I always wonder whether I am doing the best job of marketing myself. Yeah, I know I do a better job of marketing myself than anyone else does, but you know what I mean. In my business, there is no shortage of opportunities to get attention, but most of them require a lot of attention. So, I’ve been forced to decide what things to spend my time on and what to do less of. Your business might be different than mine, but you are still faced with the same question of where to focus time and resources. Internet marketing is cheap from a money standpoint, but it costs a lot of time and energy.
So, I made a list of the things that I do to call attention to myself:
- Write blog posts. I post to this blog every working day, but I do take several weeks off each year. In the last few years, I’ve tried to lessen my load by sharing this space with other writers. The quality hasn’t suffered but I don’t pay them, so some contribute more sporadically than others. I’ve thought about redesigning the blog and launching it on its own site, but I never find the time. I’m hoping to do it by partnering with someone else, so we’ll see. I also link from my blog to other places on the Web where I write, so that gets me more exposure, too.
- Write books. I have two, but I am overdue for another. I’ve had the idea for two years but I am only one-third of the way through the writing. I wanted to finish this one without being committed to a date by a publishing contract, but I am finding that the lack of deadline is causing it to always slip lower on the list. I’ve decided that I am going to be a lot more aggressive about this the rest of this year, but it means I have to reduce other things I am doing.
- Public speaking. I once spoke more than I do now. I used to speak mostly for free or for travel expenses, but now I usually charge. I’m speaking less but I think that was one of the things I needed to do. I know that less exposure from speaking might hurt me in other ways, but I needed to cut something, so free speaking that requires travel is something I do only a few times a year now.
- Updating my Web site. The blog forces me to keep adding content, so that’s good, but my Web site looks downright dowdy because I haven’t had time to redesign it. I broke down and hired people to redesign it and I have someone recoding the HTML now. I am able to do these things myself, but not as well as others and it isn’t worth my time. I liked doing it but it is something I had to cut out so that I could do other things.
- Tweeting. I tweet a few times a work day. Others use Twitter a lot better than I do (certainly more frequently than I do), but I think it has helped me some. I am finding that I use Twitter the way others use Facebook—communicating with individuals as much as sharing what I am reading or what I think about an issue. People who know me expected me to be funnier on Twitter but I get nervous committing jokes to 140 characters because I don’t want to upset someone who doesn’t get the joke. I am trying to do my few tweets a day, but I always have to remind myself to do them. Twitter doesn’t come naturally to me the way it does to some people. (I might just be old.)
In looking at this list, I can see why I feel so busy all the time. These activities take a significant chunk out of every work day. I know that they work, because people keep calling me to ask me to speak or do some consulting. But I sometimes wonder whether trying to do all of these things spreads me too thin, where if I cut one out I might do better. Everyone likes to talk about how Seth Godin blogs but doesn’t do Twitter, for example.
But I don’t feel like that makes sense. I think I want to juggle them a bit longer and see how it works, knowing that something new is always around the corner, looking to steal my time. (I’ve resisted FourSquare so far.)
I am interested in knowing what others think. I’ve got thousands of blog subscribers and Twitter followers, and have sold tens of thousands of books, and spoken to hundreds of people at a time several times a month, so calling attention to myself is working to at least some extent. I don’t have to compare myself to the real giants in our business to feel successful, but as a marketer, it helps for me to think about what I am doing once in a while. I hope it helps you, too.