Marketing and selling your story - Nikki Young Image via David Saunders/Flickr

On marketing and selling your story

I went to a business networking meeting last week where there was a talk about marketing and selling your story. It involved some group discussion as the presenter talked us through the seven P’s, namely: passion, principles, purpose, personality, position, people and proof.

Marketing and selling your story - Nikki Young

Image via David Saunders/Flickr

We were asked to think about our own businesses in these terms, to really narrow down and hone in what it is that we’re essentially all about. The idea was, we would be able to produce a marketing plan to take us forward.

Why should customers choose you?

Something I found difficult was narrowing down what I do. Essentially, I am a writer, that bit is easy, but I have my fingers in many different pies. There’s my business writing as a copywriter, I have my blog, where I write about health related topics and create ‘free-from’ recipes, and finally, my children’s fiction work.

I found myself thinking, I am the person who can help all these other people tell their stories, but what exactly is mine? There is no doubt I have a passion for the written word and for creating stories of all kinds. I have strong principles of reliability, trust and honesty, to name but a few and my purpose is to help people and businesses tell their story.

I help mainly SME’s and they tend to be local, Kent-based companies, even though I work remotely and could work for anyone, anywhere in the world. The proof of my service to businesses is in the testimonials they write me, but what I struggled with was identifying the unique personality and position of my business.

As a copywriter, I can write words for any business, as long as it doesn’t require in-depth technical knowledge. Although my specialism is health and nutrition, in particular food allergies and intolerance, I don’t focus solely on this area, even though one day I would love to.

It’s for this reason I have three websites: one for the copywriting, one for the fiction and a third for the food and health-related topics. It feels necessary to separate them, even though they all have the written word in common.

Knowing and developing your brand

As I develop my author status, I will have a so-called ‘brand’ in the form of Nikki Young books. This side of my business is fairly clear to me. What I do struggle with is my blog ‘A ‘free-from’ life’. I developed the blog as a means of recording the recipes I develop, raising awareness of the difficulties encountered by those who sufferer from multiple food intolerances and showing others how to adapt recipes to make them gluten and dairy free.

I currently find myself in the position of being a finalist in the UK Allergy Blog Awards for providing health information and recipes for food allergy and intolerance sufferers, which is amazing and feels like a fantastic achievement in itself. The problem I have, is where to go from here.

How do I develop this side of my business?

There isn’t one side of my writing business that I would be prepared to give up in favour of another at the moment, but it feels like I’m developing and moving the business along and with it, I need my marketing plan. I’m not tinkering a little here and there, this is a serious business that’s here to stay, so that means I have to make all the elements work if I’m going to succeed.

Sharing this for What I’m Writing.

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Comments (12)

  1. Renee @ mummytries 5th December 2016 at 8:22 pm

    Lots to think about hon, but it’s all good and exciting. To be honest, with your fingers in as many pies as you currently have, I wouldn’t worry too much about doing anything with your food blog. See where it goes organically, and if anything happens after the awards. Very best of luck x

  2. Maddy@writingbubble 6th December 2016 at 6:17 pm

    The allergy awards thing is a massive achievement – well done! I think it’s great having fingers in lots of pies (I know the feeling) and it sounds like you’re moving forward with all of them really successfully. You seem so focussed and determined (and things are actually happening in all three areas of your business so you’re not just drifting along) that I kind of wonder if a marketing plan might form itself soon… or if it’s sort of there already and just needs crystalising? Good luck with it all. Thanks for linking to #WhatImWriting

  3. Tara 7th December 2016 at 3:31 pm

    So much to think about here. It seems like whatever you’re doing is working for you though, especially being nominated for awards. Tim at Slouching Towards Thatcham did a really good series that might be some help, if you haven’t already read it. #WhatI’mWriting

  4. Alice @ The Filling Glass 8th December 2016 at 2:01 pm

    It sounds like a valuable event that you went to. I know what you mean about fingers in pies; life doesn’t always fit neatly into categories and it can be hard to know how to spread out your time and attention. I hope you find your strategy soon. Thanks for sharing xx

  5. Sophie Lovett 13th December 2016 at 12:23 pm

    Really interesting post – particularly as I am currently mulling over how to be more ‘business-like’ as a writer. I have made links with some really interesting small business groups near me but at the moment I’m not even sure what my business aspirations are… Sounds like an event like this would be really helpful – I might have to seek one out in the new year xx

    • Nicola 13th December 2016 at 12:47 pm

      Sometimes you don’t find that out until you get going, but when you’re forced to think about it, it can be quite difficult actually. As a writer, we write, about many things, often when they pop in to our heads, so you don’t always want to pin yourself down to just one area.

  6. Verily Victoria Vocalises 28th December 2016 at 7:16 pm

    It sounds like a really useful and interesting event. It is so hard when you are juggling plates but it sounds to me like you are doing well. Sorry I am late with commenting. #WhatImWriting

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