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Handy software, marketing tools and publications you can use
While these products have been around for a long time now, that's one of the reasons to recommend them. They are still highly useful.
"How-to" e-books and online tools to help small businesses and other
marketers use the Internet more productively. Although some of them can still be found online for downloading,
most have given way to the company's flagship product, Solo Build It!
I helped sell many of these, writing microsite sales pages for them and some other work.
The original was the now classic Make Your Site SELL!.
In the days before sitebuilding wizards and templates, it was a wonderland of knowledge on how to build and market a website, step by step.
Virtually everything you needed to know, and a great reference even if you knew it all already.
In fact, although much is obsolete or no longer necessary, the basic principles are eternal.
Other SiteSell.com titles detailed how to set up profitable home-based businesses on the Web, and for
businesses of any size, there is still a nifty server-side tool for low-cost pricing research. Solo Build It! (originally called Site Build It!) enables you to
build, manage and promote your website for maximum traffic with no prior experience. Don't confuse this
with the typical "website in a box"-type packages offered by hosting services. The emphasis here isn't on building a website; it's
on building a niche business based on a sound plan. It's about assuring that your site will get traffic. In other words,
it's about building a site that works. After 15 years in use, that's still very relevant.
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You know how to sell people on products.
But how do you sell someone on you? If you're a budding copywriter or art director preparing your first portfolio, or want to improve yours, you need guidance like this paperback provides.
Written by a former bigtime creative department administrator, and now in its fourth edition, this very frank guide explains what a "professional"
book consists of (even if you don't have produced work yet), and how to present yourself effectively. Not a generic "how to get a job" or interview-skills book...
this is specifically about the ad biz. If you already work at a large agency, you probably know some of this already. But it's still a fun, inspiring
read, and there are many good insights and references here for you, too.
Granted, it's very dated. By "book" and "portfolio," these days we mean your website and samples. Some the technical advice and nature of the industry have changed.
It doesn't reflect the current world of freelancing and remote work. Some of the contributors may by now be retired or passed. Even the author has moved on to
another industry. (She's a co-writer with a famous fiction author.)
By now, there are probably other books equally valuable. But this still a fun and important read. Because when it comes to judging a person's creative and
business potential, the principles remain essentially the same.
(I will add my own advice that a beginning copywriter will learn a lot more, much faster by working in a staff situation, where you can talk with and observe
fellow workers, and — if you're lucky — meet someone who becomes your mentor.)
Not only might this book shave years off your attempts to get onto the first
rung of an ad-industry ladder, it could help you decide if it's the right ladder for you. GET IT at Amazon
I've used this Windows printer program for decades. Nowadays most printer drivers will print multiple pages per sheet, and you can make PDFs many other ways,
but, it's still handy.
To use this software, you simply select it as your printer. It enables you to prints pages 2-up (etc.), preview and make booklets, and combine multiple printouts into a single document, all
without changing your document. I used to give this product a 100% endorsement. The latest version, while more capable, strikes me
as sometimes a little confusing (why must all software favor obscure icons rather than menus?),
but it's still invaluable for most of the things I've used it for -- especially consolidating
printouts from various sources (very handy to take as a booklet when shopping at brick-and-mortar stores), printing as small as 8-up, annotating, creating booklets (even very thick, side-stitched ones),
double-sided printing, etc. There's a companion product that makes PDF files, but
if you already have a printer driver that creates PDF files, you can print to it from FinePrint.
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