Are you wondering how to overcome your fear of marketing? Or perhaps you’re wondering if you need to market since you have such a strong aversion to it? Here’s the truth: if you want to make money from your writing, you do need to embrace marketing.
Building relationships and telling stories
The good news is, marketing isn’t as scary as you think it is. Serious! I know we get all spinny about the concept of pitching ourselves but at its core, marketing is building relationships and telling stories. Good marketing is crafting those stories for a specific person, a person who wants exactly what you’re offering.
Afraid of Marketing? Fearful of promoting yourself? The best way I know how to overcome the fear of marketing yourself is to focus on helping people and to weave in stories.
Your marketing efforts are most effective when you have a consistent strategy targeted at your ideal clients, readers or customers. When these are aligned you won’t feel like you’re marketing, just connecting with likeminded souls.
Three tips for overcoming your fear of marketing
There are many reasons people feel afraid of promoting themselves or their freelance business and some of them are justified. Will you be rejected? Very probably. It’s part of the game. Will people criticise you? Yeah, they will. Will you fail? Maybe, yes. These things all could and probably will happen. But you don’t have to let it hold you back.
Tip 1: In order to be an effective marketer you need to identify your fears and move past imposter syndrome. Much of our fear is rooted in our mindset and worst-case scenarios. To thrive as a freelance writer (or any kind of freelancer, entrepreneur or small business owner), it’s important to accept our strengths and weaknesses, understand who we serve and what we bring to the table and push forward with confidence—even if we don’t have all the answers.
Tip 2: Worried you’ll be seen as a spammer? Then don’t be a spammer. Be genuine, offer real value, build relationships and be a human. If you’re only connecting with people in order to ask for or get something from them then you’re doing it wrong. The key here? Make real connections but don’t avoid promoting yourself when the timing is right. Find a tactful way to weave it into your interactions.
Bonus: Here are three marketing ideas for writers who hate marketing
My final tip for overcoming your fear of marketing
Tip 3: Focus on the benefits working with you brings to your clients. Take a little time to figure out why your ideal customers or clients would want to do business with you. What do you bring to the table? If you can get clear on this, you’ll have a much easier time prospecting and reaching out to clients. Articulate the problem you’re ideal clients have, how you can help them and what the benefits of working with you are.
And remember, you don’t need to know everything about your topic or be the world’s leading expert in your niche. You just need to be a couple steps ahead of your clients.
An example from my life
Most of my professional marketing experience comes from the non-profit world where I hear a lot about how people are afraid to ask for money. In a lot of ways fundraising parallels marketing and even sales. Reaching out and asking for something from someone who might say no (or, worse yet, will be offended at your asking!) is scary.
But here’s the thing, when you have a wonderful service or product or cause you have a duty to let people know about it. If it will benefit them in any way, they have a right to know. Sure, they may turn down your request, that’s their decision to make. Your job as the marketer (or fundraiser, or sales person) is to let them know about it. That’s all.
If you can’t stand behind the product, service or organization you’re pitching then this is a different problem, one I’m not dealing with today. But if you do believe in what you’re selling then it’s time to move past your fear of marketing and jump ahead in your business.
Need a bit more? Rachel wrote a great article on this topic I think you’ll love.
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.