He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. —Psalm 113:9

November 19, 2010

Believe it or not, this post is not about NaNoWriMo.

I've been thinking about how to re-structure my business to make it more profitable heading into the new year. I'm still at a point where I'm just making ends meet, and that's largely thanks to Matt's disability income and student loans, because I'm definitely not pulling in enough to set aside savings to get us through the lean times when none of my current crop of clients have anything for me. I know I can always write for Demand Studios to get us through those periods, but... ugh. I got so burned out writing for DS last summer that I don't even want to talk about it.

Really, I'm doing pretty well for only having been in business a year and a half. It generally takes most businesses two to three years to start turning a profit, so I figure if I stick with it, things are only going to get better. Part of that lies with me understanding the true value of my skills and expertise, and of the many, many, MANY hours I've put in over many years developing said skills and expertise, and getting over my bashfulness about charging what I'm worth. Because one thing I've learned is that if you charge bargain prices, you're going to attract clients that are looking for a bargain because they can't afford to pay. Whereas if you charge your full worth, you will find people and businesses that think that's perfectly reasonable and are both happy and able to pay that amount for what you can bring to the table. Which makes it a lot easier to afford things like health insurance and babies.

I also need to get over my shyness about marketing myself. I give my clients perfectly good marketing advice, but I never follow it for myself because... I don't know. I guess because it makes me feel like a jerk. A pushy, annoying jerk. And yet I don't think that about the vast majority of people I know who put themselves out there to market their books/products/services/blogs/etc. every single day. Maybe if I figure it out I can write a book or do a seminar on marketing for shy introverts. But that would be one more thing I'd have to market, so... maybe not.

On a related tangent, last night I caught up on this week's America's Next Top Model, and I'm totally on Team Ann. That girl reminds me so much of myself. Not the tall, rail-thin, extremely photogenic part, OBVS, but the shy, awkward, reserved personality part. During the acting class, when in her head she felt like she was screaming her lungs out but in reality she was making barely audible whimpering sounds? That's so me. I used to wonder why people would tell me all the time that I was so quiet and reserved, because in my head I was really putting myself out there and thought there was all kinds of inflection in my voice. But I've got kind of a flat affect, and if I try to sound "normal" I really feel like I'm shouting and acting like a complete fool. I've learned to do it anyway, especially in a business setting, but it feels so unnatural and uncomfortable and forced.

That's how self-marketing makes me feel. But I know that if I ever want to succeed in anything creative I have to get over that and learn to just go ahead and shout it out and be a fool, realizing that it only really feels that way to my miswired brain and that it looks perfectly fine to everybody else.

So I'll be working on that in the coming weeks, and hopefully I'll have a re-designed (again!) web site with all of the new info ready to launch by January. Yes, in addition to finishing my Nano novel and my How To Start a Business e-book and surviving the holidays and everything else. At least I'll be too busy to dwell on the things about this time of year that tend to make me sad.

1 comment:

Foxy said...

Totally agree about Top Model, Ann! I love her! It's nice to see someone so HUMAN on that show!

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