This is Week 24 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 some in-depth posts, additional links and other marketing-related goodness.
In addition to its cumulative positive effect on your business and cashflow, this week, I discovered another reason for doing your marketing chores regularly: you build up stamina!
For whatever reason, on top of a pretty crackling seven days preceding it, this past week was a whirlwind of activity that required heaping scoops of both energy and focus. Granted, the first day was devoted to, um, Disneyland, but believe me, while it was fun, it was a whole new level of exhausting (have you ever spent almost 13 hours with two tweens in the Happiest Place on Earth?).
Aside from one recovery day—like I said, 13 hours, two tweens, Happiest Place on Earth—I hit it pretty hard, with networking events on Tuesday, Thursday, and kinda-sorta Saturday nights, a slew of phone meetings about various collaborations in various stages of doneness, and a kickass workshop on Friday night with the mad-brilliant Danielle LaPorte of White Hot Truth and a slew of amazing women (plus our token amazing guy, Peleg!). I also met with my first official mentee ever, a recent graduate of the engineering school from my alma mater, which relationship I think is going to teach me at least as much as it helps him.
Oh, and apparently, even the piddling amount of cold calling I've done has begun paying off, as I managed to land a major (and majorly perfect) sponsor, iStockphoto.com, for our upcoming PresentationCamp LA (this Saturday, June 20th, at BLANKSPACES—come if you're local, or if you're loco, or a little of both.) And this is on top of a number of other wonderful sponsors providing cash, merch or both.
I guess I've officially brought on my first kinda-sorta support team member (since Ilise, my coach), a cracking-good designer who is going to bring my template into the 21st century by porting it over to the excellent Thesis theme that the Virgo Guide uses. Technically, it's more of a hiring-out of talent, but it's a hiring-out of someone to do something I could do myself, if I wanted to take the million-billion years of effort it would take me to wrassle with code. Which—NEWS FLASH—I don't. What I do want is to push at the edges of my comfort zone a bit; that's what stuff like me spending money on the lovely Jamie and some online and phone-based marketing courses (which I'll share more about when I've completed them) is about.
It's also what stuff like the Amazon aStore I added to my website and that—GASP—affiliate link to the Thesis theme in the paragraph above are about. Will I go crazy on the affiliate stuff? Probably not. I may, after a reasonable trial period, decide it's not for me and revert to my old commie-pinko-hippie self. But after a very interesting conversation with my new friend, the painter Brad Nack, about the nexus between art and commerce, I'm committed at least to exploring it. A lady's gotta make a living. And so do I.
Oh—and I juuust managed to squeak out four posts for my blog, communicatrix, and this short post here. I mean, come on—there's a limit!
Two more weeks and we're halfway through 2009. It seems impossible and yet…
So here's my question to you: my mentee (why do I think of a smooth, chewy mint every time I type that?) is looking for help getting started with his own post-grad, pre-grad school marketing plan. I'm turning him onto Liz Ryan (great resume help) and Guy Kawasaki (great LinkedIn profile help), as well as Chris Brogan and Seth Godin (great…well, YOU know). What else should I be turning him on to, this young engineer who took a break from the Internet for four years? What does he need to know first, last and in the middle? Books? Sites? Let's help this kid get into Harvard Business School!