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Marketing For Freelance Writing Is Like Writing – A Practice

Something Elizabeth West said in a comment on More Productivity or More Money? triggered the realization in me that just as writing is a practice, so is marketing.

As I’ve said before, we’re not born knowing how to write well. We write and write and write and through that practice get good at it.

The same thing is true about marketing. We’re certainly not born knowing how to market. It’s only through marketing our writing and our freelance writing business over and over again that we get good at it.

First steps

When I look back, I see that my first marketing attempts were submitting articles over the transom. I didn’t think of it as marketing, just what writers needed to do if they were to get published. But marketing it was.

My next marketing step was getting a business bank account – that made me feel like I was really in the writing business. So did the business cards I ordered. When I paid bills with that account that said something like Anne Wayman, Writer, on each check I was also marketing. As I passed out business cards to anyone who would take one I was marketing. 

As I learned how to talk to people about what I do as a writer I was learning how to market and putting it into practice.

Becoming willing to spend money on magazines, Writer’s Market and an occasional writer’s conference helped me learn other ways to write and to market.

Obviously I’ve got a website – annewayman.com – it’s been working for me for years.

A couple of weeks ago I asked a writer’s group I belong to for a recommendation for an agent. Yesterday I followed through and emailed the agent that had been suggested. No luck there, but the agent I emailed suggested another one. Certainly marketing.

I’ve got another guest post started for one of my favorite non-writing blogs, and I know from passed experience it drives new people to my websites.

Almost seamlessly now

In other words I now move almost seamlessly from writing to marketing and back. I’m able to market myself and my writing easily today because I’ve done a whole bunch of it over the years. I know I won’t die from rejection. Heck I won’t even feel silly that I tried something, both feelings I had originally. I no longer take days to get a query done for fear it won’t be perfect; I write it, maybe let it sit over night, rewrite it and send it out, and I do get it sent out.

But I only can market my writing and my coaching easily today because I spent plenty of days struggling, and learning, then relearning when things change.

One way to start getting comfortable marketing yourself and your writing business is to do one marketing thing a day five days a week.

What might you be able to do today to market yourself?


Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • You know me, Anne. I’m marketing somewhere every day.

    I was lucky in that my writing career started on the opposite side of the client equation – I was an editor and advertisers and marketing folks were always getting in touch. I learned what worked to gain my attention. When I went off on my own, I used what I’d learned. First, people don’t want to be “sold” – they want to be heard. Second, they’ll buy if they trust you and like you. Third, it’s a relationship, not a sale. Too many times marketing attempts are loaded with “BUY! BUY! BUY!” and nothing personal or even remotely close to understanding what that customer needs.

    Today I plan to hit Twitter and LinkedIn and remind my followers that I exist and that I’m able to help them. I’m also sending out a few more queries for some super ideas I got while on vacation.
    Lori recently posted..Monday MarathonsMy Profile

    • Lori, the comment “people don’t want to be ‘sold’ – they want to be heard” is pure genus.

  • Practice definitely makes perfect, Anne! And I love your comment about how you never died from rejection – I think that’s a big fear that many people have with respect to self-marketing. But once you realize that you can cope with the rejection, it’s easier to jump back on that horse again. And it only takes one “yes” to get your something else for the portfolio, as well as maybe a referral. You can’t beat the domino effect.
    Nicky Parry recently posted..Protect Yourself Against Lyme DiseaseMy Profile

    • Yesterday someone said in another context, “practice doesn’t make perfect, but it sure makes you better.” I’ve really given up on perfection since I don’t have a clue what it is.

  • Sometimes, marketing is all you need to see a rise in your top line.
    Website SEO Copywriting Tips – Ron recently posted..SEO Expert: Rand Fishkin Interview by David JacksonMy Profile

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