Because I Never Claim to Know Everything: Marketing and Branding Workshops with Annie Passanisi at Polymathic
As a writer and an editor, I often have to assert a little authority (or at least sound like I have the smarts to back up my assertion). For years now, I’ve been filling my head and computer(s) and desk with as much information as possible on writing, editing, publishing, self-publishing, etc. Because I want to be reliable. But I never claim to know everything.
Not even a slice of a piece of everything.
On Saturday, I’m heading to Polymathic with a few of my favorite publishing colleagues and friends for workshops on branding and marketing from Polymathic’s Director of Marketing, Events and Glitter (actual title), Annie Passanisi.
I confess: branding and marketing are two words that might have sent me running for cover a few years ago (or at least made me roll my eyes), but in the interest of doing everything I possibly can to learn, learn, learn (to make sure I’m a reliable source of information) and take over the world, I’m going for it.
Annie is also part of Hungry Entrepreneurs. I actually thought about joining the group recently, thanks to a recommendation from Kim Bookless (one of the aforementioned favorite publishing colleagues), but, in all honesty, I balked at the new-member questionnaire. It seemed like a big project. Describe myself, my achievements, my struggles, my entrepreneurial goals. Like I said, a big project.
I had to laugh a little when Annie sent us a list of questions to answer before Saturday’s workshops. Guess I can’t hide from figuring out my elevator pitch or this month’s marketing goals. And you know what? I actually had a little bit of fun answering them. Sure, it feels weird to talk about myself and how great I am (yikes—really, though, I hope I never have to give an elevator pitch in an actual elevator). But there’s nothing wrong with doing a little internal digging, and I did feel better after boiling down some of my big dreams into a few manageable goals.
I wouldn’t say that I’m in an existential crisis (not today, at least), but I would say that I’ve changed my internal direction. I know when I started this website and blog, my primary goal was to build my client base so I could ditch my status as a full-time employee and strike out on my own as a freelance editor. Make the side business the real business. I love having other clients because of the variety—have you ever done work for a publisher of vegan-themed children’s books? Probably some of the most delightful drafts I’ve seen in a while, and those books wouldn’t ever cross my desk when I’m on the clock for healthcare consultants.
The title of entrepreneur (like glitter) is appealing. Very. Of course I want to be my own boss and set my own hours.
But I recently started to devote time to my writing. I got out of my funk and back into story brain. I was published in an anthology and started a novel. Now I don’t mind being an employee as I write on the side, while working on my other other side business, of course.
Where does that leave me, the me who exists on this blog, on my social media networks? I’m always EditCassandra, the editor, but I’m also EditCassandra, the writer. Isn’t that a confusing brand for people? I contain multitudes—we all do—but multitudes don’t necessarily help you find your target audience, book your clients, sell your creative work.
So I’m off on an adventure in branding, marketing, and dominating the world. No time like the present.