It hit me recently while trying to offer some requested advice to a writer-friend. In that case it was about how he should go about trying to sell his novels as movies or TV shows. But what struck me covers far-wider territory.
Because – count on it – in Today’s World, unless you’re a flat-out, self-professed beginner, that is the first thing a producer, reader, agent, actor or anyone else is gonna do! Same goes in other businesses, for HR types, executives, you-name-‘em. Often before they even glance at what you want them to buy!
And, when someone Googles you or otherwise tries to check you out, unless they find something – preferably what you’d like them to find, at or near the top of the list – either you or what you’re trying to sell, or both, will be instantly discounted or worse, summarily dismissed!
The lesson from seeing where you rank?
You are your own Brand, and you had damned well better face that fact – that truth – and start regarding yourself that way. And then – begin packaging yourself! Marketing your Brand!
Meaning – at the top – Introducing YOU! And how well you do what you say you can do! Showing your passion for it!
First, with your copy. Your Sell. Written with Brevity and Sizzle! Your advertisement – for YOU!
Next? Exposure. Make yourself an online Presence. One way – and in my view, the best: via a personal website. And not necessarily one of those “overproduced,” so-cutely designed numbers — too many of which look alike and are often difficult to navigate. The PLACE that you want people who are curious about you to GO! To LOOK!
The place where you tell the world what you want it to know about you! Yes, a year from now there may be better ways to go. But not now.
Also, contribute to blogs and the like. Get your name out there. In their faces! Make yourself part of the conversation! Your name, your face – and of course your books or whatever it is you’re pitching. And without expressing opinions that can come back and bite you on the ass! Yes, the web is a tempting forum for that. But it’s way too easy to permanently alienate someone with whom you might want to work.
Sure — they can always find more – stuff we may not want them to know. That you cannot control. But many if not most will stop there. At your website. Ergo, this – you need to recognize – is your Baby!
That first, waaaay most important impression!