Languishing in obscurity?
Things pretty quiet on the visibility front?
You’ve tried to follow advice from the “guru de jour” to get your writing career on the map, but despite your best efforts, your ideal audience remains surprisingly resistant to your appeal.
What’s worse, is that you know it’s possible to build a loyal, invested community, because the evidence is all around you.
Somehow, both new and experienced writers are finding ways to stand out and get their work noticed.
But here you are, playing patty-cake with the crickets, debating if it would hurt to just let one of those spam comments through (it’s about time your blog got a little love, right?):
“am to a great extent impressed with the article I have just read. There is not much to say except the following universal truth: You never know where to look when eating a banana. I will be back.”
Okay, maybe not.
(Desperate chic is not the look that bestselling authors are wearing this season.)
So what does it really take to get noticed?
Let’s be honest. Some of the top-selling authors and über successful Indie-entrepreneurs are pretty impressive.
There’s no doubt they have that it factor that compels us to listen (or to act).
But are they six figures a year more charismatic than you? 65,000 plus Twitter followers wittier than you? Sell a million copies and get a sparkly-vampire-movie-deal more talented than you?
What is it that they have that you don’t?
Deep pockets? A better agent?
Turns out, your ability to effect the behaviour of a particular group greatly impacts your sales results (and many other outcomes). Your skill at persuasion–or becoming a compelling force on your target audience–is critical to the advancement and success of your career as a writer.
And here’s the good part: People don’t start influential. They get influential. (Tweet this idea!)
Which means you can get there too.
Defeat Obscurity: Play a Bigger Game
So, how can you go from anonymity to notability and begin making a difference in your book sales?
Stop doing what is currently bringing you no results, and start doing more of what will.
Need a little more? Here’s a list of 17 surprisingly simple ways to fight obscurity, and increase your authority, your influence and your impact:
1. Don’t push. Pull.
Stop trying to convince people to like you, follow you or buy your stuff. Find the people who already desire what you have to offer, and draw them to you.
2. Do something that matters.
When you believe in the significance of what you do, and can articulate why you do it, people are often compelled to listen.
3. Be fearless.
Avoiding risk is inherently risky. The cost of settling is far more than you may think. So be bold! People are not inspired or moved to action by meekness.
4. Act with purpose.
Don’t make decisions and choices out of habit. Be intentional in your actions, your message, and the outcomes you seek for your work.
5. Live your legacy.
Ironically, when you shift to living your legacy, your interest in prestige and acclaim dwindles, while your influence (and fulfilment) rises.
6. Find ways to help.
Focus on what you can do as opposed to what you can get. This small shift in mindset is HUGE. Don’t ask “What can you do for me?”, but rather, “What can I do for you?”
7. Know yourself and build your talents.
Knowledge is power: the clearer you are on what you have to bring to the table, the easier it is to exploit your strengths and mitigate your weaknesses.
8. Find Mentors.
Model the people that are getting results. Mentors can empathize with where you are at, but they won’t indulge your excuses for not going further.
9. Learn networking 2.0.
Networking is no longer about handshakes, elevator pitches and collecting business cards. People with influence build valuable and meaningful connections by ensuring others get as much (and maybe more) from the relationship as they do.
10. Think long term, not 15 minute fame.
This is a marathon, not a sprint, so plan your race accordingly. Adjust your expectations to take into account that momentum requires time to build–and you’re just getting started.
11. Screen your inner circle.
Surround yourself with people who pull you up; not hold you down. Let go of those who aren’t committed to the dream. Learn to do what can’t be done by hanging out with the people who have already accomplished the “impossible”.
12. Get comfortable being a little uncomfortable.
Find the edge of your comfort zone, then take two steps past that. (You’ll find it’s the spot just past anxiety and right before panic…)
13. Change how people feel.
Focus on emotion, sentiment, passion and empathy. Change how people feel about your work before you try to change what they think about it.
“People don’t change based on what they know, they change based on what they feel.”
14. Embrace greatness.
You can’t expect greatness if you can’t envision it. See it. Feel it. Breathe it.
15. Kill excuses.
Yes you do have enough time, money, skills and resources. Skip the hobbyist mentality and go all-in.
16. Innovate, not just imitate.
There is no clout in a copy. Originality is the heat behind significance, and absolutely no one does YOU better.
17. Build your platform.
If done right, a platform will amplify your voice, extend your reach, strengthen your authority and deepen your connection with your “fans”.
Lay the proper foundation, and the influence you wield will only gain in momentum and force.
Time to take Action
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
~ Thomas Edison
Ready to roll up your sleeves and take action on some (or all) of the ideas listed above?
Do you have any of your own insights on what it takes to build influence and ban anonymity? Please share them in the comments below.