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What do you think of drive by marketers?

~~~ Notes from Minnesota ~~~

Hey Freelancer!

It’s December. Already. Yeow. Where did 2016 go? I’m not sure I’m ready to write “2017” on checks…

Nevertheless, time marches on.

As I write this, I have a trilogy in edits as well as a nonfiction title. Near as I can figure, I’ve written over a quarter of a million words since I worked through the massive writing block of 2016.

You may have noticed the Writing Etc. editorial schedule was a bit wonky this year. That would be one of the reasons. The crazy thing is that up until the cancer, I actually didn’t believe in creative blocks. Ha. I do now. :O

This block I wrestled was a big one. And it wasn’t until I started untangling its threads that I got a handle on how to deal with it.

I’ll be talking about this topic a little more… probably in the new Writing Etc. Minis (only Writing Etc. subscribers… hey you can sign up for free so why not join us?). I also penned a short book for anyone who possesses a creative message but finds the actual creation process difficult. That’ll be out soon, too.

But yeah. That’s what’s coming up the pike.

I’m hesitant to say this aloud, but I feel optimistic about the coming year. It’s a hopeful sensation I haven’t felt in quite a while.

Weird, eh?

Until next time, I hope you enjoy today’s article!

Take care,

Beth 🙂


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Do You Engage in Drive By Marketing?
Beth Ann Erickson

I call her a “drive by marketer.” She showed up on my Facebook feed one quiet afternoon. I was in the midst of taking one too many afternoon surfing breaks and my notification icon chirped. I clicked the button.

“Lilly L. posted to Publisher Group.”

“Huh,” I thought, “that’s interesting.”

Then my computer chirped again. And again. And again.

After a flurry of notifications, Lilly being the source of each, I clicked a couple of the links. Then I sighed.

Lilly was apparently in the midst of a massive book promo. What she did was swing by many of the more popular indie author groups and post an exclamation point laden message complete with links and a blazing book cover.

Needless to say, her messages weren’t very popular. “Quit spamming the group,” said one group member. Another commented with their own exclamation point riddled response.

Poor Lilly got kicked out of a couple groups. In another comment thread she engaged in a bit of a flame war.

All because of one post.

Now… I know the Internet can be a pretty interesting place. I know it can be volatile. I know that freelancing, copywriting, publishing, any creative endeavor sometimes feels glutted with a plethora of artists vying for attention. (That’s actually not the case, but we’ll discuss that subject later.)

Sadly, Lilly made a fairly large miscalculation with her marketing technique: She didn’t study her audience, she didn’t check out group rules, she didn’t participate in group discussions before she plastered her information on everyone’s walls. Let’s break it down.

Her audience: Lilly was selling a book for children. Turns out, a publishing group isn’t exactly her target audience. She would be better served by joining parenting groups and discretely mentioning her book there.

Group rules: Each of the groups she joined have written rules of conduct. Each one prohibits blasting the group with these types of messages. Sadly, Lilly got removed and now won’t benefit from the invaluable knowledge they provide.

Participation: There’s an old (in Internet time) marketing adage that goes something like this. “Know me, like me, trust me, buy from me.” If your customers don’t know you, like you and trust you… they won’t… well, you know the rest. If you want to build a readership, you need to offer solid information in addition to pertinent links.

The thing is, relationships take time to build. If you’re in a hurry and want to blast your offerings all over creation, that’s fine. You’ll likely make a few sales. But if you want a long term career, what you want to build is a readership. And that takes time and effort.

Had Lilly taken as much time in pondering her marketing strategy as she did spamming these groups, she would have likely experienced a far more successful launch. Not only that, but she could have grown a fair amount of good will in the process.

It’s amazing how just a little marketing savvy a creative entrepreneur needs to get an edge in this crazy online environment.

If drive by marketing doesn’t work, what does? Perhaps becoming a creative entrepreneur is a better option…


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