Gaining Attention without Losing Ground…A Few Thoughts

You have heard the phrase, “pay attention.” You may have even joked, “I can’t afford to pay attention.” I heard these words this week in a different context and it made me stop and think. This is the way it read:

“You can pay for attention, or you can earn it.”Writing - money - attention

Whoa. Let that sink in.

You can hire the big guns and the fancy pants to put your name up in lights, or you can do the things that garner attention and earn the right to be heard (I’m assuming you probably can’t afford the big guns; I know I can’t).

I also read someone else’s blog post this week about using social media for promotion, and its pros and cons. It garnered many comments about which platforms were working and which ones were unusable. More than anyone realized, it also revealed a lot about the users.

This is some of my comment (edited for space). I’m sharing it here, not to teach about Twitter as I’m still learning, but because it illustrates the above point.

My Thoughts

“I’ve had a different experience regarding Twitter. But it took me a long time to jump in. I read much about how to use it first. I’ve done this as I’ve added anything to my “to do” list, rather than try to do everything at once.

I have less than 300 followers, but I’ve seen increase in traffic. Be selective about who you follow. Look for readers. Find bloggers in various subjects and other creative people rather than other writers only. Writing - bird - attention

Twitter is social. You won’t see value if, like the people you saw, only tweet “buy my book, or service.” Instead, do those kinds of things rarely. Do have a website link in your profile, but then focus on being useful. When you find a helpful website or a quote that inspires you, pass them on.

Re-tweet other people. Direct message people telling them what you like in their tweets. If you love blogging, tweet your most interesting posts rather than just your service (catchy titles help). People will find the rest.

Only make every 5th to 10th tweet about your product. I now have a file where I drop quotes, websites, programs etc. In this way, I don’t have to take a lot of time to post a useful thought. I do this in everyday life; when I find something helpful, I tell someone.

Having said that, I’ve gotten the most increase from groups in LinkedIn. But again, you can’t just drop in and post your links. You have to ask and answer questions and participate. Even when you post a link, you can post a related question or thought with it.”

writing - birds - attention

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My conclusion is this: It comes down to being social.

Social networks may be set-up for both business and social connections, but they are not ad networks. Advertising has also changed. Even with a great product, blurting out an ad and yelling “Buy now!” doesn’t work as well as it used to. People want to know something about a business or person before they spend money with them.

If you’re social first, you’ll find people being more interested in what you do. It’s similar to speaking first (providing a service) and then having a book table at the back of the room. This same social aspect is also true of blogs.

This approach is harder, but it’s what works.

I am still learning from others, but I hope I’ve given you something to chew on.

Keep writing.

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12 comments on “Gaining Attention without Losing Ground…A Few Thoughts
  1. R. Sanchez says:

    I agree and have been doing as you say for years!

  2. grassroots08 says:

    You are right on the mark here. When I do advocate my books to others, I try to make it more than a COLD call. Maybe that person loves Westerns, and I suggest they take a peek at my book, “Over the Well Worn Wagon Trail” (Made this up) But I think you get my drift; most drifters will! :-} It’s about both myself in relation to the other person’s interest. So it’s about both of us in harmony.

    A cat lover would just love my books about “Happy” who isn’t really such a happy cat after all. So I do both! I look at their interest, and find where my offering might just fit in. Cheers, Don

  3. Julie Luek says:

    I appreciate your thoughts. As you know, I’m building on this theme for a workshop I’m facilitating and may add your post thoughts to ones I present, if that’s all right.

    • Julie, You are welcome too. As it says, it’s not in depth, but rather a few thoughts. You’re welcome to use what you can glean for your workshop. I just prefer the thoughts not be posted anywhere else online. I hope it goes well.

  4. Since you made such great comments over on my blog, Peter, I’ve been working on changing my approach to Twitter and I started to see great results immediately. I don’t dread opening up the feed anymore and I haven’t said a word about my own book – period. I’m just engaging with others, re-tweeting good stuff, promoting other people’s work and I love it. Eventually, I’ll figure out the best way to let people know about my book while still being social. That’s the key for sure.

  5. Ajule says:

    The social aspect is key, but also my downfall! I find really interesting people and other stuff via Twitter, Facebook and others’ blog posts, so now need to learn how to better manage my time. I simply get lost with so much that engages. Not necessarily a bad problem, but a problem to address, regardless.

    • Ajule, I’m right there with you. I struggle with that too. This post may help some. Organize: 5 Ways in 15 minutes a day.

      • Ajule says:

        Thanks, Peter. I like doing lists and really enjoy marking things OFF the lists!
        I’ve always rebelled against set schedules so have resisted the timer approach. Once again I may need to readjust my attitude.
        Thing is, as a new blogger, I feel I need to put in the extra time to feel my way – to learn the ropes. I’m attempting to establish my place, which I expected would take extra time and effort. I don’t want this to be how it goes forever, though.

  6. Erica says:

    It all starts with saying hello. And remembering that you’re engaging with people. Living, breathing humans. And who likes people who only talk about themselves?

    Nice reminder, Peter.

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"A writer looks at a screen or piece of paper like a canvas. They see a country unexplored, a picture unpainted, a tale not told. They dare to venture into the barren land, explore its dark corners, and paint its pictures. Then they unveil the epic with the goal of compelling people to visit their newly discovered territory.”
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