Hey writers, I know you. I know a lot of you are the quiet type, introverted and shy. Not all of you, but most of you. It’s like part of a writer’s DNA. You’re quiet because you’re planning, scheming, plotting the next written line in your head. You are figuring out how to use your quirky friends as characters in your stories. You are world-building. You are creating poetry in your mind as you walk down the street. You are thinking of your next blog post or article.
This takes a lot of brain power. Your mind works faster and stronger than most. You want to sit quietly at your writing spot and create without being bothered. You want to put your work out there and have it shine like a star. Really, that’s all we writers want.
But do you stick your neck out there in the world? Do you have to?
I was one of those people that would rather stay in the shadows, write masterpieces, then sit back and relax as I watch it become a bestseller.
Sometimes that happens for writers, and more power to you if it does. More often though, you have to shout it out to the Universe.
For self-published authors and freelancers- well, we’ve got to get ourselves noticed. If you are already self-publishing or submitting articles, you know this. If you are just getting started, I’ve got news for you:
It is not easy.
Fortunately, things have become much easier with the invention of the internet and digital books. This also means a lot of other people are doing it too. The world wide web is grand and wonderful, but “noisy”. There’s a lot of stuff out there.
So, how do you stand out?
First, remember that consistency is key. You have to show up every day. If you have followers on social media or your email newsletter or website, you have to be there for them. Make sure they hear from you regularly- don’t disappear. Your followers are your fans. Treat them well. Create quality products or books, run special prices from time to time, and always thank your followers and readers.
Second, think of creative ways to attract new readers to your books or new clients for your articles. Work on writing excellent descriptions of your book or freelance services. Use eye-catching graphics. (Do you like the bright flamingos?) Look at what types of marketing are popular. What do you notice when you are surfing the web or social media? How could you implement similar strategies in a cost effective way?
Third, be a leader, and be responsible. If you promise something to your fans, deliver it. If you are delayed, let them know when to expect your response. Make your community feel like they matter- because they do.
Without readers, writers don’t have anything to do.
There is another important part of being online and sticking your neck out there. It is the Golden Rule for any entrepreneur- and you are a writer, which makes you one. It is this:
Do not pretend to be someone that you are not.
Be real, be yourself, be brave. People really do want the real you, with your real life anecdotes, your admissions of human faults, your boldness or timidity. People would rather do business with (and buy books from) someone who is honest and trustworthy than someone who is a fake.
Have integrity, be respectful and always work hard to improve your writing and your business. Stick your neck out there, be bright and bold like the flamingo, and keep showing up!
(By the way, many of my blog pics- including the flamingos- come from a free resource, unsplash.com– check them out!)
P.S. What are some of the ways that you bring attention to your work and stick your neck out in the crowd?