Savvy Speaks: How Do You Market YOURSELF?

Savvy Speaks: How Do You Market YOURSELF?
Savvy Sisters - Wed Jan 18, 2012 @ 02:25AM
Comments: 23

We've all heard the old saying, "the cobblers children have no shoes." As busy freelance writers and marketers it's easy to let your self-marketing slide. This week the Savvy Sisters share their tips and tricks for staying on track with marketing your freelance services.


Focus on the Work

I don't spend much time marketing these, days, but that's because I busted my you-know-what the first two or three years I was out on my own. To this day I still get most of my work from clients I earned during those early years, and I keep getting new clients as referrals from those happy clients as well.

The secret to a well-oiled referral machine is to concentrate on the work - make it good, make sure it's on time, and work hard to make life easier for your clients. Then when they come across a colleague who needs a writer, they will feel very comfortable recommending you.



Sharpen the Saw

I am a natural networker.  A social butterfly if you will.  I initially resisted Twitter because I can say very little in 140 characters and the medium seemed to contraining to me!  So my favorite way to market myself has always been face to face.  I realize in this global digital age this isn't always possible but I do try to use technology like Twitter, TripIt, etc to maximize the face to face I get to have when I am traveling around for other work.

I love conferences like DemandCon, ThinkBig Kansas City, Freelance Exchange Showcase, Content World, etc as excuses to get out of my office, sharpen my saw by learning from the leading industry gurus and at the same time meeting my Twitter and blogging friends.

Twitter is great for creating name awareness but face to face has gotten me more business every time! 


Add it to the Schedule

I dedicate time each week to writing blog posts and other materials (such as eBooks and special reports), engaging via Twitter and LinkedIn, and/or meeting with clients and other marketing professionals. While I may have to focus on one or the other each week, by putting these items on the schedule, I'm much more likely to follow through.


Make it Fun

I don't do a lot of heavy promotion around my B2B business because - happily - I have a number of wonderful and very satisfied clients who keep coming back for more and referring me to their colleagues. In addition to doing the best job I can for each and every client, I try to make the whole experience as fun as possible - personable and easy and even a little entertaining. 

As for the marketing activities I do pursue - I make sure that they are things I enjoy, primarily writing and social media, seasoned with a variety of special events (like hosting webinars or virtual courses) to keep things interesting. The truth is, most of the marketing I do feels like play ... and that's the way I like it. 


Always be ready


When you are your own business self-marketing is a non-stop activity. I carry business cards with me all the time. One is for my e-copy writing business and one is for my chicken and article writing. Different audiences require different methods of reaching me. Although I don't always talk about my businesses, if the opportunity presents itself, I'm not going to miss it.


You need to work it baby, everyday. The trick, though, is to not be the slick salesman and to not sound like it's constantly “all about you.”


Because my e-copy partner and I are also journalists, we don't actively market the e-writing business. We keep a low profile and get most of our customers by word of mouth. This leaves us enough time to do our other writing.


As a journalist and writer, who is trying to land a book deal, I want as large as audience as I can get. This means creating stories and sometimes (not always) creating controversy. I wrote a post recently about bullying which got quite a few people talking. My very different approach on the subject got noticed for being well, very different.


In a nutshell:

  • Be prepared with contact information at all times (this also means always having a pen handy)
  • Have your elevator speech down to an art.
  • Find stories or create (positive) controversy to generate discussion and passion toward you and your business and then get those stories out.
  • Be eternally positive in all you do and say. People gravitate toward the sunshine and while no one should be “fake smiley” neither should anyone wallow in doom.
  • Do the best job you can so that when people need your services, someone out there will say, “Oh, hey, I know someone who could help you.”



How do you market yourself?

How do you motivate yourself to keep marketing even when you're busy?

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