All I ever wanted to be was a freelance writer. My high school yearbook lists my future career as a freelance writer of fiction and nonfiction. However, fate turned my path in a slightly different, albeit related, direction. I was working as an administrative assistant for a company and the marketing manager to whom I reported abruptly quit. The CEO asked if I could take over her role and I said yes, and that was how I launched my marketing career. Eventually, I returned to school and obtained the formal credentials, my M.S. in Direct and Interactive Marketing, but that was the start of my marketing career.
I had a slight advantage when I started working as a writer in that I had studied how to sell my writing, and selling is related to marketing. I understood that I needed to learn more about my audience, for example, and only pitch magazines on article topics their readers would love – in other words, matching my product to the audience.
However, far too many writers lack the fundamentals of marketing, and this keeps them from having the thriving career they deserve. Below are 10 good reasons why you as a freelance writer should learn more about marketing. Can you add any to the list?
10 Great Reasons Why Freelance Writers & Editors Should Learn Basic Marketing Skills
Freelance writers can benefit significantly from understanding marketing basics for several reasons:
1. Attracting Clients: Knowing marketing basics helps freelance writers promote their services effectively. By understanding target audiences, creating compelling messaging, and using the right channels, writers can attract potential clients who are interested in their skills and expertise.
2. Building a Personal Brand: Marketing knowledge allows freelance writers to build and promote their personal brand. This includes creating a unique identity, establishing a strong online presence, and showcasing their skills and achievements. A well-defined brand can set writers apart in a competitive market.
3. Effective Communication: Understanding how to craft persuasive messages, use storytelling techniques, and engage with potential clients helps writers communicate their value proposition and convince clients to choose their services. You are already a skilled wordsmith; now take it to the next level with marketing knowledge!
4. Client Relationship Management: Marketing is not just about attracting clients but also about maintaining long-term relationships. Freelance writers who understand marketing can provide excellent customer service, stay top-of-mind with clients, and encourage repeat business or referrals.
5. Setting and Communicating Prices: Marketing knowledge helps freelance writers determine fair pricing for their services. By understanding market demand, competitive rates, and the perceived value of their work, writers can set prices that reflect their expertise and attract clients willing to pay for quality.
6. Adapting to Market Trends: The freelance writing market is dynamic, with trends and preferences constantly evolving. (ChatGPT and AI, anyone?) Understanding marketing basics enable writers to stay informed about industry trends, adjust their services accordingly, and position themselves as experts in emerging areas.
7. Utilizing Online Platforms:Many freelance writers find clients through online platforms and social media. Understanding digital marketing basics can help writers optimize their profiles, leverage social media for self-promotion, and navigate online platforms to connect with potential clients.
8. Portfolio Development: Marketing skills are essential for creating an effective portfolio. Writers need to showcase their best work, highlight their expertise, and present their skills in a way that resonates with potential clients. A well-constructed portfolio can be a powerful marketing tool.
9. Self-Promotion: Freelance writers often need to promote themselves, especially when starting their careers. Marketing knowledge allows writers to create compelling marketing materials, such as a professional website, business cards, and social media profiles, to promote their services effectively.
10. Business Sustainability: Ultimately, freelance writing is not just about writing—it’s also about running a business. Marketing knowledge contributes to the sustainability of a freelance writing business by helping writers find and retain clients, adapt to market changes, and thrive in a competitive landscape.
Marketing a writing business requires the same skills needed to market any small business. Mastering the basics of marketing will help you build a thriving, sustainable freelance practice.