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.
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 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 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