Let’s face it: There’s a huge difference between being good at writing and being good at marketing your writing. But if you’re a media wallflower, don’t worry! There are still ways you can get your name out there without leaving the comfort of your proverbial wall.
If you’re feeling reluctant, shy, or despairing about having to promote your work, here are some marketing ideas to try.
First things first: Identify the source of your shyness.
Are you afraid to share your personal information with the world? Do you simply prefer privacy? Get out your journal and do some soul searching: Your social media shyness may stem from some insecurity or fear (or, it might not).
PROBLEM: Shyness that originates from a negative view of self
SOLUTION: Take a more honest look at your strengths and your (perceived) weaknesses. Nobody will ever be as hard on you as you are on yourself. Let go of your own negative self-assessments, and give others the benefit of the doubt. Consider that they aren’t going to be critical of your promotion efforts (they probably just want to support you!).
PROBLEM: Shyness that comes from labeling
SOLUTION: We all label others, but think about how you label yourself. If you call yourself a shy person, you may attempt to live up to this label even in your writing. When thoughts of shyness enter your mind, recognize these for the labels they are. Reassert that you are a strong, unique author who has no reason to feel shy. Time to let your voice be heard!
PROBLEM: You’re not really shy; you just don’t like the idea of making your life very public—especially on social media. You’re concerned about safety and privacy.
SOLUTION: There are a number of things you can do to maintain your privacy on the Web. First, consider using a pen name. If your worries arise from a fear of being overly public with your private life on social media sites, check this out: Safety Tips For Social Networking: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Safe Online.
You can apply similar privacy lessons to your author website. Start here: Your Author Website: Privacy Protection And Safety Tips.
PROBLEM: You can’t stand the pressure of marketing online; you don’t like being in the spotlight in social situations—online or in real time.
SOLUTION: Adopt an author persona. In doing so, you can create a voice unique from your own. Use this voice to communicate with fans and promote yourself as an author. Your online voice doesn’t have to be your “real” voice; it’s just an expression of (parts of) your personality online. Your persona can be free from self-consciousness, even if you’re not.
Next, turn self-consciousness into strength.
Now that you understand your shyness, use the tips above to overcome it and promote yourself.
Identify your goals and work toward achieving them.
Always remember that you have qualities that make you unique, quirky, and inimitable. A self-conscious person might view these qualities as weaknesses, but a self-aware person can accurately recognize unique traits as gifts, talents, and strengths.
Identify your strengths by recognizing the things you do well. Most often these are the qualities that set you apart from the masses and make you unique as a person AND as an author. Embrace them! You’ll find that others are eager to do the same.
Photo by PoliCardo.
QUESTION: What is your favorite way to market yourself as a writer?