Shane in Canada has some ideas she wanted to bring up and talk about. This is an approach to marketing we haven't talked about in the past. I'll just pass on Shane's comments on this subject.
I was thinking that a post on both big and small personal projects would be a great idea. Unpaid shooting that inspires and motivates us on a creative level--with the marketing/social media benefits in developing your name and brand. I have a big personal project I've been percolating and procrastinating about for several years. I've taken one small step and am determined that 2019 will be the year I make progress. Most successful photographers like Mike Kelley know the personal and professional benefits. Mike's aviation project helped him get known and his Icelandic architecture made his portfolio and website more interesting.
Larry, you once posted that a varied website like mine, and every other photojournalist I've ever known, can be confusing for real estate clients. In my experience, my media background and a varied website is an advantage in shooting for Realtors and developers. My clients love telling their clients about my interesting media background and mentioning some of the famous people I've photographed. They tell me it makes them look good that "their photographer" has worked for three of the largest Canadian newspapers and various USA magazines (Time, Newsweek, People, and others) and referring them to my bio and website.
It can be good to use whatever we have to market ourselves. I found it very interesting to read that Tony Colangelo was a psychologist. I will likely encourage others to hire him as a real estate/architecture mentor.
Personal projects, volunteer work, and various things we do and have done can be a soft sell approach to marketing. Every client needs good professional headshots--one of my other specialties. My website shows my clients that I can do a professional job for any type of photography they might need. I also like some variety even though real estate and architecture is currently my main focus.
I'm sure many readers can give more personal examples of what Shane is talking about.