Many writers message me with your fear of putting themselves out there in the public as an author with questions like … “But what if I’m an introvert, Donna?” and “What if I’m too scared to put myself out there?”
I so get this because I’m both an extrovert and introvert (must be the Gemini in me. Ha ha). Well, here are some tips for introverts for putting yourself out there. And these tips will go far in helping you build your author platform with things like a website, blog, social media, building an email list, positioning yourself as an expert, connecting with readers, banding with authors and so much more.
Creating your author persona first can help you put yourself out there. If you need tips on building author persona, check out my guide here: 4 Ways to Create Your Author Persona.
Once you feel comfortable with the author persona you’ve created, let’s talk about how you can put yourself out there if you are an introvert in ways that don’t seem so scary.
Interact online first.
This isn’t quite as hard as doing in person. We introverts (and partial introverts like me) can be clever with written words, but we may feel socially awkward at times. The good news is that introverts can also be skilled at making real and deep connections with people. And this is an extraordinary talent to have to build a reader and writer community!
Introverts can find it awkward to talk about their book and would much rather bond with people by sharing common interests and passions (again, perfect for building community!). Find people online who like the things you write … the same kind of TV dramas or books or movies. Then bond with them over these favorite stories. Find something in common. Don’t just retweet or Like a post – but reply and give feedback. Help people out with advice. Try to connect to one new person a day. Focus on a few people you admire and think you would get along with. You can build a supportive network this way.
Next, find your online platform that you feel comfortable with and work it and make connections through it.
If you’re a concise communicator, you may take well to Twitter. Happy to share personal information? Then Facebook may be a good fit for you. Or if you prefer connecting in a professional capacity, try LinkedIn. Are you a visual person? Then try Instagram or Pinterest
Do what comes naturally and don’t spread yourself too thin.
Pick one or two social media sites to get involved on to start out.
Focus on what you’re comfortable with and not overwhelmed by. This is supposed to be fun!
Now, you may hear people tell you that you need to do video (and this may scare the pants off you like it did me once!). And so, you think “I know I should be making video blogs, because it’s amazing for marketing but I don’t feel comfortable doing it, but I should do it just to learn, grow, and expand my abilities and get out of my comfort zone.”
Well, yes, getting out of your comfort zone is part of putting your author persona out there – BUT it’s about slowly getting into a whole NEW community comfort zone in your own time. So…yes, you CAN challenge yourself with these platforms and processes when you’re first starting out BUT do it in BABY STEPS and at your own pace. This way you will grow into your author role as your platform grows and it will feel organic and natural.
SO, if video terrifies you now that’s ok – and you may NEVER want to do video. You may be a faster writer and feel comfortable writing blog posts and articles in putting yourself out there rather than public speaking. That’s ok! So, focus on blog posts, because you enjoy them and feel comfortable with them. Engage with other bloggers who blog about similar things to start building a community that feels friendly. Promote these other bloggers – in turn, they will promote you, engage with you, and it won’t seem so scary to put yourself out there.
When I first crawled out of my writer’s cave and went to writing conferences I was terrified of the thought of doing what the presenters there did – creating an HOUR-long talk and presenting it to 100 people! But as I learned more about writing craft and the publishing industry I wanted to share that information. And I now speak and teach to hundreds of people at one time and love it. I would have run and hid in a closet if you asked me to do this years ago though. So … again all in baby steps.
Doing something to present your author persona to the world is better than doing nothing – and trying to make yourself do something uncomfortable will end up in a lot of stalling and procrastination.
Figure out a way to get your persona out there doing something that feels easy for you – and FUN. YES, we can have fun while putting ourselves out there! And finding that first path to do it may open other doors. People will respond to what you put out there which will encourage you to want to try new ways to put yourself out there.
Watch for part 2 of INTROVERTS 911 coming soon.
Donna Galanti is the author of the bestselling paranormal suspense Element Trilogy and the children’s fantasy adventure Joshua and The Lightning Road series. She is represented by Bill Contardi of Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents, Inc. Donna is a contributing editor for International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine and regularly presents as a guest author at schools. She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. Donna has long been a leader in the Mid-Atlantic writing scene as a workshop presenter. She’s taught on writing craft and marketing at writing conferences, retreats, regional writing organizations, and colleges and is also a writing contest judge at nycmidnight.com. Donna also loves teaching writers about building author brand and platform through her free training series at yourawesomeauthorlife.com. Visit her at donnagalanti.com.
*See Donna’s complete marketing course for new authors, Create Your Awesome Community for Debut Authors (CYAC), here: https://www.createyourawesomecommunity.com/special/
CYAC is a 10-module step-by-step digital course that walks you through exactly how to launch your author platform, connect with your ideal readers, and sell more books!