I am so ready to write! It’s been a day of logistics, and my inner alphabet wants to let loose 😉
What has this first full week of my 2-fold launch been like?
I’ve run the gamut of emotions, from exhilaration to meltdown to steaming ahead to you name it. The exhilaration of doing more than I expected I could to create new content. The meltdown of a tech tool that chewed up more time than I had, decimating my schedule and sense of ease. Steaming ahead, while not usually named as an emotion, seems an apt way to describe moving ahead, task on task, no matter how sweaty and upended I felt.
Ha! Marketing is far from the bone-dry series of “metrics-based” decisions we tend to think occupies the markerer’s brain.
First off, any marketer worth their salt is continually surfing/dredging for news of what’s new and next in whatever marketplace they are focused. But even that is not as logical as it sounds.
In an Internet-based world, we are as vulnerable as anyone to ALL the distractions designed to capture our attention and veer us off course. We find ourselves fascinated by virtual alleyways, where we end up clicking away on something unrelated but impossibly riveting.
These distractions may be directly related to what we set out to research, but often they’re not. Cat videos, puppies howling, the latest political brouhaha, some newfangled techno toy, or some fascinating blogger who’s got a weird take on our own secret personal passion? They all jump up to kidnap us, yelling “Surprise! Watch me, Read me, Feed me!”
Marketing and Crazy Tangents
Here’s where it gets fun. Those unrelated crazy tangents are often the best source of some new and unexpected inspiration.
Marketing without inspiration is just drudgery, and I don’t wanna play.
Perfect example for me tonight. I had every intention of writing this post at the crack of dawn today, but Monday’s crazy made my master plan spin out a bit. Here in my little pocket of LA, Sherman Oaks, we NEVER get to 111 degrees of heat. Except now we do, because Monday, that’s what is rose to after teasing us with 106° the day before. I admire people living in Tucson nd other wildly hot places, but my brain just melted on Monday.
I got my creative tasks done just fine, but had no clarity for the myriad tech and admin decisions that are part and parcel of what a 100 Day Deal project requires behind the scenes. So tasks like revamping my opt-in tools were too much for my heat-addled brain.
So today, after some exciting PR options started to shape up for my book launch with an event in New York in October, I thought, oK now I can get to writing my post!
But then I thought, what am I going to write about? Do I really want to write about log-in logistics? No! Suddenly, I find myself thinking about heat again, as we settle in for a week worth of mid-90’s temperatures.
The phrase “96 degrees in the shade” popped into my head, which kind of made sense.
But what was the origin of a phrase I feel I know so well? Why do I know it?
I thought maybe “96 degrees in the shade” was the title of a play or a book. Nope.
it’s a reggae song by Third World. A very poignant song about a hero of the Jamaican people, Paul Bogle, who gave his life to the cause of freedom during the1865 Morant Bay Protests. It’s a signature song for Third World. a Reggae band well known for a hit cover of “Now that We Found Love.” That cover served as source for Heavy D’s 1991 rap hit.
Third World’s bassist acknowledges their own musical diversity with these words: “we took roots reggae music and put branches on top of it.” (Here’s Third World’s official Facebook Page.)
I love the idea of taking roots and adding branches.
This beautifully captures the nature of creativity.
Creativity is inherently collaborative.
It builds upon all that went before. Music is perfect expression to prove this, especially visible and powerful when a band is in the groove together.This idea is best appreciated by listening to it, so I have included two live versions of Third World’s performing both these songs. To resist their hypnotic sound is futile. You’re welcome!
After this musical interlude, I was ready to write.
But wait. How could I creatively express this week’s 111 degrees of heat directly? How about an image? Off I went to create one of my digital collages, which you see above. It started as an ode to cooling water, since that’s most appealing when it’s too hot to think. But very quickly, the hot sun took over the picture.
Speaking of pictures, a quick note about shooting video.
I had to interrupt this pleasant design interlude for an important tech collaboration on an issue others shooting video in a home-office studio may have faced: How to look into the camera while also reading a script it’s impractical to memorize in advance.
Off I went to the the Apple Store for a One-to-One session to get some expert advice for video. (Boo Hoo that Apple has discontinued this program, but I still have 6 months to go on mine, so I’m happy for now.)
I’ve shot, edited and published about close to 50 videos in the past 3 months for my YouTube Channel, The Marketing Deal.
But it’s starting to bug me that my jury-rigged simulation of a teleprompter is not as good as I want.
So I collaborated with an Apple Consultant. He initially thought my current solution was exactly what he would do. Yet he agreed, when I explained that there is an issue when shooting with the perfectly decent camera inside my iMac. Any on-screen teleprompter software ends up just below the iMac’s camera. And that placement makes it hard for me to look right at the camera.
Together, we had an Aha! What If I use an iPad teleprompter app, and place the iPad directly above the iMac’s camera? This way, I would be looking slightly up, instead of slightly down. Yes!
We searched online and found a really gorgeous $2500 “mount” for my iPad, but that’s crazy money.
So we search for “iPad tripod” and lo and behold, plenty at $40. The best one is at my local office supply behemoth. Eureka! I have my marching orders and will keep you posted.
Video marketing is hotter than ever, so it’s worth it to gather the right tools from tripods to lighting and green screens.
Not many solopreneurs are ready at the early stages of business for the going rate of “$1000 a finished minute” that high quality pro studios charge. Professionals deserve every bit of their fee, because they blend both artistic and technical skills so well that we might take them for granted. But many start-ups need to rise to that budget level, with a few rounds of revenue up-leveing first. Plus, getting hands-on with video production is actually very accepted in a YouTube universe, and the learning curve can actually improve your on-camera presence. You will be your own harshest critic. But you’ll also have the freedom to do take-after-take until you get more comfortable and a few things start to feel more natural.
All in All.
During the past few days, I mapped out the entire 100 Day Deal on a spreadsheet, calendar style. so I don’t have to keep it all in my head.
Why not use my calendar app? My calendar is already full of other stuff, and I need to focus on this project with no distraction when planning new content. You”ll see why when you opt-in and go to the private library of subscriber goodies I’m building daily. My spreadsheet may have magical powers to keep me sane(r) as we head into more crazy temperatures next week.
— Cheers, Diane
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Let’s Chill out for a bit wth Third World:
Third World – 96 degrees in the shade Reggae on The River
Third World ” Now That We Found Love ” LIVE Shiemsee Reggae 1998