Keep Your Songwriting and Your Shoemaking Separate

I’m not just a freelance writer. I’ve done graphic design projects, sold photographs, built websites and done a half dozen other things. But this site mostly focuses on my freelance writing. I have other sites and other projects that promote my other skills. I’ve made an effort to separate out the different parts of my career.

This week, I met a woman who described herself as an author-illustrator-singer-songwriter-musician-graphic designer-virtual assistant. My immediate reaction was to question if she could really be good at any of those things if she tried to do them all. I know from experience that it’s possible to be skilled in such a wide variety of careers, but I didn’t still expect this woman to be any good.

I’d never suggest limiting yourself to one career, but I do think it’s worthwhile to limit how you present yourself. Consider the example in the title: songwriting and shoemaking. If you do both, that’s great. But don’t market them on the same website — or at least not on the same page. Make up business cards for your songwriting business and make up an entirely different set for your shoemaking business. Don’t introduce yourself as a songwriter at a shoemaker’s convention.

You get the idea. Put a little distance between your various enterprises. At the very least, it will be easier to convince clients that you are a master of your trade, rather than a jack of all trades.

3 Comments

  1. twizzle   •  

    excellent advice, and not just for freelancing–it applies to publishing in general.

  2. otherdeb (Deb Wunder)   •  

    Hi!

    Great reminder!

    I mean you’d really think this would be common sense, wouldn’t you?

    Confusing the contact is never a good thing. However, I’ve seen business cards with so many different things on them that I’m hard put to find the contact information.

    I currently have three sets of cards: one for my jewellery business, one for my blog/writing, and one for my knitting.

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