You push the publish button and you wait for it.
Wait for it.
Your audience isn’t growing; even your current audience is not very engaged with you.
But here’s the good news–in most cases, the problem is not your lack of writing talent.
The truth is you’re not just a writer. You’re also a marketer.
Most writers hate marketing and often view it as the younger brother of the aggressive sale (which is often done by a guy in an ugly plaid sport coat).
But that’s just one style of marketing.
You don’t have to do that.
First off, I’m sorry for you. Suddenly, you are talking about how much you hate movies, right?
You may even say, “I hate movies.”
But the real problem is you were watching bad movies.
You have a bad taste in your mouth from the negative experience, because, well, you’re human.
The same concept applies to marketing, but don’t let the bad examples discourage you.
Marketing is not optional. If you don’t like marketing, the problem is you have not found the right approach for you.
Whether you write books, blog posts, articles or social media updates you must be a good marketer to get the reader’s attention.
Marketing is the blood in your veins as a writer. It is that important.
So how can you apply this to your current writing?
Here are five essential elements of great marketing:
1. Be honest, authentic and sincere.
The world is full of highlight reels being presented as real life. Don’t add to that. Be human. Please allow me to give a shout out to my friend Sarah Mae. Both are just fantastic examples of this. In some ways, Sarah is my original marketing mentor. (See example here of how smart and real she is.)
2. Tell stories and invite people in.
Good stories are extremely powerful. Do not ever overlook this. Good stories have a specific structure too. Don’t hesitate to get an editor to ensure your story is engaging. Outside perspective allows you to see things you normally don’t see on your own.
3. Focus on helping others.
Treat people like people. Don’t be afraid to ask for a sale–especially when you know what you have can help. Good marketing does not manipulate people. I’ll repeat that because it is so important: good marketing does not manipulate people. Instead, it serves people.
4. Clarity is absolutely essential.
With the many choices out there, you have to make it very clear what it is you are about and what you stand for. Otherwise, people will get confused. So if you are writing a book, if it isn’t clear what the book is about, it will not sell. If you write a blog and it is all over the place topic wise, people won’t read it.
5. Be willing to be weird.
Don’t think in terms of comparing yourself to others. Break all of the rules and do something others view as odd. Do something unique that no one else is doing. Being a copycat accomplishes nothing. In 2015, you must be willing to differentiate yourself from everyone else. You also must embrace failure as a part of the process. It will happen. But don’t view it as failure–you can call it the refining process. The more you fail, the more you win. A scientist doesn’t stop after one try–he keeps experimenting. Never stop innovating. You are much more creative than you think you are.
Lastly, write about something that is bigger than you or it will not spread.
Marketing is NOT about self-promotion. Whatever you write about, it must connect with the reader. If you write fiction, it must keep the reader entertained and be enjoyable; take the reader on an adventure. Writing is not a selfish act. If you say you write only for yourself, that’s called journaling which is great, but very different than writing for an audience.
Write for a reason: to give hope, to inspire, to make others laugh or to entertain, etc. Figure out what your purpose for writing is and focus in on it. This will help make you a better writer and marketer too.
If you feel stuck with where you are as a writer or marketer, fire me an email or leave a comment below. Let’s chat about it so you can find clarity and form a plan.