Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Business #3: Who am I?

Okay, so you have plans and you have a place from where you can communicate? (That's the super-abbreviated version of the last two posts on being in business as a writer.)

What next? Communication (obviously), in the big bad world of business this would be promotion and marketing (and something else, which I'll get to). Well, you have to do it too.

Someone once said that if you build a better mousetrap the world will beat a path to your door. This is, of course, complete bollocks. No one will beat a path to your door unless they know about the mousetrap. Word of mouth is the best promotion you can get, but until you've got something that can generate that you have to do it the hard way.

I know everybody says that writers are shy, retiring types so promotion and marketing aren't their "thing". Too bad. I think you'll find that most successful writers are very good at the whole talking to people thing - and even if they're not, they just pretend and muddle through, which works just as well. (Very few people are naturally gregarious.)

So this part of your business model is about getting yourself known: who you are, what you do and how people can contact you. That's what I was doing last week. Sorting out my websites, putting Monsters onto Inktip and so on.

Another part of it is networking, going to events, talking to people - talking to anyone.

And then people may want to see your spec work ... oh no, now wait a minute. We haven't written anything yet, have we? Not in this business model anyway. Ah well, I cheated. Actually there is potentially some writing going on in Part #1. I just didn't mention it.

Most people will decide they want to be a professional writer after they've done some writing, it would be a little unusual to wake up one day and say "I want to be a professional writer" and not do any writing until they've got a client - starvation is the most likely outcome.

So we'll take it as read that you actually do have some samples and I'll come back to this in more detail in part #5. (You think I'm making this up as I go along? Au contraire, I have a cunning plan.)

Then comes the final bit: a commission. Someone says "we want to use you as a writer". That comes just after they've been convinced by you and your writing samples.

Cool. So what comes next? Writing? Nope. You'll be needing some energy first.

What's on the turntable? "Lady of the Lake" by Rick Wakeman (and the English Rock Ensemble) from "The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table" (I loaded up with new music from my CD collection at the weekend. Another 40 hours worth.)

No comments: