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Who thought this was a good idea?

* Scroll to the bottom to listen to this post! *

~~~ Notes from Minnesota ~~~

Hey Freelancer,

You know I enjoy marketing. Persuasion is (and will likely always will be) one of my favorite topics.

The human psyche’s amazing, a complex vortex of mystery… yet despite our (sometimes) crazy tendencies, we’re surprisingly predictable… sometimes. 😛

I spent the weekend watching Jerry Seinfeld’s newest series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” and more than once he mentioned (paraphrasing here), “You really can’t teach comedy. Either you get it or you don’t.”

I think, to a smaller extent, marketing is a little like that.

A so-called effective technique placed in the hands of someone who doesn’t “get” people often falls flat. Case in point: today’s article.

Oy. It’s a doozie. I look forward to your thoughts!

Onward and upward,

Beth 🙂

P.S. Happy 2018! If you dislike staring at your screen to read this, click the link and you can listen to my gorgeous voice (ha) read this (I may even add a little impromptu commentary). Enjoy! 🙂


Start 2018 with a bang and turbocharge your writing career!

I’ve always wanted a simple, uncomplicated calendar that would help me progress towards my goals. I couldn’t find one, so I figured, why not make it? So here ya go! Check out what it looks like in the short vid right here.

For a VERY limited time you can pick up the official Filbert Publishing Freelance Calendar. It’s terribly inexpensive, created by a long time freelancer for freelancers.


Facebook Messenger: A New Marketing Opportunity?
By Beth Erickson

It’s happened twice since the 2018 odometer flipped.

Someone “friends” me on Facebook. I check ‘em out. Things look legit so I accept, thinking this person looked interesting.

Then I get a message. At first it’s friendly. “Thanks for the add!”

I reply, “You’re welcome. I look forward to meeting you.”

Then the pitch starts. The first time, the person wanted to sell me his service supplying me with “insider marketing information” on a particular publishing niche.


The second time, the writer sent a friendly line (complete with flowers and emojis!) asking me to download her new novel. Of course, she also wanted me to promise to leave a review.


Here’s the deal. Unless you have explicit permission to send sales messages to another person online, don’t do it. Seriously. Don’t. That’s why our emails are double opt in.

Sending unsolicited messages won’t help you sell books. It won’t trigger an avalanche of writing assignments, either. If your writing is a legit business, you need to treat it that way. Only contact people who have expressed an interest in talking with you about whatever it is you’re selling.

There’s a time and a place to market. I’m not sure Facebook Messaging someone you just met fits that criteria.

After this little scuffle occurred, I poked around online and discovered a number of so-called gurus advocate this type of marketing. Just as an FYI, this advice also comes with a pretty steep price to learn all the ins and outs on how to “properly” do this.

And sure, you may make a sale or two. But I’ve already noticed a couple downsides.

Although I didn’t report her, the second writer was placed in “Facebook Prison” for 48 hours due to her Messenger activity. Someone else clearly didn’t appreciate her marketing strategy.

Also, I don’t hold real warm feelings towards either of these people. They jumped into my personal Facebook space claiming to be friendly and immediately level jumped past the “know me” stage directly to “buy from me” stage. (We can talk about those four stages next week.)

So, my question is this:

1. Would you message a stranger asking them to purchase your writing?
2. What are your thoughts on this technique: Good, Bad, somewhere in between.

Head to the website (or email) to let me know what you think. I can’t wait to hear… 🙂

Published inPodcastWriting Etc.


  1. 1Charlie65 1Charlie65

    Agreed. I delete all of the unwanted marketing, never to be seen again.

    • BethAnnErickson BethAnnErickson

      Glad I’m not the only one. So frustrating when that happens… :/

  2. Ms. Curiosity Ms. Curiosity

    I think what you’ve described and experienced is obnoxious, and really not marketing. It’s using subterfuge, and in the end not successful anyway.

    • BethAnnErickson BethAnnErickson

      I totally agree. Sadly, some gurus are actually advocating this and gullible writers are paying some pretty hefty fees to engage in that activity. Ack. Thanks for your comment. Glad I’m not alone. 😛

  3. Catherine Lanser Catherine Lanser

    I don’t think it’s okay. Marketing has rules and people who don’t follow them or pretend they have a relationship when they don’t, don’t win friends, much less the sale.

  4. Richard Stewart Smith Richard Stewart Smith

    I agree with Catherine, folks shouldn’t be doing this. Not only does it come across as ‘pushy,’ these kind of actions hurt whatever chance they would have to have a friendship…

    • BethAnnErickson BethAnnErickson

      So correct. I agree it could be a fast way to lose a potential friendship. Thanks for your comment! 🙂

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