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Freelance Writers, Don’t Shirk Self-Promotion!

Many freelance writers hate self-promotion.

It’s too much like “tooting your own horn.”

Yet, in today’s competitive world, prospective clients can’t hire you if they don’t even know you exist.

So a little (or a LOT) of self-promotion is in order if you want to create a successful business as a freelance writer.

Here are some relatively painless ways to promote yourself and your writing:

1. Create your own blog and develop a readership. But don’t use your blog to tell readers what you ate for breakfast, or how your kids are driving you nuts and you can’t get any writing done. Develop a purpose for your blog. Some way to serve your readers. For example, your blog’s purpose might be to provide other freelance writers with tips and information to help them become more successful.

2. Join listservs for other writers and business professionals. This is networking, and networking is a great way to promote yourself and your writing services. As other busy professionals come to know and trust you, they’ll tell other people about your work.

3. Write a press release. If you’ve just started your writing business, a press release is a great way to announce it. But you can come up with a press release about some aspect of your business at any time. Submit the release either online through one or more of the many services that distribute press releases, or send it out to publications yourself.

4. Write and submit articles to online article directories. Did you know that article directories are one of the most effective FREE ways to promote your business? And it’s easy to write short articles like this one. Try it.

5. Improve your “social networking” skills. Set up a page at sites like Myspace.com or Ning.com or join MyBloglog.com – and use these sites to promote your writing and writing services. For ideas, just look at how other successful writers use these kinds of sites to promote themselves and their writing.

6. Create a brochure. A short brochure that lists and describes your various writing services is a great tool for self-promotion. Send it out, along with a cover letter, to businesses in your area that might need your services.

7. Make sure you have a business card. And take your business cards with you wherever you go. Put your business card up at bulletin boards in bookstores, libraries, and even coffeeshops. You never know who will see it and give you a call.

8. Create a free teleseminar and invite people to attend. Pick some aspect of your business and create a teleseminar where you provide people with helpful information free of charge. Sign up for other free teleseminars and you’ll probably get some ideas for a teleseminar of your own.

9. Create an opt-in box at your site(s). A mailing list is a super way to continually promote your business to people who WANT this information. To build your list, when people opt-in, offer them something free (like an e-book or a short report) just for signing up for your mailing list.

10. Stay in contact with your list on a regular basis. Create a way to stay in regular contact with your readers and those on your mailing list. Many writers tend to start with a newsletter. But newsletters usually require a lot of time and work. Instead of starting with a full-fledged newsletter, why not offer your readers daily writing tips, or a quote of the day? This will be easier to keep up with, yet your readers will enjoy it.

11. Develop a press kit. Your press kit should include:

* An author bio with a photo.

* Your publishing credits and author affiliations. Lists of awards you’ve won.

* Book reviews and comments from your readers.

* Workshops you have presented, with feedback from participants.

* If possible, the front cover of your book(s).

* Publicity materials – such as bookmarks, postcards, etc.

* Your Business card.
12. Develop your “elevator spiel.” This is just two or three sentences that let your listener know exactly what you do and how you can help the person you are talking to. Practice this spiel until you’ve got it down. My spiel is simply this, I’m the Working Writer’s Coach. I help people who like to write become “working” freelance writers.

Start promoting yourself on a regular basis and it will get easier to do. Soon, you’ll find that self-promotion is a natural part of growing your business.

if you’re a freelance writer or small business owner looking for more ways to promote yourself and your business, visit The Working Writer’s Coach at http://www.workingwriterscoach.com and sign up for The Morning Nudge, a free daily email with tips to help you make the most of your career. Also visit The Lieurance Group at http://www.lieurancegroup.com for other great articles to help you with your writing or other small business.

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