By Rina Wongpanich
Marketing is an essential activity for freelance editors, but many of us can feel uncomfortable hustling for work and selling our services. It was refreshing to see more than 40 editors joining a free IPEd presentation in July on anti-hustle marketing by academic editor and founder of antihustle.ca, Letitia Henville.
Letitia offered us insights into marketing from a position of openness and kindness, and shared the three components of her anti-hustle marketing strategy.
1. Give away your secrets
Editing is a “credence good” – meaning that clients often struggle to place a value on editorial services. It is our job to show them the value we can offer and that they can trust us with the product of their hard labour. If a writer understands how an editor can help, they are more likely to engage an editor to help make their writing clearer. We can show them our value by providing timely, useful advice that can solve their problem.
Content marketing is a great example of this. First, work out what knowledge you have that you can afford to share free of charge. Next, find out where your audience spends their time and put your information where they already are. Blogs, newsletters, professional associations and social media are some tools we can use to reach potential clients.
2. Put the spotlight on others
Editing is often solo work, and we tend to think we need to build our business on our own. However, as professionals we have a responsibility to grow our shared client base, and when we highlight the work of other editors, we help writers understand how they benefit from hiring a professional editor and empower them to make an informed hiring decision.
Providing information about where to find a professional editor, such as the IPEd editors directory, is one example. You can even go a step further by telling writers what to look for when hiring an editor and even the type of questions they can ask when screening prospective editors.
3. Build your reputation and volunteer for IPEd
Marketing often focuses on brand, but reputation is just as important, if not more so. A lot of freelance work comes through referrals and community participation. Therefore, it’s important to build your profile in the editing community, as showing your colleagues that you can be depended on and are invested in the profession will amplify your reputation.
If you are a new editor, you will add a fresh perspective and ask valid questions that more experienced editors may have forgotten or not considered, raising our collective worth as a community and the profile of our profession.
Three questions to get started with this strategy
1. What aspect of the hustle do you want to remove?
2. What knowledge do you have that you can afford to give away?
3. How can you empower potential clients to make an informed decision?
Remember that this anti-hustle marketing strategy is a long-term strategy to get you known, trusted and liked so that you can continue developing your business by drawing on your expertise and staying aligned with your values.