5 Ways Introverted Freelance Writers Can Do Painless Marketing

Carol Tice

Shy freelance writer peers around computerBy Nillu Nasser Stelter

If you’re anything like me, one of the reasons you are a freelance writer is that you enjoy solitude.

Whether you write best in a hideaway or in a crowded cafe, you’re comfortable inside your own head.

But good writing skills and original ideas aren’t enough to make you a success in this business. You need kick-ass marketing skills, too. If you’re an introvert, you may find marketing doesn’t come easily.

You still need to do it, though.

Here’s how you can market yourself painlessly if you’re an introverted freelance writer.

1. Use social media that suits you

Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn … the sheer number of social media options out there is daunting.

To do social media well, you need to update your content regularly, so why not play to your strengths?

If you’re a succinct communicator, you may take well to Twitter.

Happy to share personal information? Then Facebook may be a good fit for you.

Or if you prefer connecting in a professional capacity, try LinkedIn.

Do what comes naturally and don’t spread yourself too thin.

2. Try one-on-one, in-person queries

If you’re an introvert, you may balk at going to networking meetings. If too much interaction with strangers drains your energy, there are equally effective alternatives.

Build confidence by arranging one-on-one meetings with prospective clients where you can impress with your research and attentiveness. You may even win extra brownie points for taking the initiative.

3. Make your business cards a talking point

If you must attend a large meeting, make life easier by bringing business cards that are a cut above.

Show off your creativity by opting for handcrafted cards over standardized ones. Create a talking point by including a generous offer for first-time clients — a free consultation, perhaps — or using a memorable logo.

Stand out from the crowd on your own terms.

4. Let your website do the talking

For the introverts out there, a strong writer website can do the hard work for you in presenting your brand to the world.

On your landing page, tell prospective clients about what you offer them. Write an engaging bio, add a picture of yourself, include your contact details — you are good to go.

Hundreds of repetitive conversations saved, and you can breathe easy.

5. Choose to listen

It’s a competitive market out there, but who said we have to compete on the same terms? Allow your personality to work for you and turn your pitch upside down.

Instead of focusing on what you can offer your client, tease out their concerns with insightful questions. Then, impress them with your ability to recognize the subtle nuances of their business. Close by wowing them with your perfectly tailored solutions.

Regardless of your personality type, in a world where many are shouting “look at me,” the quiet ways you market yourself may be the most effective.

How do you play to your strengths when marketing? Tell us in the comments below.

Nillu Nasser Stelter is a fiction and freelance writer living in London, UK. She identifies as an ambivert and is married to an introvert. Learn more about Nillu at NilluNasserStelter.com.

Freelance Writers Den

33 Comments

  1. Zimmy

    I think your example #2 would also work by directly contacting a blog owner and asking them if they would want your services to spruce the content of the site up a bit. If you get hired or not will probably come down to what your own blog/website looks like.

    You have some excellent content on your blog. 🙂

  2. Taiwo Adeyemi

    Blogging tips, like management theories and practices, are a jungle; the good news is that no one approach is supreme except that one needs to understand and atune to the needs of the existing clients – this is golden. Thanks to Nillu and to all the contributors here for yet another refreshing ‘conference’ on moving our market forward and ‘shoving our products into clients’ faces’ without offending their audio-space; and without having to ‘borrow’ other guys’ personalities. The simple point here is: regardless of what your social courage may be, the market is wide enough to accommodate you – but please, be good because in the long run, the best marketing tool is still the quality of your product.

  3. Joan Anderssen

    As an ultra-introvert (more than 70% I according to MBTI test, beat this) I would add: enjoy the blessings of online marketing. I absolutely, without any doubt hate tagging along in events, small talking, exchanging cards, etc. Online marketing saves me from a dreadful prospect of leaving my cubicle. Plus, approaching potential clients online is fine for me. No problems with that.

    One more thing: optimize your strategy is such way which allows you to put minimum effort for maximum result. In other words, more long-term, passive methods and less loud and shiny fireworks that fade away after a second or two. Have a lazy cat approach to marketing. Cats are, after all, an animals that can teach you a thing or two about freelancing… Wait, I think I have an idea for blog post. See ya!

    • Shauna L Bowling

      I’d like to read that too, since I have 3 cats that keep me company in my home office and I, too am more geared towards passive marketing. Your forthcoming blog (hint hint) sounds like it’ll be right up my alley, Joan!

    • Joan Anderssen

      Took a few days but all done now.

      I have one – my chief editor. He’s never satisfied with anything I write. Probably because if I write, I do not pet him, play with him, etc. Nevertheless, he’s my most beloved.

  4. Tanya Adams

    Thank you for this article, Carol. I’m an introvert and find marketing frightening. The crazy thing is that I can market for others, but find it hard to do for myself. Maybe it’s because I’m putting myself out there. I’m more comfortable selling for others. I found these tips very helpful and less scary.

  5. Kalen

    These are all great tips Nillu and I would say they can apply to everyone. I am technically an ENTP on the Myers Briggs personality inventory, but even as an extrovert I find that marketing can still be intimidating at times (despite working in the field). Striking up conversations at networking events is easy for me, but actually pitching myself isn’t so much for some reason. I think most people find it can be hard to push themselves out of their comfort zone when it comes to trying to convince someone else to hire them.

    You raise some very good tips to make marketing easier for everyone! Thanks for the post!

    • Nillu Nasser Stelter

      Hi Kalen, thanks for reading. You’re right, self-promotion is not an easy skill. It can feel unnatural and pushy. I guess the trick is to focus on the client’s needs more than the hard sell of your skills. That way, the marketing feels authentic and part of a normal conversation and hopefully it will end in a happy transaction for both parties.

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