I’ve met far too many introverted writers, and far too many extroverted writers who fizzle before they finish. The former comes with its own set of interesting conflicts: branding and marketing yourself. The latter has to do with dedication to solo writing.
Introverted and extroverted people–not just writers–need to brand, and need to find ways to interact with the world concerning their abilities; especially with social media the way it is.
Until the infrastructure breaks down (which might come sooner than you think), brand marketing goes hand-in-hand with any writer, and any individual looking for a job.
I’ll talk about introverted writers first. One of the biggest hurdles for any writer to overcome is the confidence to put your work out for the world to see, but it’s generally magnified by those who prefer to gather energy from the inside. The US market system is geared toward hiring extroverted workers (“I promote synergy in the work place.” “I’m a go-getter self-starter with a keen interest in assisting both the internal and external customer.” “I prefer to work in groups.” Etc). The truth of the matter is over half the US populace is introverted, and have their own ways of interacting.
Extroverts have their own hurdles to overcome: the marketing side is almost too easy, while the product is difficult to hone (I’m not saying everyone is like this, of course). I’m an extrovert, and some of the most difficult lessons I’ve learned is that just because I have a great group of friends doesn’t mean my work is worth crap. And I can’t just zip out a novel and expect it to shine. I may love it, my friends may be impressed by the word count and “ability,” but the rest of the world won’t. Ease of communication only gets you so far; the rest must come from ability.
Resumes, social media such as Facebook and Linkedin, and understanding the market are essential to landing a job in the field you’re looking for. The easiest way to do that is consistency, and have an active presence on the internet.
The World Economy is struggling. If I’m to follow my father’s advice, and by extension Kiyosaki’s (Author of Rich Dad Poor Dad), this economy will once more fall flat on its face when the bubbles actually DO burst, and won’t recover until somewhere around 2020. This is why understanding self-marketing and putting yourself out there is so incredibly important: everything is changing. The economy and job market are fluctuating.
I read on a Snapple cap: “The mark of true literacy in the 21st century is not in the ability to read, but the ability reinvent yourself.” (I can’t believe so much was under a tiny little cap. I also can’t believe I forgot the person who said it).
Anyone can read. Anyone can write. Read WELL? Not so much. Write WELL? Not so much. One’s ability to look professional ties hand-in-hand with one’s ability to write and present one’s self.
In this culture of social unaccountability, a strong presence means you garner your client’s/audience’s respect and confidence. It says, “I’m here, and you can trust in me that this is who I am.” A strong presence also means when a position open up, someone out there might have you in mind to fill it.
Self-promotion isn’t for small-business owners anymore, or relegated to product placement: it’s for everyone. Even if writing or graphic design isn’t your thing, creating a true-to-life persona on the internet is the same as writing a living resume.