In order to build your platform and your bottom line as a writer, you'll need to "work it" more fiercely than a fashion model on a runway. Hello!
Let's face it: even if you have Pulitzer prize-winning potential, if people don't know about who you are, and your related products and services, you'll unfortunately be a "starving artist" in every sense of the word.
Oddly enough, for many scribes, (who are largely introverts by nature), selling doesn't always come easily. It can feel a little, well...sleazy. Or imposing. Or desperate. Or like bragging.
True? I can dig it.
But, make no mistake about it. It's a necessary evil.
Even so, as with most things in life, there's a right and a wrong way to do it.
If properly executed, you can "win friends and influence people."
Blow it, and you're likely to piss people off, come across as desperate, or miss the opportunity to make real connections and cultivate a strong following and fan base.
With this in mind, here are 5 timely tips to optimize your efforts:
1. Pitch the right people.
Know your target audience. What are their needs? Their income level? Their challenges? Their spending habits? I can't count the number of times I've gotten random, ridiculous sales pitches for everything from Viagra to tanning lotion. Duh? "Houston we have a problem."
If you'd like for customers and clients to invest in "you" invest some effort in researching how to best serve them and give them true value for their time and money.
2. Recognize that there's a fine line between being persistent and being a pest.
Here's a case in point. With the onset of spring, a popular yard maintenance service in my local area contacted me to offer their services, a few months ago. After carefully considering their offer, I politely declined. A few weeks later the representative made a follow-up call. I declined again. A few weeks after, he actually came out to my house and left his business card in my door. Needless to say, he's really beginning to bug me. Know when to give people space.
3. Consider the proper timing.
Take some pointers from retail. They typically sell grills in summer, boots in winter, school supplies around August, etc.
For greater success, align your pitches, work, and services with the right editorial calendars, contest deadlines, and monthly awareness themes. For instance, you might want to market your new poetry book around April, which is National Poetry Month. Get the idea here?
4. Sweeten the deal.
In these uncertain economic times, everybody's looking for ways to do more with less, and get more bang for their buck. Accordingly, why not offer "Early Bird" discounts? Or establish a "Client's Appreciation Day." Or provide a "buy one, get one free" sale. A little creativity can sometimes yield big rewards. Give to get!
5. Establish a good ratio to ask:
In the book, "How to Win Customers and Keep Them for Life,"
author Michael LeBoeuf, Ph.D. shares that "People love to buy, but hate to be sold."
So it's crucial to recognize the importance of the right approach. The moral of the story here?
Don't saturate your blog with pop-up ads, or send emails every week promoting the same products and services. This can feel a little intrusive. Instead, do it periodically-- say once every 2 or 3 months. Or one pitch per every ten blog posts. Or run different promotions at the same time, targeting different groups.
And last but not least... be supportive of others.
Successful relationships often enhance business sales.
Okay, folks, here's where I practice what I preach:
As a way of saying "thanks" to my readers and followers, I'm offering a 25% discount on 6 of my most popular services, for my six-year anniversary, here at Pen and Prosper.
They are as follows:
- Blog Audits
- Web content
- Editorial Calendars
- Strategic Consulting
Send all requests and price quotes to: Gemsjen@yahoo.com
This is a limited offer for the month of June.
For testimonials from satisfied customers, view the "Hire me" tab on this site.
If you like my Blog, you'll love my creative services.
Thanks for reading.