Clearly I’ve lost my marbles, right? I mean, as a freelance writer articles are what you write – in one form or another. It might be a blog post or a white paper or an annual report, but it all boils down to writing articles. At least it tends to feel that way. You could even argue that eBooks are simply many articles on a single topic strung together to create a book, right?
So why in the world would I tell you to stop selling articles?
Don’t worry. I’m not suggesting that you not write articles. But I am suggesting that you change the way you market them.
Marketing is Not About Selling
Marketing is a psychological art form. It’s all about selling whatever you create, and in order to do that it is necessary to convince other people that they need what you create. Right? Not exactly.
The number one mistake people make when they go out to sell their writing is that they think they need to sell the literal product – the article, the white paper, whatever it is. But that’s not true. What you’re really selling is a solution, a form of marketing, and a way to increase the business of the companies you’re selling to. The content you write is just the vehicle to get them there.
In 2015 I intend to completely revamp my content. (You’ll see a lot of the older articles here about writing for content mills disappear, so if for some reason you still want them, save them now.) The articles I’m deleting from this blog are no longer a part of what I believe in when it comes to freelancing. I don’t think they serve my readers, because I know now that there’s a better way. They served their purpose at the time, and they were the best information I had when I wrote them.
However, my goal with this content platform is to help freelance writers and authors reach the highest level of success they can by sharing my journey and what I’ve learned. I’ve subsequently learned that those forms of writing aren’t true freelancing. They undermine the success you could have (with the slight exception of Constant Content), and I no longer wish to provide that kind of information.
When you sell your work, you’re selling what you believe in: the ability to grow your clients’ businesses with content marketing. It’s not so much the article you believe in, it’s what the article can do for them, and that’s what you need to be marketing.
Is marketing about selling? I don’t think so. Selling is what happens when marketing is done correctly, but I think that marketing is about solving and helping. You’re solving a problem (poor marketing, lack of ROI when it comes to current marketing tactics, tanking business, etc.) and you’re helping your clients get where they need to be and want to be.
You’re an Expert, Not a Writer
Sure you’re a freelance writer. But what you really are is an expert. You’re an expert in crafting content that helps catapult businesses from Point A to Point Whatever. Wherever they want to be, you can get them there if you know how to effectively create content. Start marketing yourself that way, and you’ll see more interest come in.
Solutions Plus Expert Equals Money
Yup! Put the two together and you’ve got an increased income. If you’re saying “Hi, I’m a freelance writer and wanted to know if you need any articles,” stop it. Instead, try “I’m a content marketing expert and wanted to know if you have any current or ongoing content needs.” Isn’t that better? You’re selling yourself as an expert who’s providing a solution and a valuable service, not just some person who writes and wants to write stuff for a company.
Have you ever re-framed your marketing strategy and watched it increase your income? Have you tried this shift in perspective? Let us know the results below!