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.”