by Diane Holmes, Marketing-Zone: Marketing Yourself and Your Book, founder of Pitch University.
The Marketing Therapist is in. She knows your demons. And she breaks them up into bite-sized pieces to minimize the horror of having your subconscious angst exposed to direct daylight.
3. The Crass Factor: Last Refuge of the Talentless Hack
I’m not doing that marketing stuff.
All those over-blown, meaningless, advertising words? They’re the sign of “quality optional” writing churned out by greedy, “used-car” writers, whose clunky sentences were created using a mallet and anvil.
It’s like taking out a billboard, saying,
“Come on down! I’m a cheesy, mediocre,plaid-pants-wearing writer who will make you a special deal today for just $99.00 down! Bring your trade-ins. We smarmy writers can help you out. (Or my name isn’t THE GREATEST WRITER EVER!!!!)”
MYTH: If you’re good at what you do, people know it. You have street cred. (If you’re older, you call it a reputation.) You’re sought after, not the other way around. Your work speaks for itself.
You certainly don’t take a bullhorn and hawk your wares.
The minute someone tells you they’re a great writer, you know they’re not.
Those who have the real chops, the wisdom, the experience—they’re confident and humble.
(Also, Hysterical1960’s Used Car Commercial: used-car sales man finally tells the truth. Warning: swearing.)
TRUTH: Marketing is not a synonym for hype. And advertising is not another word for deceptive.
Think about it this way, when you need a service or product, you want to know your options (it’s called research, people!). Let’s say you turn to the old-fashioned phone directory, where companies have (gasp) paid for ads.
These ads help you decide who to call. An effective ad gives truthful information that also speaks directly to your needs.
And what about those humble, high-quality companies that don’t place an ad or even list their phone numbers? They can’t possibly get your business, because you don’t even know about them.
And do you really ever think to yourself, if these companies were good at what they do, they wouldn’t even be in the phone book!
Yeah. Thought not.
4. I’m Not Ron Popeil or Billy Mays: “I don’t know what to say” vs. Skilled Patter
There are people who know what to say and how to sell a product…. And those who do not. I’m not a TV spokesman like Ron Popeil or Billy Mays. I’m not even Ryan Seacrest.
I hate public speaking. Cold sweat. Stammering. Staring at the ceiling from where I passed out on the stage.
I’m tongue-tied and miserable. Why would someone want my writing, anyway? I can’t think of a single reason why. I can’t even describe what I do.
I’ll never be able to do any of that marketing stuff, so don’t make me.
MYTH: The standard for your marketing is to look at the best Pitch Spokesman in the business and assume (a) that’s the type of marketing you need to do and (b) you have to be that good at it.
TRUTH: There are many ways to pitch your writing. And get this. Many of them don’t even involve a microphone.
In fact, not many of your clients (or potential audience) are probably headed to a convention center hoping to hear a pitch for your writing.
You shouldn’t base your author-marketing strategy on something that’s not likely to work for your audience or you. So, first off, that kind of spiel is not a good match.
But it’s also worth nothing that even if it was, and even if your goal was to be the next “Billy Mays,” you’d have to train, learn, study, practice, and work your butt off to be hired at that level as a spokesman.
So there’s a pretty big fallacy in thinking that you’re lack of ability in “being like Ron Popeil” is where you should start.
It’s like saying any hack writer can do what you do. 😉
So, chose a good match between you and your audience, then assess your skill and knowledge levels (and your willingness to take that on.)
There are a thousand ways to market. You only need a couple.
What a relief.
TO BE CONTINUED!
In This Series So Far:
- Step Inside the Marketing Confessional
- Does Marketing Your Writing Feel Like Prostitution
- Marketing Manifestos To Shake You Out Of Your Rut (don’t be a lemming)
- Every Writer’s Marketing Dream
- Marketing Is Funny Stuff
- Marketing Your Writing Without Feeling Like a Brute
- 8 Secret Reasons You Hate Marketing Your Writing (Part 1)
Diane writes two columns for Freelance-Zone: Fiction-Zone: Leaps in Fiction Mastery and Marketing-Zone:Marketing-Zone: Marketing Yourself and Your Book.
She’s the Founder and Chief Alchemist of Pitch University
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