Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Day in the Life of A Writer - Damaria Senne

Today we are honoured to have a guest post from the acclaimed author Damaria Senne.
She works as a freelance writer, producing copy for a number of corporate and goverenment clients including case studies, news articles, profiles, press releases and in-depth reports.

Previously, she worked as a senior journalist writing for the daily online news publication of an IT website as well as weekly and monthly magazines respectively.

Her long-term goal is to write non-fiction books on how ICTs impact on how people work, play, communicate, learn and form relationships.

She is also a published children's author and creative writer, with a number of books and contributions to anthologies. She plans to continue writing children's books and other works of fiction.

Without further ado: A Day in the Life of a Writer, by Damaria Senne.

A Day In The Life Of A Writer: The Balance Between Building A Following & Delivering A Good Product/Service

It’s a warm late Spring afternoon – the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and Edward and Hayley, my chow-mix dogs, are taking a nap on the floor in front of my office door.

I still have a lot of writing to do today, but I feel like it’s been a good day and I’ve been productive because, it’s a little after two, and I’ve already updated my personal blog, wrote and published five posts on the OneLove campaign web site and initiated some discussions on the Kwanda and Read SA fan pages on Facebook. I’ve also posted two author profiles on the Read SA web site[these profiles will go live later in the week] and visited and commented on most of the blogs I follow. And my day is only half-way through.

This is not the routine that I envisioned when I first wanted to be a writer. Back in those days, when I was a little girl, I dreamt of spending the whole day writing novels, uninterrupted. I could create my characters and settings and situations, tell my stories, edit then and send them to my agent, who would then take up the responsibility of selling to publishers. I had the romantic view that once the books were published, the publisher would have the sole responsibility of promoting them. I didn’t look forward to having to go on an author’s tour – that would take me away from my office, and my writing and my books. And maybe there are authors who are so wildly successful that they don’t have to promote their works, because they have a horde of fans waiting for their next book. Nora Roberts, anyone?

But, you can bet your life that in the beginning, the famous authors also had to lay the foundation. They had to balance writing their guts out, with promotion. They had to build a following one fan at a time. And that’s where I also need to start. And where you also need to start, whether you are starting a writing/blogging/small business.

You need to find the time to do many of marketing activities which build the foundation of your business with delivering a very good product, and do so consistently. You need to connect with people, tell them about your business and make sure that your name is top of mind when they need services you can provide.
And where possible, you need build a captive audience, so that people who like you have a mechanism to come back to see what you’ve been up to and buy your services and products. Once you have won over their confidence, you will be able to tell them about what you’re selling daily/weekly/monthly, and it’s not a cold call/hard sell, because you already have a relationship.

And if they like you/your products and services, they will tell their friends about it, growing your fan base with little effort on your part. I was very shocked by how fast writers, editors and publishing professionals signed on for the Read SA campaign [568 fans in about six weeks]. But a large part of that was because there was an existing need, we were clear about how people who want to be involved could sign on, and current supporters were happy to tell people about the campaign.
Alison and Gaynor have also done really well building a captive audience through their discussion list. The list attracts transcription and VA professionals, and also builds their credibility in the eyes of the client. Because surely someone who can help newbies learn the business would also be able to apply those teachings in their own business?

So my challenge to you is this: what are you doing to build a following for your services and products?

Read more from Damaria Senne on her blog http://www.damariasenne.blogspot.com

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Damaria, as always you have the ability to inspire thought in me!