I’m a pretty outgoing person. I can talk to most people and I don’t tend to sit in a corner and study the house plants at a party. People tell me I’m interesting and well spoken. For only being an active author for about a year now, I’ve got a pretty good platform on Facebook, Twitter and of course my website. So, why do I dread self-promotion? Why can’t I pick up the phone (yes, people still do that) and call people and talk to them about my book? Why can’t I make cold-call?
Back in October I did a post on Self-Promoting When you’re a Writer. Check out the post here if you missed it. The purpose was to give suggestions on ways to promote your book or books.
Now I need to step up my game. This week I needed to do two things I dread. First, I had to craft a query email to be sent out to a list of fifty bloggers and websites to ask them to review my book, The Calling. The book’s been out for almost two months and the buzz has started to wane so it’s time to get going on my second round of marketing and PR. Also, this week I had to make a cold call to a news producer about a potential interview they want to do with me.
Neither task was complicated and on paper it shouldn’t have taken up much time, but it did. Especially when I went to make the phone call. I dreaded having to pick up the phone and talk to them. I tried to be as prepared as I could for the call. When I finally got around to making the call, I ended up leaving a voicemail. Sadly, the message I left… yeash. I wanted to delete and redo the whole thing (that wasn’t an option).
Proud that I completed both takes I took a breath. Luckily, I received some very positive responses to my emails and in the next few weeks I have a planned interview for a local GLBT Magazine Talk Show. It should be fun.
Now as I sit here, I wonder why self-promotion is so difficult not just for me but for everyone. Is it because we believe we’re bragging and bragging is bad?
I suppose, but there are things that I’m really proud of and I have no problem talking about them. Okay that isn’t a 100% true I’m told I downplay things too much, but I’m getting better.
Is it that we’re afraid of being told no?
That’s a valid fear, but I’m told ‘no’ a lot (you should see my stack of rejection letters). So, why should that make me go into a panic attack when I need to promote myself and my work. Not to mention everyone else who has gone through the creative process we all get told ‘no’ a lot. Yet, from what I’ve read we all freak out about our own promotion.
Then there is the fact that sales is hard. Not to mention we don’t like salespeople and we don’t want to be like them. Perhaps, we hold ourselves back because of that bias?
Possibly, but I know a bunch of nice salespeople who don’t leave you with the creepy used car salesmen impression. So, I’m not sure about that one.
As you can see, I’m left with more questions than answers. I did a bunch of digging around on the internet to see if I could find some helpful answers. I found two articles/blogs.
One is an open discussion about self-promotion (an article from 2014) the dialog was good (even though the information was geared more towards art and artists) I was relieved to read that others experienced the same issue. You can read the blog post here.
The second one I found was from FastCompany and they made two suggestion that seemed reasonable (again this one is more geared for the self-employed) and worth a shot. You can read he full article here. It’s not a very long read so it’s worth a view.
What I enjoyed about both of these articles is that they offered some solutions that anyone could use. So, if you’re a writer reading this, or just someone who is trying to get noticed at work or by someone special I think you can get some good takeaways from them.
What I’m going to remember for the next time is that I need to work past the ‘yuck’ and make it happen, because no one else is going to bang my drum for me.
Until next week, enjoy your weekend and let me know your thoughts below on self-promotion. Got tips or tricks for dealing, please share them. Given what I read online and what I went through I think we can all use the help.