The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking. Albert Einstein
Most writers I know detest platform building. We’d rather be writing, after all. And many of us are introverts who cringe at the idea of self-promotion.
“Hell is self-promotion,” declares Seth Beaudoin. “As an author, marketing myself is a crucial part of the business — but that doesn’t mean I hate doing it any less.”
I used to be in Seth’s camp. But I had a transformation last week after a conversation about the tendency in America to prolong the life of our elderly rather than let them die with dignity. I learned that some hospitals are changing DNR (do not resuscitate) to AND (allow natural death). What a difference the simple change makes! Allow natural death sounds like the right thing to do while we might question the do not resuscitate decision.
This got me thinking about the marketing dilemma writers face. What if we changed our thinking as Einstein suggests above? What if, instead of self-marketing, we thought of social networking as interacting with our audience? Just that small tweak earns the idea a smiley face. What if we thought of social networking as an opportunity to encourage? To support and validate other writers? To share resources? Now marketing sounds like heaven rather than hell. By changing the terms, we change our thinking. We go from feeling like scum for self-promoting to feeling like a queen for doing good.
We still share our work of course, but it’s not our main focus. Social media expert Edie Melson recommends a 5:1 ratio, or one tweet or post about our own work to five on other topics, while productivity guru Michael Hyatt recommends the 20-to-1 rule. I think the ratio chosen should be determined by where we’re at on our individual journeys. We each need to find our comfort zone.
What about you? Do you embrace platform building or do you detest it as many writers do?