Saturday, January 10, 2009

What Message are Your Sending?

I've read an enormous amount of marketing and pr materials and really examined what it appears the pr and marketing people are saying to me. The biggest problem I see is that most of these books lack voice. After reading their work, I know little to nothing about the authors or why they do what they do.

One such pr/marketing guy gives out a free chapter of his book and then sends a follow-up e-mail asking what the readers think. I responded that I won't be buying it because of lack of voice, choice of content (nothing struck me a new, novel or urgent) and the fact that I just don't feel his goals are in line with mine. I was shocked that he wrote back, personally, almost immediately. He said I make a lot of assumptions but he needs to provide for his family.

Fair enough, but my ideas about him came from my perspective of the message he sent out. Not once did I see or hear anything about helping people, building relationships (not for gain, but for the sake of positive connections to others) or that leaving a lasting legacy were his goals. I feel badly for him, because he apparently is a person with heart, but he never shared it with his readers. (Or if he did, it was so buried in marketing copy that I missed it.)

I am not out to make a quick buck. Would a windfall be stellar? Absolutely! However, my primary mission is to live my creative truth while helping others do the same, and leave a lasting positive legacy for the world. I rather have a thousand fans who really appreciate the stories I share of creative people, and have those fans become long-term customers of the creatives I've interviewed than to be a household brand name with no positive impact.

Here are a few marketing books that I love because they are rich, rich, rich in voice of the author.
  • Self-Promotion for the Creative Person by Lee Silber
  • We Can Do That? by Peter Shankman
  • How to be a Famous Writer Before You're Dead by Ariel Gore
These books are all in my personal library and I go back to them time and again because I feel a connection to the authors. My question to you is, if you're leaving your voice out of your promotional or written work, what are you forgetting to say that might make all the difference between a purchase, a pass or a lasting connection from a committed fan?

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