🦋 you get out what you put in | internetly
On making your job important, writing with style, and how to ask a client for a testimonial.
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Greetings from Brooklyn!
A few days ago, I found a video on Curtis Jenkins, a school bus driver for an elementary school in Dallas, Texas. 1 minute and 32 seconds in the video I was on the verge of tears.
You’d imagine the duties of a school bus driver to be straightforward — but Jenkins goes way beyond.
“I put my time, effort, love, and care into understanding each and every one of those kids,” he says. He gives each child a role in the school bus, creating a “yellow bus utopia” where everyone is respected and valued.
Jenkins hands out personalized gifts throughout the school year, from scooters to action figures to t-shirts, all out of his own pocket. “He’s like the father I never had,” says one fifth-grader (cue the tears).
Jenkins’ devotion to his job has left a resoundingly positive impact. He’s changing the lives of these children. He was featured on CBS, People, The Huffington Post, and more. He was promoted to a relationship specialist in Human Resources.
Curtis Jenkins. Photo by Danny Fulgencio
Jenkin reminds us that you get out what you put in. He could’ve just “done his job” and stopped there. Instead, his devotion and compassion for the role changed thousands of lives (including his own).
His story reminds me of Miss Excel, a young entrepreneur who teaches people how to use Excel. Usually, Excel is pretty boring (numbers and statistics are seldom appetizing).
But Miss Excel doesn’t see it this way. She puts in 110% effort to teach people through her dance moves, songs, and contagious energy. Now, the Miss Excel brand is a six-figure business and she won Microsoft’s MVP Award.
Both of these people made their jobs important, and the same applies to your writing career.
If you give it your all by pouring your soul, spending years perfecting the craft, and connecting with others, you will get so much more out of it than if you were just doing this to “earn money” or “become famous.”
Because the truth is, the best writers aren’t writing just to write. They see writing as a medium for the ideas they’re dying to share with the world. In return, they clarify their thoughts, enlighten others, and move the world forward.
You get what you give. What will you put in?
Edward Cucuel (American, 1875–1954)
✍️ Quick Writing Tip
on how to write with style, from c.s lewis' "on writing (and writers)"
— Alice Lemée (@alicellemee)
Mar 22, 2023
🥒 Content Diet
🎙 The “It” Factor by The Mel Robbins Podcast – Oprah Winfrey, Taylor Swift, and Princess Diana all have it — the “it” factor. They’re charismatic, commanding, and charming, with an uncanny ability to get people to listen and respect them. This podcast will show you how to develop the skill of charisma with science-backed tactics and tools.
📚 Big Swiss by Jen Beagin — Just finished this bizarre novel. It’s about a 40-something woman, Greta, who’s a transcriber for the town’s go-to sex therapist, Om. Greta ends up falling in love with one of Om’s clients, “Big Swiss,” and chaos ensues. This book reminds you that writing can be weird, fun, and completely unhinged.
✍️ Skipping the 9-5: From Music Intern to Pathless Freelance Writer by Me! – I wrote a guest post in Paul Millerd’s newsletter that uncovers my story from top-to-bottom. If you’re curious about my quarter-life crisis (lol) and how I used the internet to become a freelance writer — with no previous experience — you might enjoy this!
And now, a beautiful display of nature:
The willow woman - Photo taken by The Henge Shop, Avebury.
✍🏼 Freelancing Journey
This Week: How to Ask for a Testimonial From a Client
If you’re a freelancer, social proof is your bread and butter.
Many clients will hire you only after reading positive testimonials. So, how can you get ‘em?
What you’re not going to do is go up to a client and demand they write you a review. Instead, your goal is for it to be as easy as possible for the client to gush about you.
Here's how I went about asking the other week:
This prompt works well because it’s specific. "2-3 prompts." "Shouldn't take longer than five minutes."
Here are the prompts I then provided:
How was the quality of work?
Was it easy to work together?
What impact has my writing had on your business?
In what ways do I make your job easier (which hopefully, I do!)
Customize the prompts so they’re tailored best to your client. Then, shoot away!
Remember that probably not all clients will respond. I’ve fully had 2-3 clients who just never answered. It happens.
But don't ever take it personally (or get discouraged). It's better to have asked and gotten ghosted than to have never asked at all. Remember, you've got to go after what you want.
That’s it for this week!
Thanks for reading and I hope you have a beautiful week, wherever you are.
Stay Creative, 💌