I’ve always been stubborn.
So, it wasn’t out-of-character for me to stand my ground when everyone I knew was quite skeptical about my career ambitions.
“How are you going to be a writer?”
“What have you written?”
“Who is going to listen to you?”
I’ve heard it all, and I really didn’t care in the beginning.
But a couple of years after pronouncing myself a “freelance writer and editor,” things started to get a bit scary.
I wasn’t getting the long-term work and challenging projects that I hoped would grow my business.
Every time I ran into a former colleague who had given up on writing and currently had a completely different job, it got a little scarier.
“Writing? I don’t do that anymore. Not for work. You don’t make a living writing.”
Maybe everyone else was right. Maybe I was ridiculous to think I could become a full-time writer and editor.
Your writing skills alone don’t build a business
One day, I was sitting in my car while stuck in traffic.
I looked up at a giant billboard that sat above the crowded intersection and noticed the ad was for McDonald’s.
If a company as large as McDonald’s still needs to promote their offers, why did I think I could get away without proactively marketing my services?
In that moment, I realized there was so much more that I needed to do to sell myself as a freelance writer and editor.
Truth be told, I was a much better marketer for other people’s products and services.
When it came to describing my own strengths and winning difference, my marketing was weak. I sounded pretty much like everyone else.
But the last thing I wanted was to sound sleazy or overly confident. To me, cockiness felt empty, so I thought my value would “speak for itself” in the content I produced.
However, the great work opportunities I wanted weren’t just falling into my lap. Something had to change.
I had to start consistently demonstrating that I was the perfect match for the creative projects I wanted — in a variety of ways where I was still true to myself.
Advanced strategies that land game-changing clients
For today, I just want you to think about how long it takes to get to know someone.
When you meet a new person, they usually only reveal a few pieces of background information at first. That’s natural.
From their perspective, they might feel that they’ve given you a good sense of who they are — but for a while, they’re essentially a stranger, an acquaintance at most.
It takes time to discover:
- They run marathons to raise money for clean water around the world.
- They spend Saturday mornings helping abandoned kittens find homes.
- They meditate regularly to stay centered, so they can be more thoughtful in their relationships and interactions with others.
If they’re remotely humble, all of those details aren’t going to come out of their mouth right away.
You’re not going to immediately know that they are the type of person you’d like to get to know better (if you’re into Runner-Kitten-Helping-Meditator Types).
Similarly, after reading a few pieces of your content and a couple of visits to your About Page, a prospective client still isn’t going to feel like they know you and want to hire you.
It takes time.
Your website is a vital part of your content marketing plan, but successful service providers also incorporate additional strategies to get game-changing clients.
McDonald’s had the right idea
So, stay tuned to the blog as we cover this topic more to help you shift into the type of writer who knows how to sell naturally and effectively — whether you need to sell the services you offer or the products you’ve built.
By the way, McDonald’s had the right idea … I’m a writer, and I didn’t even have to pay for a giant billboard.