I probably think this post is about me.
No, I’ve never been to Nova Scotia. Or Spain, for that matter. But I kind of like the music.
I’ve written about this before. There are those who likely think I’m on social media too much. They may be right. At the same time, if I’m not promoting my work, who will be?
Actually, my wife does a pretty good job of it from time to time on Facebook.
On a day-to-day basis, I don’t have editors or casting directors filling up my inbox or my voicemail begging me to come write or act for them.
We all know that’s their loss. That’s not the point here.
If I don’t believe in my work, if I don’t promote my work, no one else will do it for me on a consistent basis.
That’s why you get the daily snarks on Facebook and Twitter. That’s why you get the #morningcup and #eveningcup on Instagram. That’s why soon, very soon, you’ll hear me talking daily about my current show.
Again, like I’ve said before, once the book comes out (and it’s coming) or once I get my big break on the stage, I’d like people to think, “Hey, he’s that funny guy on Facebook.”
Truth is I’d like not to have to worry about self-promotion at all. But I’ve not yet hit the magic formula. Most days, I can’t even break over a certain number of readers on this blog.
You could help. Your line, “Hey, here’s that funny guy on Facebook.”
See? I write, act AND direct.
Actually the direct part isn’t quite true. I was talking to the artistic director with a local theater the other night. He asked if I’d considered directing. I made it clear that, while flattered, I haven’t directed anything since college. That was when we did theater in black and white.
My social marketing is at best, random. The experts will tell you that you have to carefully choose what to say and when to say it.
“The first thing that pops into my mind” is probably not the best strategy. So, I keep trying.
I have a friend who doesn’t do social media at all. Doesn’t Facebook, Tweet or even have a cell phone. He’s not likely to see this, but if you know me well, you know of whom I speak. He seems to survive quite well and seems to get all the creative work that he needs.
Sometimes I envy him that. Being able to disconnect. Not being accessible 24-7.
Then some days I feel like I’m in a 12-Step program. “My name is Michael, and it’s been six days since I’ve had an email from…”
I think I got a bit off topic here.
I was talking about promoting my own work. It’s tricky since I’m promoting both the writing and the acting. But since I’m writing this, and not offering you a dramatization, let’s focus on the writing aspect.
Here are some basic ways of promoting your own work.
1) Use social media effectively. I don’t always do that. For a while I measured everything with Klout, but that seemed silly. I need to be better at coordinating Facebook, Twitter and other accounts to promote my writing, not just my brilliance.
2) Connect with other bloggers. I’ve connected with a few. But we don’t necessarily communicate every day nor do we regularly promote each other’s work. If you happen to be a 50ish, white male, actor and author, let’s talk…that sounds a little like an ad you’d find in the personals. Let me clarify…let’s talk about how we can help each other meet our writing goals.
3) Target your message. I am well aware that this blog is all over the place. But that’s just who I am. Running in multiple directions. Heck, I ran through three college majors before I finally settled on one.
4) Be consistent. Post/write on a schedule. I try to post every weekday. Sometimes I also post on the weekends.
5) Create a portfolio. I have one. It could use some updating.
6) Improve those writing skills. The best way to do that is to write, write, write. And read the best authors. And remember that Elements of Style and the AP Stylebook are not just pretty bookends.
7) Don’t write for free, or cheap. And never pay anyone to “allow” you to write for them. I’m expensive. And I’m worth it. The other day I was almost to the point of signing up with a new service until I got to the “put you credit card info here” page. No. Way. Quite frankly, I’m better than that. In fact, we all are.
8) Deliver what you promise. Which reminds me, I have approaching deadlines.
Writing is easy. Writing well is not. Nor is editing well.
Getting people to pay you to write is even harder.
You may, or may not, hear me say that on Facebook.