Writing Prompt 110
List and describe your weaknesses, learning needs.
Have you ever noticed in job interviews how the interviewer asks about weaknesses? That is probably not the best time to admit your bad hygiene, snoring, sloppiness in the kitchen, or other similar weaknesses. We all have embarrassing weaknesses from time to time, but there’s no need to broadcast them in a professional setting.
The solution is to think ahead of time about appropriate weaknesses that you can discuss if asked those questions. Which professional habits do you need to improve? Could you learn to work with people more efficiently? Could you stand to improve a bit on working on deadline? Did you remember the lessons learned from past professional projects?
What are your current learning needs? Not everyone is a master at social media. Would it be helpful to take a class to sharpen your skills? Are you pretty good with MS Word but not so much with MS PowerPoint? Do you need training in office management? What else can you think of?
Education – Quick Tips
In this new education section, I’d like to provide a quick tip to motivate nonfiction writers.
Sponsor someone else’s project.
In writing and in life in general, success is not always about us. Sure, we can do 100 things to toot our own horn, as well as we should, but life presents us with many opportunities to bring success to others. By helping others, we help ourselves. I’m sure you’ve heard that expression before.
One cool way to help others and do some indirect marketing of our writing is by sponsoring someone else’s project. This is not a financial type of sponsorship, but rather, more of a social commitment to do something. There are many ways of sponsoring the projects of others. In the social media world, you can tweet the links of others, write blog posts about others, and generally encourage others to read, comment, subscribe, or otherwise participate in someone else’s project.
Offline, sponsorship opportunities are generally tied to financial commitments or promises to provide things of value. If you have written a book, offering your book for free as a prize to sponsor someone else’s project is a great, inexpensive thing to do. If you have not written a book, paying to advertise in a high school play program or in a small-scale production is also a pretty good way of sponsoring someone else’s project and getting your writing in front of others!
Marketing success in writing
Today’s feature is on bloggers and writers who have sponsored Sonia Marsh’s monthly contest.
Sonia Marsh is a very interesting blogger with an equally interesting story to share. She did a very gutsy thing by uprooting her family from a comfortable living in California and moving them and limited belongings to a remote island. She wrote about her experiences in a book, making her an accomplished book author. The book has been so successful that it has spawned a monthly contest. That contest brings me to today’s featured bloggers – – those who sponsor it!
This is a really clever thing I’ve come across recently – – the sponsorship of someone else’s contest. We all want people to sponsor and support us, but we are not always so quick to support others. A bunch of cool folks changed that by sponsoring someone else’s contest.
Writing pros such as Jason Matthews, Carolyn Howard-Johnson, and Annabel Candy all decided to sponsor Sonia Marsh’s monthly writing contest inspired by her book from the same title, My Gutsy Story. Each month, Sonia invites her readers to divulge some gutsiness by entering the My Gutsy Story contest. Winners of this online contest are treated to fabulous prizes by My Gutsy Story contest sponsors. By sponsoring Sonia’s monthly contest, writers and others help another by bringing her success and get new eyes on their own writing. A pretty cool circle of success!
Marketing success, non-writing
Here is our eighth feature on Artistic Toy Manufacturing Co. and the wild success of its custom plush and toys.
One cool thing to do is align with larger causes, similar to what we just talked about with sponsoring someone else’s project. Artistic Toy has done just that, aligning itself with a huge international cause of breast cancer awareness. The usual symbol for breast cancer awareness is the pink ribbon. But what happens if you add a pink ribbon to a plush toy? It becomes marketing genius. Doing this helps to market your own company alongside a major brand, but with individual touches.
Artistic Toy recently released a photo of a bunch of pink plush toy samples, all with the pink ribbon in common. It never occurred to me to encourage breast cancer awareness through different styles of plush. I see bears all the time, but having puppies, unicorns, and ducks brings about distinctive features that are pretty good marketing tricks!