In our vastly changing world, the ability to learn and learn quickly is at a premium. Hanging onto outdated techniques or old ideas can be the kiss of death for maintaining relevance, no matter what it is you’re doing.
That’s not to say that there aren’t fundamentals that may seem like they’re old school, but they are just as relevant today as they were 50 years ago, and will be in another 50 years and beyond. As we’ve discussed here before, even when it comes to technology, some things are better done in low-tech ways.
Watching trends, making changes and staying current is critical, and it’s good to remember that it can bring in its own set of challenges… in every industry.
When it comes to book publicity and marketing, here are two challenges that came up recently:
- Blogs from “experts” giving tips that are outdated.
- Advice that was once good is now bad.
You don’t want to tell other experts that they’re wrong. After all, that happens in social media every hour of the day and to no good end whatsoever. I prefer to use this platform to share my views, although from time to time I will offer another point of view on other platforms where the conversation is taking place. With this method there is no calling someone else out and shaming them publicly, but rather just offering another informed opinion worthy of consideration.
Here is an outdated tactic I heard recently:
How to respond to negative reviews.
I read a blog from someone fairly well known in the industry claiming if you get a negative review you should just ignore it. This used to make sense, but it is now an outdated tactic. We live in a very connected world where conversations that took place a couple of years ago are still seen and read by others. People have impressions of us that we may never know about, so you need to have some say in shaping that impression wherever you can. When we state our thoughts, beliefs, expert opinions, etc. they live on long past the initial conversation, so it’s good to respond to them.
For example: When someone gives you a bad book review, speak up, particularly when it’s a customer review. (I’m not speaking of the industry trade here.) Why? Maybe they simply didn’t understand your book, or maybe they’re not in the intended target market so your book naturally isn’t going to resonate with them. This is good to point out because that means it’s not about your book, it’s about the audience you’re trying to reach. (They are not it!) You want to do this very kindly, of course. Your potential readers, when reading this exchange, will then understand what is going on.
When you respond to a negative review it automatically says a number of things:
- You’re savvy enough to know someone is commenting.
- You’re responsive enough to comment.
- You get to point out what the problem actually is.
- You have the last word.
The last point is the most important one. You have the last word, expressed in a positive way, of course: You aren’t just leaving it up to someone else to figure it out. Plus, the fact that you responded kindly says so much between the lines.
There was a day when ignoring things was the right thing to do, but we are pretty much past that now. When you ignore it, it looks like you’re dead, or you don’t care, or you’re not aware.
Books aren’t the only thing about which negative reviews can pop up. What should you do when someone says something negative about your community?
This could be your Facebook group, LinkedIn group, or whatever platform you may be using. If someone says something negative about your group, the first thing to do is to see if they’re right! In a recent case, someone posted that a particular group didn’t accept differing views and they bullied those who didn’t agree with the others. When the moderator of the group asked the members if they knew anything about this, a couple of people piped up that she should just “…ignore the problem. Anyone familiar with the group would know it wasn’t true…” Is this good advice?
The problem with this viewpoint is that those reviews will be read by people considering joining the group. They don’t know anything about the group yet, and are reading the reviews to decide if they want to join. With a review like that, who knows how many might decide not to join?
There are many examples of old ideas that continue to perpetuate and we’ll delve into more examples in future Savvy Sunday News releases. The main point I want to stress right now is the importance of being in learning mode and staying on top of new methods and ideas.
Think of the infinity loop, which is a figure 8 on its side. One loop is labeled “expert” and the other loop is labeled “beginner.” If you trace the loop with your finger, it travels back and forth between the two, which I think is the case for everyone on the planet. Yes, you know your business, work or projects, and you have expertise in that. But there is always more to learn, especially when you consider how quickly our world is changing on a daily basis. We loop back to the beginner when we learn new things, new technology, new methods, new ideas, new anything — and then back to being the expert again. (Feel free to use this analogy when sharing with others. It helps to accept this truth so there is no imposter syndrome.)
Oh, and one more thing. Do not let that pesky idea that your age has anything to do with this sneak in to derail you. With all the leaps and discoveries in neuroscience lately, the old, outdated idea that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” has been completely debunked. Our brains are capable of learning and growing at any age, so beware of using that as an excuse for not continuing to become the amazing, brilliant person that you are.
Keep learning. Keep reading. Keep talking to people. Keep listening. Integrate what you learn into what you know and you will always stay current and relevant. Keep the fundamentals close to heart too, because they will always be important.
To Your Success!
P.S. And one of the fundamentals with regard to book publicity and marketing is that you can always investigate tying your book into events on the calendar. It’s almost September! Here is a list of special days that can make your book newsworthy again:
9/2 Labor Day
9/5 Be Late for Something Day
9/6 Fight Procrastination Day
9/6 Read a Book Day
9/8 Grandparent’s Day – The first Sunday after Labor Day
9/13 Positive Thinking Day
9/19 International Talk Like A Pirate Day Very helpful video. Be sure you get to at least 2:10
9/22 Business Women’s Day
9/23 Autumn Equinox – Fall begins! (date varies from year-to-year)
9/28 National Good Neighbor Day
9/27 Native American Day
P.P.S. Contact me to discuss other ideas!