Physician Heal Thyself: The Writers’ Edition
How can you call yourself a copy-writer if you can’t sell yourself?
Here’s a nice little catch-22 for you.
How many copy-writer freelancers do you know? People who write sales copy (and other things) for their clients?
More importantly—Are they promoting themselves?
Everyone is agreed that, if you want to succeed as a freelancer, you need to promote yourself and your business. Ads. Blogs. Personal recommendations. Twitter. LinkedIn. Word of mouth. Links in articles. Websites. Guest posts. You’ve heard them all, right?
But, how many freelancers are promoting their own businesses?
I’m the first to admit, I’m not. Oh, a little, in a half-hearted kind of way. But I’m not making half the effort I should be to grow my business. My personal marketing strategy belongs to the “If I build it, they will come” methodology, rather than the “Go Get It!” school of thought.
I know that I should be doing more. I know that I should be promoting my writing skills and availability all over the internet, to local businesses, to other freelancers who might need help or want to pass on my name to prospects they’re too busy to need.
Which brings me to the real irony.
If I truly believe I can write good sales copy—and I can—and I truly believe that my services are worthwhile—which they are—how can I justify doing nothing?
Talk about the ultimate “Show, Don’t Tell” rule.
If you can’t promote myself properly, what’s going to make a prospective client think you can promote them? You can say you understand basic marketing techniques and know how to write killer copy, but if you don’t bother to do it for yourself … why would a prospect believe that you can do it at all?
There’s an old aphorism that says that doctor’s wives die young—the idea being that the (male, naturally) doctor is so busy running around saving his patients, that he doesn’t take proper care of his wife.
What does it say about a copywriter that can’t be bothered to write good copy for their own business? You can make all the excuses you want … too busy writing good copy, too busy developing contacts, too busy with current clients, too busy, too busy … but ultimately, it comes down to putting your money where your mouth is.
You, a copywriter of all people, should know how important this is.
The best part, though? Unlike your clients who have to hire someone to get great copy, you can write your own. And then, not only will it be good for your business, it acts like a resume and advertisement rolled into one for how good you are at your job. Your prospective clients will see for themselves that you really know what you’re doing.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go and put an ad up at Craigslist. It’s really the least I can do. And I haven’t updated my status on LinkedIn in a while. I’ve made enough excuses. Time to be professional.