You may not know it but if you’re a writer, you’re an entrepreneur. Whether you publish traditionally or self-publish you’re a business owner, and every business-owning entrepreneur needs to create and promote their brand along with knowing their market. Here are the essentials of marketing every writer should know with actionable items you can implement now.
Key Elements of a Marketing Plan:
Do a SWOT Analysis – know your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Apply this to your personal situation, as a writer and a going business concern. Identify your market, including competition and prospective customers. Understanding your voice as a writer is critical. Don’t be tempted to chase trends. If it’s hot, it’s probably past.
Create a Strategic Vision Statement – from big picture, long term to tactical, short term objectives. Dream big then implement with precision. Knowing why you do what you do will serve you better than knowing every how. The how can be learned. Only you know your why.
Design SMART Goals – your forecasts and objectives need to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable (with effort), Relevant and Timely (with deadlines). It’s imperative you be able to qualify and quantify your goals. Intangible goals are unattainable.
Make a Budget – recognize costs associated with your business. Knowing your numbers sets you apart from a scrambling entrepreneur wanna-be. Your revenue and expense records can be simple but identify and understand your cost components – software subscriptions, hardware upgrades, courses, research material, travelling to and from reading events and writing groups, and the promotional pieces you finance, with or without a publisher.
These elements are a primer, the essentials required to ensure you as a writer are a thriving business entity. Even if you have a publishing and distribution team, understanding what you need to do and how to do it will only improve your writing career. Your success is up to you.
A version of Bill’s Marketing for Writers appears in WordWorks Magazine.