I realize the title is not exactly professional business-sounding. But I think it does illustrate the fact that marketing is such a fuzzy wuzzy topic for many creatives. I mean, we sort of know what it means and people think of advertising perhaps. But seriously it gets blurry as you start to talk about branding and such. These past few weeks have been slow on my creative business front and honestly I have just been lazy and fearful. After getting my media kit ready, I outlined some weekly marketing tasks for myself and even started a list of people to contact and things to do. But I soon found myself afraid to take those steps and feeling like there were all these obstacles in my way.

Even though the weeks have passed, I haven’t approached any blogs or submitted my work anywhere. I am still so afraid of rejection, of being ignored…imagining that reviewers would see my stuff and just laugh out loud. The thought makes me shudder and I already feel so small and meek. It’s amazing how one could feel so proud and energized one moment, then down in the dumps and so vulnerable the next moment. I am a crazy pendulum of emotions aren’t I? I allowed myself time to think and calm my nerves.

Marketing is simply about promoting myself. People have to know of me to do business and perhaps buy my products. There are many different ways to accomplish “getting out there,” of course. What about this branding talk? I like how BAM puts it… it’s simply your reputation. So everything you do contributes to your reputation as a creative business. Just make sure you are living up to who you want to be in everything you do, create and offer. Okay, that all makes sense to me and my lists of tasks help to get my name out and designs out there into the world. Obviously, I need to try them out to see what works the best. What attracts the most people to my blog or converts people to support me through my shops, etc. Okay, so I obviously am okay with the concepts and tasks…it’s just the fear stopping me in my tracks, so I’ll never figure out what works.

I am finding it really hard to overcome the fear of failure and rejection. Even though I can tell myself that I am no worse off if nothing becomes of my efforts. I guess, it would just be a blow to my ego. It’s always personal when someone dismisses your work. Let’s be honest here…especially with creative work, you can’t just say business is business. It’s amazingly difficult to me to not feel anything. I suppose you always feel something, it’s just learning how to deal with the fact that not everyone will like you – no matter what. Just as how not everyone is your friend in life. Oh, woe is the reality of things…the sting of rejection will never cease to exist. But it thankfully the pain passes over time. I suppose I just need to stock up on Snickers bars for comfort food!

Besides staring out into the countryside and pondering a lot this week, I did start a Greeting Card Universe Shop, but the review times take so long, I lost my momentum. I should not have let it stop me in my tracks…I know. However, I do like that the community is active there and I’m able to see my work on greeting cards…something I just adore – practically collect them! I plan to purchase my own card designs, so in a way it’s like a printer service so that my correspondence also promotes my own work. That’s one way to spread the word…just live and breathe your own work. Don’t think it’s presumptuous to use your own stuff and talk about it – something I am slowly learning to do. It’s about having pride for your work, not aggressively shoving it into the faces of others. 😛

I also revived my digital stamp shop, finally figuring out how to use Zen cart. Another thing I need to figure out is how to make all my work cross-over properly. I love papercrafting, but often the audience is completely different for those who like scrapbooking and cardmaking. That’s why I have a completely different blog BacktoPaper for those interests and in a way it’s like living two lives 🙂 I certainly need to focus, but I don’t want to lose all those other things I seriously enjoy doing. I simply can’t focus in the sense of reducing down my number of passions. I can’t fight my nature, but I also realize I can’t do it all. I am always in the quest for balance and sometimes I think it is a wobbly adventure – you just move a bit here and there to stay balanced. So I really need to get my butt into gear and act upon my marketing tasks…not just researching and making plans. After getting the foundations of your business complete, you must go forward creating and marketing – always! Although I still feel the butterflies when thinking about submitting my work…I think I have found the courage in myself, my support groups and ultimately my thirst for success – to take the leap – no matter what. I hope to report back next week with much more progress. Ciao ciao!

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