To really make money as a writer, you need to both write and know how to sell yourself. Knowing your worth as a writer and positioning yourself properly in your writing niche is known as marketing.
There are many ways to market your unique writing identity at low-to-no cost. I built my freelance real estate writing career on building myself up as an expert. I had years of actual real estate knowledge to pull from as well as some writing and editing experience, but no real estate clips.
Even with no first-hand experience or writing clips, you, too, can build yourself up with some crafty writing, a solid strategy and belief in yourself.
Develop an Intro Line
A brief and interesting introductory (or intro) line is what you as a writer need to practice and use for networking events or chance meetings with those of influence. This breaks the ice when networking in person. The goal is to engage the second party enough to hold their interest, keep the dialogue going and exchange contact information.
For example, my intro line is:
This tells what I do, but doesn’t give away too much information, so the second party is left hanging wanting to know exactly how I “educate and entertain.”
The second party should ask questions to further their knowledge of you.
Questions may be:
Then you can elaborate on your skills. Keep each answer short prompting the second party to continue asking questions with you reciprocating with her or him.
Create a Catchy Slogan
Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan for their athletic footwear and clothing is a popular slogan and has been for decades. It creates an image and tells the name of the company where none was mentioned. In marketing terminology, this is known as branding.
While you don’t have to brand to the level of Nike (a huge expense), a catchy slogan that goes on all your marketing (social networks, website, email signature, business cards, brochures, letterhead, etc.) paints a distinctive picture of you that editors or business contacts will remember.
A good slogan should be short and appeal to all while imparting what is special about your writing or expertise. It could be a short version of your intro line.
For instance, if you write humor, consider a funny slogan, but avoid clichés. A catchy slogan, plus solid writing, equals remembrance from editors and/or businesses.
Before putting your slogan into use, try it out on family, friends and neighbors to get the desired impact. Don’t procrastinate, just do it.
Write a Stellar Bio
No matter what type of writing you do, an author always needs a stellar biography (bio). Do both a long and short (a few sentences) version, depending on usage. Always write the bio in the third person, such as:
This is your chance to make yourself sound like an expert, even if you have just started writing and have few published clips.
Develop an Online Presence
In the 21st century, an online presence is a must. A good website and a Facebook page may be enough for some. Others may want to use more social marketing adding Twitter, Pinterest or other sites. I suggest everyone have a free LinkedIn page and learn how to use it. I have gotten several writing jobs from LinkedIn connections.
Post your bio, slogan, writing links, résumé, publications, speaking engagements, etc.
Draw others to your sites with contests, trivia quizzes or otherwise interesting content.
Study sites you like for ideas.
Only commit to what you will have time to update on a regular basis.
Put it All Together
Use these basic marketing principals to take a hard look at your knowledge and experience and decide how you wish to position yourself as a writer. Consistently using the same marketing strategy for all you do imparts a level of expertise to networking contacts and editors that will make you worthy of that book publishing offer, newspaper column, magazine contract, blogging gig or business writing deal.
About the author:
A graduate of Rutgers University, Elizabeth R. Elstien is a published author with over 25 years of writing, editing, research and marketing experience. As a former professional archaeologist credited with numerous academic publications and lectures to botanical medicine, business and real estate, Elizabeth’s writing credentials are wide ranging. Skilled in writing stellar business plans, bios/profiles and reports, Elizabeth also knows how to craft a slogan or marketing piece that gets results. A member of the Nonfiction Writers Association, Elizabeth is always eager to travel, learn and educate through exceptional word crafting. View www.Eelstien.com or contact her at Eelstien@Eelstien.com.
Also by Elizabeth R. Elstien:
1. How to Find Great Subject-Matter Experts for Your Articles (article)
2. A Specialty in Freelance Real Estate Writing (article)