Sweet Lurline, Did You Just Pet Me??

Here I thought I had a sure project: a handyman I met through my neighbors eager for me to work with him on increasing visibility for his mobile business. Currently he’s using Craigslist, but wants to get beyond that in order to attract a more reliable clientele and demonstrate credibility. That’s super easy, I said, then brainstormed ideas on how he could turn his small space into a busy business.

We had a planning meeting over breakfast, where I asked a bunch of objective-building questions. He answered generously and eagerly, occasionally expressing gratitude for pursuing this work. At one point he noted, “You ask a lot of questions, like you’ve done marketing before.” I smile at the compliment to my meticulousness then shared my various experiences working with small scale to national organizations pre-social media. Now, using my enterprise, I have the capacity to help small scale organizations merge into the SocMed arena of marketing. It really ain’t that hard, but requires objectives and goals. What it always comes down to is, ‘are you trying to grow your business or your likes?’

Oh, you wanted me to grant your wishes? Nuh uh.

Later I reviewed my notes – got a list of business goals and links to current ads – but didn’t capture his full name. Oops! Once I have him set up on the major SocMed sites, I want them pointing to him, not me. I don’t mind managing them, I remember saying; ultimately the business would be ran by these tools and not his one phone that he’s always looking at and answering when it rings. But, can’t get to Instagramming without the necessary details right? Left a phone message for the client. Texted him directly.

A week passes.


He ghosted me.

Of course, something may have occurred personally which delayed his ability to return my call, I can take that as an excuse. But who in this modern society carrying a smartphone can’t return a phone call or text message in under a week?

Once again, got stung by the good ol’ “I have no intention to pay you.” All expectations, no action, and how come it’s not free? This is what being a small business owner smells like.

This very handy post came in Sunday night, which helped toss the marketing project in the mental wastebasket: FB_IMG_1440949260710So busy trying to secure the Next Big Project, I forgot I have my own unfulfilled project to deal with: get my book back on Amazon. Right now, you can’t buy a print-on-demand nor an e-book from them, thanks to my butthole former publisher, but I failed on the follow through, not completing the necessary due diligence to keep the book in rotation.

This week my one novel deserves my attention. I shall keep you posted on how that works out. In the meantime, Nook Press has a downloadable e-book for $2.99 and there’s an awesome soundtrack on SoundCloud, which I highly recommend you give a listen.

Have a great week!

Von the Queenmaker

Original Post Date September 25, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Von pulls out tried-and-true tactics to sketch next year’s marketing campaign.

arjunaAutumn announced its arrival Sunday by saturating the entire West Coast. Constant rain made the mornings dark, the afternoons cool and moist, and the evenings sudden, pretty much forcing all outward activity indoors, forcing me into a reflective, contemplative mode.

Roses and Thorns Analysis. What have we accomplished this year? What are our opportunities? What failed and why? The rain doesn’t just signal the shift in season, it signals the time to start planning for 2014. The big question: once I Blew Up Juarez is published, what are we gonna do about it?

I switch from contemplative to productive. An experienced event planner and campaign manager, I implement Z to A planning: using the date of an event as the starting point, and building back to current time to see what pieces have to be in place in order for that event to succeed. Where to launch? When to launch? The rain’s constant beat outside the bay door encourages my planning process.

The power of networking. I consider the context of my novel (military background, military installations) and start making phone calls. Looks like the date I would like to promote my work is not only available, but they’re willing to stock the paperback version of the book prior to my arrival on that military base. Glorious! I consider other aspects of the novel, and which communities are highlighted, and start networking those contacts.

The rain lightens up just enough to take Bobby outside for a brisk walk. We quickly pace the soggy trail, my mind crunching numbers, ordering events, prioritizing goals. I’m fully calculative now. I’m designing a plan of attack, an offensive. I’m slapping on the campaign helmet, I’m General Schwarzkopf!

Back at my work desk, I’m writing out if-then scenarios, running algebraic equations, putting weights to variables, I’m freakin’ everywhere. My left brain is excited, having relinquished command last year to let the right brain do her creative thang, now back in the lead. My initial scope is elliptical in nature: an outer sweep and then a concentrated inner sweep. I sit back, fold my arms across my chest, and look down at the schematics I’ve freestyled to the drum of the rain. Yes, yes, this is looking pretty damn doable.

VS Enterprises was conceptualized for just this type of situation. I am an independent writer and an independent consultant, so I not only produce art but am skilled at promoting and marketing it for others, as well as myself. I work with vendors, venues, and promoters. I network with like-minded artists. I draw on my previous experiences managing people and campaigns to enable interest in the work. I am not alone in this process. The co-owner of VS Enterprises is a seasoned marketing director and a practiced social media campaign manager. She’s also relocating to the coast, which will make honing my 2014 promotional campaign a fun, collaborative procedure.

Yes, I enjoy being a writer. But I equally enjoy being a queenmaker.