The Nederlandse Vereniging Journalisten has an academy that offers a variety of courses to member journalists. The course ‘Freelancen=ondernemen’ was lead by Peter Schneider a trainer who is specialisted in organisational development. Peter Schneider asked me to develop part of this training together with him, focusing on marketing strategies, tools and practical activities to addapt this for everyones own business.
On average a journalist is not trained to be an entrepreneur. Personally, I think for a good reason since a journalist needs a secure basis to enable him/her to dive deep into matters without questioning how to pay the bills or how current work might affect future projects. However, in the Netherlands we have had the development that every organisation should be led as if it were a business and also journalism did not escape these developments. News agencies had to cut costs to be more competitive in the market and laid of journalists to hire them back on a freelance basis for a few years. After this period most of them had to broaden their portfolio of clients and needed a clear position in a rather overcrowded market.
The marketing components of the training circled arround a few main questions to make it actionable:
- What are my USP’s?
- How do my USP’s help me differentiate myself from the competition?
- How can I position myself as a journalist?
- How do I ensure a fair price for my work?
- To whom, where and how do I tell my own professional story?
For me this was a new adventure that I greatly enjoyed. The interaction with professionals who have to become entrepreneurs as well and need an understanding of marketing techniques to be able to build a business, was insightfull. Being able to give them a basis of sorts gave me a great sense of contributing to a profession that is so crucial of our democratic society.
I ventured into another direction again but I must say it tasted like more!