I’m an introvert, which means I prefer lots of quiet contemplation time. That works for me as a writer until it comes time to promote and market my work. Most of the marketing and promotion books, videos, and blogs say, “Get yourself out there, schmooze, create your brand.” However, most of that advice is written by extroverts. It works for them, but that approach is just not me. I can schmooze if I need to, but the thing about introverts is, big gatherings make us feel anxious and drained.
So how does an introvert like me grow her network? Recently, I found out one important way to do it, and I don’t have to go to parties, conferences, or networking meetings to do it.
About a month ago, a fellow writer I met on Facebook, Dorothy Sander, sent a #FF message to several women on her Twitter network. I followed the others in sending her a fantastic Friday back. Then it occurred to me, maybe she was doing that so we’d connect with each other. So I followed each of the women and sent them a little message. They thanked me for following and followed me back, and that’s when it hit me. Duh, thanking people for following or friending you is a good marketing tool.
It’s so easy to type the words “Thanks for the follow” on their timeline. Ever since that day, I’ve been thanking every new follower, some I follow back, some I don’t. But the most amazing thing has happened. I’ve gained about thirty or forty new followers just because I’ve been thanking people for following me. That may not seem like a lot to you, but remember, “slow and steady wins the race.” If I get thirty new followers every month for a year, that’s three-hundred and sixty new followers. But here’s the thing, at some point the numbers will grow exponentially. Which means I could gain hundreds, maybe even thousands of followers by this time next year.
Another important thing for introverts to do to expand their networks is to post something every day or so on each of your network pages. I belong to five social networks. That’s hard to keep up with every day and still get writing done. So I spread it out. I post to my blog once a week. I also have a blog on Goodreads, which I post to once a week. On my writer’s page on Facebook, I take an hour to find and schedule quotes that I like about writing, or creativity, one for each day of the week. Then I post personal things about my writing a few times a week. The other social networks, I post to every other day or so.
Joining groups on your social networks also helps. I choose one for each network. Choosing active groups, where people are posting discussions once or twice a week is best. Then I go make comments on the discussion streams I like. It’s a great way to “meet” people of like interests. That is how I met Dorothy Sander.
Dorothy and I have established a mutually beneficial relationship. She recently published a book, Finding Hope: Quotes & Inspiration, which I read and wrote a review of for Goodreads and Amazon. In turn, she’s reading the manuscript of my novel as I write. I hope she’ll give me feedback so I can improve it before I send it to the editor.
Marketing and promotion for introverts can be a challenge. Yet, if you focus your attention on your social networks and look for people of like mind and make connections with them, your network will grow. The nice thing is, you can do it sitting at your computer in the quiet of your home.