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Growing Your Business with Marketing, Week 19: Lessons from maintenance mode

Posted by Colleen Wainwright on

This is Week 19 of a 52-week project/experiment in DIY marketing. Armed with nothing but a copy of the 2009 Grow Your Business Marketing Plan + Calendar and my bare wits, I'm applying the skills you need to grow a business in real time, day by day, and reporting on them week by week. See my companion blog, A Virgo's Guide to Marketing, for additional links and other marketing-related goodness.

I hate to disappoint you—believe me, I do—but my physical recovery is happening much, much more slowly than I'd like (for the record, what I'd like is "immediately.")

This means I'm doing pretty much everything on less of an as-needed basis than a "how much is this on fire?" basis, which from a marketing standpoint translates to:

  • Minimum blog postings I can get by with I'd been posting 5x/week on my blog, plus once weekly here and at the Virgo Guide (a double-posting, but a little bit of work to reformat for WordPress).
  • Minimal 2-way social media involvement I'm still checking in with everything—in fact, because my energy is so low, I'm probably checking in more than usual—but I'm posting less stuff on Twitter and Facebook. When my energy is this low and I'm feeling punk, I'm loathe to post much, since I'm pretty sure it won't be up to my usual standards.
  • Swapping in-person for online contact where I can I've missed two weeks of in-person networking events in a row, which really bums me out (especially since one had been paid for!). But the wear and tear on me is too great to do much mingling in the real world, plus I tend to turn into a pumpkin at around 7pm these days—no kidding! I'm getting 10 hours of sleep per night, but those hours are coming out of somewhere.

I did manage to get my monthly newsletter out last week, catch up on podcast recordings, and consult with a colleague on best practices for mounting an unconference. (Have I mentioned that while I was still feeling pretty good, I volunteered to help organize the first PresentationCamp here in L.A.? It's gonna be great: check it out and buy your tickets now!) And I've definitely been catching up on my reading, since it (and sleeping, and watching old episodes of the Rockford Files on Hulu) is about all I've got the attention span for these days.

Lessons I've learned from this? I'm really, really grateful that I already had some kind of marketing machine in place.

In the same way that having products or books for sale can keep earning you money when for whatever reason you're unable to take time work, having a machine in place means that there's still stuff out there pulling in new people: blog posts, newsletter archives (two years as of this month!), articles, presentations and podcasts. I've been at this long enough that I feel like having to cut back to half- or quarter-speed won't have me starting from zero when I finally feel better.

That said, while I'm going to keep a closer eye on my work-life balance in the future, I'm really looking forward to feeling up to doing all that in-the-trenches work I sometimes groaned about in the past. In the same way that I'm storing up recipes for food I can eat once my insides are up to it, I'm quietly stacking away ideas for projects I can't wait to hit when my energy is back.

  • More in: Marketing Plan in Action, Posts by Colleen

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