I Tell Stories

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Rick Stephens-Murphy

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I Tell Stories | Author | Marketing and Brand Development | Creative Content


Oh, hi…My name is Rick, and I ah, I tell stories for pay…

Hi Rick, what brings you to LinkedIn?

Well, let’s see. Where do I begin? Mostly I’m here to share exciting ideas and meet up with some really cool people to work with.

You see, after over 35 years in small business management and marketing, I was ready for a change. I tried sailing my life away but as fun as that sounded, I found it a tough way to make a real living. They say to make a million in the boat business you need to start with two. I also did some time in the Real Estate and Mortgage world. While it was fun, and lucrative, that all quickly changed by 2008.

“You’re a writer, right? And you’re good at it. You need to write content. Have you looked at some of the content businesses are using to sell their brand? Some of it looks like a third grader wrote it. There is a huge need for quality content. You need to update your WordPress and graphic design skills and start creating content.”

It was during this period of exploration that I developed a deep love of fiction writing. But, much like sailing, it’s a tough gig to live off of while you’re still building your library of work. Floundering for direction, I sat down with my little (bigger) brother, Dr. Kyle Murphy to get some direction.

His advice:

Yup, that’s pretty much how it happened. And then we went sailing. But when we got back, I immediately went to work. The nice thing about what I do is that it’s the perfect marriage between my past business experience and my love for storytelling. Because if you think about it, that’s really what we do in the marketing world. We tell stories that encourage consumers to buy our products or services.

But it really wasn’t smooth sailing at first. It takes more than a shiny new website ( mine is always a work in progress) and a Facebook page to connect with potential clients. In the old days, you’d join your local chamber, network groups, and maybe pay for a bigger yellow page ad. Yes, I’m that old. But in today’s virtual market you need a virtual meeting place.

The fact is, no matter how talented or how experienced you may be, finding work as a new freelance contractor is a challenge. I started out, probably like many of us, joining one or a dozen freelance content mills. While I did win a few jobs, in the end I found their award percentages even lower than their compensation. I was making more off my book sales. Ultimately the whole experience made me feel sad and frustrated. And their process was encouraging the very attitude I am trying to change — Quality over quantity. This is not to say I don’t write or recommend the use of short regular posts. I’m talking about the “punch it out as fast as you can for a couple of bucks with very little thought as to how it helps tell a brands story,” type of content.

Find Rick on ProFinder

Then I found LinkedIn ProFinder. While I like LinkedIn for networking, with ProFinder I finally found the tool I was looking for. Unlike content mills, I’ve seen an average hire rate of over 25%. And this is quality work with real professionals. I really appreciate that I can research a potential client before I bid, and they can research me. This really increases the odds of a good fit between us before we even speak. In fact, my last two clients told me that they chose me after reading through my profile. I also appreciate the fact that I’m only competing with four other candidates, unlike the dozen or more you get on content mills.

Yes, I tell stories for pay. And as a simple story teller, I would recommend ProFinder to any professional looking to build a strong client base or grow their existing one.

I Tell Stories | Author | Marketing and Brand Development | Creative Content

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Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com on April 4, 2017.