14 December 2012

Monkey Marketing Magic

So, fully APEd up I have begun to feel my way into the wacky world of marketing. The first thing I have learned is that, should I ever write a writer's manual it should probably be called "How To Write For Fun (And Profit?)".

I like writing, I like publishing, that is I actually get a kick of pushing my little babies into the world, but do I like selling them? I mean, yes, when people buy them it is a great feeling. But do I like selling them? I would have to respond in the ambivalent on that score.

Here is a quick run down of how I feel about marketing so far:

5 Things I Like About Marketing

  1. Social networking is fun if approached right: If I am, in fact approaching it right. I am taking an interest in people, websites and all that jazz, I am hoping they take an interest in me. People are interesting.
  2. Doing stuff is quite easy: I've filled in a lot of registration forms, retweeted items of interest, read a book, reviewed a book. It's all pretty good.
  3. It feels like you're involved all of a sudden: People keep saying that writers are hermit-like, I never got that until the point where I started not being hermit like.
  4. It moves pretty fast: It's kind of exhilarating sitting in a whirl of tweets, status updates, shelves and circles. You can feel the thrum of humanity swirling around you in digital form.
  5. It's filled with opportunity: Taking a good look around feels like you are on the verge of seeing something remarkable, so much is going by that something good must be coming... right?

5 Things I Dislike About Marketing

  1. It feels a bit never-ending: There comes a time when the punch is flat at the party and the buffet food is down to curly sandwiches and a weird bowl of sweaty looking potato chips. A sensible person would go home but nobody's sure if that's the right thing to do.
  2. You have to properly mind your ps and qs: Not in a fake way but everyone's a bit naive, or at least I think that most people at the great social internet dance are not fully aware of the protocols until they get violated. It seems way too easy to be a bore, or inappropriate or to become a wallflower. Exhausting balancing act.
  3. You question whether you're doing things for the right reasons: There's a purity about committing an act of artistic creation, unleashing it upon the world and then walking away trusting that people will discover it in their own time. The minute you start actually wanting to push it towards people you enter a state where you are a salesperson, rightly or wrongly. I think selling things is a skill, the right thing needs to be sold to the right person in the right way. Targeting the right people in the right way is super hard.
  4. The curve is insane: Being socially polite is easy, being socially polite and somehow introducing a segue into "but my stuff" is really hard.
  5. The agenda isn't clear but the consequences of wandering off it seem to be quite harsh: It would appear that the rules are as follows:

    -Rule Number One: Don't annoy people.
    -Rule Number Two: Skate pretty close to annoying people to get your point across.
    -Rule Number Three: If you skate over the line then you will be persona non grata.

After typing all that I have to wonder if maybe I'm too scared of being judged. I think you're not supposed to take the whole thing too seriously, but that's hard when I do take the writing and the publication processes seriously. I like my stuff I think it's worthy. The problem I am wrestling with at the moment is: How do I let everyone else know that in a sensible manner?

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