Friday, April 8, 2022

Bloom Where Planted

 I took a walk through the neighborhood this morning, specifically through the parts of the development that are under construction. Lots of houses in various stages of construction. A ton of empty lots awaiting their turn. On those lots were wild flowers. 

Morning glory and patches of Large Flower Mexican Clover. (The little pale pink bell flowers.) There were Mexican Blanket flowers volunteering all over the vacant lots, as well as a little orange fire cracker-looking flower called Hairy Indigo. 

What does any of this have to do with marketing 'shoulds'? Just this: These flowers are growing in disturbed soil - soil that used to be a forest that was bulldozed to make way for houses. Tragic for the forest and everything that lived in it, yet from the wasteland of bare earth and weeds left behind, beauty arises.

Marketing is the wasteland. Hey. That's just how it feels to me. No hate if it's your happy place. It isn't mine. Not yet. It's foreign soil and my roots aren't buried very deep in it. But. I've found a few folks who've managed to break marketing down into bits and pieces that I can usually manage. And from there, I can do my best to connect with readers. 

Connecting with readers. That's the whole point, isn't it?ha

So marketing, to me, is about blooming where you're planted. To the extent that you can bloom. And make that public. One friend runs a marketing class that focuses only on how to engage on social media - no. Not necessarily authentically. You're playing a part - the part of the author who wrote that thing someone loved. So in no way should you be entirely yourself or let it all hang out. You're fishing for engagement. Likes. Interaction. Comments. On FB, for example, these interactions get your author page served to more and more people. Not all of your content on your author page has to be about books or the genre in which you write. The class posits a formula for personal shares versus genre or book related memes and posts - about 5 to 1. For every 5 bookish, genre, or related content you post seeking engagement, you can post a pet photo and encourage followers to post their pets in comments AND THEN GO LIKE AND COMMENT ON EVERY SINGLE ONE. 

Oh look. It's a lot like work. Work that I could be doing on a book. Dang. Still. If you want to grow an audience, engaging that audience is The Way (TM). See what the SFR author did there with the Madalorian nod? Yeah. 

Find a bare patch of marketing earth. Dig your roots in. See if you can't lure readers into responding to your posts, tweets, videos, or what have you. Bloom.

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