We’re used to hearing the term in relation to finances with visions of bulls and bears dancing in our heads. But, let’s expand our definition of market share a little bit. Once you’ve cornered your niche market, figured out what what your readers love, and capitalized on it, you nonetheless should be exercising a flexibility that leads to growth. Think hard on the following points.
Innovation – There’s innovation everywhere in the freelance world. Ten years ago no one was blogging. Well, almost. However, the idea was out there and coming at us like an Internet tsunami. Perhaps you jumped on board early hoping to get even more exposure for your writing. If you’re a blogger like I am you realize the work it takes to keep it up. It’s a real challenge to remain fresh and timely for your dedicated followers. After several hundred posts you may wonder if it’s worth continuing. Decide. Decide to stick with it or figure out a way to take your readers with you to whatever you do instead. Coddle them; they love you, but they won’t if you don’t. And be aware that you may lose any readers you’ve cultivated anyway if you’re unwilling to stay relevant. Someone’s always thinking of new ways to capture an audience and blogging is only one example. If you can’t be an innovator, be aware of what they’re doing and take your cues from them.
Brand loyalty – It’s a concept that businesses continually wrestle with. Untold millions are spent to discover why customers keep coming back for more. One way for writers to keep their market share loyal? Hearken back to the innovators. If you blog or have a website you might consider a break from your normal format and host a contest, interview a riveting author, or offer freebies. Work out a solid plan and budget for it. Imitate the best. One writer I follow only blog posts quarterly. But at her site there’s a wealth of information with samples of her work, photos of her hobbies, free newsletter, and recipe cards. Visit her at www.marykayandrews.com You get a peek into her life that makes you love her. She knows how to keep her market share happy and growing.
Advertise – Your readers are your investors. To keep them you need to continually offer something. One of the hallmarks of modern investment firms is their use of the words “simple” and “easy.” They’re catering to a populace that may shy away from something that seems complicated or hard to understand and advertising is developed accordingly. Their websites offer “simple planners” and “easy” technology. You can adopt similar concepts to aid in your growth plan. Try one of these:
1. Accessibility – Maintain a relevant online presence. Use Facebook, Twitter, Linkden, and other social media. Be yourself there. You’re a writer but show your real human being side, too. Share your woes and triumphs, your quirks and sense of humor. Be easy to know. Those who are drawn to who you are will be drawn to what you write.
2. Hire and Hire out – When you can’t do something yourself you must hire it done. I hired a blog designer and also took advantage of instruction on how to use it effectively. The payoff? Compliments from the get-go on how professional it looked. Visitors read, made comments, and stayed. My page views grow each month.
In addition, make it known in these venues that you will do interviews, guest posting, talks – in short, hire out. Target your investors interests in each instance and soon the word will spread. Like minded investors will rally to your brand. Really.
3. Be an informer – It doesn’t matter what you write, your readers want to know something new or different after they’ve read it. Editors are eager for writers who research some new technology, are able to explain Pinterest to an octogenarian, or enthuse about the latest in flash fiction. Or consider writing a pamphlet in some area where you excel, something like 20 Yummy New Ways to Make Hamburgers. Sell it for .99 online. Try your hand at “new adult” fiction and rope in eager twenty something fans. Any of these will inform you readership and grow your share in manageable increments.
Take a look at some popular writers who are doing it right.
Susan Sundwall is a freelance writer and mystery novelist. Her first mystery, The Red Shoelace Killer – A Minnie Markwood Mystery is available on Amazon, at Barnes and Noble, from your local bookstore, or at the publisher’s, Mainly Murder Press.