One of the most difficult tasks facing any writer or author trying to make a decent living from their words is how to get the most attention from the most people. The more attention you can attract the more income and influence you’ll start to generate. The process of marketing is just putting in the time and effort to build an enormous megaphone to help you shout out to the world that you’re here, and you’ve got something to say! The whole concept of a megaphone is to take the words you’re speaking and project them louder than the human voice ever could, so hundreds or even thousands of people who never could have heard you now can. We use the same concept in the world of writing. There are certain actions we can take that help us project loudly into the world who we are and what we’re writing. Here are four foundational steps you can take to start building your megaphone.
1. Be good at what you do. There’s no substitute for quality writing. You could have a huge megaphone and if you only have poor writing, all you’ll succeed in doing is broadcasting the message “stay away” to your audience! Does this mean you have to be the perfect poet or the most skilled commercial writer before you begin building your megaphone? Absolutely not! But you do need to know some fundamentals if you’re going to begin attracting an audience, and the larger the megaphone the more skilled you need to be to hold it. If you’ve got good, solid writing skills AND a massive megaphone broadcasting your skills to the world, you’re in an excellent position to cause some ripples in the world.
2. Find your audience. You’re looking for large numbers of your target audience. So take a moment and think about who it is you’re writing for. If you’re writing short science fiction stories, who’s most likely to read them? If you’re writing free form poetry, what type of person will resonate with your words? Then do some research and find out where those people congregates together in large numbers. The internet is perfect for this; since it lets you find blogs, start blogs, internet chat rooms and all sorts of resources and people just waiting to hear about your excellent writing. Clubs, economic hubs like your local Chamber of Commerce and your local library are all other perfect places to find large chunks of people.
3. Talk to a bunch of people. Once you’ve found large groups of your audience, you need, need, need to go talk to them. If you’re passionate about what you’re writing (and you should always be passionate about what you’re writing) that passion will bleed through into your conversations. Audiences respond to passion! Emotion grips us as humans, and the people you’re writing for are no different! Make phone calls, start a blog, join a chat forum, and especially talk face to face! Let your love for what you do shine in your eyes, and you’ll begin to see people respond. If you can ignite in them even a small spark of the excitement inside of you, they’ll go infect people you’ll never even meet for you! This is when your megaphone starts to grow!
4. Give something away for free. Free is a powerful, powerful word. People automatically pay attention to the word free, and if you can create something of value and give it away at no charge but the other person’s time, you can spread your writing in a relatively short time frame and create a reputation for yourself as someone with more to spare. Take an extra five hours and staple together a short sampling of your poems on quality paper, and pass them out at that artistic coffeehouse you know about. Offer to write a free radio commercial for business’s if you’re a commercial writer. There’s so many small writing projects you can give away for free, and they can lead to something much larger later on!
Of course there’s more things you can do, and different spins and tweaks you can put on these four steps, but if you’re willing to put time and effort, blood, sweat and tears into the four steps above, you’ll begin to hear your voice getting louder and louder until you’re writing and influencing more people than you ever dreamed you’d be when starting out. That’s the power of building your megaphone! Have your own personal take on one of the above steps, or an additional step you want to add? Leave a comment, and let me know about it!