“So, Lucie…what are you up to?”
I get that a lot. People want to know what I’ve been up to post book. And it’s a legitimate question. The answer is like me —a messy blur of things. Of course, I’ve worked with Jason and the whole LoLa team to open the berry wing of the operation: Farm LoLa. You might have seen our Facebook Live videos, checked out our website or maybe even came out to our Pick Your Own operation. Dang, that was a lot of work.
So, it’s fair to say, it was a very berry-centric summer.
Also, I have teens now. Yes, the little kids from the book have grown into their own people and it’s pretty dang great. I know I’m supposed to hate these years, but generally, I don’t. The kids make me laugh every dang day (except you know, when they way don’t, but not too many of those.)
Jason also brought home a kitten last year that I DID NOT WANT. But now, she’s my office work buddy and we’re pretty tight. I’ve forgiven Jason for what he calls his “non-consensual kittening.” We were all down with the election and he thought I needed a feline pick-me-up.
There has also been a lot of client work. I didn’t “hang a shingle,” but without meaning to I’ve become a folk you can hire to work through your business marketing and public relations. (I’m not fishing for clients, by the way. I’ve been a little busier than I like to be truthful.)
All in all, this has been good. It is important for those of us who have chosen a farming lifestyle to have someone bringing in off-farm cash. Ideally, this would be a “real job” with benefits and whatnot. Well, of course, never one for the ideal, I’ve been, what I cheekily like to call, “giggin’ like a mofo.” Meaning, I’ve been doing freelance projects. I believe in the book I referred to this as “being a wordy pole dancer” and I’m still werking it.
I’ve also continued to tour and talk about the book, which I love because well, I’m a giant hambone who loves to make fun of myself, make people laugh and trick people into learning about Middle Agriculture. But what I’ve probably liked doing even more are workshops on marketing and branding — one of the sub-themes of the book. Mostly it’s for people in agriculture for whom I have a big, pudding-y soft spot and that’s been great.
But it’s been pointed out to me many times that all the tenants of my “Marketing for Farmers” class also work for any business. Some of my favorite people from the Family Handyman (I write about them in the book as having given me my favorite job ever: writing about home maintenance for the then Readers Digest Association and all the checks came from Pleasantville, NY. No kidding.) I know that this genre of writing might not sound sexy, but I felt I took hard concepts and wrote them in an approachable manner so people like me could make their homes better. It felt like I was doing a type of public service. Plus, they were all super fun to work with.)
So when they approached me to do an online course in marketing and branding, I was in. Now, a few things — I had to get over myself and be on camera, like a lot. And I’m so glad I did. I’m willing to be dorky so folks can really see how these concepts are do-able. I mean, if THAT woman on the screen can do it…right?
Now, when I go to book talks, 90% of the time I don’t bring books to sell, which I could make a tidy profit on. Or if I do, I always tell people that the title is likely at their library. Why on earth do I do that? Well, I often say I’m good at marketing, bad at sales. So, for me to tell you that one can pony up for this online course does not come naturally to me. However, I will tell you that this is a great way for folks starting a business to get an understanding of how to work with social and traditional media to showcase your authentic selves and bring interest in your business. How do I know this works? I work with poultry and somehow you’re reading this. And I’m so grateful.