I know you’d like to send your writing out into the world, sit back, and listen to the applause. (I often pretend I hear it. A girl has to have some fun.) But… no career really works that way. Sob.
You’ve gotta get up and represent.
This article is about you, Dear Writer, and the relationship you create with potential customers through your spontaneous interaction (and not your lovingly crafted prose).
But before we get into that, I want to make sure you understand who your potential customer is. It’s anyone who buys your writing, hires you to write, facilitates that process, might recommend you for a job, or could possibly speak highly of you.
I use this term pretty broadly.
My point is that sometimes potential customers end up spending money and buying your product or service. And sometimes they don’t spend money, but they still contribute to your career.
If customers are only those who buy your writing, you miss the entire class of “industry professionals.” And the big ol’ world of “influencers” called a network? You can’t even see them if you focus solely on money.
Basically, I think of your potential customers as all those people who create a demand for your work.
Demand is what creates a career. A purchase is a one-time exchange.
So, you’re in the business of creating a demand for your work. (Write that down. There’ll be a test some day.)
Back to spontaneous interaction, or as I like to think of it…
The Art of Communicating Passion…
(…and inviting your potential customer to share it with you.)
For 20 years, I’ve been a keen observer of how some of the best writers I know never get a career launched, no matter how good they are. And others limp along with anemic careers that don’t begin to do them justice.
To be blunt, these writers never caught on.
It’s not fair. It’s frustrating and heart breaking. And it has nothing to do with how hard they worked or how much they believed in their dream.
It does, however, have a lot to do with demand.
For book writers, it’s only recently that authors can truly participate in creating demand. But it’s still such a new concept to them that they often sit back and wait to be recognized out of habit.
They also sit back because they have no idea how to influence demand. So, I’m going to tell you how, right now. This isn’t about what to do. It’s about HOW.
You have to learn to speak the Language of Passion.
And here are the 8 passions you should share freely, openly, and joyfully:
Do you love reaching for the stars? Striving for excellence? Challenging yourself with each new project? Readers love this too.
Learn to speak the language of excellence and to talk about how jazzed you get trying to be the best you can, at what you do. This is NOT bragging. It’s not about talking about how good you are.
It’s about talking about your quest for quality and your delight when you reach it.
Make your joy apparent. Share your deep love of what you do.
Frankly, it’s boring to hear about how “special” folks are because “this is their dream” and “they’re meant to do this.” But the fire and delight of a passionate, awake mind never gets old.
Sometimes what comes across to readers and customers is the overpowering stink of desperation, the yearning of one person focused on her/his personal dreams.
You know what combats that?
Warmth, compassion, and a bigger perspective that includes other people. Find other people interesting. Let them inspire you. Honor the motivation and good fortune of a shared path.
Over confidence is pretty ugly–so ugly that most trustworthy people avoid feeling confident all together.
But a lack of confidence is unnerving. Plus we believe that it’s a fact. “You’re right. You must not be any good.”
But here’s what works. Be in touch with your credentials and your experience. Be excited about it at the same time you know you’re destined to grow even more.
Credentials, experience, growth: these things are true. They’re how you earned confidence.
And yet, I know you’re still not sure about this whole confidence thing, as our society only seems to talk about confidence in the sense of someone with no self-confidence or way too much.
But I think of it this way. There’s a pose in Yoga called Mountain Pose. And when it’s done right, Beth Irvine says it feels “grounded, still, powerful, and majestic.”
When you can really speak with confidence about what you have done and will do, this is what you share with your reader and potential customer.
CONTINUED NEXT WEEK!