If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll notice that I write about a lot of different topics, including marketing. I sort of fell into giving marketing advice. After finishing my doctorate that took way longer than it should have (long story for another time), I was in a place in my life where seeking traditional employment was not a good option. With my degree I could get a job as a professor of some sort or work in the private sector applying my psychometric skills – statistics applied to people. Those sorts of jobs require a lengthy lead time. I had friends who spent years trying to get their professorship. I was willing to work as an adjunct at a community college, which would have been easier than a tenured track position. Even still, they take a while to get. That was the problem. Time.
By the time that I finished my doctorate, my husband and I were ready to start our family. We were going to adopt. The logistics of adopting a child and looking for a teaching position were complicated to say the least. Plus, I really wanted to stay at home with the kid, at least until they went to kindergarten. Working a traditional job was out of the question. So, what to do? What to do? For a while, I spent some time in politics. I’m very passionate about social justice and decided to apply my skills I gained in graduate school to help out there. I was in charge of messaging for a grassroots group and had some success there in terms of helping to motivate people through our messaging. But, it took a lot of time, so once we did get our kiddo I just couldn’t stay in the fast-paced world of politics.
That’s when I had the brilliant idea of returning to an old love: writing. Before I went to graduate school for psychology, I was on a track to become a writer (another long story for another time). I wanted to go to graduate school to get an MFA in writing. Well, that didn’t happen, but I could still write. That’s what I decided to do.
I did research into what I could do for writing and decided to go the indie publishing route. I thought if I was going to have to do my own marketing that I might as well have full control. Plus, I’ve always had a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit, consequently being an indie was a great fit.
I’ve met some amazing people in the indie writing community. In fact, I was in love with the people that I decided to found and lead a community of indies, called the World Indie Warriors, to support and develop indie writers (long story for another time). I had a dream to expand the stage for diverse voices and that dream is coming true thanks to some amazing people I’m happy to call friends, like JD Groom, Cassidy Reyne, Dr. Aparajita Jeedigunta, Ally Aldridge to name a few.
One of the things that I began to notice though was that the marketing advice that was floating around made no sense whatsoever. The data did not support the advice. Marketing science did not support much of the advice. There was much confusion from conflicting advice, and just plain bad advice. I had to do something.
I started giving advice to people individually. Then, I started writing blog posts. Before I knew it, I decided that I really liked marketing and the results people were getting suggested that I was good at it too. The problem with the advice indies were consuming was that, in general, it lacked the big picture – a foundation as to why one tactic could work under certain circumstances and why it wouldn’t work under other circumstances. That’s where I came in. Although I don’t always explain the bigger picture, I do have that and science as a foundation for the advice that I give. As such, I can problem solve when things don’t go the way one would hope. So, I began offering services from the limited liability company that I formed, in part to publish my books.
Then along the way, Michelle the writer got muddled with Michelle the marketer. I knew for months that this was a problem, but it was a problem that I put on the back burner, until I got a phone call from a colleague and friend from graduate school. I had helped her on a project and she received feedback from a couple of people about being confused about why I, Michelle the writer, was part of the project. Fair enough. A writer doesn’t mean that I’m qualified to be a marketing strategist, but having a doctorate in psychology does. I realized, of course, that this was a branding problem. So, it was time to rebrand . I started a website, and created the social media platforms that I would need to establish a new brand. I set up content creation systems, and worked to figure out my new brand. I needed to make a mark that says, I’m here. And, I did.
Now, I have two websites and two social media identities[MR4] . (Well, three if you count leader of the World Indie Warriors). I am pleased to announce that this blog will be focusing on my writing. This blog will have my essays on writing, invisible disabilities, and whatever else tickles my fancy with sometimes writing about marketing, but only if it’s a personal anecdote. All of my marketing advice will be on my new website michelleraabmarketing.com, including reblogs of my markeing series from this website. I’ll still have free advice available, as well as paid services. Please check it out.
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