As I stood in a bookstore the other day, I suddenly became overwhelmed. Not as a customer trying to find the right book, but as an author trying to sell a book.
Wow, there are a lot of books on the market. Two floors of books vying for the customer’s dollar. How do authors and publishers get the book buyer’s attention?
My next thought : There are far more blogs online than books in a bookstore competing for readers’ attention. How do you get noticed?
I know this: If you are an author, you will not attract new readers by standing in a bookstore thinking about your book. The same goes for your office. You will not accomplish much if you sit at your desk waiting for the sales to happen.
The only way to develop a following is to get out in the world, knock on doors, and look for new opportunities online and offline. You also can inquire about speaking engagements, opportunities to write articles and exchanging blog posts to introduce yourself to new audiences.
I’ve been very impressed with my co-author, Lindsay Adler, who got our first book deal The Linked Photographer’s Guide. She earned the first book on social media for photographers not because she was the most well-known social media expert. The opportunity came to her because she asked.
She writes for major photography magazines not because she has two decades in the business. She gets published because she asks. She speaks at conferences and workshops about fashion photography and social media not because organizers were knocking down her door after she graduated college. She presents because she asks for the opportunity.
As I spend more time working with small companies making a big splash, I’ve found they all have something in common: they are active in their communities. One three-person team is selling its wares on QVC. They have an excellent product but the TV shopping network didn’t find them. How did they get on QVC? They asked. A photography client had its first product (using my photos) reviewed on The Today Show a couple of weeks ago. How did they get on The Today Show? They knocked on the right doors.
If you have a blog, product, book or business and want to grow your audience, be like Lindsay. Knock on doors. Develop relationships. Don’t wait for world to discover you.