Writer’s Worth: Marketing Strategies to Use Right Now

I’ll be here starting tomorrow. Ontario never looked so good as it does right now after a long week of many projects.

You can tell I’m about to go on my twice-postponed vacation — the work is flooding in. This week alone I picked up six projects. Luckily, not all of them have the same deadlines or I’d be cancelling vacation altogether.

Because I’m trying to get as much done as possible before I leave tomorrow, my post will be short today.

Today, I give you some advice from my e-book, Marketing 365, which contains, you guessed it, 365 daily strategies to market yourself easily and without spending a fortune.

Strategy #58: Engage in stealth marketing.

Some of my best marketing success has come from not marketing at all. It’s what I call stealth marketing, and it’s little more than showing up, befriending, helping, and maintaining the connection. In one case, a client told me I wasn’t very good at marketing. This was as she was revamping her business in order to fit my proposal into her current lineup. She never realized it. I had marketed to her without doing more than showing up, befriending, helping, and maintaining.

With every contact, you should be working toward creating a friendly acquaintance at worst, a friendship based on business terms at best.

Why I chose this to share: Too many writers are taking marketing to mean endless, in-your-face selling. Marketing does have a sales aspect, but it’s so much more. It’s developing a plan to get your services noticed in the market. It’s determining your client. It’s building a way to reach that client, and it’s communicating your value. Plus, it’s about regular, on-target contact with your client base. That doesn’t mean you have to focus on the sale every time, in my humble opinion. (Or you could just call this networking done without pressure.)

Strategy #74: Follow up on the marketing.

All those marketing pieces you sent out a month ago are useless unless you follow up. Get back in touch with those contacts. Repeat your offer, say hello, send them a relevant article, or just ask what they need and how you can help.

They may not need your services. But you won’t know if you don’t ask.

Why I chose this to share: Piggybacking off the previous strategy, once you’ve made a connection, it’s no good to you unless you follow up consistently. Think about the last person who called you trying to sell you something or get money out of you. Can you remember who they were or what they were asking for? If it didn’t occur within the last few hours, probably not. Stay in front of your prospective clients and make sure you’re in their radar when it’s time for them to hire.

Writers, what are your favorite kinds of marketing?
What hasn’t worked for you?
What advice do you have for writers who are nervous about marketing?

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Comments

  • Anne Wayman August 6, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Stealth, with occasional other efforts… 😉

    Reply
  • Lori Widmer August 6, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    Isn't it the easiest marketing you've ever done, Anne? It's showing up, creating the relationship, and then maintaining it.

    You know, like a friendship. 🙂

    Reply
  • Paula August 6, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Stealth marketing fits best with my personality.

    I'd offer a reminder to some writers who might not yet realize it: If/when your contact retires or moves on to a different job or position where they'll no longer have a need for your services, don't cease communications with them because they can't dole out any more work. Stay in touch. First, no relationship should be based only on what's in it for you. Second, they're still probably in a position to recommend you when their former colleagues need a good writer.

    Reply
  • Lori Widmer August 6, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    Bingo, Paula! If you care enough to stay in touch when they're working, you should care enough to do so after the fact.

    It reminds me of one of the worst habits of salespeople. When they realize you're not buying, they turn off the charm. Hell, a few of them have turned off the warmth. One woman was so cold I had to wonder how long she'd be in that job. And where would she move to? If it was into another sales job and I came across her, I'd have nothing to do with her.

    Reply
  • Paula August 6, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    That whole "turns off the charm" bit reminds me of the two very different ways I was treated in the same jewelry store back when I was in college. One time, while wearing my then-new (now horribly outdated) long, dressy winter coat over whatever schlubby rags I might have had on, I stopped in a jewelry store to get a new watchband or battery or something. I walked in and they jumped to attention. No waiting. Great service.

    I don't know if it was the same year or not, my dad had ordered himself a custom designed onyx ring. He'd put down a deposit, and was supposed to pay the remaining $100 or when he picked it up. I took the call when the ring was ready, and my siblings decided to surprise him, pay the balance, and give it ti him for Christmas a couple weeks later. So I went to the store in my SLIGHTLY ratty everyday winter coat one day. The store was empty and no one asked if they could assist me. Assuming I was just browsing, they just kept an eye that I didn't steal anything. Someone else came in, in a nicer coat, and got immediate service. That's when I said, loudly, "I was here first, and I WAS going to buy something, but you obviously don't want MY business," and walked out.

    Of course, I also learned a nice coat can cover a multitude of fashion sins.

    Reply