It’s not to hard to build a website these days and show off your work.
It’s much harder to get loyal followers or supporters. Success is rarely made by having more customers.
You need loyal customers – you need people who actually give a shit about what you’re doing. That might seem tough to do over the internet, if you’re just broadcasting yourself all the time (or Tweeting about your book. Seriously, CUT THAT OUT!)
But it’s actually very, very easy.
Ready? Here’s the secret:
Ask them a question, and then respond.
Asking them something lets them know that you care about them (and why should they care about you and your projects if you don’t care about them and theirs?)
Ask them how they’re feeling, what they are working on, what they are challenged by.
Ask them what their hopes and fears are. No matter what you’re trying to sell – art, books or widgets – you need to understand your customers before you can figure out why they aren’t buying from you.
Ask them… and if you’re lucky enough to have them answer you, write back!
It only takes a few minutes.
Listen to them and write back. Offer suggestions. Empathize. Point them to some resources you think will help. Give advice. Thank them for their comments.
Do this just once and you’ll have made a strong personal connection that cuts through the noise and fluff of internet baloney.
Do it a thousand times and you’ll suddenly have a small army.
I’m a philosophy dropout with a PhD in Literature. I covet a cabin full of cats, where I can write fantasy novels to pay for my cake addiction. Sometimes I live in castles.
I can’t believe no one’s commented on this post yet, it’s brilliant. Sometimes it really is as easy as you say here. Thanks so much for this potent reminder that human interaction is still the best promotional strategy there is. 🙂
It’s definitely overlooked; and I know a lot of authors who deliberately avoid engaging with fans.
I remember a time you personally answered a question I asked. Now I’m a raving fan! No BS in this post! 🙂
Thanks Will; it took five years but I’m getting the hang of this blogging thing. Now I’ve just got to start growing my platform.
I’ve added you on G+ – you should be a movie star – that face. 🙂
I’ve noticed that there are many authors who help authors – why is that? People are helping the desperate – I do the same thing I share my business degree in small chucks under 5000 words and sell them for 0.99 – I’m in the junk market selling my gold.
I’m building a brand. 🙂 My name is my brand, but building a brand takes effort.
You can find my gold on Amazon by searching the brand.
Good writers don’t write like I do – I’m unique. 🙂
Thanks! Yeah I’m trying to get into videos but I’m pretty self-conscious. Need to get drunk first. Good luck with your brand, smart idea selling short books, I want to start doing that too but with fiction.
If you want to do something – turn of your brain once in a while. Go insane for a couple of times and then we’re on the same level – alcohol doesn’t work anymore.