What's on the iPod: Awake My Soul by Mumford and Sons
Don't be naked this tax season.
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What a wonderful weekend! We had family in town, and it was just so much fun to walk together, eat together, and talk together. A really nice time, although I will say Friday night was an experience. We'd decided to take them out to eat at our new favorite restaurant in the city. Twenty-six miles. Thirty-five minute ride. Right. Try two hours, and that's including getting off the expressway and taking back roads, which were nearly as jammed up. Never has it taken two hours to get into the city. I wonder how long it would have been if we'd stayed on the expressway? I shudder to think.
The restaurant did a great job in accommodating us. In fact, they were accommodating a lot of late-comers -- the place was a ghost town when we walked in. It was booked solid, too, but the traffic had everyone running at least an hour behind. And sadly, the food wasn't spectacular like the first night we'd visited, though his brother thought his dish was superb.
I know I said I'd start with my themed blogging today, but Kate asked a very good question on Friday, and I didn't want to ignore it. She said "I am feeling completely burnt out by marketing and social media linking. Sometimes, I even feel that social media marketing is killing writers' development as writers. Not that 140 character sentences aren't a skill...How do you deal with all those complexities and still get your writing done?"
Here's how I deal with the complexities, which don't seem like complexities once you're able to break it down into a system:
Schedule it. Just like I schedule my lunch, I schedule my marketing. Early morning isn't always my best time, so I'll often choose time right before or right after lunch. I'm winding down (or already wound down) and I don't have to break my concentration.
Limit it. I spend 15 minutes (maybe up to 30 minutes) per day on marketing. I don't spend hours even if I have hours. There's something that happens internally when I spend more than 30 minutes marketing -- I start to feel overwhelmed, depressed, almost desperate, even if I'm doing fine with my workload and earnings. Plus marketing shouldn't feel like a job.
Mix it up. Kate mentioned 140 characters. Yes, it's a skill to market on Twitter, but it's also important to market elsewhere. Many of my marketing attempts go out in emailed queries, LinkedIn group connections, or even snail mail. I don't use the phone to market, but if you're great on the phone, do it. And try a few magazine editors -- it never hurts to vary the clients, either.
Make it natural. Kate also mentioned she feels burned out by social media linking. Kate, don't try so hard! Find some favorite blogs. Read them regularly (because you want to, not because you have to), and comment. That's an easy way to get your name and link circulating. Also, remember the rule -- of every 20 tweets, 18 should be sharing or conversation. Only 2 tweets for every 20 should be selling your skills.
Hopefully, this helps writers like Kate find a nice balance in their marketing and social media use.
Writers, how do you fit your marketing in?