Every Writer Who Wants Readers Should Do This

What’s the goal of every writer once she hits publish?

To get readers, right?

If you’re sharing because you can, that’s a good start. It’s scary to put your work before people who can criticize you.

Getting no reaction may scare you more.

Anyone can publish in this always-connected world. We have freedom to speak our minds, and that’s good.

That freedom doesn’t come with a guarantee that people will listen or care.

How can you move the odds in your favor? How can you get people to read, pay attention, and buy your ideas?

Money
Photo Credit: Barta IV Flickr via Compfight cc

Think like a marketer.

Does this mean you need to get an MBA? Do you need to study all the latest marketing techniques? Should you subscribe to the Wall Street Journal?

You can if you want to.

But you don’t have to.

Here are three simple ideas to start with. These will be enough to get you thinking like a marketer.

The freedom to share doesn't guarantee people will listen or care. Click To Tweet

Have One Idea and Sell it

What comes to mind when you hear the word “sell”?

Do you feel a little dirty?

Do you feel like selling has nothing to do with art?

Do you picture someone bubbling with enthusiasm as she shows you a brand new car?

If you think selling is gross, you condemn yourself to starve.

If you want to make your living as a writer, you’ve got to sell.

Want to know a secret? You’re always selling.

Yeah.

Maybe you’re selling a boring brand. Maybe you’re selling your ability. Or maybe you’re selling desperation.

It doesn’t matter if you’re intentional. You’re always selling.

Here’s proof. When you go to buy a car, both you and the salesperson make a pitch.

The salesperson paints a picture of a happy future with you behind the wheel. All your friends are jealous. They wish they could be like you, but they can’t. Won’t it feel good to see their faces when you drive up in this beauty?

Your pitch is, “I can’t afford this. I don’t need a car. I’m just window shopping.”

Whoever gets the “yes” in the end wins.

What do you sell when you write?

If you hate selling, you'll never succeed as a writer. Click To Tweet

Have a Single Call to Action

Since you’re already selling anyway, why not be intentional about it?

Do you want the reader:

  • to buy your product?
  • to subscribe to your email list?
  • to agree with your point?

Decide beforehand or you’ll ramble.

Apple is great at this. They don’t have a dozen different laptops. They have one for each type of customer – personal or business. The choices multiply when you add features. But the main thing they want you to buy is the MacBook, the iPad, or the iMac.

If I go to Amazon, I might save money. But I have to sift through 8,000 computers to find the one that fits.

Give people one option. Your writing will be stronger. You’ll make your case better. And your reader is more likely to say yes.

Know What Happens After the Call

One sale is not enough.

If you want to grow a business, you’ve got to think ahead. You’ve got to have something at the next level for your new customer to buy. You want a relationship, not a one-night stand.

When you have relationships with your readers, you build a tribe.

A tribe is a group who care about the same things. The leader points out an injustice or something broken in the system. He creates space for conversation. He shares and listens to ideas. He offers solutions to ease people’s pain.

In a tribe, you transform others and they transform you.

Give them the best and they’ll be loyal forever. Betray them, and they’ll call you out.

Guard this relationship like gold.

It’s that important.

Sell a relationship. Don't limit yourself to a single sale. Click To Tweet

Do This Now

You now have three strategies that will make you more intentional.

How will you use them?

Will you:

  • Build your email list?
  • Get more followers on social media?
  • Sell more of your books?

If you want to grow your business, think like a marketer.


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3 Comments

  1. I’ve been exposed. I believe I do have something to offer. And when I meet someone I seem to be able to show that, but I think I write people’s scripts and just assume it will be no, and then I act accordingly sometimes, if that makes any sense. Face to face, that’s different.

    • I’ve assumed someone will say “no” before I ask, too. My past was filled with doubt, feeling I didn’t matter, and working hard to protect myself from potential pain.

      Now I’m getting more daring. Recently Jeff Goins contacted me for an interview. I figure if he would say yes (and do it first), then others may say yes if I go first. We can only know if we make the effort.

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