You hate marketing. That’s fine. Many writers do. However, if you want clients who will buy your writing services, or readers who will read your books, you need to do it.
Zero budget? Much of the marketing you do can be free.
Marketing for writers: “free” advertising
Yes, there is “free” advertising, as I show you in Social Media Copywriting And Graphics — Get Attention And Sell More. However, you’ll be spending time and energy rather than money.
We’ve talked about “free”. In Book Marketing And Freebies: How To Escape The Tyranny, I said:
I’m a huge fan of free as a marketing strategy; I love blogging, and have been offering free stuff since around 2002. For many years, individuals, and companies small and huge, rode the free bandwagon to success, or to disaster.
“Free” has never been a solution. It’s only a strategy. Making stuff free in order to get readers works for some authors, and fails for others.
I wrote that post in 2017, and the material in that post applies today, in spades.
You can’t rely totally on a free strategy, whatever form it takes, but you can use it.
Now let’s look at our three tips.
1. Devote ten minutes a day to marketing, every day
I’ve been suggesting this tip to writers for a couple of decades, maybe longer.
Here’s the thing. When you start out as a writer, no one knows your name. No one.
Many new writers subscribe to the “one day I’ll be (magically) famous” myth; the Cinderella Syndrome. How likely is it that your fairy godmother will come along, swat you with her magic wand, and make you instantly famous?
In the meantime, spend ten minutes a day on marketing.
In ten minutes, you can:
- Use your phone to snap a photo of your cat, dog or parrot and post the pic to Instagram;
- Write three tweets and schedule them;
- Develop an idea for a blog post…
Except for the minimal effort involved, your ten minutes needn’t involve paid advertising, although it might, depending on what you’re promoting.
If you’re using paid advertising, in ten minutes you can:
- Post an ad for one of your books to AMS (Amazon Marketing Services;)
- Create an ad on Facebook;
- Buy or trade a newsletter-mention with another author or writer…
Listen up. Ten minutes a day is powerful. I don’t care how busy you are, you can spend ten minutes a day on marketing. That’s over an hour a week. And that hour is cumulative.
I tell my students who are just starting out in writing: “get started marketing NOW. It doesn’t matter what kind of marketing you do, but be consistent. Also, be aware that it will NEVER be this hard again, because you’re starting from zero.”
Every writer starts at zero. Ten minutes a day ensures that you won’t stay there too long.
2. You’re a brand, from day one: everything you say and do builds your brand
“Apple” is a brand. So is “Levi’s.” Often when I speak to writers, they burble on about their branding. They need a logo, and a color palette, and…
That dull thunking sound you can hear is me, slamming my forehead into my desk.
Colors and a logo and the rest are pleasant. But they have precisely zero to do with building a brand. Here’s why. Whether you know it or not, everything you do as a writer or author builds your brand.
- What you write;
- How you engage with your readers or clients;
- The prices you charge…
Since everything is branding, don’t worry about it. Instead, focus on your ten minutes of marketing a day — and write, write, and write some more.
3. Be aware that people take you at your own evaluation of yourself
There’s a truism which suggests that to be successful, you need to act as if you are successful. I’m not suggesting that you tell falsehoods.
Success comes in many forms. It’s worth asking yourself what “success” means to you. To me, success is getting my writing done each day, and I’m not being disingenuous when I say that. Some days it’s a real challenge to get it done.
Here’s the thing. If you don’t take your writing seriously, no one else will, either. That leads to challenges, both personal, with your nearest and dearest, as well as professionally.
Strive to be professional. Write, and market your writing, even if you’ve never made a dollar from your words. When you continue to write and market, success is inevitable.
Have fun, too. If writing is more fun for you than anything else, you’re successful, as long as you keep writing. 🙂
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