We’ve all done it: on Facebook, Twitter, or whatever your social poison, we’ve accepted a connection with someone who subsequently bombards us with pleas and demands to visit their page, read their posts, buy their books. Whether they’re begging for attention or issuing a command, it always hits me wrong.
“Hey you! Yeah, you–with the annoying spam masquerading as personal mail. Turn-about’s fair play! You want me to look at your stuff, you gotta look at mine, capiche? And tell your friends!”
A shot of temper from me doesn’t offset the rudeness of the spammer–it just makes things worse. And I don’t know why receiving unwanted ads cranks up my ire. The only excuse I have is that I’m an Irishwoman–who uses words like “capiche.”
Author and marketing pro, Kristen Lamb, hit the nail on the head when she wrote, “the most effective marketing technique is kindness.” This statement is so true that she used it as the title of her June 15, 2010 article in her blog, aptly titled Kristen Lamb’s Blog. Kristen wrote a book I’ve added to my “Must Read” list called We Are Not Alone—The Writer’s Guide to Social Media. In it, she tells the secret of effective promotions for authors.
Be genuinely interested in other people and the promotion will come. Genuine promotion that really will speak to others. Most people will feel the need to reciprocate if we do something authentically kind. Our motive should always be pure—do something authentically kind—because people can smell manipulation from a mile away, and who likes being manipulated? No one.
By the way, one of the things Kristen recommends doing is to visit people’s blogs and leave comments. Real comments (says I), not the “Boy howdy, this was great! I’m gonna take your advice!” kind of comment spammers leave on my “duck tales” posts.
Sow kindness and generosity of your own spirit and you will be shocked at the harvest. Authentic kindness is so inspiring to others that it frequently moves them to do the same thing.
Sowing kindness. We Christian authors should be CEOs in that business, and we shouldn’t expect a return. But how wonderful it is when our kindness is returned.
Mike Duran put it this way in his article, “The Number One Marketing Hurdle: You,” on Decompose:
Authors who are bigger than their books talk about more than just their books. They talk about other people, other ideas, other blogs, other books. They celebrate others’ success and enjoy aiming the spotlight elsewhere. And in doing so, they market themselves.
Then, he wraps it up with one of the best lines of the century:
Listen, if you can’t see beyond your book, your blog, your opinions, and your super-coolness, then please back away from the social media.
To all those folks who want to flood my various in-boxes with attention-grabbing gimmicks, “please back away from the social media.”
Kindness, this often overlooked and under appreciated act can reap untold rewards. Its like investing a penny and reaping a thousand bucks. Thanks for this Linda. I needed to read it. Now I am off to get Kristen’s book.
That’s exactly right–“investing a penny and reaping a thousand.” I said Kristen can hit a nail, but you’re pretty good with a hammer, too!
Well said, Kristen and Linda. When kindness is involved it feels less like promotion and more like helpfulness. Friendship. Goodness. Thank you for helping us capiche it.
So true! Great point, Carol!
Awwww. I LOVE this and thank you so much for the shout-out. Serving others is paramount. If we can forget our own needs and serve the needs of others, the ROI is nothing short of miraculous. THANK YOU!
You’re welcome, Kristen. I thoroughly enjoyed your post.
Yes, yes, yes! Absotively-posolutely agree. No one likes a marketer, but everyone likes a genuine human being who is genuinely interested in making genuine connections.
If you want proof, just watch how quickly I hang up on a telemarketer! 😀
YES YES YES! My philosophy completely.
I believe it! You’re kindness is unequaled!
The Golden Rule really goes a long, long way in life. It’s really that simple.
The biggest challenge I face is organization. Retweeting someone’s book release or blog post out of the goodness of your heart is the easy part. I struggle with trying to keep track of people who help me — I want to return the favor, of course.
The very nature of social media makes it tough — you can have hundreds or thousands of Facebook and Twitter contacts. Does anyone have a good system for keeping it all organized?
If you ever find a system, let me know, okay? I have the same problem!
That makes me feel better that I’m not the only one with that problem!