The Devastating Fate of the Unknown Work.
Updated: Jan 30
On my recent flight to and from Israel, I got to watch a few movies. My kids were able to entertain themselves with their own shows and I got to see some new flicks that I would have otherwise missed out on. Besides my guilty pleasure of silly comedies, I watched "Can you ever forgive me?" with Melissa McCarthy.
The movie is based on a memoir by Lee Israel, a writer who fell on tough times and found herself committing a literary forgery to pay her bills. The acting and the story are very good and I recommend watching it, but this post is not a movie review.
I want to tell you about just one scene, in which Lee Israel talks to her agent and asks for an advance on a book that she's writing. Her argument is that her writing is far superior to another famous writer's, who earns millions with his books. The problem is, Lee Israel has an obnoxious personality and a serious alcohol addiction, and has managed to alienate everyone from her life. For those reasons, her agent is not terribly inclined to help. However, she tells her why that famous writer does so well financially.
And the answer is; he is doing the hard work of promoting himself. He understands that people need to know who he is in order to want to buy his books. He, unlike our main character, understands that doing good work is not enough if nobody has heard about it.
Great work without proper promotion is just a job half done.
Now that is a lesson that we can apply to our own work. Because we know the frustration of doing a great job and not getting paid enough for it. But great work without proper promotion is just a job half done. The problem is that you feel like promotion and marketing is not what you signed up for when you chose your field. It's not part of your calling to heal people. Except it is. Marketing your private practice is the responsibility that you have towards your business and the people who need and seek your help.
So if you ever watch that scene from the movie, note all the steps that the famous writer is taking to promote his brand and his work. Of course it doesn't seem that enjoyable to dedicate so much time and effort to promotion, but your return will be people knowing about you and the work that you do.
In his book Perennial Seller, Ryan Holiday breaks down the reasons why artists and creative people must be in charge of marketing. They are the ones who need to own the relationship with their audience and their fans. You are not a writer or a singer, but you too need to own this relationship. You need to make sure that you stay in touch with the people who show interest in your work. You need to make sure that more people find out about you and your services, you need to attract the clients that you want to work with and then you need to do the good work that you do.
So where do you start?
There are a few options that you can choose from.
You can start by assessing all the marketing tools that are available to you right now and download the Marketing Checklist completely free. It's a great little tool to help you brainstorm all the ways that you can promote your private practice.
You can keep reading my blog for inspiration and advice by subscribing to my emails here.
Or you can take action now and schedule a complementary Discovery Call with me, on which we can quickly map out the steps that you need to take to start marketing your work in a way that will bring new clients that truly need your services.
Any of these options will bring you results, but not at the same rate so take that into consideration when you choose the right one for you. And if you have any questions, please drop me a line. I am here to help.