The “right” mix of marketing and creating

A great post on The Urban Muse this week got me thinking: Is there such a thing as the “right” mix of marketing and creating?

Ideally, freelancers spend at least a few hours a week marketing their work — i.e., searching for and contacting new clients along with Tweeting, Facebooking and otherwise promoting their writing. Normally, I enjoy this mix. I almost consider it a break to switch from the intensity of creating new stories to sniffing out opportunities to sell more.

But this week — one in which I found myself rolling from corporate writing to journalism to public relations and back again — I barely indulged in social media and entirely ignored the idea of marketing to new clients. In fact, every time I accidentally flipped from my to-do list to the page behind it — a running list of editors to contact — my stomach lurched.

Why? My reasons were both patently absurd and completely logical. I was overwhelmed as it was, working early mornings and late nights, and worried another editor would say yes. How ridiculous is that? I was afraid of more success.

But one of my hard-and-fast policies — never accepting work I know I can’t finish on time — was firmly at play. There was simply no more time in which to squeeze a last-minute assignment, and most of my stories have a one- to three-day window between assignment and deadline. In the interest of creating well, my marketing had to go on a short hiatus.

I suspect this mix is a tenuous one for a great many freelancers, and something that needs to stay fluid. As my business changes, shifts and grows, I need to be open to the idea that some weeks may include almost no marketing, and that is just as OK as weeks in which I exhaust my list of new prospects. The goals are the same, after all — to maximize my output, my potential for growth and my ability to do my best writing for each client.

So maybe there’s no “right” mix of marketing and creating at all — maybe it’s a recipe that, depending on the portions, tastes a little different every day. It’s one of the reasons freelancing rarely grows bland or stale. A tasty career choice indeed.

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About writearounditall

Welcome to Write Around It All. I’m Maureen Salamon, a freelance health & lifestyle writer who was a WAHM before WAHM was part of the vernacular. Four kids later, my days are a crazy cocktail of research, laundry, interviews, carpools, writing, errands and deadlines. I have it all, do it all and appreciate it all — most days. View all posts by writearounditall

2 responses to “The “right” mix of marketing and creating

  • Susan Johnston

    I totally understand that fear of getting too many assignments at once and having to turn some down or scramble to finish everything on time! There are definitely weeks when I have to scale back on marketing a bit, but I find it I neglect markting for too long, that creates a panic later on when I finish everything and realize I only have a few assignments on my plate. It’s a tricky juggling act, isn’t it?

  • Deremiah *CPE

    Having come out of the Corporate market place of Consulting where leveraging Marketing and Sales is very important I completely get this article. But one of the things you learn quickly in traditional corporate circles is that creating balance is so important. How’s your pipeline? That’s what they’re asking you all the time…LOLLL. So there’s never really a moment when you’re even by yourself that you are not asking that question unconsciously. This experience is especially valuable when I’m working on projects alone. So keep your pipeline full and when it’s less than half fill it up again. That’s my suggestion.

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