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The Marketing Mindset for Freelance Writing

marketing mindsetDo you have a marketing mindset about your writing and your writing business? Or does the necessity of marketing make you shudder and want to go back to bed and eat cookies?

For a long time I felt exactly that way.

Marketing was a pain; it was boring; it felt more than slightly distasteful and I often just didn’t get it done.

Sometimes I appreciate advertising

Then one day I made a startling observation. I find some advertising helpful. Maybe because it tells me about a product or service I’d really like to have. Some ads have interesting stories to tell about topics that are new to me.

It’s equally true that I ignore or actively dislike other types of advertising. Part of the reason I don’t have a television is because I find the advertising atrocious, often inaccurate and too many times louder than the programming. When reading online or even print publications, I ignore the ads that have no appeal to me and often read those that do.

Marketing as a service

It began to dawn on me that marketing could be a service, a legitimate way for advertisers to let their potential customer know they exist. When you recognize that your marketing can be of service to your potential clients, you can totally change your marketing mindset. After all, how is the client who needs your writing supposed to find you when you’re thousands of miles apart if you don’t market and let them know you exist?

The Marketing Mindset

Once I realized how I could be of much more service if I used that approach in my marketing, it got easier. I wasn’t shouting like a proverbial used car sales person, or urging people to consume more and more, or promising writers could get rich quick or otherwise. Instead I was letting potential clients know what I can do for them and how they can reach me. That was the beginning of my marketing mindset

Marketing Mindset 2

The next jump in the way I thought and think about marketing is I became aware there are often more opportunities to share my talents than I first thought. For me the key is to come from an attitude of service – what can I contribute to whatever situation I’m in. Often whatever I’m doing and with whomever has nothing to do with my writing, or coaching businesses but sometimes I see an opportunity and speak to it.

For example, a forum member talked about struggling with getting a building permit in her county. I suggested that she might want to ask, once the permit was secure, “who hires writers in this department?” Her story made it obvious they needed someone who could write clear instructions, which I knew she could do.

Another example was the time I’d been trying to collect for writing I’d done and had finally gone to a colleague of the non-payer to ask advice. As we talked about the situation we also talked about the writing I’d done and I asked if the colleague needed any writing. As it turned out he did, and some web design as well.

A marketing mindset when coupled with a recognition that you can often solve a problem opens any number of doors. There are more needs for writers out there than we can possibly fulfill. Sometimes all we have to do is offer. It’s probably not going to be your only marketing effort, ah, but when it works like this it’s special.

Tell us your marketing story in comments if you like.

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman, freelance writer



Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Huh, Roy. I’ve never asked myself how much of my success is writing ability vs. marketing etc. You may be right with your percentage number… particularly in the beginning. As the credits build and you get some testimonials it does get a bit easier I find.

  • You’re welcome.

  • Of course, it also depends on how you’re defining success for either. I don’t have enough info to answer really.

  • Lol, of course it is your approach… you and I have more or less developed it together… you’ve taught me a ton about marketing. Is your book on 365 days/ways of marketing still for sale? It was last time I looked.

  • That’s been my approach too, Anne. The less shouting, the better. Clients want to know what we can do for them, how we benefit them. They don’t care about our splashy brochures or loud pronouncements.

  • if one is not successful in content writing for his or her own blog or website can he be successful for freelance content writing?

  • thanks for this helpful content. keep it up

  • Hi Anne,
    Good article, Anne. Yep, marketing & advertising are equally as important as having good writing ability. I personally consider marketing as being 80% of the cause of my success as a freelancer (selling more than 1000 articles to 200+ publications), and my writing ability only 20% (but I write well enough for my stories to get published). Most freelance magazine writers are abysmally poor at selling their stories. The fact is, if you cannot sell your story, you don’t get to write it, and thus don’t get paid. My first eBook, The Complete Guide To Marketing & Selling Your Travel Articles is still my bestseller. https://www.pitchtravelwrite.com/marketing-and-selling-your-travel-articles-ebook.html
    I believe that most successful writers and authors have excellent self promotional and marketing skills. I have yet to meet one that doesn’t. Any author who “just wants two write” is not going to get far. Sales, marketing & promotions are critical, especially today when we’re expected to market our own books & stories, and establish our one platform. And, it’s never been easier to market yourself because of this wonderful thing called the Internet!

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