You want and need to sell your writing. It’s not a hobby for you. If you feel that you’re spending too much time hunting up low-paying writing gigs, you’re not alone. You know that quality high-paying gigs are out there — how do you get them?
Over the past month, I’ve had questions from many writers about moving beyond the outsourcing websites where you bid on gigs, and where “writing” is treated as a commodity.
What struck me most about my chats with these writers was that none had a clearly-defined process for getting the right writing jobs for them. Nor did they consider the vital area of establishing both credibility and trust.
Trust is vital.
Here’s the thing. To get someone to hire you, they need to TRUST you.
Sell your writing: create a marketing and sales process and use it
TRUST (yes, I’m shouting) is huge. Think about it. When you hire someone, you need to know that the information and materials you give them won’t be misused. So, how do you show your buyers that you’ll treat them and their company with respect and will fulfill your commitments on time and on budget?
In essence, buyers want to know: “who are you, and can you do what you’ll say you’ll do?” The old saying, it’s not who you know, it’s who knows you, is a truism. People hire people they know.
To many writers marketing is a mystery. It seems challenging, and moreover, they have no idea why they’re doing it. Without a marketing and sales process, these writers are trapped looking for gigs on job boards and on the outsourcing websites.
Consider that any and all marketing you do is simply to establish trust. Marketing isn’t an optional extra that you can avoid. It’s part of developing a writing career, and/or business.
Vital: you need to market your writing, whether you’re marketing your writing services, or are self-publishing ebooks, or are creating other products.
Yes, marketing costs in both time and money. Those costs need to be factored in to the prices you charge, as they are with any business.
Let’s look at two essentials you need to put into place today if you want to move beyond $40 an hour writing gigs and 99 cent ebooks.
1. Marketing “stuff” (assets): essential knowledge your audience needs in order to buy from you
What are you selling?
“Writing” isn’t an answer. Your answer might be: “web content to drive traffic to your online store” or “editorial services for your Kindle ebooks.”
In other words, you need to be specific about what you’re selling. The more specific you are, the better. When you’re specific, your ability to find buyers for your services and products goes up.
If you’re thinking, “yes — but I do more than write content…” or whatever, that’s so, but buyers think in terms of their own needs. They have a project and they need a writer. Saying that you sell “writing” is like a supermarket saying that they sell “food.”
Offer writing samples, build your portfolio, and create case studies. Ask your clients for testimonials. When you receive a testimonial, outline what you did for that client.
Creating all this marketing “stuff” may seem like a chore, but you’re creating assets, and those assets mean the difference between making $40 an hour and making $250 an hour.
2. Visibility — lay breadcrumb trails with assets, and make sales
Keep track of your assets — the writing samples, portfolio items, testimonials, etc. Your assets are the foundation of your marketing, whether you write press releases, or write blog posts, or create presentations, or create social media content in order to market what you’re selling.
Whenever a writer tells me that he “hates self-promotion” I know that he hasn’t created any marketing assets. Create your assets, keep track of them, create more of them, and sprinkle them around. You’re laying breadcrumb trails.
Before long, your potential clients will get used to seeing your name. You’ll gain authority, and TRUST.
What to do now: drill down into your offerings, create a couple of marketing assets, and promote those assets
Creating your assets and spreading your breadcrumb trails will have little effect at first. You’re starting at zero.
Every writer who’s making a six-figure income started where you are now. Zero is a great place to be, believe it or not. 🙂 You’re laying the foundation of your writing business and platform. Over time, you’ll become visible. Clients will find you, and because they know that you can write what they need, they won’t quibble about the price.
Get start today. Sell your writing. Great clients are out there. Develop your assets, spread your breadcrumb trails, and they’ll find you.
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