Tag Archives: clients

Part 3: The 8 Things Writers Should Do to Influence Readers (and Make a Sale)

Fiction-Zone: Leaps in Fiction Mastery by Diane Holmes, Chief Alchemist of Pitch University


You have 2 clever tools to Svengali readers and potential clients. “Come to me… come read my writing…”

Your Writing + You = Career

Turns out both you and your writing are alluring.  Oh, baby, oh, baby.

But in order for you to be seen as alluring, you need to be able to let your passion for your writing show, and that, it turns out, is quite a difficult skill for many of us.

Do you know the art of communicating Passion…

…and inviting your potential customer to share it with you?

yes no head

(And why are we all bald in this little quiz?  Just go with it.)

This is PART THREE in a series where we look at the 8 ways you share your passion with your  potential clients/readers.

And now, the last 3 languages of influence (aka passion).

#6 Connection.

Learn to speak about your connection to the people around you, to causes, and to the world… not just to your writing.  Nothing is more alluring than someone who actually likes people.

People do make the best readers.

#7 Shared Vision.

Be your own cause, your own revolution by sharing the vision you have for “how things work” or, at least, how they could work.

See the hope that doesn’t exist yet.  See problems and solutions in a new way.  Writers have a unique way of building a universe in their head.  Sometimes the only thing that people lack is the ability to see things in a new way.

Share your mind, your vision, your practical knowledge with others.

And yes, something that relates to your writing is good.

But even if it’s not related to your writing, be interesting.  Have an interesting mind.  Look for the points of “new thought” that overlap between you and others.

Those points of overlap are sparks.

#8  The Hold-Your-Breath Moment of Magic.

Much of our best life experiences are being in the right place at the right time.  If you’ve ever been brilliant in the wrong time or place, you know what I mean.  It goes nowhere.  You’re passed over, roughshod, and left like roadkill on the side of life’s highway.

And as much as this is true, the best of life is also how you see all those wrong places and times, how you see the highway and the tread marks that cover your body.

Look for these magic moments.  Seize them.  Relate them to others.  Invite your readers along.

This is the stuff readers want to hear about in author interviews:  the magic of the world and of how you see it.

We live a lot of normal in our everyday life.  But we celebrate the WOW that wakes us up, inspires us, shows us who we can be, or just lets us know that that being alive is wow in itself.

Here’s a teacher, speaker, and ultimately an author who gave us all a WOW moment. May you find your own wow moments and share them with the world, or just a single reader.

Let’s get out of so much normal and have more wow.

clip_image004Diane writes two alternating columns for Freelance-Zone:Fiction-Zone: Leaps in Fiction Mastery and Marketing-Zone:Marketing-Zone: Marketing Yourself and Your Book.

Part 2: The 8 Things Writers Should Do to Influence Readers (and Make a Sale)

Fiction-Zone: Leaps in Fiction Mastery by Diane Holmes, Chief Alchemist of Pitch University

WARNING: I’m in the middle of shaking you up, baby.   Okay, now read on.

A purchase is a one-time exchange. But demand is what creates a career.


So your job is to create that demand, that interest, that desire for what you offer.

Certainly the quality of your work can create a demand.

We writers love to rely on that, because it’s what we care about: our writing.  Plus it’s passive which is so much less effort.  Write, send it into the world, let the writing speak for itself.  Wait to be recognized.

What we hope:

Readers (clients) will be so inspired by our quality, they’ll make it their mission to demand more.  Well know about this mission because they’ll spontaneously call us just to rave.  Thank goodness they’re not distracted by their own lives.

Might be good to ask how can WE, also, create a demand.  What is our power in influencing readers? ( Us, not our marketing materials, not our business cards and tag lines.  You and me.)

But why????

Because not everyone will have read your past writing.    These people–who could easily be your future audience, buy your products, champion your skills–won’t know your sentences are pure glory.

But if they meet you, speak with you, they could become the people who demand your work, even though they HAVEN’T read it.

Now that’s the power of demand.

As I said in Part 1, when you speak, nothing influences demand better than the 8 languages of passion.

Read Part 1 HERE.

We’ve already covered the language of Mastery, Excitement, Heart, and Confidence.  Onward now to the final 4 ways you represent your passion.

5) Extraordinariness.

We all want to think we and our writing are special, are unique.  But we’re usually talking about being special and unique in the same way as everyone else is. 😉

(That’s especially true if the specialness is a product of a marketing exercise where you have to write down something that everyone will agree is a mighty-fine quality.  It’s always too generic.  Too fake.  Too  filled with hype.

So what we think of as special and unique is Not. Good. Enough.

What I’m talking about instead is the crossroads where “blow your mind” and greatness meet up.

You’ve heard of a delight factor, right?  Well, I’m  talking about a delight factor that is authentic to you and inspires that wow feeling in others.

And yeah, you might not be aware of your own delight factor unless someone else points it out..

So go figure it out.  Then learn to include what delights you and others, what makes you extraordinary, in conversations.

No, not with an agenda.  That ruins everything, doesn’t it?  In an authentic way, because how can you NOT talk about the thing that captivates you the most?  How can you look forward to having a conversation about something that delights the folks you talk with?

Imagine writing for Groupon and not sharing how much you enjoy writing crazy things like : “The hamburger is an edible American icon, much like coleslaw made with shredded Norman Rockwell paintings.”

The Groupon voice is the writer’s and the reader’s delight factor!  It’s what makes a job writing coupon ads extraordinary.

Here’s an interview with Markus Zusak, the author of The Book Thief,  He talks about his choice to make Death the narrator, and about his breakthrough thought, “What if Death was afraid of us? What if Death was haunted by humans?”

It’s an extraordinarily special approach to an award-winning novel, and he talks about it in the most ordinary way.  Such a good example about how you do this.

Imagine if he hadn’t mentioned it at all?

What a missed opportunity that would’ve been to create a demand for his novel in the very people most likely to appreciate what he, himself found extraordinarily captivating.


clip_image004Diane writes two alternating columns for Freelance-Zone:Fiction-Zone: Leaps in Fiction Mastery and Marketing-Zone:Marketing-Zone: Marketing Yourself and Your Book.

The 8 Things Writers Should Do to Influence Readers (and Make a Sale)

Fiction-Zone: Leaps in Fiction Mastery by Diane Holmes, Chief Alchemist of Pitch University

I know you’d like to send your writing out into the world, sit back, and listen to the applause.  (I often pretend I hear it. A girl has to have some fun.)  But… no career really works that way.  Sob.

You’ve gotta get up and represent.

Snoopy Knows How to Represent

This article is about you, Dear Writer, and the relationship you create with potential customers through your spontaneous interaction (and not your lovingly crafted prose).

But before we get into that, I want to make sure you understand who your potential customer is.  It’s anyone who buys your writing, hires you to write, facilitates that process, might recommend you for a job, or could possibly speak highly of you.

I use this term pretty broadly.

My point is that sometimes potential customers end up spending money and buying your product or service.  And sometimes they don’t spend money, but they still contribute to your career.

If customers are only those who buy your writing, you miss the entire class of “industry professionals.”  And the big ol’ world of  “influencers” called a network?  You can’t even see them if you focus solely on money.

Basically, I think of your potential customers as all those people who create a demand for your work.

Demand is what creates a career.  A purchase is a one-time exchange.

So, you’re in the business of creating a demand for your work.  (Write that down.  There’ll be a test some day.)

Back to spontaneous interaction, or as I like to think of it…

The Art of Communicating Passion…

(…and inviting your potential customer to share it with you.)

For 20 years, I’ve been a keen observer of how some of the best writers I know never get a career launched, no matter how good they are.  And others limp along with anemic careers that don’t begin to do them justice.

To be blunt, these writers never caught on.

It’s not fair.  It’s frustrating and heart breaking.  And it has nothing to do with how hard they worked or how much they believed in their dream.

It does, however, have a lot to do with demand.

For book writers, it’s only recently that authors can truly participate in creating demand.  But it’s still such a new concept to them that they often sit back and wait to be recognized out of habit.

They also sit back because they have no idea how to influence demand.  So, I’m going to tell you how, right now.  This isn’t about what to do.  It’s about HOW.

You have to learn to speak the Language of Passion.

And here are the 8 passions you should share freely, openly, and joyfully:

#1 Mastery.

Do you love reaching for the stars? Striving for excellence? Challenging yourself with each new project? Readers love this too.

Learn to speak the language of excellence and to talk about how jazzed you get trying to be the best you can, at what you do.  This is NOT bragging.  It’s not about talking about how good you are.

It’s about talking about your quest for quality and your delight when you reach it.

#2 Excitement.

Make your joy apparent.  Share your deep love of what you do.

Frankly, it’s boring to hear about how “special” folks are because “this is their dream” and “they’re meant to do this.”  But the fire and delight of a passionate, awake mind never gets old.

#3 Heart.

Sometimes what comes across to readers and customers is the overpowering stink of desperation, the yearning of one person focused on her/his personal dreams.

You know what combats that?

Warmth, compassion, and a bigger perspective that includes other people.  Find other people interesting.  Let them inspire you.  Honor the motivation and good fortune of a shared path.

#4 Confidence.

Over confidence is pretty ugly–so ugly that most trustworthy people avoid feeling confident all together.

But a lack of confidence is unnerving.  Plus we believe that it’s a fact.  “You’re right.  You must not be any good.”

But here’s what works.  Be in touch with your credentials and your experience.  Be excited about it at the same time you know you’re destined to grow even more.

Credentials, experience, growth: these things are true.  They’re how you earned confidence.

And yet, I know you’re still not sure about this whole confidence thing, as our society only seems to talk about confidence in the sense of someone with no self-confidence or way too much.

But I think of it this way.  There’s a pose in Yoga called Mountain Pose.  And when it’s done right, Beth Irvine says it feels “grounded, still, powerful, and majestic.”

When you can really speak with confidence about what you have done and will do, this is what you share with your reader and potential customer.


clip_image004Diane writes two alternating columns for Freelance-Zone:Fiction-Zone: Leaps in FictionMastery and Marketing-Zone:Marketing-Zone: Marketing Yourself and Your Book.

What’s Your Writing Wish?

Freelance-Zone Editor, Catherine L. Tully
Freelance-Zone Editor, Catherine L. Tully

by Catherine L. Tully

If you could have one wish as a writer–what would it be? Would you like to have perfectly matched clients? Make more money? Become a famous poet?

I asked myself this question, but it actually isn’t as easy as it may seem when you really think about it. For example, if you suddenly can make as much money as you’d like, but all your clients are nasty–is that really a big gain? Or what if you suddenly become a famous poet, but you don’t make enough money to support yourself?

It’s good to make wishes and set goals, but the one thing I try to keep in mind is that I need to be thankful for what I already do have, instead of always wishing for things to be different. But that’s not really the reason I posed this question….

I guess I’m curious as to what other writers would really like to have in terms of the perfect work situation. If I had to answer the question myself, the one thing I’d ask for is time. I’d like to be extremely efficient so that I could have more time to do the things I love–besides writing. For me, time is the most precious thing. I could have more money, less hassle or more fame, but it all comes down to the amount of hours in a day that are mine. This is becoming more important to me as I get older. Before, I’m pretty sure I’d have asked for money.

So…I’m tossing it out there to you…what is your writing wish?

Why Freelance Writing Is Like Waterskiing


by Catherine L. Tully

Goofy name for a post?

Not really, when you think about it.

Have you ever been waterskiing–or, if not, have you seen it? If so, you’ll be able to relate to the similarities once I’m made them plain here:

Similarity #1 – Getting up on the skis is not as easy as it looks.

Starting a freelance writing career usually takes time, practice and patience. You don’t get it right away, and more often than not, your mistakes are pretty big in the beginning. You crash a lot.

Similarity #2 – Staying up on the skis requires strength and technique.

Once you learn how to get work and avoid common pitfalls as a writer, it takes time to make a living at it. You need to perfect your voice, your technique and your approach. You have to build strong relationships that will help you stay in this career field for the long haul, rather than going back to a day job or waiting tables on the side. Continue reading Why Freelance Writing Is Like Waterskiing

“You’re Fired” – Letting Go Of Busy Work

Catherineby Catherine L. Tully

Busy work will be the death of you if you aren’t careful.

I’m here to tell you that every time I have cleared away the “chaff” – the clients that took up a lot of my time without a fair amount of financial compensation – I have benefited in the long run.

Now what does that mean for you? I can’t tell you exactly, but I can share some examples from my own writing career…

One client I had provided work only periodically. The pay was pretty good, but the amount of hoops I had to jump through weren’t equal to the amount I was getting for the work. In addition, whenever they contacted me, they needed something right away. This meant I had to build a little space into my schedule. Space that eventually was freed up for other clients when I finally decided to “fire” myself from the gig.

Another client I had gave steady work for average pay, but the turnaround and amount of hours involved left me with little time for other work. As most writers are already aware, steady work in this field is really hard to come by. It took me a long time to get up the guts to fire myself from this job, but once I did there were many other opportunities that I had come my way and I wound up making more money in less time than I did with this client.

So what’s my point?

Every once in a while it is a good idea to evaluate your client base from a time/money/hassle point of view. Do all the pieces fit together nicely – or are there some things that stand out as a problem for you? Letting go of the busy work can be a great thing if you prune carefully.

Now I’m not telling you to go cutting clients indiscriminately. You need a base to go from that will pay your bills and provide you with some security. But when you have that, be sure you don’t get complacent and just go with the flow if it isn’t working well for you. Sometimes re-adjusting your work flow can offer the unexpected, and often that may mean more money in the long run.

It works for me.