A Review of Allison Boyer’s “Out of Thin Air”

Posted by | January 06, 2011 | The Written Word | 23 Comments
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I just finished reading an amazing book by Allison Boyer. As I read Out of Thin Air, a must-read guide to successful freelancing,I was taken aback at the amazing and incredibly practical lessons that she had to share.

Although Alli shares with us wisdom that comes only from years of freelance writing experience, her tone is one of humility, sharing even the mistakes she has made and urging us to learn and do better.

Her lessons are practical and her stories are powerful.

Practical Advice From One Freelancer To Another

Although it’s targeted specifically toward freelance writers, almost every section of this book provides incredibly easy-to-implement ideas that can immediately increase cash flow potential in any line of freelance work.

For being only 47 pages, Out of Thin Air covers an amazing amount of material. Below are a few examples of concepts you’ll find inside.

  • How to effectively communicate with clients so that they will send more work your way.
  • How to create a sense of urgency without being threatening.
  • How to offer discounts that are timely and effective.
  • How to develop easy-to-use referral incentives for your clients.
  • How to find new clients in a hurry and unique places to find freelance work both online and off.
  • How to make money with your blog through incredible, non-spam strategies.
  • How to use bid-for-work marketplaces and still turn strong profits.
  • How to create a budget on a fluid freelance income.

A Review of Allison Boyer's Out of Thin Air

The Sad Mistakes of a Beginning Freelance Writer

Throughout the book, you’ll find two unique items labeled as confessionals and notes in the margin. The notes in the margin are the thoughts that Allison believes she would write down in the margin if it were her reading the book.

The confessionals, however, are something entirely different, and they’re very powerful. In her own words:

The stories in these boxes tell you about mistakes I’ve made as a freelancer that I hope you can avoid. These stories don’t paint me in the nicest light, and I thought long and hard about including them at all. At the end of the day, though, I think they are important stories to tell. I’m not perfect. I’ve done some really crappy things. But I’ve learned from them, and my hope is that you don’t have to make these mistakes to learn what not to do.

As I read through her first confessional, she told a story about a lie she once told when she first began her freelance writing career. She worked around the clock and through the night to deliver a product she inappropriately promised to a client.

In the end, she delivered and the client was none the wiser, but you’ll have to pick up your own copy of Out of Thin Air to find out just exactly what she did and what a catastrophe it could have become.

Read and Connect with a Seasoned Professional

I met Allison Boyer on Twitter a little over a month ago and quickly became impressed with her fun and engaging personality. Since meeting, we’ve also spoken on Skype, and each time I’ve spoken to her, I can’t help but be impressed with her.

It’s no wonder that she’s worked for companies like Darren Rowse’s B5 Media and is currently writing for the Blog World Expo blog.

If you’re looking for someone to write some material for your or your company, get in touch with her and be sure to let her know that you heard about her at Site Sketch 101.

And, of course, don’t forget to stop over at her site and pick up your copy of Out of Thin Air today. I’m very confident that you’ll be pleased with it.

P.S. Although I am friends with Allison, I still purchased the book myself. It wasn’t given to me. I’ve purchased it, and I recommend it. It’s worth it.

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About Nicholas Cardot

It's my personal quest to enable every person that I can to unlock that dormant potential concerning their online influence. Also, I'm a geek.

23 Comments

  • Wade says:

    Thanks Nick, being a freelance writer myself, I will be sure to grab this book. Thank you for sharing and you have a great 2011.

    • Nicholas Cardot says:

      You have a great 2011 also. If you’re doing any freelance work then this will definitely help you out. It has some terrific ideas that are really easy to implement.

  • Allison says:

    Thanks for reviewing it, and glad you liked it! If anyone has any questions, feel free to catch me on Twitter – @allison_boyer

  • Patricia@lavenderuses says:

    Hi Nicholas

    I love writing and so this is on topic for me. Will go visit Allison’s site when I have finished commenting here.

    Thanks for the recommendation. Much apprecaited Nicholas.

    Patricia Perth Australia

    • Nicholas Cardot says:

      Keep in mind that although the book is geared toward freelance writers, it’s really more for freelancers than for writers. If you’re not writing for clients, I wouldn’t recommend it as it’s not so much about the art of writing but about the art of using your writing skill as you work with clients.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you not to buy the book but if you’re not in a position to work with clients, then I wouldn’t recommend this to you. Allison can slap me for non-recommending it to you, but I highly recommend it for freelancers but not for non-freelancing writers.

      Do you do any client work, Patricia?

      • Patricia@lavenderuses says:

        No I don’t as I am busy enough with my blog and fledgling business. Thanks for that Nicholas. Plus I plan to write me ebook this year so will be busy writing that and also the people I will write for are friends.

        Patricia Perth Australia

  • Nica says:

    Hello Nick! Came to you site through one of Patricia’s Tweets. I do a little freelance writing on the side but I mainly like performing my virtual assistant tasks. Those tasks, more often than not, include blogging and rewriting articles.

    Maybe Allison can launch a contest to promote her book.

    • Allison says:

      Hi Nica! Thanks for your suggestion – I did run a contest when I initially launched the book last fall and just finished up a “Pay What You Can” promotion, so I don’t think there’s another contest or giveaway in my immediate future. But if I can answer any questions you may have, just let me know!

      • Nica says:

        Ouch! I missed it. Thanks for replying Allison. I a in the process of figuring out a referral system or my VA clients. Can you offer any ideas?

        • Allison says:

          Referral systems are definitely a way to make more money – I’ve used it with my clients before and can see it working well for a VA business too. Like Nick said, it’s a topic I talk about in the book

    • Nicholas Cardot says:

      It’s funny that you mention that she should run a contest. As she mentioned, she just ran one in December and she specifically talks about effective ways to use contests and sales to encourage clients and buyers to bite. If you read it, you’ll understand why it would actually be a bad idea to run another sale or contest right now.

      Also, it’s only $21 right now. If you’re freelancing at any level at all, you’ll most likely make that back within the first couple hours of finishing the book. Her concepts are incredibly easy to implement.

      However, if you’ve got the mindset that you’re looking for a free handout in order to become more successful at what you do then it’s probably not going to happen. The best workers are the ones who do whatever it takes to learn, grow and become more motivated as they hone their skills. Powerful success comes from hard work…not from free handouts.

  • Katherine Salt says:

    I have to agree with you Allison is great, I met her at Blogworkd and had a gew subsequent chats with her about Twitter. She managed to divert me off the potentially disasterous path I was taking and I will always be grateful for the time she gave me. I can’t wait to now read this book.

    • Allison says:

      Don’t be fooled, everyone. Katherine Salt is brilliant, and I learned as much from her as she learned from me. Probably more!

    • Nicholas Cardot says:

      Katherine, it’s nice to meet another friend of Allison. She tells me that she has friends, but I wasn’t sure whether or not to believe her until now. ;)

      I would love to hear about the potentially disastrous path you were on if it’s a story you’d care to share.

      • Katherine Salt says:

        :) I was pretty much going after followers in large volume rather than focussing onbuilding relationships with the ones I had. It is a tricky balance when you are outsourcing your services to explain to people who don’t understand that despite your competitor having a zillion followers it doesn’t mean they are a better choice.

        After talking with Allison I’ve put more effort in building those connections.

  • Whiztechy says:

    Thanks for the Review. It seems even in 47 pages,Allison Boyer covered all important aspects. I will surely read it.

  • TrafficColeman says:

    Seems like an must read book for people who need that guide in this blogging world..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • Mike Lieberman says:

    I’ll have to add this one to my to-read list. Thanks for the reco.

  • Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing says:

    Excellent recommendation Nic, I’ll save this post for my next paycheck. ;-)

  • Edward says:

    Great post Nic…I will have to check out the book…always interest in learn more about freelance and blogging! Thanks.

  • Reza Winandar says:

    “The stories in these boxes tell you about mistakes I’ve made as a freelancer that I hope you can avoid.”

    This person should awarded with something worthy!

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