The Internet makes communication so easy that it has become a lifeline for a lot of us. However, you should still take care not to come across as so pushy and tactless that people wish they could pull your plug and stick a DNR- Do Not Resuscitate sticker on you.
Let people get to know (and hopefully like) you.
Are you a Social Network Over Teller? A SNOT is someone who shares too much information too soon. When you meet people in person—not online, but the old-fashioned way—do you bombard them with information?
Then you may be this type of person.
Would you feel comfortable around a person like that, let alone want to be their friend? If so, you’re a braver person than I am.
Hey, there are people who love to be the center of attention, and if they are not, they will find some way to get the attention on them. These SNOTs are nothing without their audience and some people are attracted to SNOTty people but others are not. To each, his/her own.
Word of mouth always has and always will be the best promotional tool. It’s up to you what kind of words people use about you when you’re not in the room.
Join a discussion. Start a discussion.
The reason I have a feature column on the She Writes site today is because I actively participated in a single group.
When I joined She Writes, I almost immediately joined the Southern Writers group and practiced what I continue to preach. I participated in discussions and started discussions so much, I was asked to become a co-admin. This led to my approaching that same group with a project that became the charity anthology Oil and Water and Other Things That Don’t Mix after the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
All of this led to other things and meeting (and liking) other people, which has led to new opportunities for me...like this feature column.
Beware of multiple postings.
In forums such as She Writes, when you want to share something with more than one group, you’re going to have to post multiple times. But unfortunately, that means that your message will appear multiple times in a person’s inbox if they happen to be in the same group(s) as you.
Unfortunately, some social networks like She Writes doesn’t allow for the capability to bcc messages. You have to send individual messages to individual groups. Put in your subject line somewhere “Cross-posting” or “Apologies for cross posting” or something so people will know they may see this message multiple times and won’t think you’re spamming them.
I’ll admit there are people whose messages I simply do not read because all they seem to do is clutter my inbox with multiple messages, which equate to spam. I don’t know who the person is because they haven’t bothered trying to do Tip #1 above, and I’m not about to follow any link they post and possibly risk infecting my computer—or worse—being put on some newsletter mailing list.
Don’t you hate it when you friend somebody on a social network, and suddenly, you’re on their mailing list? You’re soon privvy to what sexual position the person was in when they last conceived or bombarded with sales pitches...or both!
If you have to do multiple postings, don't do it every day and don't make it always about yourself.
Go for the soft sale and not the hard shill.
If people like you and trust you, they will most likely take into account your opinion. They may not agree with it...but they will at least consider it albeit briefly.
If you are trying to sell your work, service, whatever, your chance of success increases as your influence increases. This will not happen if you try to sell yourself indiscriminately to anyone who comes along. There’s a word for that and it’s quite rude.
Some of you may have been asked by fellow authors to endorse their work with a kind review or statement. I know of authors who are happy to endorse anybody and anything—they’re just happy (read: flattered) to be asked. Whereas I know of authors who rarely endorse others, if ever. It’s not that they are being rude, but they are being mindful of their reputation. They don’t want to endorse something to their loyal audience if they cannot fully support it. As a result, some authors prefer not to be put in such a situation and will refuse an endorsement.
If you’re going to ask friends and acquaintances to part with their hard-earned cash (or credit), you should at least make sure the item is worth their investment.
You may not be “friends” with every person on your social networks, or even those whom you’ve "friended", but if there is general goodwill between you and your network, they won’t mind the occasional direct reminder that you have XYZ-product for sale and they should give it a try and tell their friends. Daily sales plugs are unnecessary and unwanted.
In the end, you want to be the "word on the curb" where word of mouth rules and the word about you is good.
©2013 by Zetta Brown. Zetta is the author of several published short stories and the novel Messalina: Devourer of Men. She is working on her next novel. If you like this post, then stop by Zetta’s Desk or Zetta’s House of Random Thoughts.