I signed up for BadRedHead Media’s 30 day marketing challenge (where we get one actionable item per day) and it was a big reminder to really do things – not just think about doing them, or sit back and hope people will come to me.
Not that I did that all the time, but I’m definitely guilty of it sometimes.
There have been a couple of conversations which have reminded me how much I have going for me – and how much I haven’t taken advantage of them. There are two big questions that have been floating around my brain over the last fortnight:
Who are my connections?
What can I do?
For question one, it’s about thinking out of the box. We were talking about traditional vs. indie publishing, and the advantage that publishing houses have, especially their connections: designers, editors, booksellers, illustrators, journalists. The friend I was talking to reminded me that I do have connections, just not in the same way as a publishing house. Some connections are the same (designers, illustrators, editors, booksellers) and some are different (teachers, artists, writers, musicians, actors).
That’s a LOT to work with! Think about how you can collaborate with, trade services, or hire the connections in your life. How can you contribute to someone else’s project? Publicity doesn’t pay the bills but it can be mutually beneficial. I’m booking school visits, I have hired editors, an illustrator, a designer, an actress, and a sound engineer. My (wo)manpower zines are a way to promote female artists, while also promoting my ‘platform’, and of course I pay a local guy to print my books.
Question two is a good one for me, but I think it applies to everyone – especially creatives. Our creative work may be our ‘passion’ (or whatever you want to call it) but it’s not our entire life. We have families, friends, other passions, hobbies, and most of us have day-jobs. How can we use our other skills and interests to add to our work?
For me, the most obvious is my art background coming out in illustration and art. I also have a teaching background, and have taught adults as well. This is great in a teaching or workshop capacity, but also the skill of working with children (who are not simply ‘little adults’). I’ve also been doing colouring pages for events, and have picked up a commission this week. List your skills and think creatively – how can they help with your primary focus?
And that’s my abrupt end to the blog post today – gotta get back to that colouring page!