It's All about Relationships

Writers nowadays need a platform, that base of people who are interested in seeing what it is they write.  One of the many ways they accomplish this is through social media networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.  Of course, there are an abundance of these sites popping up every day vying for our attention.  Facebook even has feeds within itself, like the Schoolfeed I keep getting asked to join by people I didn’t even know I went to school with.  How many of them you should sign up for is entirely up to you, but don’t overload yourself.  While they are great tools to get your creativity out to the masses, you can spend so much time on social media that you never write or paint or make that album or whatever it is you are trying to promote.

Where so many people make a mistake in using such networks as Facebook and Twitter is focusing on the promoting aspect of their business.  Now, that is important, don’t get me wrong.  That is why you are there, after all.  I know, because that’s why I am there, as well.  It’s definitely not because I have an interest in what everyone else is having for dinner and can’t wait to see the pictures they post.  I share links to my blog posts as well as my stories and by the end of the year I’ll be selling my books with the help of copy and pasted links everywhere.  I did it just now.  Go back to those blue words and click and you’ll see how I managed to slide it in.  On my blog, I’ll even devote entire posts to each book as they come out; hoping people will buy them so I can remain tucked away on my back porch allowing the voices in my head to make it down on paper.  However, if that is all you do you are hurting your chances at success.

Social media is not about business; it’s about people.  Do you want to help yourself and your business?  Then invest more of your time into building relationships and making friends than you do sharing links to your merchandise.  To do that, you need to engage in conversation, get to know the people you follow and who follow you.  I would recommend going that extra mile and visit their blogs and web pages, listen to their music and help support them.  I will find someone whose work I thoroughly enjoy and soon I am sharing their links with my friends and followers.  Quite often this is returned as they share my writing with their friends in appreciation.  As in other areas of life, promotion is a reciprocal act.

It also pays to have good manners.  When people share my story, Circle of Justice, a blog post, or just some smart ass comment I made about life and people, I make sure I don’t wait too long to say a public thank you.  The same goes with the people who recommend me to their followers or who take the time to comment on the blog or Facebook page.  Furthermore, I like to welcome and thank new followers on Twitter for checking me out and participating.  Being grateful is not only polite, but people are more willing to help someone who appreciates their efforts.  And I am appreciative.  There is no way I could reach as many people as I do without the assistance of great people.

To go further in life as well as in your business invest in relationships as much as you do in your art.  Read the books and blogs of people who want your help as much as you want theirs, participate and leave comments.  The saying goes that in order to have friends you must first be a friend.  The same is true when it comes to support.  If you want people to support you, then take the time to support them.  Be the kind of fan you would love to have for yourself.

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