Don’t Make This “Rookie” Marketing Mistake

It is a marketing mistake that many make, many times without even realizing it. What I’m referring to is when starting-out copywriters market to other copywriters. Often going after peers and big-name writers.

It would be far more beneficial if they connected with them, rather than selling (marketing) writing services to them. This may come across as a “Yeah, obviously!” idea, but many mistakenly do this … I know I did.

Why This is a “Wrong Move”

First, let’s define what we are talking about in terms of marketing to other writers. It means that you are likely in writer’s groups, posting messages … the wrong messages. Or maybe, even worse, you are communicating through emails and private messages, sending out your blog articles, such as “Why Your Next Project Should Be a Case Study,” samples, and other related materials.

These are the kinds of things you should be sharing with prospects and clients. Not your peers. Unless you are seeking advice and have clarified that request beforehand.

Why is this so bad?

It’s intrusive. Your fellow writers want information of value, something that will ease their work and will assist them in their efforts. So again, not “Hey Writers: Why Your Next Project Should Be a Case Study,” rather, “Hey Writers: 7 Key Points to Keep in Mind on Your Next Client Case Study Project.”

There is a difference. The first title speaks to the client or prospect on a business level, and is likely to address the reasons why a Case Study is good for business and marketing efforts.

The second title speaks to the B2B copywriter, clearly illustrating that there are seven things they should focus on when writing this type of project.

A message that carries tips that they can actively benefit from and apply to their work.

I know this from making this error years ago myself. So this is not some made-up fancy talk. It is direct from my experience.

Specifically:

Most of us are familiar with LinkedIn. If you aren’t, then you should change that. It is more crowded than the early days, but a little effort and your next project is a few hops away. You can get more information about that here, after you finish this article.

Back in my early copywriting days, I joined all the copywriter groups. I did exactly what I said you should not do, as I stated in the above. However, at the time, I didn’t know any better. Luckily, I am observant and I noticed other aspiring writers doing the same thing. Sharing with other copywriters their content that is meant for clients and prospects.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Yet, this was my wake-up call. Thankfully, it happened sooner rather than later. In seeing others doing the same, I noticed that certain members of the group were getting irritated and voicing their discontent. In reading one comment, I remember I said to myself, “Why don’t they join a business group and share this stuff there?”

Bingo. Bingo. Bingo.

My “light bulb” went off like a firestorm and I immediately went into rapid explosion mode searching LinkedIn for business groups that matched my niche at that time. I got into some of those groups and made connections, shared content, and I even got a few gigs.

What to Do Instead

Connect.

In the above section, I touched on this to some extent. “Connect” means that you should get to know your peers and superiors in the writing world. You can do so by showing general interest and engaging with them on that level.

On the flip side, don’t “try” to be interesting. Don’t go overboard by only talking about yourself and doing the “one-way” conversation … it’s an instant killer.

As I mentioned above, share useful information, and be yourself. You can talk about your own experiences and updates, especially if it brings any advice or useful findings along with it. Just make sure to open up, and accept feedback and constructive criticism that may come about from engaging with other writers. Also, show thanks for any ”goodies” that come your way … especially if it’s information that leads you to a prospect or project. 

Bottom line, have fun and enjoy the process of getting to know others in the profession. Build a valuable network.

Hate Me Now … For I Will Contradict Myself

There is a time when it does make sense to do the opposite of what I just said not to do. However, it comes with a caveat. You can share your samples and other client/prospect-targeting materials when there is a request for them. In other words, when they raise their hand and “ask” for it.

Yet, keep in mind that something along this line is most likely to come from a group or network you are in. That is the “writer’s pot of gold,” and it is from this network that referrals and trickle-down gigs come from. So again, the base of it all is connecting and building peer-like relationships and contacts.

Step Out of the “Rookie” Shoes and …

Put on those “Professional” shoes. If you follow the steps outlined for you in this article, you will be accepted as an equal in the copywriting crowd. And you will build a network of connections that will support you as you progress in the world of B2B copywriting.

To make sure you play it like a true professional, let’s review and look at some important takeaway points:

  1. Connect. Reach out to others, but don’t spam or irritate them.
  2. Be genuine and show interest when engaging with others.
  3. Be vocally thankful for good things that come along from contacts you make.
  4. Don’t be a one-way conversationalist, only talking and caring about yourself.
  5. When sharing tips and information, make sure it is relevant and useful to your fellow writers. (Not content better suited to a client or prospect.)

Also remember, it is all about networking and building relationships, however, the way to do this is to connect, not market like you would to a lead or potential client. ( … Unless they raise their hand and ask for it.)

Good luck and forge onward.

This article, Don’t Make This “Rookie” Marketing Mistake, was originally published by B2B Writing Success.

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Published: June 18, 2015

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