Recap of our first masterclass

by Rachel Smith
10 July 2019

When we first thought about doing masterclasses, kicked around a few ideas and thought of some great speakers we knew, we didn’t realise what it would take to go from that initial brainstorm to the actual event.

After months of planning, negotiating and organisation, we finally launched with our first masterclass in our winter series: Beyond Journalism. We held it at funky Bustle Studios in Sydney’s Surry Hills, where a packed room of freelancers of all ages scribbled notes while listening to four successful journalists talk about how they’d taken their writing and journalism skills and parlayed them into other, often far more lucrative income streams.

Lynne Testoni shared the ins and outs of getting work as a corporate writer, how to charge and invaluable resources. Michelle Bateman talked in two sessions – one about securing regular content marketing work and another about cracking the copywriting space. John Burfitt shared how he juggles journalism with teaching, training and coaching, what each pays and how to move into those areas. And communications consultant Ellen Hill, who trekked from the Blue Mountains, talked at length about the skills and knowledge journalists need to shift into PR.

The sessions were fast-paced and info-packed, and we broke in between for morning tea, a cuppa and chats between presenters and attendees on Bustle Studios’ cosy deck.

Here’s a little feedback from the day.

“Great venue, especially the terrace for morning tea. Length of sessions was just right.”

“It was packed full of great, relevant info.”

“Thanks for existing and starting the masterclasses. PD (professional development) is so important, especially for people working in a vacuum.  It’s also a great chance to meet other freelancers and hear what they’re up to.”

“What will I do differently after this masterclass? I’ll definitely charge more money, diversify my business offerings and reach out to more people.”

“I really enjoyed the practical insights such as rates, common tools/resources used and the process of finding clients.”

“It was really informative. I’m glad that there were plenty of opportunities to ask questions of the presenters. The morning tea was a brilliant way to break up the sessions and mingle with the speakers and other attendees.”

“I’ll [now] consider project fees, rather than hourly rates, and invoicing 50 percent prior to completion [of a project]”

“I really loved that the speakers had come from journalism backgrounds and had lived experience with transitioning [into different areas].”

“The venue, day and time, length of sessions all excellent. Goodie bags and tucker excellent too!”

“Loved Michelle Bateman’s content marketing and copywriting sessions for invaluable insights and info into areas I didn’t know anything about”

“A great bunch of speakers and attendees. An intimate venue which matched the size of the group perfectly. It was great to meet some like-minded people who are all probably working from home and isolated – like me – so it was wonderful to get out and chat to real people! I also really appreciated the frankness about rates and what to charge.”

“All the speakers were great at increasing our confidence by highlighting our existing skills.”

“[I really liked] being surrounded by like-minded people in a similar position, hearing from the speakers, having time to mingle, the style and grace of the event.”

We’ve still got two more masterclasses coming up – if you’d liked to stay in the loop about these, upcoming digital versions and other events we’re planning, register here (or buy tickets to our July 27 masterclass here!)

Rachel Smith

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