It is important to market to pre-qualified prospects (people within your potential buying pool, people who have identified themselves as wanting your product). While some individuals in a church, a club, a benevolent association, or a school may have expressed general interest in your product, groups such as these are examples of lack of pre-qualification. You would be marketing to people the vast majority of whom are not potential buyers–nor will they ever be.
Spend Your Energy and Time on Pre-qualified Prospects
For appropriate business development, it is most profitable to identify a pool of likely buyers. (These are often called “suspects.”) Suspects for a memoir professional would belong to writing associations, respond to an advertisement, receive your newsletter, show up at a lecture you are presenting on lifewriting. (No one attends unless s/he is interested in memoirs and therefore you can say everyone there is pre-qualified as a buyer. This cannot be said about a church group or a meeting of the Kiwanis drawn from the general population.)
Outreach to anyone but the pre-qualified prospects lacks focus and is a squandering of the energy that could be geared to outreach which promises a greater return. If you had spent the same energy preparing a presentation at a public venue for people responding to a press release on memoir writing rather than to a general adult group, you would probably have some viable additions to your mailing list and possibly some jobs. (I have had good responses to such presentations to pre-qualified people.)
To use a car salesman analogy, if you ignore pre-qualification, what you are doing is the equivalent of a salesperson going to your alumni association meeting and mounting an all-out effort. Of the people there, perhaps one is interested and might have come to a public event at the dealership anyway. What a waste of time for the salesman.
To extend the analogy, car dealerships are better served by preparing open houses at which they feature their new cars. Only people interested in car buying show up for an open house (think: a public talk at a library on memoir co-authoring).
Remember: 80% of your profits will come from 20% of your effort. Therefore, always be on the lookout for the 20% of your promotions that will produce 80% of your profits–and then eliminate the 80% of the outreach that is squandered on producing only 20% of your income. My best business-coach advice to you if you wish to develop a viable business that will support you and your family is to steer clear of trying to sell to buyers who are not pre-qualified. When you do so, you are investing 80% of your time in what promises to be 20% of your business profits. You are clearly in a zone of inefficiency–and ultimately insolvency.