Invest in Yourself

Marketing is a skill.  It’s not a talent.  It’s not a gift.  It’s a skill.  That means you can learn how to market yourself by developing your marketing skills.

Marketing is also an essential component to any long-term writing career.  If you want to write for a living, and actually earn a living, then you need to market yourself effectively.  This requires the application of knowledge and skill, which requires the acquisition of knowledge and the development of skill.

In other words, you can learn it, you can practice it, and you can do it!

There are a lot of ways to acquire marketing knowledge and develop marketing skills.

  1. Go to college.
  2. Get a job as a marketer.
  3. Pay for a course in marketing without getting a degree.
  4. Freelance as a marketer.

Or, you could study independently by reading blogs just like this, taking books out of the library, and paying attention to what others do.  Then, practice it yourself.  Then, do it for yourself.

See, marketing is active.  You get that, right?  Do I need more italics to prove it!?!

Okay, so what skills do you need?  Good question!  Well, what skills do you have?

Presumably, if you’re here reading this, then you can write.  Good!  Writing is an important marketing skill.  So is thinking.  In order to write, you need to be able to think.  If you can write well, then you can obviously think well, too.  And that’s even better!

The skills you need can be categorized in a variety of ways.  What it all comes down to is this:

  1. You need to understand what other people (your readers, for example) want.
  2. You need to produce something (your book, presumably) they will want.
  3. You need to communicate your offering to them.  (There are a LOT of ways to do that!)
  4. You need to provide them with an incentive to spend their time and money on you.  (There are a LOT of ways to do that, too!)

Believe it or not, these are all skills.  You CAN learn them.  If you invest in developing these skills in yourself, and then apply them, you’ll reward yourself with a fruitful writing career.

Just remember, having a skill is never enough.  You have to apply it in order for it to actually do you some good.

About Stephanie Allen Crist

Stephanie created and produces in answer to a call from God to use her experiences and gifts to help others. Stephanie is also the author of and two books that can be found on that site. Stephanie strives to share her love, faith, and talents in an inclusive manner to help others who know spiritual pain and who know the bitter taste of the dregs of despair.
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10 Responses to Invest in Yourself

  1. acflory says:

    -grin- You left out the part about Hutzpah [sp?].

    • Variety of spellings–it’s not an English word nor does the word originate with an English alphabet.

      Meaning: effrontery, impudence, gall; audacity, nerve

      Hutzpah is NOT a skill, nor is it necessary for marketing, though it’s advisable if you want to go into sales.

      Self-confidence and a sense of self-worth or the worth of your work is a requirement of self-marketing. But, in my experience, nobody can teach you that. At least, it’s not something anyone has ever been able to teach me. If it were, I’d be a public speaker by now.

      For me, my confidence as a writer and my sense of the worth of my writing is the accumulation of many years of development (i.e. moving from apprentice to journeyman) and the accumulation of considerable genuine praise over that time period. (I scoff off flattery with ease.) The ability to write well is an earned skill, of course. The support of others is a gift given and received.

      You, my dear, need to work on the receiving end of things. There are quite a few people telling you your work has value. I am one of them, and I’ve read the comments of many others. All you have to do is let yourself believe it. That’ll be a whole lot better than hutzpah, because (at least in my opinion) hutzpah comes across as artifice, and a sense of self-worth is the real deal.

      • acflory says:

        Ouch. 😀 I think I’ve just been told, but good. :p

        Okay, joking aside, I find praise hard to know how to deal with.Definitely my early Catholic upbringing. -sigh- So yeah, when I know people like /me/ I can’t help wondering if their is a degree of affectionate bias there?

      • I totally understand having a hard time dealing with praise. I really, really do. I paid for a whole lot of schooling to get “unbiased” feedback. Just to be sure.

        Affectionate bias? Really?

        Take a step back from your self-doubts for a moment, please.

        You want people to like you! That’s what makes the difference between a fan of your work and a fan of a single book.

        If your work wasn’t up to par yet, then all those people who like you–but are also writers and readers–would very kindly let you know that you’re getting there, but you’re not quite there yet.

        Believe me my dear friend, you’ve earned our praise!

        And yes. *ouch* This is one place you are not allowed to talk yourself out of your ability to succeed, no matter how much you try. 😉

      • acflory says:

        -grin- Now you see that kind of backhanded praise I can take!

        Not changing the subject but I once read about some psych research that showed a fundamental difference between men and women.

        When a woman succeeds it’s good luck. When she fails, it’s her fault.

        When a man succeeds it’s his own doing. When he fails it’s bad luck.

        I admit I read that at last 20 years ago and self appraisal may have changed in the meantime, but for my generation the model still holds true.

        Way back in school we were taught that modesty is a virtue and skiting/bragging is an unseemly flaw. The logical extension of that is that being praised almost has to become an uncomfortable event. On the one hand we all yearn for praise and admiration, but when we get it we feel guilty, as if simply enjoying the praise is somehow being ‘immodest’.

        Add to that early childhood upbringing the Australian mindset about ‘tall poppies’ and someone like me would rather eavesdrop on praise than face it directly.

        Not making excuses for myself, just explaining. I suspect you must have gone through something of the same process.

        Anyway, time for my 2nd coffee of the day. 🙂

      • I really do understand, though for less ingrained reasons, or perhaps just differently ingrained.

        I value modesty, meekness, and humility. At the same time, there’s something arrogant, in my opinion, when you duck other people’s praise.

        Not that I’m saying that of you, but in general. Too much modesty can be its own form of arrogance–holier than thou and all that.

        When it comes to psychology, I’m of the opinion that we’re all at least a little bit screwwed in the head–it’s part of what makes us human. 😉

      • acflory says:

        lol – trust the nurture part of the equation to screw us up!

      • Nature, nurture. They both do a pretty good job keeping things interesting.

      • acflory says:

        Yup. If your genes don’t get you your family will. 😉

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