The Marketing Thing Vs. The Working Thing

The Marketing Thing Vs. The Working Thing

Last week, I took a vacation with my lovely wife, and missed doing a blog post entirely. I see where WordPress has an option of writing and scheduling posts, but frankly, I was too busy doing that with my monthly newsletter. I figured I could ignore the blog for a week.

When I came back, I thought I’d end up writing a lengthy post excoriating the Canadian Border Patrol for the absolutely horrendous treatment my wife and I received at the Rainbow Bridge (Border Patrol, you guys suck…you know who you are). But I decided I had bigger fish to fry. Suffice to say, Canada won’t see either of us again any time soon.

It was actually a bit of a working vacation: I had to start a project for my biggest client, which needed to be finished immediately upon our return. I also hosted a book signing event at the library in my hometown, so it wasn’t exactly a restful vacation…unless you consider driving from Niagara Falls to Bristol, CT in one day “restful.” Naturally, I was pleased to return to Florida, where I knew I’d be logging some serious hours at my desk.

But What About Marketing?

So yeah, I’ve been super busy…almost too busy to market my business. Here’s why a look at Anne R. Allen’s blog made me think about marketing, and how important it is.

I’ve been following Anne’s blog since before my own guest appearance there in March, and this week’s post felt very timely. It’s about having an “author strategy,” and covers branding, production, and discoverability. (You can check it out here.)

That post reminded me of a conversation with a former colleague of mine right when I started my freelance career full-time. I’d been so used to being an employee, I wasn’t sure whether I could become an entrepreneur at the ripe old age of 50. One of the things we talked about was the balance between working and marketing oneself.

Basically, I remember her saying, “Sometimes I get so busy working on projects for clients, I forget to market myself. Then when I run out of stuff to do, I feel like I’m back to square one.”

This was a problem I would have loved to have – I had a grand total of ONE client then – but the point stuck with me. Now that I’m in that mode myself, I have a better sense of what it’s about.

For me, the idea is to do the work you have, keep looking to fill the pipeline, but never stop marketing your business. I know I’ve built a platform I could never have envisioned when I started out, thanks to my tenacity in that area. I still do projects for my oldest client, for my biggest client, and I have ambitious new projects in the works…including ghostwriting a book! (More on that later.) But the one constant has been my marketing. No matter how busy or how slow it’s been, I’ve kept up with the marketing side. And it’s paying off. Now that I’m so busy with work, I just have to remember to take my own advice!

What do you think? I’d love to hear more about how my fellow freelance writers market themselves. Give me a shout in the comments below.

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The following post has been pre-scheduled. I’ve never tried to pre-schedule a blog post before, so I had to look up how to do it. If you know me well, you won’t be surprised by that. Hey, I’m on vacation while you read this. Modern technology!

I find it interesting to see how many articles are out there on “How to Schedule a Blog Post on WordPress.” Google delivered a bunch of results, including a totally unhelpful video from WordPress themselves. I ended up using an article called “How to Schedule your Posts in WordPress.” Pretty basic, right?

The funny part was the phrase “if you are going for a vacation, but you don’t want to abandon your blog.” Wow, really? Abandon? Talk about a dramatic word choice! I wonder if my poor blog would be sitting by the side of the road crying if I ignored it for an entire week.

Well, okay. Those of you who look in on this blog from time to time probably won’t care if I take a well-deserved vacation. In fact, I’d guess the only reason you read my blog is to find out about me doing something. And this week, I’m planning on doing nothing.

But of course, that’s not completely true. You know how vacations are: you end up driving for twelve or thirteen hours, and that’s not exactly relaxation, is it? And, being a writer, I had to schedule a writerly event. So I’m appearing at the F. N. Manross Memorial Library on Saturday, May 6th at 2:00pm. It’s a nice little library in my nice little hometown. And I intend to be nice and relaxed by the time I get there.

So stop by, if you’re in CT. Pick up a book or three. If you get there early, you might meet a few other people I know and love. Just don’t ask me to to do any real work. I’m supposed to be on, er, a vacation.

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