Last Saturday I bumped into an old girl of mine from Wanyange Girls School, on Luwum Street and I must say it was a pleasant surprise until she asked me what I did for a living. I told her I was a writer and she said that one I already know but what do you really do. And again I said I was a writer.
“Is that even a job, she asked? I replied no, it’s not. It’s a hobby I earn money from so I can’t really call it a job. So you don’t work, she said and I said yes. Then I realized there are very few people who understand that writing can be profitable in Uganda even if you are not working in print media.
And this is the part that took me long to decipher but after working for some NGO’s and Government bodies that had hired writer’s who weren’t as creative as I am I realized there was a market for creative writing in Uganda.
Now being a writepreneur (writing entrepreneur) is a part most writer’s struggle with and it’s a part I struggled with until I got introduced to Writing for profit. Most people think that being a writer is some lazy thing. They assume you lie down in bed or sit down on a sofa and words just start flowing into that word document.
That is not a fact; actually writing requires a lot of research, reading and thinking a lot outside the box of what’s real and what’s fiction and how you can make people believe in both. It requires that you are a good debater in that whenever you write you present your best argument to your readers.
It is impossible to write if you don’t have an ounce of confidence floating in your body but that put aside the write thing really does have un tapped profitable possibilities. So today I really want to connect with that writer that is still struggling with how to turn this presumed “not for profit” craft into a cash cow of their own.
1.Read news papers and magazines and see which NGO’s or Organizations publish PR pieces (content talking about a company and what they do). Once you have identified those organizations go ahead and read their content and rework it. After rewriting that content in a creative and interesting way, go ahead and meet with someone on the team of that company and see the person in charge of their communications department.
Tell them your name and what you do and show them what you did with their content. If they love what you do, then that means a call back on their next project. If they don’t like it ask them if you can rework it to their satisfaction…but if they refuse move on and rework another companies work and please don’t be afraid of going to other organizations whose work you’ve not seen.
People always don’t know what they don’t have, so go ahead and show them what you think they need.
2.Get yourself a professional website and write your heart out about any topic that meets your fancy. Most times people ask me where I get the things I write about and the answer is always I don’t know. But the fact is, am always straining my brain and praying to God to give me a topic I have never written about so that I stretch my writing mojo and I believe it has worked.
The website will be a nice place to practice daily but also it will be a great display of your best work and writing technique. Any time you go out to meet a client instead of talking about what you have done and what you can do. It is much professional to show and don’t tell. Let the client come up with their own conclusion about your work. Plus it saves time and makes for very short professional meetings because Company Execs don’t have all day to listen to you talking about how good you are.
Disclaimer: Please don’t post irrelevant unprofessional content on your website because if you do it will kind of affect how people perceive you.
3.Go tell it on the mountain: By this I mean. Market your mind out. Recently I was talking to my friend Jahluum Luwizza Herberts and I asked him if there was any other way I could improve on my marketing strategy. And he told me Sarah, you are a woman. There is no better brand than that. People assume women are neat, organized and creative. So if you are a woman/ man add that aspect to your marketing plan. Show them how neat you are by publishing work that has no typos, misused words or bad formatting.
Just keep it out right professional. If it means splitting the cash to pay a proof reader do so than handing in work that has typos or mistakes.
4.Contact PR Firms: There are several PR firms in Uganda that represent several brands. These firms are hired by organizations or companies to represent them in the write way through print media. If you know of any PR firms go ahead and approach them.
Talk about their clients with them and offer your first article for free to show them that you are a writepreneur.
When I started on this journey it was hard at first because people didn’t know me that much but those that chose to know me have encountered my greatest madness and that is because I decided to be a writepreneur.
Writing provides for me the food I eat, the clothes I wear, the hair pieces I plait and the freedom to be true to Sarah Namulondo and that is the politics of being Sarah Namulondo the writepreneur…actually this is a silly word I coined…hope you’ll love it.
Tell me about the politics around your business? What have you discovered that could work for others? Share with me in the comments below.