Hope you all are doing well! Things have improved dramatically for me since I've been reconnected to the internet. Hot dog! My poor little ET heart light was waning. I was in dire need of some e-juice. Phew, got plugged back in just in the nick of time.
I've had a lot of time on my hands this past week to consider the meaning of the universe, strange Fall fashion trends, and why I still shudder at the M-Word. Here is what I've come up with. You see, the word marketing just holds no appeal for me. I can't think of a single connotation that I find alluring, sexy, or even interesting.
Stock market? Shudder. Grocery market? Must I, really? Meat market? Gee, I'll pass. Farmer's Market? Must they flaunt their Brussel Sprouts (aka tiny alien heads) at me? Book Marketing? Yick!
You see where all this is going, don't you? We need some *new* language around this, coupled with fresh, shiny images. And, they won't be the same for all of us. As we've learned over these past months together, though we belong to the same tribe, introverts are a diverse group. Some of us love to teach and speak to crowds, but run shrieking at the phone or doorbell ringing (uh, that would be me). Some of us can't imagine speaking to both our dentist and her hygienist at the same time, but can happily while away hours on the phone.
I've learned a lot doing buddy book signings with Robin, and one of the things I most admire is her "pitch"-- her ability to summarize her book into one or two sentences. She does so in a way that reaches out and embraces her potential reader. She focuses on how the book might meet their needs vs. how cool the book is. She is able to adjust her synopsis a widge each time so that it makes sense to whomever she is speaking to, be it a child, a parent, or a teacher. It feels fresh and personal each and every time. I'm reay to whip out my wallet and buy another copy by the time she's done.
At times, my pitch can sound like an apology, or perhaps as if I've never actually read the book. Truly! I have the dardest time with it. I need to tip the focus off me and my insecurities. To do that requires that I come to terms with the quality of my work. Did I write the best book I possibly could at the time? If so, and my editor liked it enough to publish it, I'm going to go with its assumed value.
In all other areas of my life, if I have something of value, I always want to share it with others. Why should it be different with my books? When I make cookies, I make enough for the greater tri-counties area. In my coaching practice, I am confident that I'm good at it, and I feel comfortable inviting people to hire me.
Here is the shift that I'm making that I challenge you to consider. If the terms marketing and promotion cause sweat to run down your inner thighs, call it something else. We know that words are beyond powerful. Change a word, change your world. So, I'm moving from marketing to connecting and from promotion to sharing. I feel skilled at both of these activities, and they both feel tied to a higher purpose than sales.
I believe in the power of children's literature to catapult a child into a new realm of being. If I'm lucky enough to be one of the voices in the field, and I believe in my work, what a waste not to share it. What a missed opportunity if I don't try to connect with others while I have the air time.
So what about you? There are many, many components to marketing. Can you isolate an area(s) of strength and expertise? What about changing the language to something that excites and motivates you? What else can you call marketing? Or promotion? Or pitching (for god's sake)? How about something less corporate than networking? And I'm not thrilled with anything that ends with 'campaign'--ideas on that?
And, please, anything more humane than branding? In fact, I hate that one so much that I'm attaching a **PRIZE** to anyone that comes up with a good replacement for that. And platforms are good for shoes, but can we find a better way to describe one's area of expertise?
Robin and I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Grab your creativity and come on over!