A common refrain I hear from writers, in almost every stage of their career, is they hate marketing. It feels forced, sordid, overwhelming, and yet, unavoidable. In other words, a necessary evil for promoting their work and growing their careers.
Ironically though, writers already possess skills that make them excellent marketers. Including a passion for words, attention to user experience, and a proficiency for research.
Over the last year, I’ve had the privilege of writing a regular series called Marketing Basics for Writers forThe Florida Writer magazine. On this page, I’ve distilled the main points from each article and included helpful downloads and supplementary information.
Even if you haven’t read the Marketing Basics series, the information below can help you promote your work, build your brand, and advance your writing career.
My marketing formula for writers
Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting your first draft, here’s my formula for developing a solid marketing foundation that will support and promote your work.
- Build a website
- Send people to your website with lead generation strategies
- Retain and engage the people on your website with a lead nurture system (this transforms them into an audience)
- Entertain, educate, and develop a relationship with your audience by sharing compelling content
- Build a community by developing deeper relationships with your audience and personal network
- Create loyal supporters and ambassadors by delighting your community with great content and experiences after a purchase
This formula is meant to be sequential (i.e., start with #1 and then move to #2) and you can skip ahead if you’ve already completed one of these steps.
Ready to get started? Check out the resources below. Or if you’d like some help, contact me to learn more about my marketing consulting services for writers.
Step 1: Websites
Your website is your central place for all marketing efforts.
This is how readers will find you and the place they’ll visit for updates. It is key to your marketing success.
Step 2: Lead generation
Lead generation is the process of attracting potential customers to your business and nurturing their interest until they’re ready to purchase.
Step 3: Lead nurture
Lead nurturing is the process of developing a relationship with your audience, prospects, and leads so that over time, they become passionate fans and supporters of your work.
Step 4: Content
Content marketing is publishing visual or auditory materials, designed to attract, engage, and retain your audience.
Think of your content as the workhorse of your marketing efforts. Without content, you’ll have a difficult (if not impossible) time building awareness for your work and connecting with your audience.
- Owned vs. Earned vs. Paid content explainer (coming soon!)
- My favorite content marketing book is Everybody Writes by Ann Handley
Step 5: Community
In the context of marketing, community typically refers to a segment of customers that are repeat buyers or frequently engage with the brand.
For writers, we can go even broader and define community as a core group of people who support and promote your work–regardless if they are readers, fellow writers, industry professionals, family, or friends.
- How to ask your community for support without feeling awkward (coming soon!)
- Sample emails to request support from your community (coming soon!). Including:
- Joining your email newsletter
- Pre-ordering your book
- Leaving a review
Step 6: Delight
Transform your subscribers into passionate and loyal supporters by delighting them with excellent communication and service.