Monday, September 10, 2012

Be Genuine with your Persona and your Inner Introvert

Here's some more reasons why your persona as an author is your PRIMARY marketing tool and needs to be genuine online and in person. Social media is not only a dynamic game changer for authors and readers, but is rippling through every business culture and process.
"I can't think of a retail marketer, a financial-services marketer, a telecommunications marketer or, in fact, any marketer who couldn't benefit from persona development. Because buried in the data marketer's collection is a lot of color - amazing intel about living, breathing customers just waiting to shine through."
- Bob Fetter, Pluris Marketing
On September 4th, Rachelle Gardner posted on her blog - Six Tips for Successful Networking

#2 - Be Genuine

The point we want to make is that writers and novelists DO NOT have to change WHO they are to be successful at marketing and selling their books.  However, we do understand that authors are usually more introverts than extroverts. They tend to fear marketing themselves, because the sales & promotions arch type / persona used to be populated solely by extroverts.

Once upon a time...In the business world, the designers and inventors remained in the lab and only the sales people and executives had contact with customers. In the publishing world, authors worked with editors until the book was ready to market. Then that book was turned over to the sales teams and booksellers. The agents were the conduit for managing an author's career, as they negotiated the author advance and tracked the royalty payments.  Author's only connected with readers (their audience / customer) via book signing events and the occasional fan letter.  Many introverted writers NEVER interacted directly with their readers.  Today, this scenario is definitely more the exception than the rule.

To expand on the topic of introverts and extroverts, there is a wonderful talk by Susan Cain on  Our world prizes extroverts -- but Susan Cain makes a case for the quiet and contemplative.  
"In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated."
Introversion is not shyness, or fear of social interaction. It is really about how you respond to social stimulation. Extroverts become more engaged and creative through interaction with others while introverts find their zone of stimulation in quiet contemplation. Introverts would prefer to have a quiet dinner with friends or curl up with a good book. Susan's point is that when it comes to creativity and leadership, introverts need to do what they do best.

We all have introvert and extrovert personality traits but tend to favor one over the other for how we refill our well of energy, and nurture ourselves. The performer who loves the stage and the immediate gratification of applause from an audience within touching distance is probably more an extrovert. Athletes that are part of a team are more extroverts. Novelists who feel fulfilled by a personal note from one reader are probably more introverted.

Authors need to remember what they do best is WRITE BOOKS, and what fulfills them is reading books or personal craft projects.  Play to your strengths and keep the time spent doing extroverted socializing and stimulation to whatever is most comfortable for you.

Any marketing questions can be posed in the comments on any post. If you have a question, others will too, so we can address our answers to all. Our posts are myths and tips we want to share but we love to target our answers to questions.

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