Being a great networker has always been a key asset for authors. After all, who you meet can contribute to your success at selling books, getting speech invites, receiving media interview requests, and lining up deals with book publishers. However, most authors are awful at networking, almost as if it is not in their DNA. But it is all a big game – and anyone can network successfully.
I hear these excuses – yes excuses – as to why authors fail to network:
“I’m shy. I love to write, but not speak, especially face to face.”
“I don’t like to talk about myself.”
“I lack the time. I am so busy writing and doing other things.”
“I just don’t know what to say to break the ice.”
“People won’t find me interesting. Why would they talk to me?”
Behind every excuse, fear, or challenge is a solution. As long as you believe you can change your networking attitude/approach, there is hope. If you believe you are locked into never networking, as if magical forcefields keep you shackled and away from other humans, then stop reading this blog. You have given up hope and seem happier to remain unknown, isolated, and likely, unsuccessful.
Now, there are different degrees of networking. I am not suggesting you have to know everyone or never turn down a party invitation, but I’m saying you can easily double, triple, or quadruple the size of your network. You can also improve the quality of that network.
Ok, so what are the steps needed to get you out of hibernation and obscurity?
1. Commit to networking. Agree in your heart that you need this, can do this, and that you will do this.
2. Dedicate time and resources to networking. Make time to add connections online and in person. Have a budget for joining groups, attending events, and being an active member of various organizations.
3. Network with those that can help you the most. Identify the types of people you want to meet – their location, profession, background – and look to see where they congregate – physically and online.
4. When you meet someone, exchange cards and information. If you ever hope to follow up with someone, you need a way to reach them. And if you hope others will reach out to you, they need your contact information. Give out your cards liberally. Print up thousands. They are cheap to make but invaluable to use.
5. Make sure your website, blog, and social media profiles look right. When people go to check you out they will google you and look at your online real estate – have an up-to-date website, maintain your blog, and review your social media profiles every six months. People should see you at your best. Don’t be lazy about keeping your online stuff current.
6. Be a great listener – and ask lots of questions. Talk one part and listen four parts. You will be fed everything you need to know in order to sell them on yourself.
7. Look to identify common interests/histories. Establish a bond: Hobbies, where you grew up, places traveled to, siblings, pets, kids, favorite movies, foods, or books, etc. Say enough things and you will find something in common. It may even be that you have the same political views, though that can be a firecracker topic to broach.
8. Offer some advice or help. Be resourceful. Give before you ask. People love to receive. We are all takers. Be a giver and people will like you for it – and feel obligated to return the favor.
9. Sound humble but confident. No one wants to listen to a braggart. But no one wants to hang out with an insecure-sounding loser, either.
10. Sound optimistic and hopeful. Show good energy and attitude. Smile. Laugh. Act interested. Life is good – let others know it.
11. Brainstorm from a new perspective. Provide unique ideas and fresh approaches to their concerns.
12. Show a genuine interest. Make eye contact. Don’t appear to be distracted. Make them feel valued and important.
13. Take notes mentally and then jot them down later. This information can be referenced in future communications.
14. Follow-up. Stay in touch. Most meetings go nowhere because no one follows up. Remain connected via email or phone. Ping them every so often.
Contact Brian For Marketing Help!!
Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at email@example.com He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand.
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About Brian Feinblum
Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: .