When the first lockdown of 2020 happened I was like everyone else, in shock.
Life as we all knew it stopped. Time slowed down. Days stretched out endlessly. After a while I began to think about all of the things I wanted to do, but was usually too busy for.
50 Free Marketing Tips
I wrote a blog 50 Free Marketing Tips for Small Business Owners which has been consistently read since then. I've posted it on various websites and always had great feedback. People have found the tips individually helpful.
The ideas are low cost. Nothing suggested takes much time to action. They are suggested by me, another small business owner who understands the limitations many of us have.
I often think about new marketing ideas, and sometimes blog them sharing here or via social media. Gradually I started to wonder whether instead of spreading out far and wide with these ideas I should round them all up and have a go at a book. As a small business owner I wondered, whether self publishing a book was a good idea? Would it be hard, would it be expensive?
How did I write my book?
I had my goal, to write a whole new 100 Marketing tips, completely separate to the old 50 I'd blogged. I didn't know if I had 100 tips in me. But I felt that I had some. In the time that had passed since writing the original blog I had worked with lots of different business owners, advising them on their marketing.
I had also written and delivered marketing workshops from scratch. So there was more material to work with I felt sure.
Like many other people I spent the first lockdown of 2020 looking after young children. My youngest was 4, so there is still a lot of hands on care involved.
I had homeschooling to factor in for the older one. Without my usual work I knew I would have time, but how much of that would be uninterrupted? I set my goal with that in mind. I would write for 20 minutes per day. I felt like this was manageable.
I found the one place in the house that was quiet, set a timer on my phone and just started writing. I decided that during this time I would literally write anything. If it made sense, great. If not it was deleted. Some days the 20 minutes came and went and I set the alarm again, 3, 4, 5 times. I didn't re-read what I had written.
Some days I was tired, and I hated making myself sit and write. Some of my wellness friends would say this is ill advised I am sure.
It took around 2 weeks to write the tips. I then started the process again. This time I created a framework for the ideas. There was a lot of tips on marketing planning, and customer insight. In the end I settled on 8 categories, and set to work organising where the tips best fitted. Working in bursts around family life.
I cannot tell you how many hours I spent on the book. It is certainly not something I would start with goals of a best seller in mind. For me I have captured something that was in me. I have worked in Marketing on and off since 2001 when I started out as a media sales assistant for an outdoor advertising company.
When did I finally publish?
On September 22nd 2020 my book went up for sale on Amazon. That was an amazing day for me.
The investment I'd made in development advice from a professional, plus proof reading and also the designer I'd used to help me bring together a great visual identity were both worth every penny. I don't think my book would have been as good without those professionals having been involved.
Thanks for reading and good luck with your own book, even if you have just 20 minutes per day available you can make a start with your writing, just keep going and you'll get there in the end!
If you would like to see the finished product here it is!
100 Marketing Tips for small business owners is here
I wrote this book to be easy to read cover to cover or to be kept as a reference to dip in and out of!
What to read next
About Me Shona Chambers Marketing is a Marketing Agency based in SE London.
Specialising in helping Small Business Owners and Freelancers with their Marketing.