I’m terrible at self-promotion as a writer.
But I’m in marketing! This should be right up my alley! Using social media and my network to grow my following, sell books, garner reviews, etc. But it’s not. It’s not up my alley at all.
It’s ironic, I know.
Why is this? Why can I peddle other people’s products (in the past few weeks, I’ve plugged DJ Tone Terra, Gina Rosati, Blake Snyder, Sarah Dessen, and more) but feel like I’m a snake oil salesman when I push my own hard work? I think it boils down to two things: my past and my reserved personality.
I mentioned my past before and how writing is an outlet to become more outgoing, be the people I could never be, etc. Part of that upbringing was a staunch denial of self and accomplishment. Pride—in any form—was discouraged and downplayed. Saying “look at me” was tantamount to calling undue attention to yourself, and if you were really doing something great, people would notice. You couldn’t accept any of their congratulations, but they’d notice.
But that’s not how the real world works. Just like in Facebook, where you must pay to have your posts seen by more than a small percentage of your total followers, you have to promote yourself day in and day out in order to be heard. You have to fight for attention, and that’s just not something I’ve been able to ever do effectively.
Which is a perfect segue to my personality. I’m a laid back guy. Always have been, although at one point I did fight harder for things. I think years of being in such an oppressive environment took its toll and wore me down to the point that I’m at now. But even without that, I just don’t see the point of personally participating in social media. From a corporate standpoint, it makes perfect sense—I can post about SAP books all day long or tweet about auto racing. But who cares what I as a person has to say?
I’m sure there’s someone, somewhere. I’m sure many of my friends care. But most of the time, I just don’t feel it. If I can’t inspire my close group of friends, how will I inspire strangers?
But I keep pushing forward, because I like to write. And I’m good at it. And one day it will pay off. If it doesn’t? Well, I’ll still enjoy the ride.
Until then, if I want to become better at self-promotion as a writer, I need to come up with a content plan. If you (friend or stranger) like what you’ve been reading, you can follow me on Twitter or on Facebook. I’m trying to promote my stuff a bit more, and if you follow and engage then it’ll inspire me to continue down that path.
So that’s the plan—I’ll try to whisper amongst the hurricane, with the hopes that one day I’ll be able to match the roar of the wind.