Monday, May 11, 2009

Three things to do today to market your writing

I'm in the process of writing a whole new product from Writing Career Coach and that has led to a great deal of reading and research. I want to share a few things with you that I have learned this week. These are things that you can begin to do right now, today to help you market your writing [or any other business really]. I will go in to these in much more detail when I release my new project [more on that in coming weeks] but right now here are some of the broader concepts that we will cover in more detail.

1. View your marketing from the customer's perspective. In his book, Guerrilla Marketing for Free, Jay Conrad Levinson makes this point. It is one that I have shared in previous blogs as well. It is simply crucial that we recognize that every day, not just in a tough economy, people have choices about where to spend their money. They are more likely to purchase things that make them feel good about that purchase. All of us have had times where we bought something and then immediately felt taken advantage of. Don't ever do that to a reader or customer. If you offer, deliver! If your marketing is jazzier than your customer service, you won't last long. So today take a look at the marketing strategy you are using. Look at your customer service and reputation. If it isn't where you think it should be, find how to improve it.

2. Recognize your true competitor. One interesting point Harry Beckwith makes in his book "Selling the Invisible" is that our true competitor isn't always the other person selling a similar produce [other authors and freelancers]. You are trying to convince someone that they NEED your product or service at all. Why should they read YOUR book? Why should they hire YOU as a copywriter when they can write things themselves? Why does a church need your help? That is why they have a church secretary. Once you recognize that your true competition isn't the other provider, but rather the misconception that they don't need your product/service, you will shift your approach. You will no longer be adversarial or confrontational. You will no longer show why what you do is better than what the other guy is doing. You will instead show the customer the VALUE of your product or service [which includes the simply joy of a great novel]. Armed with that information you will be able to build relationships with clients. Not only does that make them long-term clients, but it will help you to be better equipped to service them better.

3. Distinguish yourself. As you will hear later this week on this blog, Scott McKain has written a wonderful new book called "The Collapse of Distinction: Stand out and move up while your competition fails." The premise of this book is essentially that capitalism leads to an incremental improvement AND/OR imitation of competition. Neither of which will distinguish you enough to have the real growth you'd like. So, today begin by defining who you really are. What is your business really? What is it you're aiming for and what are you willing to do to accomplish it? These questions will help you when we talk more about this book later, but begin to think about them now.

So have you done each of these things? If you haven't done them during the course of reading this blog stop now and take a few minutes to brainstorm. It may seem like a complete waste of time but what you will discover is that these questions are the rudder that moves your marketing ship. Just like we need to fully understand our characters to make our stories flow, we must fully understand our businesses to make our marketing flow.

Tiffany Colter is a writer, speaker and writing career coach who works with beginner to published writers. She can be reached through her website at
Tiffany can speak to your group or organization details here.
Learn more about Tiffany's Marketing techniques on her main blog.
Common-sense money management is free at The Balanced Life website.[]
Read Tiffany's award winning manuscript "A Face in the Shadow" on her fiction blog. []
She writes a blog for the Christian writer Tuesdays at Writer's Rest.[]

1 comment:

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Tiff -

I particular appreciate your comments about showing your value and leaving the adversarial stuff behind.

Thanks for some solid advice.

Susan :)