While I was writing the December and January articles for my column on An American Editor, I kept thinking about the worry that plagues some editorial business owners when promoting their businesses:
This kind of worry can paralyse the freelancer to the point where she’s wary of doing any marketing at all in case her efforts are perceived negatively.
It’s good to self-promote
If you’re a self-conscious self-promoter, consider these basic facts:
Perception versus reality
Let’s take a look at the six scenarios presented at the top of the article and consider the worrier’s worst fears against the reality of what will probably happen. The easiest way to do this is to ask yourself how you’d react if you were the recipient.
A final reminder ...
If you’re a self-conscious self-promoter, put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask yourself whether your worries are founded on myth or reason. Remind yourself of the following:
Even if you still feel worried, promote your business anyway. None of the targets of your marketing will know that you’re fretting.
They won’t see your hand shake as you place your leaflet and CV in the mailbox; they won’t know that your nerves nearly made you drop that branded mug; they won’t see your red face when they open your sustainably printed, neutrally messaged holiday card.
They’ll be too busy with doing their jobs, reading your letter, evaluating your CV, marking your test, pinning up your flyer, or fighting with their colleagues over the chocolate you sent!
Louise Harnby is a fiction line editor, copyeditor and proofreader who specializes in supporting self-publishing authors, particularly crime writers. She is an Advanced Professional Member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) and an Author Member of The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi).
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