Today’s guest is Sarah DeGeorge, a digital marketing specialist who lives in Philadelphia. Sarah works in paid and organic marketing, public relations, and social media marketing and management. She helps small- to mid-size businesses find their authentic voice for their audience.
Sarah started freelancing as a freelance writer while still in college. As she was nearing graduation, she got sick and had trouble doing in-person job interviews, so she turned to freelancing as she started to feel better. She slowly built up her business and learned new skills. Freelancing allowed her to deal with her illness (she feels great today) at the time, which would have been more difficult with a regular 9-5 employee job.
Sarah recommends we consider “mindfulness in marketing” as we look to grow our freelance businesses. She points out that a lot of marketing looks at past performance or future plans—but not the present time. Being mindful means being in the present. So, consider how your marketing is working and how you feel about your marketing right now in the present. (You can use this same idea with your clients when you work on marketing-related projects with them.)
Sarah breaks mindfulness marketing into three pillars:
1. Start with yourself: What are your mission and values? How is your marketing plan working right now? How are you feeling about these efforts?
2. Now, consider your customer base. What marketing materials and efforts do they expect from you (certain social media interactions, live video, weekly newsletter)? What is resonating with them? What is not resonating with them?
3. Finally, look at the data. This could include your website’s Google analytics and Facebook insights. (This could also include client feedback and previous successes.) Connect this with yourself—are you enjoying working on a specific social media platform? Maybe the data shows that you’re not as engaged with a particular platform; maybe you could phase out that particular effort.
This type of analysis will help you figure out what marketing efforts you may need to stop, cut back on or ramp up and what new things you could try.
Sarah came up with the mindfulness in marketing concept during a serious period of burnout. We need to take that moment to check in with ourselves and not just go full-speed ahead all the time.
You do not have to be on all the social media platforms. Focus on what you like and where your clients are. If those two things don’t overlap, perhaps hire a virtual assistant to help you market on a platform where your clients are but that you don’t enjoy as much and aren’t as good at because of that.
Once you’ve analyzed those three pillars and connected the dots of what is and isn’t working, brainstorm how you can make the efforts that are working more robust. Consider how you can pivot and migrate certain efforts, such as changing from a blog to a video, moving from Facebook to Instagram.
Video can be a fun new marketing trend to try out. It doesn’t have to be your own face on video. You can create a short instructional video with slides, based on a blog that you already wrote, and post that on YouTube. YouTube is more of a search engine than a social media platform. So, making a searchable video on YouTube that directs back to your website can be an effective marketing strategy.
A podcast is another good way to market yourself and share your knowledge with your clients.
Biz Bite: Use pen and paper.
Episode #14 of Deliberate Freelancer: Freelancing with a Chronic Illness, with Christy Batta
Episode #67 of Deliberate Freelancer: How to Fight Imposter Syndrome, with Kristen Hicks
Episode #62 of Deliberate Freelancer: How to Prevent and Deal with Burnout, with Alan Heymann