We’ve all faced the marketing conundrum at some point. In order to get noticed, we have to sell ourselves. Yet, the time we must invest in marketing our products means less time to create. It can be a tiring (and vicious) cycle. I’d like to welcome back Rick Pipito for another guest post. Let’s see what he has to say on the topic.
How to Balance Marketing Efforts with Creative Endeavors
Have you ever said to yourself, “I don’t have time to promote my work and complete my next book?” Maybe those aren’t your exact words, but if you are a writer or any creative person then I’ll bet you’ve said something along those lines; or at least thought it. I know, because I’ve been there.
As impossible as it sometimes seems there are ways to juggle marketing efforts effectively, while maintaining your creative goals. I’ll use myself as an example. I’m currently writing my seventh novel, brainstorming the one after that, laying out storyboards for my fifth comic book, recording the audio book version of my second novel, and playing a music gig a month. Oh, there’s also the fact that I work a full-time job, have two amazing little kids, and am assisting my wife’s celebrity culinary career. It may look like an overwhelming schedule and to most it is, but the key is time management.
The creative juices are always flowing. When I brainstorm for my projects I often place my phone on the car seat while I’m driving and talk to myself to get my ideas down. Work days are full. I go to the job for 9 hours, come home and do homework with the kids. Play, eat dinner and talk with the family, then read them a story before bed. Once that 8:00 pm mark hits its time to kill off favorite characters, make people laugh and cry, and unleash the monsters in my books for a thrilling literary ride.
You must narrow down one day a week to marketing, but never hesitate to do more. If all of your time is spent on “selling” your ideas then you won’t have time to create more, which for us authors can be a curse. On the other hand, what is the point of creating if there is no one to share it with? No one will know of your work unless you get it out there.
Here’s what works for me, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is trying to do the same:
#1: Social Media
Let’s be blunt. Facebook is great for family and friends as well as the few acquaintances we meet along the way, but is it a good place to market? Yes and no. Your friends will share your status and products on occasion when you post, but your audience is limited. Twitter, while somewhat annoying to learn at first is an amazing platform for spreading the word and making connections. Instagram also works well. You need to learn the hashtags (I still call it the pound sign) for people with the same interests, but you’d be amazed at how quickly people gain respect for you. It’s a much larger market than limiting to one place. Of course there are other social media sites but these are the ones that really bring in the audience. Make sure you also follow and like other people, and the courtesy they return will be unequaled.
#2: Multiple formats
Don’t limit yourself to print. I’m old fashioned and want a copy of a book in hand, but let’s face it. The future and current generations are reading on Kindles, iPads, and other electronic devices. I tend to always have a print, digital, and now even audio book versions of my books at all times. I realize that isn’t something that everyone can do, but anything you can utilize as a format should be.
Having a website or some sort of blog that focuses on what you do is a huge step toward success. It is a point of reference where people can see a full progression of what you’ve done and where you are headed and allows them to relate.
#4: Collaboration and seeking new avenues
Working with other writers or creative minds is a doorway to wider audiences. Jeri allowing me to write this guest post is beneficial to each other because all of you will have been exposed to me to a certain extent, and my followers will do the same with Jeri. Never limit yourself to your ego in other words. Branching out and finding common goals among peers can be a great learning experience, marketing tool, and a lot of fun.
#5: Watch what you say
Unless you are running for office or are a person deeply rooted in a certain belief try not to bring your personal views on politics and religion into your daily remarks. You will limit yourself to less than 50% of your potential audience. There are proper ways to go about getting your ideas out there. Putting characters in your writing for example that have strong opinions is good. Then people can love or hate them instead of you. You want your audience to be vast and like you. Negativity on ANY level will weigh down your opportunities.
Managing time is the main ingredient to evening out the scales. It may take a few tries, but once you figure out a good routine and keep going with it, you’ll be thankful in the end.
What works for you when it comes to how to balance marketing efforts with creative endeavors?
Permission must be granted by Rick Pipito to use the images in this post.
Why not take a moment to also check out his guest post on Nurturing Artistic Talent?