As an author I’m advised to participate in social media and project myself out onto the world as a human being. Promote the person, not the book. The consensus of opinion is that if I appear to be a caring, thought-provoking, fascinating…insert adjective of choice…person, that this will help me grow my fan base, and build interest in my writing.
This is all well and good in theory, but I happen to be an intrinsically shy person. I don’t like talking about myself. I don’t feel comfortable posting images of my friends, family and the plate of food I ate for dinner. So, what am I supposed to do? What are other introverted writers blogging, Facebooking and generally yapping about in order to build their audience? Or, are they too shy to come out and play?
My Book Manager at Booktrope has encouraged me to be myself, find the platforms that I feel comfortable with, and concentrate on them. Apparently there’s no need to venture into danger zones that make me cringe and fear being spotted in the crowd. Phew! The next question is, which platforms do I feel comfortable with? And what is my theme? A theme, I’m told, is important; it helps to identify my brand.
As a lifelong photographer, social media sites that are image rich would appear to be my best bet. Pinterest is ideal. I can spend all day pressing the heart button and pinning to a variety of boards. Job done. Not quite. I’m supposed to be letting people know who I am. Maybe my art board says enough. Maybe my choice of paintings lets you know that we share the same aesthetic taste and therefore, if we ever met in person, might find something to sit down and talk about.
I’m getting there, we’re now connecting, relating at a more personal level. You won’t know what to feed me for dinner, but you will know which art exhibition to invite me to.
Then, a few months ago, I revolutionised my ability to stay on top of social media. I knew I had to become more spontaneous with my postings, so went out and bought a smartphone! Yeah, yeah, prior to this I was a Blackberry girl, a much faster, more efficient system, but, quite frankly, rubbish for the likes of Facebook and Pinterest. This new phone was going to transform everything, make it easier. Once I got my head around the darn thing!
It came ready loaded with loads of groovy apps, one of which was Instagram.
Now, I’d heard of Instagram, but never used it, or understood its value within the social media network. Like all enthusiastic self-promoters, I scurried around reading as much information as possible. Okay, the literature says that all I have to do on Instagram is upload a photo, choose whether to add a fun filter or not, write loads of hashtags and post. Easy peasy. Apparently Instagram will make more impact if I stick to a theme. Theme, theme, what is my theme? Everyone says I must have a theme. But, what do I post? We’re back to the three f’s, friends, family and food. To hell with that!
This is my platform and I can post whatever I darn well like. I take photos. I take photos of anything and everything that interests me. So that is what I will post. Insects, reflections, wildlife… “People don’t like scary bugs,” my partner says. “Post cute stuff, people like cute.” I don’t do cute, cute isn’t always available. I do life. This is my life, this is me. Colourful, observant, creative. To post anything else would not be true to myself. At last, I have found my theme…being myself!
Come and join me on Instagram.