Self-Marketing 101

Yesterday, two things pinged my radar. First, was the Facebook status I am about to reprint (with permission) in its entirety below. Second, however, was this annoying fucking thing right here:

twitterdm2

I’m fairly unselective about who I follow-back on Twitter. All you have to do is tweet about something other than your book once in a while, AND if you do occasionally provide links to your product, they can’t all be bit.ly links that go who-the-hell-knows where (Twitter has its own link shortening feature, so why the fuck use bit.ly unless you’re trying to hide that you’re a shameless, self-indulgent, blighter?). That’s it! That said, I will INSTANTLY unfollow you if you do one single thing. And that this is what you see in the picture above. If the first interaction we ever have after following each other is you trying to sell me your shit in a cut-and-paste private message, then we’re done.

Honestly, though, I should be grateful for this sort of thing. You’ve instantly singled yourself out as an eminently uninteresting wanker whose creative work I can ignore with a clean conscience and no regrets. You’ve culled yourself from the herd, making my feed moire interesting and healthier. Thank you!

One might be inclined to ask then, how do I get through to a guy like you? Well, that was covered by the aforementioned Facebook post I saw yesterday from Sci Fi LEGEND, David Gerrold.*

Okay, here’s how to do self-promotion on Facebook. [Or any social media, for that matter. — BNM]

Don’t have your Facebook page be about yourself.

Have it be about what you’re interested in, passionate about, enthusiastic about, outraged about, terrified of, curious about, discovering, and feeling. Your page is for sharing your thoughts.

If all you post on Facebook is where you’re speaking, what award you just got, who just honored you, and what best-seller list you just landed on, then your Facebook page isn’t for anyone else — it’s for yourself.

Have genuine discussions on Facebook. People will contribute their own insights and will expand your understanding of the issue. What they share will be valuable source material — but even more important, what you share of yourself creates a relationship with readers that cannot be created any other way. It creates genuine friendship.

Once you’ve done that, then you can mention a story or book you’re proud of and where it’s available. Because then you’re sharing it as a friend to a friend — not a salesman to a customer. Nobody wants to be thought of as a customer, everybody wants to be a participant in a mutually rewarding friendship.

[Emphasis added.]

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s hear it for David Gerrold, creator of the Tribble!

It’s as simple as that! Be interesting, FFS! Most of the writers whose work I have discovered on social media (and not through a direct recommend or a review) and enjoyed are terribly interesting people with terribly interesting viewpoints who do not spend time spamming people with a constant barrage of half-assed marketing. Once in a while is fine. Once a day even. But don’t be like this:

It’s not that hard. Find stories that interest you. Make observations. Be engaging. Tell jokes. BE YOURSELF. Christ, it’s not rocket science, it’s making people WANT to interact with you. You’ve been doing it for your entire life! I guarantee no one has ever gotten up from a commercial during their favorite show to go get another beer and immediately plopped back down exclaiming, “OOH! I love this shingles commercial!” I enjoy social media because it’s a way to keep current and in contact with distant (and not so distant) friends. If all you’ve ever said to me is “buy my book,” you are not one of those people.

You’re the god damned ad!

And I always mute the ads.

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* See what I did there? Gerrold is interesting and insightful and cool. So I linked to his work. I like him and I want him to benefit from his effort to engage me in a rich, rewarding way.

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~ by poǝןɔɐɯ uǝʞɔɐɹq on 25/07/2013.

2 Responses to “Self-Marketing 101”

  1. Just a quick comment on bit.ly:

    A lot of people use bit.ly because it provides analytics on how many people clicked on their links, or shared it, or whatever. It is a way to analyze one’s tweets “Oh, no one clicks on my articles about spiders, but there are several shares on my article about kitten.” …to sum it up.

    To be clear, people may still be shameless, self-indulgent, blighters, but some people may be using the bit.ly analytics. 🙂

    Hope that helps! I do agree about the half-assed marketing being pretty damn annoying.

    Cheers!

    • Ha! I learned something today. Your point about Bit.ly is noted. Also about the varying appeal of spider to cat posts.

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