"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

6 Savvy Tips to Self-Promotions

If you’re like most writers today, you devote a great deal of time penning pieces and devising ways to earn pay for your say.
But, one often neglected aspect of operating a freelance writing business is that of marketing and promotions.

Admit it. You'd much rather be crafting the word than spreading it.
Yet, getting the word out about who you are and the services you offer is key to cultivating new business and staying in the black.

Hope Clark, editor at Funds for Writers shares, “Unless you're already a sales phenomenon due to some quirk of nature or drop-in-your-lap twist of fate, marketing should consume at least ten to twenty percent of your day. Believe me, after twelve years of managing FundsforWriters.com, I've come to realize that when I neglect that arm of the business, regardless of the excuse or urgent deadline, the income falls proportionately. It's a real and clear fact of an entrepreneur's life that you have to toot you own horn on a regular basis. The public expects you to constantly remind them. Otherwise, the public forgets you exist.”

The good news is that today’s scribe has more avenues available than ever before.

With this in mind, here are a few tips and techniques to capitalize on current resources, increase your exposure and your bottom line.

1. Be savvy with a signature line.
The average writer probably sends hundreds of emails over the course of a month. With this very simple and popular form of communication, I’m often surprised at how few people use it to their advantage. Under “mail options” at Yahoo, add a signature line for all your outgoing emails that briefly lists your titles, services and your website. For example, all my emails read: professional blogger, veteran freelance writer and columnist, in addition to a link to my blog. You just never know who might be looking to hire or collaborate.

2. Tap into the power of social media.
Seems everybody who’s anybody has. You’ll find celebrities, business owners, athletes, and even politicians are connecting and promoting their events and projects via Twitter, Facebook and other popular forums. And you should too. It’s free and it’s fun!

3. Guest Blog.
Guest blogging is when a blogger writes an article or “post” and submits it for publication consideration to another blogger’s site. Guest blogging is a great way to put your work and your business before new audiences, and typically pieces are short, (300-700 words); which means that it doesn’t require a large investment of time. I have guest posted at some of the top sites in the Blogosphere. As a result, I have had “followers” to register for my online classes, request guest posts, and contribute to the overall success of my Blog.

4. Testify through testimonials.
Whether you display them on your website, or quote them in your marketing materials, testimonials are a terrific way to share your success stories with others and establish credibility.

5. Consider connecting through cold-calling.
Don’t let cold-calling leave you cold. Though it’s certainly not as popular as it has been decades before, it can still prove effective when done correctly. To ease the jitters, it’s a good idea to write out a general script and practice it beforehand. Be the “little engine that could”.

6. Enter contests.
Not only can you walk away potentially with great prizes and cash, many times you garner increased visibility and more credibility. Take for instance when my Blog ranked as a Top 10 Writing Blog finalist at Write to Done. I got great traffic, offers to do guest posts, and new fans and followers. And you can too.

There are endless ways to toot your own horn. Be creative. Use one or all of these tips to take your business to the next level and realize a great (R.O.I.) return on your investment.

What's yours?


Image:Stock Photo

10 comments:

  1. Yes, I admit it. I prefer writing over promoting. It is a necessary thing, though, as you said, and I appreciate your encouragement and these tips. Thanks a bunch!

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    Replies
    1. Karen,

      Me too! Always glad to get your valued input. :-)

      Delete
  2. Thanks for your post Jennifer,

    Actually I do think that I probably do more Marketing and Promotion than any actual Freelance Writing :)

    Because currently I mostly only write Blogposts or answering peoples Questions, writing in Forums offering Solutions as 'Tastemakers' that can help (pre) sell Products on my Blogs.

    For example today I wrote a post (pre) selling a book about - Laptop Lifestyle - (a book about how you can make money online with doing Affiliate Marketing) Basically 'Guest Posting' (like you write about in your nr. 3) on my own Blogs. In an attempts to work smarter, and to - Scale - my Market Reach I practically used the same blogpost for the readers of 3 of my Blogs; The Travel Blog, The - Home Business Lifestyle - Blog and on the - Writer's Lifestyle - Blog.

    Because I do think that for all 3 'Channels' it can be an interesting Product. This is somewhat like a 'Force Multiple Attack' military Strategy. It seems to be working because to my surprise I have already seen that there actually have been several clicks on - Laptop Lifestyle - already today.

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    Replies
    1. Hey there, HP,

      Thanks for sharing your story here. Good to hear that your strategy is working. Much continued success to you.

      Delete
  3. Jennifer:
    I have to get comfortable talking about myself. My voice doesn't carry well unless I am yelling at my family. (this is a true statement) I have to have a mic when I am in one of our dramas at church. I prefer the writing phase of the craft over the speaking. As a child, I heard it wasn't right to talk about yourself. I guess I will have to unlearn some things if I want to promote myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi quietspirit,

      Glad you've broken your silence and added your voice to today's post. :-) I can totally relate. Yep, I was taught the same thing. But if we don't promote ourselves, who will? Though, it will take some time for sure. Thanks for adding to the mix.

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  4. Jennifer - spot on advice. You encouraged me to do a signature line and I'm so glad I did. I'm getting traffic to my blog and emails from fans. It's sooooo cool. As for self promotion - I'm going to have to brace myself for it as I've just signed a book contract for my first mystery. Scary, challenging and . . . scary. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan,

      This is super to hear! Congrats on the book contract.
      Sometimes it's the little efforts that can make a big difference, when it comes to promotions.
      Keep us posted on the specifics. Much continued success.

      Delete
  5. Take advantage of LinkedIn groups and Facebook Pages. I'm not familiar with Google+, but I'm hearing good things are making connections via circle.s

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  6. Jennifer Brown BanksMarch 3, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    Marcie,

    Good suggestions! Thanks much.

    ReplyDelete