Tag Archives: Marketing-Zone: Marketing Yourself and Your Book

8 Secret Reasons You Hate Marketing Your Writing (Secret #6)

by Diane Holmes, Marketing-Zone: Marketing Yourself and Your Book, founder of Pitch University.

Secret #6 – That Giant Sucking Sound is Me Trying to Market My Writing

(clever solution below)

Excuses, we all have them.

excuses

YOU – Version A: I suck at this marketing crap.

It’s not what I do for a living, and I’m really, really, really bad at it. All shades of bad. You haven’t seen bad until you’ve seen me market my own business.

YOU – Version B: I have zero time to do it right.

Strategic marketing is a fulltime job, and I had to make a choice. I already work 80-hours-a-week on my business. Where exactly am I supposed to get the time for this?

YOU – Version C: Cheesy marketing can hurt your business. I’ve taken a stab at it, and I’m cheesy. So, I quit!

You – Version D: I have no money, no freaking idea where to begin, no skills, and no personality. So read my lips: NEVER MIND.

ME: This, my friends, is The Siren Song of “I Can’t.”

There are a million excuses to any endeavor, and you’ve cleverly found one that works for you.  You’ve even turned it into a catchy tune.

And as your friend, let me say, “Oh, honey, you’re harshing all over yourself. That’s like anti-marketing. Stop that.”

Solutions Lead to Confidence

MYTH #1 : I’d feel confident about marketing if I were supposed to do it.

MYTH #2: I have to do the type of marketing everyone says is important, the type I don’t feel confident about.

Truth Part 1: For every excuse and roadblock, there is a solution you can embrace.

Truth Part 2: When you find it, you’ll be amazed at how having a solution–implementing that solution–will jumpstart your confidence.

Truth Part 3: The solution will be something you already feel confident about.

Finding the Solution

Here’s a trick that my creativity coach taught me:

Say to yourself, “Yeah, yeah, but if I DID know the solution, what would it be?

What a great question!  That said, what you don’t want to ask is something that directly denies your perceived reality.  Example:  If you believe you suck, don’t ask, “If I didn’t suck, then….”

All you’d be doing is finding solutions you don’t believe you can handle. No help, that.

Instead, say, “Yeah, yeah, but if something existed that I didn’t suck at, something that functioned as marketing but wasn’t marketing, what would it be?”

Notice the shift from you sucking (“if I didn’t suck”) to the solution being something that didn’t suck.

Then, brainstorm.  And if you don’t come up with an answer, ask friends to brainstorm with you (in person, via Skype, in email, whatever it takes).

Same 2-step process for every excuse….

  • But if I knew something that didn’t take additional time, it would be…
  • But if I had an idea that used skills I already had, it would be…
  • But if I knew something to do that wouldn’t make me look cheesy, it would be…
  • But if I could find something easy and free that would help with marketing, it would be…

Ask the right question, then brainstorm. You get the idea.

It’s questions like this that actually lead to marketing that will work for you for the long haul.

BONUS: This sort of brainstorming leads to innovation. And nothing works better in marketing than something that’s fresh and ahead of the curve.

Once clients have seen or heard a type of marketing over and over, they’re desensitized. They tune it out.

There’s the potential for a big win here.

A Good Example

Scenario: You have no time to market, but what you do make time for is teaching your clients how to turn a single post into a series of posts on their company blog.

You call this session: “Your Best Effort x 10.”

In this session, you teach your clients how to leverage their best single effort into something that gets them 10 times the bang for the “effort” buck.

And clients love this. They think you’re a genius.

Question: So you ask yourself, “If I already knew of marketing that uses what I currently do in my job, what would that be?”

Answer: “I’d use my “Your Best Effort x 10” sessions to get new clients.

Question: If I already knew how to do this, what would that look like?”

Answer: “After my client gushes about how much I’ve helped them, I’d ask my client if I could quote her gush. If she agrees, I’d write it down right then and there, letting her see that I seriously appreciate her words (and allowing me to capture her comment while I still remember it).”

Another Answer: “I’d ask my client in advance if she’d like to invite an industry colleague to our session, as a gift from my client to the colleague.”

What a good way to get a referral and let them see me in action.

And Another Answer: “I’d ask my client if she’d be interested in learning about additional ways I can bring the ‘Your Best Effort x 10’ to her business.”

It’s no cost to her, I already know her business, and she’s already proved willing to hire me.

Keep brainstorming.  You can do it. You can make marketing work for you.

THIS SERIES 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)

    Secret #1 – My ethics will be tarnished the second I open my mouth

    Secret #2 – I’m forcing them to listen to me… against their will!)

    8 Secret Reasons You Hate Marketing Your Writing (Part 2)

    Secret #3 – The Crass Factor: Last Refuge of the Talentless Hack

    Secret #4 – I’m Not Ron Popeil or Billy Mays: “I don’t know what to say” vs. Skilled Patter

8 Secret Reasons You Hate Marketing Your Writing (Part 3)

Secret #5 – My Writing Isn’t Even That Good

Diane Holmes Crop 1Diane 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

5 Website Mistakes That Most Writers Make

by Diane Holmes, Marketing-Zone: Marketing Yourself and Your Book, founder of Pitch University.

Ah, the well-designed website!

Sigh. Writers have some craptastic websites, don’t they? No, I don’t mean you. I mean the “other” writers.

There are exceptions, writers who not only write good content, but also develop a well-designed, effective website.

But most writers have a do-it-yourself mentality (due to budget), so they figure out how to get something “up,” and they equate “something” with “awesome.”

websites that suck

#1  It looks homemade.

You think: “Look, Ma, I made that!”

They think: “If this represents the best they have to offer, then it’s not up to our standards.”

* Your website should be just as professional as your client’s website. Any client?  No.  Your best client.

If your clients don’t own websites, then aim to match or exceed the sites they consider similar to yours.

#2  I can’t read this mess.

You think: “I’ve got everything I need up there and it looks great.”

They think: “I can’t see that tiny font, and I especially can’t read that gray-colored font on that darker gray background or that weird glow effect.  And there’s so much freaking clutter, I can’t tell what to look at.”

* Reading, in the internet world, means skimming and finding your way around the site.  Your site visitors need to be able to skim your homepage in a couple second, get the key information, and decide to stay.

#3  Who is your customer, client, or buyer?

You think: “I like to write and sell my writing.  I’m for hire!” (Or “I have a book!!!”

They think: “I’m looking for something specific, and all I see here is someone who generally likes to write and is desperate for work.”

* You should be thinking: “I know who you are, and I’m here to delight you.”

Then focus on just that portion of the population who will really get you and who you’ll really delight.

#4 We need to talk about your personality.

You think: “I have to include this information.”

They think: “There’s nothing here that really gets me excited; it’s just information.”

* Have a voice. Create a relationship.  Be interesting, dynamic, and unique.  Make them say, “That’s the guy!  I’d love to work with him.”

You think: “Hire me now!!!  Call in the next 30 seconds!  I’m excellent and wonderful combined with chocolate.”

They think: “Hey, I’m in control of this visit, and I’m clicking the back button right now.”

* You can’t force people to want your writing.  But you can be excited about what you do and present it so that your perfect audience recognizes you as amazing.

#5 Info, info, info… all about you.

You think: “They came to the website to find out about me, me, me.”

They think: “I’m going to the website to see if there’s something I want.”

* You should be thinking: “They’re coming to my website wanting and needing something specific, and I’ll show them I have the perfect solution.”

Not communicating the problem or need you’re solving and the benefit you’re providing is a huge mistake. That’s how visitors decide if the website and YOU are a match to what they were hoping to find.

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Diane Holmes Crop 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.

Write like Freddy Krueger (free-webinar on Thursday)

by Diane Holmes, Marketing-Zone: Marketing Yourself and Your Book, founder of Pitch University.

–>  If you want to learn more about marketing, if you want to learn to write faster, this column is for you.

Confession

As a professional writer, my idea of a good time is learning more about the craft-of-writing.  I am a class junkie.

(Anyone else hear the word “vacation” and think, “Oh, a writers’ conference!”? Yeah, it’s kinda sad.)

In fact, I filter everything I read, watch, or vaguely overhear by sheer accident (or good fortune) through my writing-techniques filter.  (You know you’re a writer when everyday life gets evaluated against the criteria of “original storytelling” or “research for an article series.”)

So, when I heard about Danny Iny’s new course called “Write Like Freddy Krueger,” I dropped what I was doing (I call this “procrastination for good”), and checked out his new program.

The Good Stuff

Let me just give you the no-cost webinar details up front.

Danny is running a free webinar tomorrow so you can learn more about his Freddy program: Thursday, March 29 @ 3pm EST

Sign up now, I’ll wait.

Excellent.  See you there.

“Without Having To Be a Great Writer”

Why would great (a.k.a professional) writers listen to a webinar or take a course designed for people who aren’t “great writers”?

That, my friend, is a very good question.

Answer #1  Danny’s expertise is marketing. 

You have a chance to learn more about writing for the Internet in ways that will enhance and market your, ahem, professional writing.

Answer #2  Danny promises to talk about writing strategically *and* writing fast.   

Being focused on the right things and “laying it down” are the very best companions to quality writing, career building, and keeping clients happy. 

Juicy Details

I met Danny Iny in Corbett Barr’s (of ThinkTraffic) 4-month, expert class on building your website and traffic.  At the time, Danny was creating his new website (as co-founder) called Firepole Marketing.

Love that name, don’t you?

Anyway,  I’ve kinda kept up with him, because  I’m a marketing-geek and he seems like a genuinely nice guy. (I’m building my own world of nice guys who finish first.  Come be on my planet.)

So here, then, is Danny’s Official Freddy Curriculum:

(I love the items that are focused on making sure you’ll be a success before you write, writing fast, and then getting the most mileage out of it, after the fact.)

  • How to find the very best places to publish your posts (to get tons of traffic, build a great reputation, and make lots of sales)
  • What the three criteria are for deciding whether to post on a blog, or whether you’re better off not wasting your time
  • How to come up with a winning angle for your post, every single time (even if it’s your first time writing for a new audience!)
  • How to know that your posts will perform well and be shared, before you write a single word
  • How to write guest post proposals that will get accepted on major authority blogs, even if you don’t have a relationship with the blog owner
  • How to choose a headline that will make people read your post – even if you aren’t a writer!
  • How to outline an entire post in less than 10 minutes (this is the same process that I use on ALL of my posts)
  • How to make sure that you don’t run out of ideas, and your posts are always “meaty” and full of great content and information
  • How to write posts that makes people want to print them out and put them on their walls! (that’s the best compliment a blogger or writer can get, and you’ll get it a lot!)
  • How to control when a post will be published on somebody else’s blog (and stay out of the limbo of not knowing when or whether your post will be published)
  • What steps to take after your post has been published to get waaaay more mileage out of it (it amazes me that nobody thinks to do this!)
  • How to get extra SEO “link juice” out of your guest posts on authority blogs
  • How your guest posts can help you build relationships with the entire blogosphere (without having to write a ton of posts!)

More Info on Danny:

Danny Iny (@DannyIny)

The Freddy Krueger of Blogging

Author of Engagement from Scratch!

Instructor on how to get more cash from any business, website, or blog.

And entrepreneur who never wants to grow up!

Plus, he wrote 14 posts and 17,481 words in 6 days.

 

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Diane Holmes Crop 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.

8 Secret Reasons You Hate Marketing Your Writing (Part 3)

by Diane Holmes, Marketing-Zone: Marketing Yourself and Your Book, founder of Pitch University.

I have a goodie for you today.

You’ll either think I’ve been loitering around in the primordial soup of your soul, or smoking crack.

That’s because this one’s more personal, more hidden, more determined by personality type than career.

But I assure you that some of the best writers in the world will be raising their hands and saying, “Yeah, yeah, that’s what held me back for years.  You wouldn’t believe it now, but this used to be me.”

Read on.

Secret #5 -  My Writing Isn’t Even That Good

YOU: I’m fine, just fine. Until I start to do marketing. Until I start thinking about telling strangers they should buy my writing, my services, my book. Going out and getting business.

Then I realize something horrible.

Simon says no

I’m just someone who tries to write. An unknown person in a huge ocean filled with fish who get interviewed on Oprah.

I’m (sob) not that good.

  • Not to put my writing out there.
  • Not to bid on that huge contract.
  • Not to say, “Look at me! I’m awesome sauce and a bag of chips and a valued resource.”

Ack.

ME: At this point, you’re full-tilt into a crisis of confidence. This is all about insecurity. Because really, how do we know we’re any good? Where’s the proof?  You know, unless someone else tells us.

Oh, yeah, and we believe them.

How many people does it take to tell us we’re wonderful, how many to buy our writing, before we allow ourselves to believe it?

Because if we’re smart at all, we know that the opposite of insecurity is insisting we’re the next American Idol (!), without realizing we can’t carry a tune. Continue reading

8 Secret Reasons You Hate Marketing Your Writing (Part 2)

by Diane Holmes, Marketing-Zone: Marketing Yourself and Your Book, founder of Pitch University.

fear

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.

You’re welcome.

(Read Part 1 Here.)

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.

ron-popeil

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:

    1. Step Inside the Marketing Confessional
    2. Does Marketing Your Writing Feel Like Prostitution
    3. Marketing Manifestos To Shake You Out Of Your Rut (don’t be a lemming)
    4. Every Writer’s Marketing Dream
    5. Marketing Is Funny Stuff
    6. Marketing Your Writing Without Feeling Like a Brute
    7. 8 Secret Reasons You Hate Marketing Your Writing (Part 1)

    —-
    Diane Holmes Crop 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

  • 8 Secret Reasons You Hate Marketing Your Writing (Part 1)

    by Diane Holmes, Marketing-Zone: Marketing Yourself and Your Book, founder of Pitch University.

    Let’s rip the bandage off quickly, before you realize this is a form of marketing therapy.

    If you hate marketing your own writing, chances are you hate it for one of the 8 following reasons:

    1. My ethics will be tarnished the second I open my mouth.

    Someone will figure out I’m full of self-interest and actually trying to take their money (gasp).

    selfinterest

    This train of thought stems from the idea that you can trust someone only if he has nothing to gain by sharing his opinion.

    If that’s true, then the implied opposite must also be true.  You can’t trust anyone who actually wants your money.  And now you can’t trust me!

    Why, oh why did I try to influence you to buy my writing?  Even I know I’m now scum.

    Bad, me. Bad.

    MYTH: The presence of money makes you, by default, an untrustworthy liar face.

    TRUTH: You can be seen and valued as trustworthy, even if you benefit directly from a conversation.

    Truthfulness is a trait belonging to YOU, not to the presence of money….  Which, by the way, everyone needs in order to pay bills.

    #2 I’m forcing them to listen to me… against their will!

    Continue reading