Writers Worth: Doing What Works for You

Joy Drohan is a writer whose example you should pay attention to.

I met Joy a few years back when Jake Poinier and I held a webinar. Joy was the one who contacted me afterward, and we became friends.

Then she did something crazy: she asked for my advice (and took a bit of Jake’s advice) and adapted the bits she liked to fit her.

I’ve had the privilege of watching Joy’s business break all of her earnings goals. And her client acquisition rates are enviable. Joy has hit on her own personal brand of networking and marketing that’s making her services sought after.

She did it by following her heart. And she’s here to tell you that it’s okay if you do the same.

When the Advice Doesn’t Fit

by Joy Drohan

So all kinds of people have told me how I should advertise my business. Everyone’s always saying that you’ve got to be on Twitter and have a blog and blah, blah, blah. I’ve tried to incorporate other people’s marketing ideas, and I have successfully integrated some of them. But other ideas just don’t feel comfortable to me. I’ve considered having a Facebook page for my business, but I honestly can’t imagine what I’d want to share on there, despite the suggestions of many, many “gurus.” Same with a business blog. I’ve poked around in Twitter, but I can’t bring myself to commit to another time-sucking social media platform. I know these things are supposed to increase my name recognition and authority in the field, but I just can’t bring myself to do them.

I took a very helpful marketing class and incorporated some of the ideas. I tried on the teacher’s idea of following up on a cold-email with another email. But you know what? That feels more uncomfortably sales-y to me than does making a simple phone call to follow up. I try to call in the afternoon on Thursday or Friday, when many people aren’t terribly motivated to work, and I’ve been shocked at how often a “bigwig” answers his or her own phone on the first try. I also can’t believe how frequently the message I leave on an answering machine is soon followed up with an email or call back to me.

My point is that everyone has to find marketing strategies that work for them. Click To Tweet Try out different strategies, and use what works for you and what feels right for you.

I’m also shocked at how often I get a response back from a cold email. It’s usually just to say that they don’t have current needs but will keep me in mind, but even to get a response feels like a victory to me. And you never know when those contacts may turn up gold. In February I had an editor email me 3.5 years after I’d cold-emailed her to say that a colleague had been looking for recommendations for editors and she forwarded my email. I was floored that she remembered and could find my email after 3.5 years.

So put your feelers out there. Do some marketing every week, even when you’re so busy that you can’t imagine when you’d do it. I like to schedule market research and email drafting for evenings and weekends because I’m not very productive during those times otherwise.

Writers, what advice have you ignored and why did that feel right to you?

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  • Cathy Miller May 16, 2017 at 8:36 am

    I love this story, Joy. It took courage to create your own path and that’s what makes winners. We have no shortage of individuals who want to tell us what we need to do to succeed. Ultimately, the voice you need to listen to is yours. Well done, Joy! ☺

    • lwidmer May 16, 2017 at 9:04 am

      ” Ultimately, the voice you need to listen to is yours.”

      Amen, Cathy. Every single one of us has a different way of approaching the same thing. The minute we get on our high horse telling others they’re doing it wrong or they MUST do it this way or that, we become obsolete, in my opinion. If nothing else, it sure cheapens the advice, doesn’t it?

      Joy, thank you. You’ve inspired me in so many ways. I’m glad you’re here to inspire others. 🙂

      • Joy Drohan May 16, 2017 at 1:58 pm

        Thanks for the opportunity to post, Lori, and for your continuing feedback and cheerleading!

    • Joy Drohan May 16, 2017 at 1:57 pm

      Thanks, Cathy!

  • Paula Hendrickson May 16, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Like you, Joy, I don’t like approaches that feel too “sales-y.” I don’t like being sold to, and I don’t want to be perceived as someone trying to coerce a sale. I’m glad you’ve found a balance to market yourself by being yourself. That’s a great lesson for writers whether they’re new or already well established.

    • Joy Drohan May 16, 2017 at 2:01 pm

      Thanks, Paula. It feels good to get confirmation that there is no one single way. I don’t know anyone whose business is exactly like mine, so why shouldn’t everybody’s marketing be a little different?

  • Katy Werring October 11, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    I love this advice. There’s another writer who has a similar strategy – Alex Franzen. She has no social media accounts; just her website and word of mouth. I am in awe. It’s so easy to get caught up in what all of the “gurus” say, and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking of what I want to focus on and what I’m comfortable with. This is more for me to chew on as I start to test different strategies. Thanks so much for this, Lori and Joy!

    • Lori October 12, 2017 at 7:31 am

      Katy, you said”I’ve been doing a lit of thinking of what I want to focus on and what I’m comfortable with.”

      That right there. Best possible way to build a strong foundation is by building something that’s true to you.

      Glad you posted. Thank you. Please feel free to share and ask as much as you want here!

    • Joy Drohan October 12, 2017 at 10:01 am

      Thanks, Katy. I’ll check out Alex’s and your internet presence. It was a boost to be reminded of this post on a very gray and sleepy morning here. And thanks as always to Lori, who helps me stay motivated by being my monthly-report-my-earnings-and-time-worked person.

      • lwidmer October 17, 2017 at 2:22 pm

        You keep me on track too, Joy! Since I’ve stopped reporting here on the blog, I was afraid I’d stop pushing myself. Just knowing I have to tell you every month how things are going keeps me on track!

        • Joy Drohan October 17, 2017 at 2:46 pm

          I’m glad it’s a help to you too, Lori!