Modesty is NOT a Virtue

Happy Monday!

I hope you had a restful weekend because this week I want you to tackle something big …

It’s a challenge all new writers face once they make the decision to REALLY take action towards living the writer’s life.

For most, it’s the step they fear most.

And that fear can cause you to create a whole slew of excuses for why you’re not ready to move forward.

Can you guess what it is?

I’m almost afraid to type it because I’m afraid your stomach will drop when you read it, and I’ll lose you.

But here it is …

It’s selling yourself.

Did I just hear you groan?

If so, don’t worry …

This week, we’re going to knock that fear out of the park so that you can confidently sell yourself to potential clients and start getting paid to write. (Or if you’re already there, attract better clients who will pay you MORE to write!)

“But my mother taught me to be modest. I can’t sell myself!”

Well, it’s time to unlearn that lesson. Because when it comes to selling yourself, you need to check your modesty at the door.

Imagine you’re working on writing a sales page selling a skin care product that dramatically reduces wrinkles within 2 weeks of using it.

You’ve seen the results firsthand … in fact, you’ve used the product yourself.

You know that it works. And you’re excited to get this in the hands of people who want to look younger and reduce the signs of aging.

Are you going to be modest when describing the results and tone down the power of this new product?

Of course not!

You’re going to make the prospect a big promise about reversing his signs of aging and show him why this product is going to deliver. Your copy is going to get him so excited, he won’t be able to wait a single second longer to hand over his credit card, and will even pay the rush shipping charges just so he can start using the product tomorrow.

Okay, so now you’re working on a sales page selling you and your writing services.

Why would your strategy be any different?

The potential client is your prospect, and YOU are the product the client is buying.

You are the solution to the problem they have – whether they need copy written, a resume, a grant proposal – you name it.

And you need to approach any self-promotion materials you create just as you would any other copywriting project. All of the same persuasive writing rules apply … from the big promise to the call to action.

“But I’m not good at bragging about myself!”

That’s okay – because self-promotion isn’t really bragging. Get that word out of your vocabulary and start thinking of yourself as a product, rather than the person you’ve known for the last however many years.

Right now, in this moment, you’re a copywriter – and your job is to sell a product. (That product just happens to be you.)

Just like in the skin care product example above, you have a solution to your potential client’s problem. And you need to sell him on why your solution is the best solution for him.

If you’re still struggling, I’ve got two things you can try …

The first one is to create a second persona for yourself. Literally become someone else when you’re writing your self-promotion materials. You can even give your new persona a different name, and then hire that person to write your materials.

It’s not you writing, so it’s not bragging about yourself!

The second idea is to go ahead and actually hire another copywriter to write the materials for you. Just make sure you give them the information they need to write strong, persuasive copy – similar to what a client would provide you with about their product or service.

This week, I’ll walk you through some of the major elements of self-promotion that you’ll need if you’re just starting out, as well as give you some tips for improving your current self-promotion strategy if it’s already in motion.

In the meantime, though, if you’re feeling a little unconfident right now, I’d like for you to read an article written by AWAI member, Guillermo Rubio, called From “I Can’t” to “I Can” – 5 Easy Ways to Gain Confidence as an Aspiring Copywriter.

I often refer new writers to that article when they doubt themselves, and have personally used all five tips myself – as hokey as two of them may sound.

I’m sure you’ll be able to pick out the two I’m referring to right away. I was skeptical at first, but I can now tell you firsthand that they do work!

Tomorrow I’m going to share with you some news that has the potential to give you a huge leap forward in your self-promotion efforts. Make sure you keep your eyes open for it!

In the meantime, if you have any comments or questions for me about checking your modesty at the door, post them below.

Have a great week!

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: April 11, 2011

6 Responses to “Modesty is NOT a Virtue”

  1. I have tried to get on this writing business for a couple years, but always have had issues on front of me. Last year I attended boot camp, I have gotten two different courses, but today I have decided, I will get b2b course and go for it. There is always the uncertain of the future or failure, but definitely I believe, if I don't try I won't know how much success of failure to comfront. Thank you for the message Rebecca

    Isifeo April 11, 2011 at 10:14 am

  2. Great ideas, Rebecca. I can attest to G's Confidence Booster #5, "Success in Bite-Sized Pieces". It does work!

    Steve RollerApril 11, 2011 at 1:14 pm

  3. I have struggled for years with shyness but have, through perseverence, have mastered holding a conversation with someone with confidence.

    However, I found when I started "selling myself" as a freelance professional writer all my fears returned. My voice became almost inaudible and my brain froze.

    I decided to join a Toastmasters group to help me get over this public speaking fear and, who knows, maybe I'll pick up a client to boot!

    Thanks for all the tips you give - very inspiring.

    NanApril 26, 2011 at 5:47 pm


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