Promoting yourself on social media is like selling Amway products or some multi-level marketing scheme. No one wants to hear about it.
One of the best practices to promote yourself as a writer, artist or entertainer is to share your work with family and friends on social media, but how many of them actually look at what you post?
How many “friends” do you have on Facebook?
Chances are, you’ve got hundreds, if not thousands.
How about Instagram? Twitter?
Perhaps the same amount?
Perhaps you’ve got a huge following which includes your family and friends. If you do, that’s awesome. However, if you’re like me and many other writers, getting your friends and family interested in what you create and post is like pulling teeth.
Some of my close friends actually read what I write, so I’m not totally desolate on writer’s island, but imagine if you posted a link to your work and everyone on your friends list actually looked at it. Imagine if just half, a quarter, or even an eighth of your friends liked or shared your post. Life would be so much different for us if this actually happened.
But they don’t.
When I post a link to a new article, on average I may get five or ten people (tops) who actually click on a link to read it. These five are usually the same five each time I post. I appreciate the loyalty shown by the select few, but overall it’s pretty sad. It can also be highly discouraging.
I’d understand if people read my articles and said “these suck”, not wanting to ever read them again, but if no one ever reads the post, how will they know if it sucks or not?
It’s hard to not come off as pushy or salesman like, but you have to.
Whether you’re a writer, singer, artist or whatever, YOU are a product. You need to promote yourself, but many people like are not comfortable acting like a used car salesman always trying to come up with crazy gimmicks to lure someone in. I feel like every post I write needs to have one of those inflatable wavy arm guys saying “LOOK AT ME”.
Am I naive to think my friends and family would want to read what I write?
Unfortunately, we do often have to act like a circus freak to draw attention to ourselves, only to gather a handful more views. Even with the best article, an amazing picture and tons of promotion, it’s no guarantee anyone will actually see what you made. This is where friends, family are critically important.
Trying to sell yourself gets exhausting and it also can come off as annoying, potentially scaring off readers because they think we appear desperate or pushy. It’s understandable not everyone in the public will read what you post because it may not interest them. BUT, family and friends can and SHOULD help by giving at least a little love to the creator based on the fact they are FRIENDS and FAMILY…
It’s called being supportive
As much as I would love to be rich or famous as a result of my writing, that’s not my goal.
Right now my goal is simply to get people to read what I write…
If you have a friend or family member who spills their heart and soul into their writing or art, acknowledge it. “Like” the post, share the post and help them out (I hope you’ll do that with me too). Say something nice. Compliments and emotional reinforcement go a long way in this business.
If you’ve read this far, THANK YOU.
If you have ideas on how to get someone to engage and actually read things, I’d love to hear them.
Marty is a freelance writer based in Kansas City.
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