate. He thinks about the business side of being a content marketer in a way that is quite different from my own. His approach is different, his perspective is different, and his style is different. He pushes me to think more broadly with every post and comment. So, mad gratitude toΒ Alex BellΒ for giving me a lot to think about!
Second the gratitude for our friendΒ Alex Bell! He's constantly sharing leads in the Job Opportunities channel, too.
Your so welcomeΒ Erica Holthausen! I've spent most of my first few years in the business focusing on listening and learning and doing a lot.

More recently (in communities like this one) I've been starting to share what I've found knowing I still have a lot of listening/learning/doing to do, but in the hopes that I might know a couple of things that can help others at this point.

Glad to know that's the case and happy to continue to help you along your journey!
Do I really need 5,000 connections on LinkedIn?

Lately, I've seen several posts on LinkedIn that tout the idea that your network is your net worth and encourage everyone to like the post, make a comment, and then connect with or follow all the other folks who commented on the post.

Is it just me, or is this madness?

I've been trying to review my LinkedIn connections so I can focus my time and energy on those who I really like and want to support, those who might become clients, and those who are partners and friends. I've been thinking about severing some connections (I went through a phase where I accepted every connection), muting those who just are a bit too much (including a dear friend who seems to comment on every post he sees, which means it shows up in my feed), and trying to truly connect with the rest. I'd rather have a strong network than a broad network.

Am I missing something?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I certainly understand where you're coming from and I feel the same way about my personal Facebook account. However, on LI you never know when you write or share an article and a second-degree connection will pick up on that article as relevant to them or useful to them. Before you know it, you have a client that was previously completely unknown to you.Β  The more fish in your pond, the greater the likelihood of this occurring.Β 

I generally just try to avoid spammers, scammers, and people that just want to leech my connections. I have a Sales Navigator tag for them called "weirdos."
Thank you both for your insights. I was definitely being too conservative.Β 
Brandon replied
  ·  1 reply
Ah, I used to love Twitter. I met one of my dearest friends on Twitter about 10 years ago, but I haven't been spending much time there for a while now. And I left FB a couple of years ago and am happy to never go back! I'm a bit of a curmudgeon that way. I'm on Instagram, but don't use it for business. LinkedIn is a great fit for me. That's where my people are, so I'm investing my time there. I tend to get overwhelmed by digital clutter, but I also know that going through all of those contacts to clean it up is a big waste of time. So, I'm going to review the list quickly and add real prospects to my CRM and go from there!
Mad Props + Gratitude!

Because of this community and the wisdom ofΒ Jay Clouse, I now have a CRM that doesn't make me scream. I set it up on Airtable. It's suited to me, I can change it as necessary, and it's super flexible. It even talks to Asana. Okay, so I haven't set it up to do that yet, but I can use Zapier to send follow-up notifications to me through Asana. When I first looked at Airtable, I didn't really get it because it looks just like a spreadsheet. But drop-down menus are easy to create, and if you change a tag, it applies that change to all of the existing data! I am an inveterate tweaker and Airtable lets me tweak and change and modify and refine to my heart's content!Β 

So, thank you all for sharing your wisdom!
πŸ‘Β  πŸ‘ Β 

This is so awesome to hear, Erica! You obviously did all the legwork in getting it setup – just glad to hear you found a system that is working for you!
Yeah, but the kick in the proverbial pants came from YOU and this community of beautiful humans!
Wanted: A CRM that Doesn't Make Me Scream!

Okay, so I'd love to hear what you use for your CRM? My needs are pretty basic. I'm trying to be intentional about outreach but I also need to track who I spoke to when and about what and when I should touch base again. A lot of the CRMs I've looked at could take over a small country. Spreadsheets are flexible, but not exactly elegant. And I'd really like something that reminds me to follow up. So:

  • What do you use?Β 
  • What do you love about it?Β 
  • What do you wish was different about it?
I use Pigeon for Gmail.

It's very minimalistic and integrates directly into Gmail which is really cool.
I'm not familiar with Pigeon. I tried Streak, which also integrates with Gmail, but most of my audience is on LinkedIn, so I need something a bit more robust. I just looked into Airtable (thank youΒ Jay Clouse) and it looks like it integrates with Asana (which I use everysingleday). So that might be a good solution for me since I can customize it! We'll see!
Jay Clouse replied
  ·  2 replies
Hi, Erica
I hope this finds you well. I think it's better to have a few connections but engaging individuals. Those that have the same objectives and it makes it easier when you are looking to outsource work. That's my take.Β 
What Do You Think About Publishing Your Project Fees?Β 

What do you think about publishing your project fees? I'm of two minds. On the one hand, I think publishing a price range for a specific service manages prospective clients' expectations, weeds out those who are not willing or able to pay your project fees, and makes the whole thing a little more transparent. On the other hand, I've often been told that you should never publish your fees. But why not? What are the downsides to providing prospective clients with a range? Doesn't every prospective client want to know how much it will cost?

I'd love your thoughts on this one!
I also agree withΒ Josh Robbs that it makes sense to publish a price for a productized service. And while many of the services I offer have a rather narrow range, the cost of developing a content marketing strategy varies widely, so I'd either need to post a big range or nothing. I am intrigued byΒ Jay Clouse's idea of publishing a minimum price, perhaps for each of my larger service areas (content marketing strategy, content writing, and developmental editing). I'll keep noodling this around a bit! I'd love to hear from others, especially those who do publish minimum prices or price ranges for non-productized services.
In my experience, the best clients I had are the ones that don't really care about my rates and want to hire me because of the value and experience I provide.Β 

Your rate also depends on the complexity of the project so there's no 'one-size fits all' solution.

You should focus on showcasing your value rather than your rate.


Boom!

The best clients are the ones that don't really care about my rates.

That just smacked me right over the head! I put together a list of ranges for my services so that I can respond with confidence to a client's question about cost on an exploratory call. But Adem Hodzic's statement above is the best reason I've heard for not publishing my rates.

Focus on showcasing your value.

This is perfect. Thank you, Adem!Β 
Adem Hodzic replied
  ·  1 reply
What brought you here?

Jay's newsletter introduced me to Study Hall, which is now Freelancing School!

What kind of work do you do?

I am a content marketing strategist, writer, and developmental editor. I help socially-conscious consultants demonstrate their expertise, expand their influence, and increase their impact through insightful content.

What is the biggest challenge you're facing right now?

The biggest challenge I am facing right now is carving out time for my own writing and my art.
Β 
Where can we follow you online? (blog, social, etc...)

You can get the latest scoop on content marketing for consultants at Catchline Communications. You can follow my personal writing journey, which I have been neglecting terribly, at The Scribbler's Journal. And you can connect with me on LinkedIn.

BONUS: What is one of your favorite things on the internet?

The BBC published the 30th Anniversary Edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Gallaxy. It is a text-based game that is often infuriating and absolutely brilliant! Douglas Adams was an evil genius. But his game earned me extra coolness points with my teen-aged nephew!

Grateful to have you here, Erica! We all struggle with carving out time for our own projects. I'm checking out your blog now!

And I also love The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy!
WelcomeΒ Erica Holthausen! Definitely hear you on struggling to find time for your own writing. Jay seems to have worked some sort of black magic to do that for himself
Erica Holthausen replied
  ·  3 replies