What is marketing about? What is it that writers are trying to do when we set out to find readers for our work?
I used to think it was about flat attention. The idea was to tell everyone I could think of, and ask them to tell everyone they knew, in order to appear in as many places as I could. Yeah, I wanted to be liked, too, so people would actually bother with that, but overall it was a pretty shallow look at things.
Recently, I began to look at things in a new light–not just in marketing, but in life in general. What’s important is not attention, but respect. I realized that respect is the key to just about everything.
That leads to the obvious question: how do I get respect? The answer, quite simply, is to command it. Be sure of the things you have to say. Know that they’re important. When you have conviction, it’s obvious. The tone of everything you say changes. Also, be a leader. Take charge of something. If you don’t have a place to take charge, start something you can lead. Create situations where people look up to you. (I’m working on a bit of that myself–more on that soon enough!)
That’s really all there is to it. I say it in simple terms, because that’s what it is. You just have to change your attitude. There will always be an element of giving other people what they need–advice or the like–because in order to get respect, people need to see value in associating with you. But you don’t need to just pander to everyone. In fact, that’s counterproductive. Let people see that what you have to say is valuable, and that you refuse to waste their time with anything less.
Like I said, commanding respect is useful for all things in life, especially when it comes to careers. It can even make you more attractive to the opposite gender! So try doing everything you do with a little more confidence–stand up straight and speak with conviction. I promise you, the effort will more than pay off.