“In order to build a platform it is imperative you be viewed as an expert.” Kristen Lamb, We Are Not Alone
As Director of a writers' guild, I am consistently writing lessons for writers. As I research my lesson now on Passive Marketing, I've learned one big thing--don't market your products as much as you market big, beautiful YOU.
But writers are shy and have a terrible time getting out there and letting people see them. They want to hide behind their laptops and, if they market anything, market their books. But, the biggest authors get their names out there FIRST, before they ever have a book.
Passive Marketing is about doing things that get your name (and later, your products) out there in the public eye without overtly asking for the sale. It includes things such as distributing business cards (yes, a writer should have a business card); speaking to organizations; filling out profiles for Yahoo, Google, Blogger, and any place that asks; a professional head shot to put on your blog, business cards, and your profiles; a blog; and an active presence on Facebook and Twitter; and, if you ghostwrite or speak--LinkedIn.
Please don't think these things are a waste of time. They are very powerful. But, they are only the first step. You HAVE to get your name and presence out there in the public eye, or any active marketing you do later will fall flat. Of all the things listed above, I think speaking is the most powerful.
This is probably the hardest obstacle to climb as a writer--overcoming our resistance to being SEEN. We all go through the denial. We think that we will be the ones who write the book that becomes the bestseller the minute it hits the shelves. It won't happen. But you can conquer your fear of being out there. When you do, the world will open to you.