This post by Stephanie Allen Crist really hit the spot for me today. I’ll comment at the end.
Earning Your Place
Posted on April 20, 2013 by Stephanie Allen Crist
“In most people’s minds, marketing is about promoting a product or service. It’s about advertising. It’s about sales.
But the full cycle of marketing involves discovering what customers want, providing customers with products and services they want, reaching out to them so they know how to get it, and analyzing your results.
Simply put, you don’t start with a pitch. You start with a product or service that’s worth pitching. In your case, that means you start with a book that’s worth reading.
It could be said that people (at least some of them) on the bestsellers’ lists write crap churned out for the masses. There’s some truth to that, though not as much as the struggling writer likes to tell him/herself. The thing of it is that these writers know or stumble upon the secret to sales: Giving customers what they want.
This doesn’t mean following the hottest trends to make the best sales, though people do that, too. Let’s assume for the moment that you don’t work that way. Most writers don’t.
Instead, take it to mean producing the best book you can and then finding the people who will want it. It might not be the masses, and that’s okay. The thing of it is, though, you have to find them, at least at the start. When you’re building your initial following, you have to go out and look for people who might like your book. Then, you share your message, i.e. your pitch, with them.
So, to earn your place among successful authors, you need to:
Write the best book you can.
Find the people who will want to read it.
Tell them about your book.
If you do, then you will earn your place. If you do it well, you’ll earn your living. You might even become a bestseller in the process.”
This is the bit that made those little bells start ringing in my head :
“…producing the best book you can and then finding the people who will want it.”
As soon as I read that [words in bold] it hit me that I have spent my whole life looking for kindred spirits, people who will like the kind of person I am, people who will accept me for who I am.
I can tell you right now that I do not have many real life friends who fall into that category. But. The friends I do have are friends for life. We have grown together, suffered together, supported each other in bad times and laughed like crazy during the good times. I would walk over hot coals for these kindred spirits of mine!
But what does this have to do with marketing? Everything.
Just as I could never be the uber popular person with a million friends and acquaintances, I cannot become the uber popular writer whose work is loved by all. That will never happen because I am not that kind of person, and will never be able to write that kind of book. But I can reach out to readers who are kindred spirits and share my work with them. And that is exactly what I am going to do.