Monday, June 10, 2019

Marketing Burnout: The Freeway, Your Way by Peter Leavell

Marketing is a three-lane, high octane, fear-inducing freeway built of unforgiving concrete that has positioned many an author to crash and burn. Why does this happen and how can you keep from an unhappy accident and damaging your career, all the while maintaining a nuanced and original edge that brings attention to your work?

The Right Lane:

The far right is safe. The speed is sane and faster drivers pass on the left. When moving slowly, mistakes and choices are forgiving. The shoulder is wide in case of an emergency and exiting is freed from the need to change lanes at the last minute.

A right lane marketer is consistent and takes fewer chances, reposting material from other writers with proven ideas. Blogs are experiential—tangible issues from a known past. Signing books usually take place behind a table, and conferences are because they are asked to attend.

The Middle Lane:

The middle lane offers choice at a higher speed. Choices, however, might lead to an accident, and reaching the shoulder or exiting is more difficult than the right lane and far more noticeable.

The middle lane marketer takes chances. Some material is brought in from other authors while original material balances out the body of posts and blogs. A portion of marketing is experiential, while some posts are chancy and experimental. Sometimes it suits the middle laner to drift into one lane or the other, changing tactics as deemed necessary with an eye and energy to success and self-care.

Sitting in the middle lane sees other marketers drifting in and out of the lane as well, all jockeying for space, most working together while others competing for attention. Preemptive phone calls to book signings, applications to speak at conferences, and connecting with writers and readers are the constant priority.

The Left Lane:

Left lane drivers are a wild bunch who don’t care for speed limits, whipping around curves and feeling the thrill of the centrifugal pull. At these speeds, bumps send the vehicle into the air, landing with an agreeable bounce and testing the limits of physics. If someone doesn’t keep up with the pack, everyone is frustrated with the single driver who slows the rest down. Everyone notices when someone from the left lane exits, disrupting the other lanes.

96 MPH in a 55 MPH is the heartbeat of these drivers. One sneeze can result in a mighty crash.

The left lane marketer creates a platform around original ideas, pushing hard agendas and schemes and selling them anyway that comes to mind, at both conferences and online. This daily focus is never-ending, an obsession that pulls them forward day and night. From unplanned Facebook live moments to selling general fiction at a Christian Homeschool Conference, these high energy folks take chances.

Marketing Burnout:

What’s the best lane? The one you’re driving in. The one you’re comfortable with. The one that is manageable. Switching lanes trying to be something you are not leads to marketing burnout. You must market, you cannot exit. But all lanes work. Stay in your lane, change lanes when you must, and you will arrive at your destination.

Driving the marketing freeway in the fastest lane? Yes Please! @peterleavell #seriouslywrite

How do I avoid marketing burnout? @peterleavell #seriouslywrite


Peter Leavell, a 2007 graduate of Boise State University with a degree in history and currently enrolled in the University's English Lit Graduate program, was the 2011 winner of Christian Writers Guild's Operation First Novel contest, and 2013 Christian Retailing's Best award for First-Time Author. A novelist, blogger, teacher, ghostwriter, jogger, biker, husband and father, Peter and his family live in Boise, Idaho. Learn more about Peter's books, research, and family adventures at www.peterleavell.com.

1 comment:

  1. You couldn't give any better advice to end with? Not even a suggestion of which one is better for certain types of people? I loved this analogy right up until the lack of help applying it. :(

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