In many people’s minds, marketing is synonymous with advertising and sales. Contemporary marketing, however, has more to do with building relationships, especially for writers.
Relationships drive a writer’s business. Writers need relationships with fellow writers to master their craft. Writers need relationships with service providers, such as editors, agents, and graphic artists, to produce and sell their work. Writers need relationships with publication personnel, like editors and publishers. And writers need relationships with readers.
Building each of these relationships will have a marketing component. Everyone a writer works with to develop, improve, produce, and distribute their work will either help the writer market their work and/or be the target of an effective marketing strategy.
The primary difference between relationship building and advertising or sales is the importance of mutual benefit. When you are building a relationship with readers, for example, your message can’t be all about you. You need to offer readers something that will satisfy their needs, whether that’s information, entertainment, or both. When you are building a relationship with editors who might publish your work, your message can’t be all about you. You need to offer them a relationship that meets their need for quality writing and reliable writers.
When writers shift their focus from advertising and sales to building relationships, they often find themselves on much more comfortable (and profitable) ground. So, take a moment to consider what you can do to build a relationship you’ll need for your success today.