So, now the busy-ness of the summer is passing into the quiet, reflective time of winter, it is time to revisit some of the things I’ve done over the past year to get me to where I am in my life, practice, and development of my business at this point.
I’d say one of the biggest things I’ve done to get myself known in the local area, and further abroad is to write. In I started off with some blog posts for my own site and personal blog of course, but the problem with this is that you are preaching to the choir. By all means, do write on your own blogs, but don’t let ego get in the way – it’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting people to swarm around your blog, like bees round a flower, but at the end of the day, that’s what it is; a small flower. What you want is to be the beehive. Or to write for the beehive. The trick is, to write for publications, website, etc that aren’t anything to do with herbal medicine but are associated subjects. Examples: alternative publications, healthy living publications, gardening interest, countryside persuits, spiritual, etc.
So, I wrote for other publications. It first started with writing a little 500 word article for a local alternative/spiritual newsletter called Network News. The article didn’t seem to get me any feedback (or patients) at the time, but over the past few months people have told me that my article influenced them quite profoundly. Good. That’s what I want; to get people used to being provoked to thought by my writing.
An opportunity arose to write an article for Aontacht – the Magazine of a Druidic website I used to help run. It was a joy writing that article as it brought together my interests in Celtic spirituality, the history of Wales and herbal medicine in Wales (Myddfai, etc.) and modern herbal practice and psychology. I’m really proud of that article, so go and have a read.
Next article I wrote was for quite a large website on allotment gardening. I met the gentleman who runs this fascinating resource at a local apple fair last autumn, and he suggested then that I write something for his site, but I got busy and it took me almost 6 months to get round to it. When I finally did, I was really happy with the result. Again, it gets a different base of interested people thinking more about herbs and what they can use them for/why they should care.
Feeling emboldened, I then offered to write something for Permaculture magazin’s website. They seemed keen, so I wrote an article on ‘hedgerow medicine‘. That was a really big hit because that article got 1.9 K likes on facebook – and godknows how many hits. Again, a lot more people who hopefully a bit more enthused.
This has lead into more writing for print… In the spting, a print article of mine will appear in Permaculture’s glossy print edition.
So apart from getting interesting parties interested, why bother? Well, actually, from a marketing perspective it’s good. It gives me / my business prestiege with locals because I can post links to what I’ve been doing and who I’ve been writing for on my facebook, twitter pages etc, and thus can create interest by sharing with real local people who know me – a useful opportunity to remind them I’m here and that they might want to come and see me.
The second advantage to this writing is that it keeps the mind sharp – part of me misses writing for my university education. Having to write a complex essay every week or two keeps you thinking in a structured way. Trains the thought processes. It has also helped greatly with keeping my in practice for things like writing my course that I teach (A Year of Herbs).
So do write as much as you can. Your writing should fill you with joy and inspiration at being able to share with others. If it doesn’t, then you’re trying to write about the wrong subject! And don’t forget, writing on your own blog is cool, but don’t let ego get in the way of you writing for other publications and websites, and opening up new areas of exposure for you and your business, and sharing useful information with people who may not know anything about what do you do but who may be greatly interested in it!
Categories: The Journey