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Three Marketing Tips for Writers

De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde

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A freelance writer wears many hats. There’s the writer hat, the accountant hat, the editor hat, and then there’s the marketing hat.

I can hear you now: Marketing hat?  But I don’t want to work in advertising…

Even if you never plan to work for an ad agency, you can benefit from learning a few copywriting tricks. Sales and marketing make up a large chunk of freelancing writing. You need to pitch pet projects, woo new editors, sell yourself and your work. In marketing, it’s all about spin. These three tips can help you think like a copywriter.

1. Ditch self-centered talk.

Remember this catch-phrase: “It’s not about me, it’s about you.”

Seriously. It’s that simple. The most important thing to remember is it’s all about the client.  Look for instances where you have used “I” statements and rephrase them into “you” statements.

For example, change:

I’ll write a piece showing the most up to date method for making widgets.

to:

You’ll get an article describing the most up to date method for making widgets.

2. Answer the question, “So what?”

Why should the client or editor buy your work? Trust me, they are asking the question and so should you. What will they gain? The more benefits you can promote, the more likely the sale.

If you start with:

You’ll get an article describing the most up to date method for making widgets.

add a benefit:

Once your readers know how, they’ll save money by making their own widgets rather than purchasing them.

3. Ask, “Why me?”

Why are you the person for the job? This is the place in your pitch where it’s okay to be self-centered. Sell your talent and expertise. Let the client know what makes you a better candidate than anyone else.

My ten years of widget experience mean you get sure-fire information

Next time you sit down to write a query, put on your marketing hat and think like a copywriter to sell your ideas.

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