On My Bookshelf
by Marion E Gold
Freelance Writer, Editor, PR Practitioner, Book Author, Public Speaker, Advertising Copywriter. We all have at least one thing in common. Our products are "invisible services." Writers, editors and speakers are selling their experience, knowledge, ideas and words. Just think about it. We are selling our ability to use our experience to craft a product made up of words -- words that are intended to educate, entertain or persuade.
In his book, Selling the Invisible, Harry Beckwith says it this way: "You are what you are. You cannot try to be something that does not fit the way your prospects position you." Some small businesses try to hide their size and describe their service as second to none. That doesn't work!
|Selling the Invisible
by Harry Beckwith
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Warner Business Books
List Price: $22.95
Where to buy the book: Available from Amazon.com
"Don't try to hide your small size," Beckwith says. "Make it work by stressing its advantages, such as responsiveness and individual attention."
Although Selling the Invisible focuses mainly on the service aspect of selling products, Beckwith's theory is very relevant to the communications business - the selling of "words." Beckwith provides a lesson from Picasso (my favorite chapter in his book). He describes the scene this way: A woman was strolling along a street in Paris when she spotted Picasso sketching at a sidewalk café. She asked Picasso to sketch her.
He obliged and she asked "What do I owe you?"
"Five thousand francs," Picasso answered.
"But it only took you three minutes," she said.
"No," Picasso said. "It took me all my life."
In another chapter, Beckwith writes about "The Essence of Publicity." Although his focus in this chapter is on advertising and press releases, again - his lesson has great parallels to a freelancer pitching an article. He writes: In an effort to publicize your service, never ask what makes our service so good? Ask what makes our service interesting to that publication's readers? Editors want their readers to say "I loved the article!" Lesson to writers: If you want editors to help you, help them. Give them something interesting.
Beckwith is brutally honest. That's why Selling the Invisible is On My Bookshelf.
Don't forget, IWPA is an Amazon.com associate - So if you want to buy any of the books reviewed in "On My Bookshelf" please visit www.iwpa.org and click on the Amazon.com logo. IWPA will earn quarterly referral fees that will help us continue to provide valuable educational programs and opportunities to its members
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