Maybe it’s no wonder we tend to actively dislike the whole idea of marketing ourselves and our writing. After all, we’re all subjected to tons of so-called marketing messages every day. According to Jay Walker-Smith, Yankelovich Consumer Research, quoted at Marketing-Made-Simple.com, “We’ve gone from being exposed to about 500 ads a day back in the 1970s to as many as 5,000 a day today.” Although some will argue the numbers, the truth is we’re all exposed to marketing clutter.
Typical writer’s objections to marketing
Here are some of the objections I’ve had two marketing and I know other writers have had as well:
- We don’t like it, often, when someone markets to us.
- We have a sense we shouldn’t have to market ourselves and our writing.
- Marketing feels like selling out.
- We’re embarrassed talking about ourselves and our talents.
- Marketing is boring.
- We don’t know how to market.
- Were sure were going to do it wrong.
Let’s look at these individually and see if they are true.
We don’t like it when someone markets to us
Well sure, nobody likes to be marketed to in less, of course, we learn about something we think we need or just discover we want. If, for example, I’m looking for new computer I avidly read the computer ads. What I really hate is marketing that gets in my face and interests what I’m doing. I’m sure I don’t ever have to do that kind of marketing for my writing.
We have a sense we shouldn’t have to market ourselves and our writing
What’s that all about? Is it some sort of false sense of entitlement? Maybe, but I suspect it’s more about some of our other objections and we just say we shouldn’t have to market as a way to avoid looking directly at our real fears. After all no one can be expected hires for rating if they don’t know we’re here.
Marketing feels like selling out
This is a biggie. Somehow we got the idea that telling the world or prospective customers we can do a writing job well is dishonest. It’s not of course, unless if we can’t do the job. This one may be a cover for poor self-worth. If that’s the case, improving how you see yourself will do more for you then trying to market at this point. When you’re comfortable with yourself and your skills you can trust yourself not to sell out.
We’re embarrassed talking about our self and our writing talents
This is another form of the poor self-worth problem. Assuming you’re not interrupting every conversation or badgering people talking about your writing skills what are you embarrassed about? Seriously – is there any good reason to feel shy about talking about the skills you have? I don’t think so.
Marketing is boring
There’s some truth to this often. Sending the same kind of query over and over again, tracking website statistics, keeping track of old and new clients and contacts is not as exciting as getting some good writing done. That’s why do I marketing in the afternoons which is not my best writing time. All of you can find a similar time for yourself – a time that doesn’t interrupt your writing but lets you get some marketing done. On the other hand, finding a new customer for your writing is exciting and it won’t happen without some marketing.
You don’t know how to market
There may be some truth to this. Fortunately marketing is a learnable skill. There’s a ton of information about how to market yourself and your writing on this site and on many others. Pick something and give it a try – more than once… maybe 10 times or over a week or two. You may discover something that both works and you’re willing to do. If not, rinse and repeat until you find the marketing you’ll do and works for you. Remember, none of us were born knowing how to market.
We’re sure we’re doing it wrong
Maybe you are doing it wrong and you’ll have to drop that particular effort or change it so it works. So what? See above. There is a way for you to market your writing and not hate the marketing; it’s up to you to find it.
Are your attitudes about marketing getting in your way? What can you do to change them?
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Write well and often,