My advice for 2020 for authors and others in the business of attracting attention, is to walk the walk.
“Authenticity requires a certain measure of vulnerability, transparency and integrity.”Janet Louise Stevenson
If you are in the business of selling anything including your own brand and products, of persuading people to invest in you, whether through money, time, or attention – listen up. (My fellow authors, this includes you!)
Audiences today are keeping it real through their words and actions (or lack thereof) when it comes to their opinions of advertising and marketing. Many of the “old ways” of getting people’s attention like TV commercials and direct mail are being flat out rejected. Even the newer ones, like email lists and social media, are being held to a higher standard of authenticity and quality. In other words, if your message doesn’t sound like it’s from a real person, if it’s not interesting in some way, it’s more likely to be rejected.
Substance and walking the walk is rapidly rising above the marketing noise.
People want the goods. They want proof that you have the knowledge you say you have, that you aren’t full of – fluff – or are a snake oil salesman like so many who have existed in sales for centuries. And even more so in my opinion since the advent of the internet simply because of worldwide access.
I think at this point we’ve had enough of sales pitches promising the world and delivering very little of it in return.
For those of us who are who we say we are, and do walk the walk, and do have knowledge to share with others – this is not the time to hold back or be coy or clever about sharing that knowledge. We’re beyond promises to share your knowledge once people give you money.
This also means not being held back by fear that someone else will steal your ideas because, newsflash – very few wheels are being reinvented at this point. Various aspects of your ideas are likely already out there in some form. (That’s why sharing your personal stories and lessons attached to those stories is more crucial than ever.)
This is the time to live your mission, share value, and produce content that proves you have the knowledge you say you have.
I’ve learned through this experience that there is little real risk in pulling back the curtain and revealing behind-the-scenes details of processes for two reasons:
1) Implementation: Knowing how to do something and actually getting around to doing it, are two different things.
2) Context: There are a ton of little X factors in a process that only the process creator fully understands; things that add that special “spark” to the process that others would have a difficult time duplicating.
Bottom line, if you share how you do what you do, most people will not be willing and/or able to replicate it.
The ability to be this authentic and share your knowledge openly is grounded in the belief that you are an expert in your subject matter. It’s trusting that between your unique story and life and career experiences, you have information that other people are looking for.
If you find that you’re not consistently producing the amount of content that you’d like, that you’re not walking the walk as much as you’d like, might that be what’s holding you back? A lack of belief that you have valuable knowledge to share?
If you’re an author, or in the process of becoming one – you ARE a subject matter expert! This is true even if that subject matter is simply your life and the lessons learned from it. You have things to share that will help others.
Forget the cleverness and coy sales tactics of the past. There’s no magic marketing pill. The only centuries old, big seven figure secret of billionaires who wake up at 4 a.m., is believing in your knowledge enough to share it with others.
In 2020 and beyond, it’s authenticity and real knowledge, ideas, and expertise that are rising above the marketing noise of the past.