What I'm reading: Setting Free the Bears by John Irving
What's on the iPod: Life by The Avett Brothers
March is also a changing of themes here on the blog. This month we're kicking your freelance writing business into high gear with marketing. It's all about marketing your writing and your business like you mean it. One good way to do that is to understand what marketing isn't, and what you might be doing that's actually shooting you down before you get off the ground.
If you believe any of the following myths, you could be sabotaging your writing career:
I have to find my clients on social media. Not true. I know a few writers who don't do social media and they're still working. How? They write query letters, make phone calls, or send out emails presenting themselves and their talents to prospective clients. It takes a smidgen more work, but if you want to be writing and earning more, it's going to take a smidgen more work, you know?
Marketing means I have to be selling. No. No it does not. Marketing is raising awareness of your product/services and making it appealing to potential clients. True, selling fits within marketing, but it is not all that marketing is. The same goes for networking. It's about building relationships and making connections. It's part of marketing, but it doesn't make up the entirety of it.
If they don't say yes right away, they're not interested. Some of my regular clients came to me weeks, even months after I'd first contacted them. One hired me a full year and a half after I'd met with them at a trade show. Why did they hire me? I was persistent and didn't give up. Instead, I followed up. Consistently. And I was there when they decided it was time to hire.
I don't need a website. Hell you don't. You know all those resources and interview subjects, or even clients you look for on the Internet? Why wouldn't your potential clients look for you the same way? You need a sensible website -- avoid the fancy-schmancy -- that tells clients who you are, what you've done, and how you can benefit them. A domain name costs as low as $7.95 a year. A host for that site can be as low as $4.95 a month (or even lower if you pay annually). Design can be anything from a free template to a paid design professional's work. It's an investment in your business. And it's tax-deductible, so do it.
I don't have to put money into my business. This one kills me. If you're a writer at any stage in your career, you need to invest in your business just like any other business owner would. Starting a new specialty or heading to a trade show? Create those marketing pieces and pay to have them printed. Or pay someone to design them for you. Spent thoughtfully, but don't go cheap on your business. It will show.
What are some of the marketing myths you've heard of?
Any you've proven wrong?