Jo Duxbury has been providing a platform for marketers to find over 4500 industry freelancers since she launched her company, Freelancentral, in early 2006. January 2010 saw her launch Peppermint Source, which offers a full outsourced marketing strategy and management service to companies that don't have the time, skills or staff to handle their marketing themselves. Follow @JoDuxbury on Twitter.
After over a decade as a suit in advertising, marketing and communications industries in London and Cape Town, Jo Duxbury took the plunge into entrepreneurship in 2005 and launched her first company, Freelancentral. This is a 'marketing matchmaker' site - an online directory of ad/marketing industry freelancer portfolios in South Africa.
In January 2010, she opened a new division, Peppermint Source, which offers a full outsourced marketing strategy and management service to clients who don't have the time, skills or staff to handle their marketing themselves.
She is one of the co-founders of the Flying Solo SA 'Unconferences and is also involved in a startup recycling company.
A self-confessed grammar geek, Jo has a thing about marking up copy in red pen and can produce a mean PowerPoint presentation.
She loves being an entrepreneur - there may be ups and downs, but there's never a dull moment. Her goal is to build a number of businesses that will make a difference to people's lives, by making them easier, more flexible, enable people to follow their passions and to have a positive impact on the planet.
Jo is passionate about great marketing, beautiful design, clever copy, flawless grammar and online media. Based in the beautiful city of Cape Town, South Africa, she works remotely with clients from all over the world.
Jo is interested in working on projects that cover:
Practical and afforable marketing in all its guises, including online and social media
Creating and evolving a brand
Writing, editing and proofreading
Setting up and maintaining online communities
Assisting start-ups and SMEs with their marketing strategy
Flexible working and balanced lifestyles
Something to do with treading lightly on the planet.
[Jo Duxbury] Whether you're a big agency, or a small one, or a freelancer, chances are that when a new client starts nosing around, contemplating working with you, they'll do some background checking. After all, they're going to be giving you money and they need to know you'll be able to deliver what they order. Funny, though, how rarely this screening happens in reverse.
[Jo Duxbury] I don't mean four-letter words and the awful vitriol in News24.com's comment section. I mean the multitude of typos, spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and disregard for punctuation that pepper Facebook and Twitter.
Is nobody else a bit disturbed by that final paragraph? I wonder why not having debt means you're out of the mainstream economy? Does 'bring back into the mainstream economy' mean 'saddle them with debt like the rest of the masses'?!
Many clients don't see the value of getting their copy professionally written or edited, but it truly is a skill and can add so much to your communications. There's no point spending thousands on beautiful design or a great web site, only to undermine your credibility with text that's peppered with spelling and grammar mistakes, or copy that's clunky and difficult to digest. Getting an outsider - a professional writer/editor - to review your copy may also help you spot the little gems in your offering that you perhaps can't see as you're too close to your business.
At the very least, clients should hire a professional copy editor to 'sanity check' and proofread their copy. The Facebook group 'I judge you when you use poor grammar' is nearly half a million members strong... that's pretty telling :-)
Will each contributor be paid for his/her submission? No? Then this is spec work and should not be condoned.
Funny how it's OK to ask creatives to spend hours on a submission with only a teeny chance of possibly getting some payment for it... can't see that happening with accountants, plumbers, doctors, personal trainers, etc.
Yet another instance of creatives being exploited. For more about why spec work is bad for creatives and our industry, visit http://www.no-spec.com
[Jo Duxbury] Freelancing is not for sissies - particularly not at the moment, where the market is awash with creatives who became involuntary freelancers following last year's redundancies. In 2010, the fittest WILL survive - and thrive - and clients can take their pick from a seriously talented pool of creatives who will be upping their games to get an edge over the competition.
Great article, Tiffany. I particularly like your suggestion about the bullet points - they make for much easier reading and in this age of short attention spans and busy schedules, you have a better chance of getting your point(s) across if they're bulleted, rather than buried in prose.
If my clients are being wordy, I challenge myself to rewrite their copy in half the number of words. Usually it's entirely possible to do so without losing any meaning. 'Keep it short and simple' is a good motto - again, short attention spans demand it. Sometimes more than 140 characters feels verbose... :-)
And of course, I agree that outsourcing is a GREAT idea! We've got tons of freelancers over at www.freelancentral.co.za and have also just launched a full service outsourcing division - www.peppermintsource.com.
[Jo Duxbury] Your customers are potentially your best salespeople. If you want to get them talking positively about your brand, consider thoughtful, low-cost, high impact touches that will surprise and delight them.
[Jo Duxbury] When times are tough, competition for the jobs that ARE available increases. I've seen from recent experience that people are applying for positions for which they are not qualified - and rushing to get as many applications in as possible means that they don't read the instructions properly.