Do you want to build a successful business? If you’re a writer on the hunt for work, this marketing guide for writers is for you. Not a writer? The marketing principles I outline apply to anyone who is looking for new clients.
How do new writers get a gig?
The question isn’t new. If you’ve spent any amount of time in the freelance writing world, you’ve heard this question. I, too, was once a writer looking for work and establishing Big Grey Horse Media. Five years down the road, I’ve got some answers for new freelance writers.
What I’m sharing isn’t a trade secret or coveted marketing and sales insider info. I’ve learned to get work by doing just that: looking for work. When you’re hustling a new business out of red ink and into profit, you will do just about anything to gain the gigs. So much of building a business is active work. You never learn (or accomplish) anything by sitting around and remaining passive.
If you want wealth, if you want success, you must be willing to make mistakes. If you want to build a successful business, read what successful business owners have written. (More on this as I review and recommend my fav business books in future posts.) Partner with a mentor who’s been there and done that. Listen to what the experts recommend.
A Writer’s Marketing Guide
Pitching is the soul of getting new business. If you want to improve your chances of closing the gig, however, you must target your market.
If you’re pitching publications (online or offline), find those that are part of your target market. In other words, publications you can easily write for or the ones you have experience with. If you are a fashion expert, are aware of trends, and up to date on the latest and greatest, pitch what you know to that particular segment of publications.
If you are versed in marketing/advertising/sales and know how to put an informative press release together, pitch companies that need your services.
What it all boils down to when you’re looking for work (gigs):
1) Find niches that you understand and know. It’s easier to start here than in areas you’re not familiar with. Although great writers are fantastic researchers and can write about topics they are not familiar with, this takes more research, potential interviews with experts, etc. Make it easy and keep it simple when you’re starting out. Take what you know and start there.
2) Find your target market. It’s a marriage of blending what you know and who is in that sector of business.
3) Write a query/LOI (letter of introduction)/pitch to your prospect. Introduce yourself and include a killer query about the subject and how you will approach the piece. Show how your background supports writing about the topic.
**If your LOI/pitch is to introduce yourself/your business in order to secure a gig, this will be in a warm email introduction, sales call, appointment, etc. You don’t have to respond to ads or calls for queries/writers…you can make your own gigs by approaching a warm market in need of your services.
4) Close the deal. Follow up on sales calls, appointments, email, etc. If you’ve put out feelers but have no bites, stay in touch with your contact. You won’t always get the nibble on the first go. Persistence and patience pay off in spades.
5) Keep the deal. Offer high value for your customers. Help your customers solve problems. Customers pay for your expertise. Partner with your clients and you will have plenty of work and a highly loyal client base. This step also plays into #3 and #4. If you want to close the deal, if you want to get the deal, you must know what your customer wants/needs and have the answer to their problems. Remember this when you are putting your pitches together and when you are closing the deals.
Writing is a hot field, it’s not going anywhere, and there are endless possibilities to help individuals and businesses achieve their goals and prosper. And when they prosper…so do you!
Refer to this marketing guide when you’re drumming up new business. If you have questions, want mentoring, or would like to request a marketing consultation, contact me. I’m here to help!