This coming week, we’re discussing creativity on the blog, and in the ezine.
If you’re not making the income you could be making, your creativity needs a boost. You’ll find this program useful – Turn Your Creativity Into Cash: Writers’ Creativity Secrets.
Creativity is hugely important when you’re pitching – it’s the difference between success and failure. If you’re a new writer, the concept of “pitching” may be new to you. Here are some definitions. A couple of the definitions you’ll find on that page are relevant, particularly this one… to pitch means: “to try to persuade someone to give you work, a business deal etc.”
Few writers pay sufficient attention to pitching. Think of it this way: pitching is IDEAS. Everyone needs ideas. Your job as a writer, is to be a fountain of ideas.
In my first year as a professional writer, I received a multi-book contract from MacDonald Futura, a major publisher of that time. Here’s why – I got creative and pitched my ideas. I sent out a novel proposal/ pitch a month. A couple of months into that process, I got editorial attention. A couple of months after that, I had my contract.
I’m fond of telling my writing students: if you do enough pitching, you’ll get whatever you want… often more than you ever expected.
My theory: enthusiasm sells YOU
Early in the 1990s, I got excited about computers. I read every magazine I could get my hands on. I read software manuals (which were the size of bricks at the time) from cover to cover.
Then I approached magazines. I wooed them with pitches. Within a few months, I had several regular writing gigs, contributing to magazines.
What’s not to like about someone who obviously LOVES your publication, and keeps sending you ideas? Enthusiasm sells – always. People want to work with people who are enthusiastic, and there’s no better way to show your enthusiasm than by pitching.
Many writers think of pitching solely as a way to sell articles or books. However, pitching is involved in most kinds of writing.
Now let’s look at ten tips to help you to pitch like a pro.
1. Become enthusiastic about your topic
It doesn’t matter what you’re pitching, enthusiasm sells. If you can’t get excited about what you want to pitch, build your enthusiasm first.
Often, your enthusiasm is low because you don’t know enough about the topic. Learn more. Talk to people. I’ve pitched and written about topics I had zero interest in, until I researched the topic enough to become interested in it, and then enthusiastic about it.
2. Create a schedule for your pitches
One idea is nothing. Five ideas get people interested in you, because you’re enthusiastic.
Therefore, when you’re pitching anything create a schedule for your pitches.
3. Start with the pitch (this is a basic marketing strategy)
Over on my “write a book” blog, I recommend that you sell your books/ ebooks while you’re writing them.
You need to pitch your book while you’re writing it. If you’re writing for a traditional publisher, NO ONE wants a completed book. They want ideas – they want you to pitch a book proposal, which is just a bunch of ideas. These ideas often bear little resemblance to the book for which you receive a contract.
Similarly, if you’re writing ebooks you need to pitch your books to readers while you’re writing them.
4. People hire people they know, so pitch
Pitching is auditioning. Some writers resent this. They believe that since they have writing credits, publications and clients should hire them, because they can write.
This is true. I got my first ghostwriting gigs from publishers who published my books. They knew I could write, because they knew my work. When they said “We want a book from _____ (someone or other), but he can’t write. Are you interested in working with him as a ghostwriter?”, I often said “Yes!”
However, you’ve still got to hustle if you’re a full-time writer. If you’re a pro, you can’t wait around for people to stumble across you.
You need to pitch.
5. Pitch every day – get creative
The more you pitch, the better the quality of the gigs you get, and the more gigs you get.
We ran a series of posts on making $500 a day from your writing.
In this article on making $500 a day, I said:
Few writers are natural extraverts. We choose a writing career because we love to work alone. If this sounds like you, you’ll need to shake yourself up and get out of your comfort zone. Become aggressive — contact top-paying publications and business and get highly-paid work.
In other words – pitch.
Initially, pitching may be a challenge, because you’re shy. However, sooner or later, that will wear off, because you do so much pitching. Familiarity will make you comfortable.
Just do it. Sooner or later, it will become easy, and FUN, I promise.
Watch for Part 2 of our article, for more tips on pitching.
This program, Turn Your Creativity Into Cash: Writers’ Creativity Secrets will help you with pitching.
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