Networking is essential for writers. Personally, I love meeting new people, so for me networking is second nature. I like to blame it on being Myers-Briggs personality type ENFP. Which at times leaves me feeling like an oddball in the writing community, but it makes socializing a breeze and when it comes down to it networking is just socializing with a purpose.
When I network I am building a group of advocates, potential customers and connections, but more importantly I’m building friends. In my mind friendships and the connections built through that bond is worth more than money in the bank. I as I have said multiple times, I don’t plan on getting rich through my writing. I am not sure I even want to tie myself down to making a (lifelong) full-time career of it (though for a short amount of time it could be fun), but for me writing is just another means to express myself, my creativity, and experience life.
I often wonder if people approached marketing with the perspective of making friends (instead of selling their books) how much of difference it would make. Making friends (at least to me) is a lot easier than sales. I used to work as a recruiter for the Nielsen TV Ratings, recruiting homes into the TV Ratings sample. I’m not a particularly great sales person (to be honest, I really stink at it), but I could get homes to sign up that had previously refused other reps or at the very least they were nice to me instead of slamming the door in my face or shouting profanities at me (and yes that did happen). I also used to be able to convince households to stay in the sample with ease. The reason I was successful at changing people’s minds was because they liked me. During that job, I discovered I didn’t have to be a convincing sales person, I just had to make people like me.
So, I come into networking and marketing with one purpose and only one purpose, to make people like me. Not to sell books, but to make friends. Will that eventually translate into sales? I don’t know, but it’s worth a try. All going as planned we will discover if making friends equates to selling books [this summer], because honestly I have no idea.
I am on social media to talk about the subjects and ideas I enjoy and to make friends. I have met a lot of fantastic writers and made (what I hope are) lasting friendships. I will spread the word other writer’s books to my personal associates and social networks, even if I don’t plan on reading the book myself, because let’s be honest, I don’t love every genre and as much as I would love to I can’t afford to buy every book on the market, but just because it’s not a plot that interests me doesn’t mean some of my network wouldn’t enjoy the book. I have vested my time and friendship into my networks and I want to help them with their dreams as much as I want to succeed at my own.
If you are looking for an opportunity to network, I suggest Twitter. There are tons of writers and writing chats. Stephanie Lennox has just started a weekly #Wholewriter chat on Thursdays at 7 PM [EST/EDT]. I have enjoyed the opportunity to explore the questions she asks along with network and hear the ideas of fellow writers and share my own experiences.
I realize I am posting my “N” post a day late, but I have a great excuse! I was participating in last night’s #Wholewriter chat on Twitter and then I decided to start reviewing Reverie and revising it.