I’m not really a sports fan, but I’ve always been interested in people’s lives. I could care less about a baseball game until my husband (a coach and avid sports fan) tells me where a player grew up, how they got to the majors, their favorite movie, or some hardship they’ve overcome. Suddenly, I find myself cheering for a sport that I don’t even understand. It’s not because of the game, it’s because of the people.
I see past the labels, the jerseys, the salaries and see little boys who lost their dads and found male role models in their coaches or guys that just got engaged and are looking up to see if their fiancés are in the stands cheering them on. I get weepy at the former drug addict who breaks a record in a home run derby contest and even find myself quietly booing at the player recently caught cheating on his wife.
What does this tell me? If you want people to come to your games, read your books, buy your products, then it would serve you well to let those people know who you are. Social networking has made this easier than ever before.
Authors used to have to speak every weekend or get booked on a radio or tv interview in order to be seen as a person to their readers. Of course, speaking and interviewing serve great purposes, but they aren’t the only way your audience can come to know you now. They can follow you on Twitter, be your friend on Facebook, read your daily blog posts, see pictures of your children. As they come to know you on a personal level, and assuming you’re interesting and likeable (I bet you are!), they’ll want to support you on a professional level.
Are you on Twitter, yet? Do you have a Facebook? Are you blogging? If not, now’s the time. Don’t let someone pass up your book because they don’t know you. Be a friend, build a connection, and become a real person and not just an author promoting a book.
More to come on how to social network effectively in my upcoming posts.