I haven’t written about my business lately, so here’s a fill-in. Things are going slowly. Having done all the paperwork and fun stuff like printing up custom stationary, I’m now into Phase 2: marketing. I need to get my name out there. Advertising is too expensive for me right now, and from what my contacts have told me, it isn’t very effective anyways.
I started by writing an article to submit to a weekly newspaper-type publication that goes out to all the lawyers in the country. With nervous excitement I hit the “send” key, only to get an out-of-office auto-reply a few minutes later. The dude was away until JULY 31!!! I’m supposed to wait that long? I’ll go insane! So my sweet DH suggests I send it to the managing editor, JC – the one whose email address was included in the auto-reply as an alternate person to speak with.
So I asked JC if I should wait until the original guy gets back or send it on to her and she wrote back that yes, she would be the one to forward the email to. I did that and nervously awaited her reply. I think it was the next day she replied, and with discouraging news. After all the work I’d done on the article, she said that they were in the process of publishing something “very similar”. Geez, how many medicolegal consultants are there out there? And who decided to submit a similar article right when I did? By how much did I “miss the boat”? Depressing.
On the bright side, she DID ask me to send her another proposal, to pick one or two items from my original article and expand on them. DH says this is a Good Thing. She could have just blown me off, instead. So I’ve been trying to turn a couple of paragraphs into an interesting article and not having much luck. Proofreading it, even I think it’s boring. So then DH says “make it a story”, so I decided to add a sample case that I worked on last year. It involves a patient with bipolar disorder who goes manic and ends up wrecking her marriage and estranging her kids and then blaming her doctor for prescribing her new meds. That’s dramatic, right?
So I drafted an email to JC with a brief outline of my proposed article. I went back and forth on whether to send it. After all, if she rejects this I have a feeling it’s the end of my opportunity to publish in this paper, and it would be a real loss for me to have that ruled out. But I realized that I could just sit here and agonize over it forever, or just take the leap and do it. So, with much trepidation I hit the Send key. And what do I get?…
A freakin’ OUT OF OFFICE auto-reply! She’s away until the 21st! I guess papers don’t really need editors since they are all on vacation together, so now I have to wait a whole WEEK before I find out if I’m going to have a chance to introduce myself to a huge readership of potential clients, or get the “don’t call us, we’ll call you” kick in the ass. I’ll be a nervous wreck by next week, I’m sure. Wish me luck!