I listen to Joel Osteen, who’s the pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. Normally, I wouldn’t bring up anything related to religion or spirituality on this website but Joel’s #483 Living with Confidence sermon strong a chord with me. His message was, “Sometimes we ‘celebrate’ others more than we do ourselves. We have no problem promoting others but we can’t promote ourselves. We do more for others than we do ourselves.” He mentioned that it’s all right to celebrate others but when you celebrate them more than yourself, you’re not living with confidence. This got me thinking about freelance writers and how much they market and promote themselves. Most of them don’t do enough marketing or promoting. They feel more comfortable ‘tooting’ another writer’s horn than their own. This won’t do your freelance writing business any good.
With the explosion of social media, people can connect with others all over the world. Social media websites such as Facebook allow you to create fan pages. How many times do you receive a request to ‘like’ a fan page? If you’re like me, you receive a lot of requests, but no one bothers to say, “Hey if I can help you, please let me know.” The next time you receive a request to ‘like’ a fan page, ask yourself a few questions:
- How is this compatible with what I do?
- How can this person and I help each other?
- Does this interest me?
- What value will I be receiving for ‘liking’ a fan page?
Be discerning and discriminating. You don’t have to ‘like’ every page request you receive. It’s okay to ‘ignore’ a fan page request. Not everyone is within a business’s target market.
LinkedIn is another social website that people flock to on a daily basis. Freelance writers can join groups on LinkedIn — choose groups with care. You’d be surprised at the level of professionalism of some people. Test groups out and see if they’re right for you. If you notice people being rude to one another, leave the group. You don’t want to be surrounded by people who act like they’re five-years-old; they’re trapped in the bodies of people who are 30+ in age. Be selective and surround yourself with professionals.
Freelance writers, if you don’t market and promote you and your work, no one else will do it for you. It’s considerate of you to help your fellow writers out but make sure you help yourself. This may be difficult for some of you to do because your nature is to give and give. Remember what happens when you give too much — you deplete yourself and then you don’t have anything left to give. This isn’t healthy.
Freelance writers, you can exchange links with others, like fan pages, be a guest blogger, and write reviews. Make sure the people you connect with are willing to reciprocate — what you do for them, they’ll do for you. You don’t want a ‘one-sided’ business relationship.
It’s good to support your fellow writers but make sure you support you! Be discerning and discriminating about who you connect with because you never know what another person’s motives are. There’s nothing wrong with helping each other out but make sure you’re not the one always doing the helping. If you are, you may want to open up your own marketing and PR firm and start charging a fee. This may not be a bad idea — you can tie your freelance writing into it.
Freelance writers live with confidence and increase your marketing and promotion. Social media is one tool out of many to use. You can attend networking meetings, teach classes and workshops at your local bookstore, teach at your local recreation center, or send out direct mailers to promote your writing services. Have confidence in yourself and others will have confidence in you. Good luck!
How good of a job do you do promoting you and your work? Do you promote others more than you do yourself? Share.