Marketing is the tip of my marketing spear. But I never pitch clients.
It’s because I approach writing from a marketing perspective — and it’s a strategy that every writer reading this can successfully employ to promote their skills.
This is not a How To Make A Million Dollars Writing article — there are plenty of those. Instead, this is a way for you to market your skills for free.
Any writer, content creator, or freelancer can follow this strategy. You just need to change your mindset slightly.
1. Find your Times Square
There are so many platforms you can write and create content for. And when you do, it’s all free advertising for your writing.
This means, in effect, you have a plethora of free advertising billboards on which you can promote your work. That’s right, each article you write, each post you make it utilizes a free advertising space.
From a marketing perspective, this is a fantastic opportunity that many writers don’t see. You are being offered a wide range of places from which you can promote yourself.
No Craiglist ads. No need to battle it out on Upwork. You can put up your billboard on one of these platforms and get far better value.
The platforms do all the heavy lifting for you.
They drive visitors to your work and are effectively paying for your advertising. You just need to ensure your billboard is of high enough quality to attract some eyeballs.
The best analogy is to think of, let’s say, LinkedIn as a highway. There are lots of visitors each day using the LinkedIn highway. They are driving past a large number of messages on billboards. It’s a very competitive environment, but the sheer traffic of people makes it worthwhile.
And the best thing is your billboard on LinkedIn is free. Same on Quora, Twitter, BitClout, and TikTok. All free billboards.
Now I know what you are thinking.
Everyone wants the Times Square billboard — the one on the home page. But only the big-name writers or viral influencers get those.
I’m not a big-name writer or a viral creator, but I’ve had more than my fair share of prime-time billboards.
If it happened to me, it could happen to you.
Try a wide range of platforms to see where your best audience is. You will need to give them all a few months and analyze where your billboard fits best.
While everyone wants the Times Square position, plenty of off-Broadway locations do just as well.
2. Use your canvas wisely
OK, you have your billboard.
Now it’s time to make the most of your message. These platforms provide a blank canvas for you and allow you to write on any topic you want.
LinkedIn used to be all business — now there is a wide range of content. TikTok used to be primarily teens dancing now; now, there are brands and creators promoting other content — I know of a writer who secured a book deal through her TikTok content.
So don’t feel limited by the platform. Most content can be adapted to any platform.
Once you are on a platform, consider what your writing brand is. Are you focused on self-help? Relationship advice? Humor?
Or a mix of all?
I write primarily on marketing and entrepreneurship as I have experience in those areas. I write consistently on those topics, so my ‘billboard’ often appears in the feeds of readers interested in these topics.
Like a music earworm or an advertisement on repeat, my name is constantly in front of these readers. So when the business they work for needs a writer, or a podcast guest-they recall my name.
Regardless of your subject expertise, good writing will shine through, and consistency will reinforce your brand.
Find which topics are best suited to your knowledge and style. Write consistently on them, so it increases your brand recall.
And for each article you publish, ask yourself — is this a good advertisement for my writing skills? If it isn’t, then don’t publish.
3. Focus on the opportunity, not the stats
I love the writing community.
I have written about the great mentors, friends, and motivators I have connected with. No community is more supportive.
No community likes to complain more.
So many writers focus on declining stats or an algorithm that hates them or why a particular platform sucks. To me, they are looking at this from the wrong angle.
Stats will rise and fall — there is nothing surer as a writer than the fact that your journey will always be a rollercoaster.
Instead, look at the platforms through a marketing lens. Promote your work and your brand, and do not fixate purely on the numbers.
August was my worst month for views and earnings on this platform for over a year. Yet, I picked up three new clients who had read my articles. I was also paid to go on several podcasts. Taking that into account, it was easily my best month of all time.
I ignored LinkedIn for a long time. As a marketer, it was stupid. I reengaged, and after a month of consistent content, I picked up a new client.
It’s about the quality of readers, not the quantity. So focus on making sure your billboard is in the right place, and your message is correct and resonating with your target audience.
Stats should be used to inform your direction but not drive it. The aim is to drive inquiry.
It’s better to have 100 views but eight people contact you for work than have 1,000 views. Sure the claps may give you a short burst of endorphins, but they won’t pay your bills.
Don’t fixate on stats.
The online world is your oyster
Writers of the past had to create their own websites to use when pitching their work. Now we don’t need to maintain personal websites or blogs. Instead, we can share our work with a few links without the need to register domains or pay for hosting.
They had to pitch to clients, to editors, to businesses constantly. Now, these people search platforms for good content and make approaches.
Writers and content creators have never had it so good. We have this advertising space with which to attract clients.
So whether you are after a book deal, a copywriting job, a short-term contract, or a regular column in your favorite publication, utilize all the platforms you have available. Think of them as your marketplace to further opportunities.
And if you are a brand or business looking for a writer or a speaker — I have two words for you.