I've been in business for myself exclusively for 3 years, and each year I've tried a different mix of marketing strategy and industry participation for my promotional efforts. Here are 3 new things I’m trying this year.
1) Daily blogging: I started a blog when I launched my business, but I’d only update it a couple times per month. At the time, I hadn’t seen the benefit or the fun in merging my personal and professional life, but as time passed, I decided to start writing more often and put myself out there. I created an editorial schedule that allowed me to write for a different topic every day, which made it easier than thinking everything up from scratch.
After about 6 months, I took a step back to see how it was working. I love how it’s shaped up, but it’s time consuming. I noticed that I get more hits on personal posts than design-related ones, so I decided to take a lesson from that. After reworking and simplifying, I have a manageable schedule that I really like, and I’m getting more interaction from readers than before.
2) Co-working: On the heels of attending the Creative Freelancer Conference in June, my colleague, Beth Goldfarb, and I decided to take up an invitation to participate in a group co-working space. Spending two days per week in a group setting allows for a change of scenery, meaningful interaction, idea sharing and relationship building with other independent creatives.
I’ve been co-working for 3 months now, and I think it’s still in the testing phase. While I really like the interaction and support, it does take time out of my day, limits my schedule, and sometimes leads to a drop in productivity. I definitely like it though, and I’m going to keep playing with it. I think I’d like to try doing it a little less frequently and mixing with a few different groups & locations.
3) Working with AIGA: I’ve been an off-and-on member of AIGA, the professional organization for design, and always enjoyed the resources they offer. After trying out a few small business organizations, I wanted to get back in a big way with the design community. I’ve been co-hosting mixers through Biznik.com for a couple years, so I decided to approach AIGA about becoming the co-chair of the event programming committee.
I’ve been working with AIGA about 4 months, and while the work is challenging, I’ve been able to tool my position to work with my schedule and produce great events with them. I’ve already met so many people that I wouldn’t have otherwise, I’m really enjoying how it’s broadening my LA-based landscape.
Have you joined any new professional organizations or mixed up your marketing activities this year with new adventures? I’d love to hear what others are trying and how it’s working for you.
BTW: If you missed the Creative Freelancer Conference, you can listen to short clips from each session here.