It's time to get together with your tech comm friends at the beautiful Cafe Alma.

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STC TC Communicator
Published by the Twin Cities Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication
May 2018, Volume 4, Issue 10

​​Networking at the Cafe Alma

Tuesday, May 8, 2018
5:00 - 7:00 pm


Cafe Alma
528 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414


Join us for food and conversation with fellow tech comm enthusiasts--these are your people!

Register here: 
https://bookwhen.com/stctc

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Located on University Avenue SE about four blocks from 35W and the University of MN.

Call for People to Join our STC TC Board
Would you like to join the STC TC board? We are looking for several new board members who can offer a few hours of their time to help with planning and execution of programming, among other interesting and rewarding activites. We are interested in joining together with local STC chapters throughout the country! Click below to email Lily for more information.

STC's Co-Director Alisa Bonsignore on
​the Top 5 Freelancing Mistakes to Avoid

by Ayanfe Adewoye

Juggling multiple clients. Rapidly approaching deadlines. Interviewing subject-matter experts. Being a freelancer is tough work, and one of the hardest parts of the business is the negotiation process. Alisa Bonsignore, recently elected Co-Director of STC, presented “Client Relations: You Don’t Get What You Deserve, You Get What You Negotiate” at Lavacon to help her fellow freelancers better navigate with their clients. Below are five top mistakes to avoid when freelancing, an excerpt from her presentation at the 2016 Lavacon Conference.

 
Top Mistake 1: Talking Too Much
 
A common misconception about selling yourself is that you always need to be talking in order to prove that you’re intelligent and know what you’re doing. While this may wow your clients at first, they will realize their problems aren’t being addressed. The key to connecting with your clients is talking less and listening more. This makes you appear more attentive and reliable to your clients because you’re addressing their problems directly.
 
Top Mistake 2: Unnecessarily Apologizing
 
If your client expects you to work a miracle and you’re unable to fulfill it, don’t apologize. Understand that you’re not here to work miracles; rather, your task is to pump out reliable work in realistic timeframes. Only save apologies for genuine mistakes.
 

Top Mistake 3: Saying Yes Instead of No
 
If your gut says no with a request, don’t feel afraid to say no.  The worst mistakes happen when you go against your gut instinct on a project; communicate with your client on why you can’t fulfill their request, and figure out an alternative.
 
Top Mistake 4: Answering the Phone
 
As a general rule of thumb, don’t speak with your clients unless you’re scheduled to talk as taking spontaneous calls can negatively affect your work. To illustrate, let’s pretend you’re working on a project for Client A when Client B calls. If you pick up your call from Client B, it takes time and energy away from helping Client A and you’re not in the right mindset to fully think about Client B’s problem since you’ve been invested in something else; you’re doing both clients a disservice.
 
Top Mistake 5: Thinking You’re Alone
 
Remember you’re not alone! Many new freelancers believe that they alone are responsible for figuring out their problems, but there’s an entire community of freelancers that have gone through similar. Network, meet your colleagues through organizations like the STC or at events like Lavacon.   

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Alisa Bonsignore is a freelancer out in the California Bay Area.

She is a contributor of STC’s magazine Intercom and has presented on professional development at various events throughout the country.

​She believes the best way to elevate the technical communication profession is to raise the profile and skills of technical communicators.
 
 

​Ayanfe is a copywriter in Minneapolis who specializes in creative content. He works at Superhuman Agency.

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​Leland (Lee) Stoe, who voted in last month's STC election, said this about STC's new President:



"I like the idea that Ben Woelk talks about evolving, making sure the STC stays relevant and useful going forward." 
              Leland Stoe, STC TC member

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