Over the summer, I found out about a website called Blurb. This website allowed me to do something that I had always wanted to do: get published. That’s right, I self-published a book. A poetry book, to be exact, called Life Will Get Better Someday, and the process of making it was pretty easy. I downloaded the software that I used to design the book on the computer then, when I was done, I sent the book off to Blurb for publishing. You can sell the book on their website and buy copies to sell yourself.
However, while the “getting self-published” part is pretty easy, it’s the promotional aspect of having a book that’s difficult. Not many people think about what happens with the next step, the step after the book is published. There’s all of the marketing and getting your name out into the world that follows. It’s a slow process and it’s not that easy.
After basically going through the process of trial and error, as well as some words of wisdom from my mom, I’ve learned a few things about self promotion, which is applicable to any future career. Want to get the inside scoop? Here are five ways to help you advertise yourself:
1. Talk yourself up! Do not be afraid to talk yourself up in a conversation. People, especially employers, are not going to know about all of the amazing things you’ve done if you keep your mouth shut about them. Just be sure you’re not constantly bragging about it, because then you’ll get on everyone’s nerves. Simply mention what you’ve done so they think, “Oh, if they can do all of this, they’ll be a great addition to what I want to do!” Plus, it’s a bit of a confidence boost when you can recite back to yourself all of the amazing things you’ve done.
2. Use the internet.Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Blogs and even Myspace, for those who are still using it, are great and affordable tools for you to use to spread the word about what you’re up to. Post a link to your blog or to a place where someone can buy your book online. Also, using taglines on blog posts and Twitter can make it easier to find your name on search engines like Google. The blog site I use is WordPress.com. It’s free, easy and you can easily use taglines for your posts.
3. Stay Confident! Nobody is going to buy something from you or be interested in what you have to say if you’re not confident in yourself. You need to stand tall, look up and dress in a way that makes you feel like you’re a trendsetter every day (and professional). Look in the mirror and tell yourself, “I’m amazing!” if you have to. You can even put inspirational quotes on sticky notes and stick them on your walls. Feel good about yourself and everyone else will follow–and hopefully offer you a job or buy your product.
4. JUMP! By this, I mean don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith and do what you want to do. You want to write? Write! You want to make movies? Make movies! You want to record music? Record music! Darren Criss, one of the newest “Glee” cast members, who has skyrocketed in Hollywood, said something similar during an interview once when asked what advice he would give aspiring artists. This was a guy who made silly YouTube videos and wrote weird musicals with his college friends. Now he’s become an overnight sensation, twice. First on the internet with his theater company “Team Starkid” and then on “Glee”. With today’s technology, it’s easy to do what you want right from your own computer. You just have to get up and start searching for the right tools to get you there.
5. Finally, be patient. This one seems like the easiest, but, honestly, it’s the hardest one of all. You have to realize you are not going to post something one night and then have millions of hits the next, or have a great conversation with one person and land a job the following day. It doesn’t work that way. It takes time. So be patient and keep trying because someday that time will pay off.
Self promotion is tough, but if it’s done right, it can pay off in huge ways. So start doing what you love and get out there. Don’t be shy. Take the leap and be patient. You’ll be surprised where you can go.
Also, check out my book Life Will Get Better Someday on Blurb.com and my blog www.haileyescobar.com.