Promoting yourself as a writer can be a daunting task. You don’t want to be too pushy but you also don’t want to get lost in the shuffle. You don’t want your work in the slush pile but you don’t want to be one of those writers who annoy editors on a regular basis. When you push too much you become needy and seem desperate and it’s likely that no editors will want to work with you. Instead, you need to find a happy medium where you can promote yourself in a good way.
Although you don’t want to be pushy, you can be tenacious. There is a difference between tenacity and annoying pushiness. Tenacious people take charge of their work and their lives. Tenacity is a virtue so if you can adopt a sense of resolve it will show that you are thorough – a very necessary part of being a writer. For instance, after you send an initial inquiry, follow up with an email.
Show Your Work
You don’t need to be too pushy when you can let your work speak for itself. Create a killer portfolio and allow your work to do the talking. If you have samples of published articles use them to show potential clients and others some of your previous successes. If you don’t have any published articles yet you can create a group of examples and use those.
It is also helpful to custom tailor your sample work into categories. For example, if you are pitching to a woman’s health magazine, pull articles you’ve written about health and medicine. If you assemble these groups ahead of time you can quickly and easily provide them to a prospective client or utilize them in a resume or letter.
As you begin to work more you will begin to gather recommendations from your clients. These testimonials are crucial when you are looking for work. Keep track of the editors and publishers you work with so you can use them as references. Better yet, after you complete a particularly good piece, ask the editor for a quick review of your work. You can use these quotes in a summary, resume, cover letter or portfolio as testimonials.
Networking can be extremely important in getting new work. Stay connected to those you have worked with in the past. The more people you know in the industry the more likely it is that you will be able to find future work. As you become more well-known in the industry you will find that editors may begin to recognize your name. Use your contacts to get new work and keep spreading your wings.
You may also want to join writer’s organizations and online groups. These can be invaluable sources of help when it comes to getting work. It’s a great place to bond with other writers and begin your writer’s network.
Create a Website
Your own website is a great place to showcase your work and give potential clients and editors information about your writing background. Make sections that provide information about you as a writer and an area where people can view your work. This is the ideal way to promote yourself because you are in control. Use your website to your advantage by making it a unique and interesting way to learn more about you as a writer.