Marketing Ideas for Writers Who Hate Marketing

It’s not like I haven’t written about marketing ideas or argued why writers need to pay attention to marketing before but it just seems to keep coming up.

Easy Marketing Ideas for Writers

Marketing tips for writers who hate marketing

So here we are again.

But what if you’re the type of writer who just wants to write and have people read it? You don’t want to bother with the muss and fuss of marketing.

Or maybe you’re the type of writer who thinks marketing means selling out.

Are you someone who thinks marketing makes you one of those pushy sales people who alienates friends and family?

I talk about marketing and give out marketing ideas all the time because I believe in its power to transform people’s careers and businesses.

Let’s get something straight: marketing doesn’t have to be like that.

So when I hear excuses like I’m too busy to do marketing or I don’t need to do marketing or I don’t have the money to invest in marketing I think…you don’t get it. None of those things are valid.

If you’re saying any of these things here’s what you mean: you don’t want to do marketing.

Marketing doesn’t have to take a lot of time and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

And it’s fine if you don’t want to do marketing. But don’t expect people to find you.

“If you write it they will come” isn’t a thing. It doesn’t work like that.

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End of tough love part. Beginning of marketing ideas part

I wanted to give writers who hate marketing (or are afraid of it) a few easy marketing ideas for easing in.

I do hope these help.

  • Learn how to incorporate your writing into casual conversation
    There is a way to talk about who you are and what you do without coming across as promotional or insincere. Figure this out and you won’t even realize you’re marketing
  • Focus on the benefits your writing offers others
    This is one of those amazing marketing things I love teaching people. Stop talking about YOU and YOUR work. Flip it around and talk about its impact. People don’t care about what you do, they care about the benefit they’ll get from working with you or reading your work
  • Talk about your writing on social media
    Consider your social media platforms as places where you can attract new readers. Talk about your writing in a natural way, like you do with your friends, and see who you can inspire

Just a reminder, these days if you’re a writer hoping to become an author, you need to do your own marketing.

And you need to do it long before your book comes out. No matter if you’re self-publishing or traditional publishing, you are the driver of the marketing vehicle.

If you want to sell books/get an agent/get a book deal/people to read your writing you have to accept marketing as a part of your life.

Other marketing ideas for writers

It's not like I haven't written about marketing ideas or argued why writers need to pay attention to marketing before but it just seems to keep coming up.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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It's not like I haven't written about marketing ideas or argued why writers need to pay attention to marketing before but it just seems to keep coming up.
It's not like I haven't written about marketing ideas or argued why writers need to pay attention to marketing before but it just seems to keep coming up.
It's not like I haven't written about marketing ideas or argued why writers need to pay attention to marketing before but it just seems to keep coming up.

6 Unexpected Tips for Better Networking for Freelancers

Networking is an important part of freelancing but it can be difficult discerning which events are a good use of time and which aren’t.

Networking for freelancers: make the most out of your investment

Networking for freelancers

Being at the right place at the right time and meeting the right person could make all the difference to your freelance writing business.

The good news is, there are many in-person and virtual networking events to choose from.

The bad news is there are many in-person and virtual networking events to choose from.

Here are a few ideas and suggestions for making the most of your valuable networking time and energy. And yes, this applies to you even if you’re an introvert.

Extra reading: How to Choose a Writers Group

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Tip 1: Have something to say

I’ve mentioned this tip before (in Meeting Your Ideal Client in Person) but it bears repeating. Before the networking event, prepare a few talking points ahead of time. These will change based on the type of people you’re meeting with but here are a few examples.

  • Networking with other freelance writers? Think about industry questions you have or helpful introductions you can make. And why not prepare a few anecdotes about the writing life too?
  • Attending an event for business owners? Revisit your elevator pitch and make sure it’s updated and accurate. Practice it a couple times. Have business cards handy if it’s an in-person do
  • Participating in a writing conference? If you were teaching a workshop you would prepare ahead of time, treat conference attendance in the same way. Figure out ways to maximize your learning time but also your writing time. Prep answers to common questions like “What are you working on these days,” “What type of writing do you do,” etc. And think of a few creative questions to keep the conversation going

Tip 2: Prepare ahead of time

Whenever I attend an in-person event I try and look at the venue layout ahead of time. This is especially helpful when I have meetings or appointments lined up and want to make sure I show up on time and avoid getting lost.

At a smaller event, perhaps at a restaurant, I try and get a sense for how formal/informal it is and how the flow works. As much as possible I like to have a handle on what’s expected.

Something I haven’t done well at in-person events, but something I always appreciate when others do, is having some sort of name badge to help ease networking. Printing branded lanyards help you ooze professionalism and avoid the dreaded question, “Sorry…what was your name again?”

4 unexpected tips for better networking for freelancers

Tip 3: Have swag, if it makes sense

Maybe it’s cheesy. Perhaps even old school. But when I look at my pen collection I see it’s 90% branded swag from businesses.

While I don’t recommend spending a fortune on merch or even putting much thought into it, good swag can go a long way.

When it makes sense, invest in good marketing materials and some pieces of merchandise that you know that people are going to find useful.  

Tip 4: Make connections and follow up

While it’s possible to book a new client or gain a referral in the midst of a networking frenzy, oftentimes the magic happens afterward. When you follow up.

So even if you’re not a business card person, find a way to exchange information. Here are a few ideas.

  • Ask for their email addresses to stay in touch
  • Or, if it makes sense, ask if you can add them to your email list
  • Ask for their Instagram handle (or other social media profile info) and follow them
  • Invite them to a future event they may find fun/interesting
  • Take a photo of them at the event and offer to text it to them (don’t be creepy!)

Once the event is over, start following up with your new connections and/or leads within a few days. This should start a number of productive conversations and may even develop into new clients down the road. 

Extra reading: How to Get More Email Subscribers

Tip 5: Look for extra opportunities 

If the event is a good fit for you and your business, let the event planners know you’re interested in being more involved.

This could include:

  • Speaking at the event
  • Helping spread the word ahead of time
  • Sponsoring a giveaway
  • Volunteering in some capacity
  • Joining the organization

Not only will this raise your profile, but it will also enhance your reputation as an entrepreneur and influencer in your sector, improving your credibility with potential clients. 

Tip 6: Calculate your ROI

While networking events are fun and all, it’s also important to evaluate their effectiveness for your business.

The return on investment calculation is simple. Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

Add up all of your costs, including travel, accommodation and time spent and then record the business impact of attending the event. Financial benefits like new clients or opportunities may not show up right away, so keep in mind the true value of the event may not be apparent for some months. Revisit your event ROI report every few months and update it. Give it time, but not too much time.

Networking is an important part of freelancing but it can be difficult discerning which events are a good use of time and which aren't.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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Networking is an important part of freelancing but it can be difficult discerning which events are a good use of time and which aren't.

10 Practical Tips for Growing Your Freelance Business

When you think about growing your freelance business, what comes to mind? More clients? More money? How about more flexibility? Or more time? Whatever it is, there are good reasons to think about growth, even if you want to stay small.

Tips for growing your freelance business

Tips for growing your freelance business

Whether you launched a business in the pandemic or have worked as a freelancer for some time, it’s important to continually improve.

Whether that’s adopting new systems or looking for ways to expand, there’s always something you can do to grow.

Growing in expertise and business opens you to new opportunities, allows you to try new things and keeps you from getting complacent.

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With all of this in mind, here are some tips for growing your freelance business. 

Make it easy to get paid

There are a million bookkeeping and payment systems out there. Use technology that makes your life easier. Use technology that makes it easy for your clients to pay you.

One great way to do this is by considering mobile payment options in addition to more traditional forms of payments. Systemizing your invoicing (and billing on time) also enables you to receive your payment faster. 

Expand your client base

Growing your freelance business means you’ll need to expand your client base. It may not be MORE but you’ll eventually want BETTER clients. Understanding how to make stronger connections with your ideal clients is step one. Well, knowing who your ideal clients are is step one.

Building relationships is achieved through networking and building strong relationships with clients, editors and other industry professionals.

Curate your portfolio

When you’re just getting started your portfolio can make an impact as well! Build a strong collection of industry-specific work and continue finding ways to establish yourself as an expert in your niche. This will help you leverage your previous work to find new work, and new clients.

Market yourself

You need to market yourself as a writer if you want to make a living writing! You just do! Learn marketing and figure out how to do it consistently. Seriously. This is how you get out of the feast and famine cycle. M-a-r-k-e-t-i-n-g.

Growing your freelance business comes down to value

When you first started freelancing chances are your rates were low. Too low. And that’s OK. You were learning. But now? Now, you have skills and experience. As you develop as a freelancer it’s important to know your worth. And raise your prices accordingly.

Do great work

One of the easiest ways to grow your freelance business is by doing exceptional work. Meet your deadlines. Be great at communication. Keep your standards high. 

Outsource

Even if you’re bootstrapping and don’t have much cash to spare, there are still things you can outsource. Perhaps it’s too early to bring on a virtual assistant or social media manager, but how about a babysitter? Or grocery shopping? How about bookkeeping. Just a thought. What are you spending TOO much time on now, that isn’t benefitting your business? Start there.

Maintain a blog

Having a consistent, regular blog can help you become more visible in your niche and enhances your brand, not to mention increasing your website’s SEO and literally bringing prospects to you. Tempted? Here are 10 reasons to start a blog.

Be patient and persevere through the messy middle

Growing your freelance business takes TIME. And you may get stuck in the messy middle for a while. Honestly, this is where a lot of freelancers quit. It’s SO hard to keep going when things are a grind. But if you can find a way to implement strategies that help you keep going, you can find ways to be productive even when you’re unmotivated.

Good time management

Good business comes down to some pretty basic stuff. Keep your committments, show up for those counting on you and practice good time management. This allows you to make the most of each moment and allows you to discover that ellusive work/life balance we all hear so much about. Don’t waste your time, use it wisely. Find tools to streamline your activities and figure out how to do your best work.

When you think about growing your freelance business, what comes to mind? More clients? More money? More flexibility? More time? Whatever it is, there are good reasons to think about growth, even if you want to stay small.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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9+ Non-Fiction Genres that Are Actually Really Different

There are many non-fiction genres but people don’t give it too much thought at first. I guess it’s because the genre breakdowns aren’t as exciting as fiction. Even still, I think they’re pretty cool!

What are the Different Non-Fiction Genres? (Nonfiction?)

Whether or not it’s nonfiction or non-fiction (can someone help me? I really don’t know), if you want to publish a not fiction book it’s important to understand at least the basic breakdown of the genre.

Non-fiction genres

Let’s start with a big list of common non-fiction genres. Ones you’ve probably already thought of.

  • Journalism
  • Essay
  • Biography
  • Memoir
  • Science
  • Technical
  • Opinion (also called op-ed)
  • History

You still with me? Straightforward, ish.

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But maybe you’re wondering why genre matters, why we’re talking about it at all.

If you want to be a freelance writer, knowing the difference between non-fiction genres will be a great asset!

First reason: you will know what type of writing you do (I write bios or I write history, for example).

Second reason: you will know what types of publications to pitch your writing to. If you write op-eds, for example, you’ll go to publications that publish op-eds. Not everyone does so it pays to know this before you pitch!

Third reason: if you’re thinking of writing a book one day, word count changes based on your genre. Yes, in non-fiction genres too! Understanding what you’re writing will make all the difference.

What are the Different Non-Fiction Genres?

Don’t worry, we can go deeper

Once you dive into the wonderful world of non-fiction writing you can get into the nuance of the craft.

Going deeper and refining your writing style by genre makes you a stronger all-around writer. It also allows you to offer more specialized services to your clients.

And, thus, charge more for your expertise.

Here are a few more examples to get your wheels turning. For the complete list head on over to Wikipedia.

  • Creative nonfiction
  • Dictionary/Encyclopedia/Thesaurus
  • Textbook
  • Theology
  • Philosophy
  • Handbook/Guide/Manual
  • Letter
  • Literary criticism
  • Academic

Yes these are all legitimate genres and ways you can write for money. So think big, think outside the standardized package and lean into your natural strengths.

Extra reading: What is Prescriptive Non-Fiction?

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There are many non-fiction genres but people don't give it too much thought at first. I guess it's because the genre breakdowns aren't as exciting as fiction. Even still, I think they're pretty cool!

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

* indicates required
There are many non-fiction genres but people don't give it too much thought at first. I guess it's because the genre breakdowns aren't as exciting as fiction. Even still, I think they're pretty cool!

How to Write a Case Study

If you know how to tell a story you can write a case study.

How to Write a Case Study

However, if you’ve never done it before you might be wondering how to write a case study. So here we go.

By the way, a case study is a success story told about a client you’ve helped. Simple, right?

Free ebook: How to write a case study: gain trust with prospects by showcasing your client's success

Do you want the ebook that goes with this training? I’ve created a PDF download and it’s available in my resource library.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Once you’re logged in, navigate to the writing section and look for “How to Write a Case Study for Marketing Ebook.”

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How to write a case study

Maybe before I get into how to write a case study I’ll talk about what makes something a case study.

In essence, it’s a study analysis where you overview a business problem, outline options for solving the problem and what happened in the end.

The fact that you’re telling your client’s story from beginning to end, and including twists and turns along the way, makes this different than an advertisement or a sales page because you’re keeping the twists and turns in the story.

The fact that it’s not just “I decided to do this thing and then it worked and now I’m successful yayyyyy,” makes it a case to study. Case study. Right!?

Something to keep in mind is although this isn’t a traditional sales page, a case study is a tool in your sales and marketing arsenal.

It’s something you want prospective clients to read and become convinced to hire you. So make sure it’s targeted to people who are on the fence about working with you and tell client success stories that will help them see how you’ll help them reach their goals.

Free ebook: Gain trust with prospects by showcasing your client's success.

Download the ebook that goes with this training!

This is a free resource but it’s in my resource library, which requires a password. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Once you’re logged in, navigate to the writing section and look for “How to Write a Case Study for Marketing Ebook.”

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What to include in a case study

Here are a few sections to include:

Case study introduction

In one or two sentences present your reader with the problem or issue and a quick summary of the outcome.

Background

Think of this section like setting the scene. You don’t want to spend too much time here but your reader should learn what has brought your client to this point in his or her business.

Alternatives

I know this might seem like overkill but you want to list ideas you or your clients entertained/tried in order to build your narrative arc.

Overview what alternative solutions you considered and explain why they wouldn’t/couldn’t work or were not possible.

Proposed solution

This is your moment! Highlight your one and only amazing solution to your client’s problem or issue.

Make sure it’s relevant, specific and realistic, explain why you chose it and support your solution with evidence.

Your evidence can contain research, anecdotes or both.

case study elements

Case study recommendations

Here you’ll overview the steps you took to accomplish your proposed solution. This should be specific, strategic and relevant (are you sensing a theme?).

When writing a case study make sure you tell it from beginning to end, following this outline as much as possible.

Use as much data as you need to frame your point but keep your reading in mind—too much data = dry and boring. Don’t be dry and boring.

A case study doesn’t have to feel like a case study—your reader doesn’t even have to realize they’re reading one.

If you share a client’s success story from start to finish in a compelling way and help potential clients decide to do business with you, then your case study has done its job.

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The question of how to write a case study is a great one. But maybe you're wondering what a case study is and why you should care about it. I get that.

Want this case study training as a PDF? Download the ebook in my resource library.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

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The question of how to write a case study is a great one. But maybe you're wondering what a case study is and why you should care about it. I get that.
The question of how to write a case study is a great one. But maybe you're wondering what a case study is and why you should care about it. I get that.