Some nights when I can’t sleep I do the very thing you should not do when you can’t sleep: I reach for my phone. I know that staring at the light from the screen is going to keep me awake till daybreak but I do it anyway. I grab my phone and binge read blog posts.
We had a packed house Saturday at the See Jane Write workshop, How to Build Buzz.
During this free workshop I shared with attendees the story of how I’ve grown See Jane Write from a small women’s writing group and BlogSpot blog to an award-winning business.
It all started on March 24, 2011 when I gathered with a group of about 14 women at a local Mexican restaurant. Most of these women I had never met before, but these women and I all had one thing in common — we all loved to write. And I’d gathered them there that evening to ask them what they wanted and needed from a women’s writing group. This meeting would be the first See Jane Write event.
Two months later See Jane Write hosted a workshop on Twitter that drew 40 women.
Two months after that we hosted a panel discussion that drew 75 women.
See Jane Write was in full swing!
Eventually I started to get quite a bit of attention because of See Jane Write and even started winning awards. In 2012 I received the SMART Award from the Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham, an award given to local women who are doing innovative things in business, education, or the arts. In 2015 I was named one of the city’s Top 40 Under 40 by the Birmingham Business Journal and just this year Southern Living magazine included me on its list of Innovators Changing the South, a list that included the likes of the iconic Dolly Parton and actress Reese Witherspoon.
After this recognition people started to ask me my secret. They wanted to how I was getting so much attention for myself and my brand. And I told them, “I know how to make a scene!” In other words, I got really good at self-promotion.
If you’re still stuck in the mindset that self-promotion is somehow dirty or wrong, read this.
Go on! I’ll wait…
Now here are the seven ways I build buzz and make a scene!
Most days I pose a question to the ladies of the See Jane Write Facebook group designed to help us get to know one another better. Recently, I asked, “What are your superpowers?”
For mine I listed “teaching, writing, inspiring people, connecting people and cultivating community.” One superpower I failed to mention, though, is my knack for building buzz.
Earlier this year when Southern Living magazine included me in its list of Innovators Changing the South, I wrote a blog post about how I believe I’ve received recognition such as this and a number of other awards and opportunities because I’m good at self-promotion.
I know that for many people, especially women and especially writers, self-promotion feels dirty. Perhaps it even feels selfish. But you’ve got it all wrong.
If you have something truly valuable to offer others, you’re actually being selfish if you don’t promote it!
If your blog post could make someone’s day, if your book could change someone’s life, if your business could solve someone’s biggest problem, why would you keep that to yourself?
Self-promotion seems dirty because it’s usually done in a pushy, forceful, and slimy way. But despite how it sounds, “self-promotion” shouldn’t be simply about promoting yourself. It should be about letting someone know that you have something they need and that you want to help.
Perhaps you’ve gone so long shunning self-promotion that now you’re not even sure where to start. No worries. I got you, girl!
On Saturday, July 23 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. I’ll be hosting a FREE workshop at DISCO on how to build buzz.
When I started See Jane Write in 2011 it was just a small women’s writing group and a simple Blogger blog. Now it is an award-winning business that has allowed me to make money and make a difference. In fact, just this year Southern Living magazine included me on its list of Innovators Changing the South because of my work with See Jane Write.
In my e-course Lady Blogger to Boss Lady, which is now open for enrollment, I share all my secrets as to how I’ve grown See Jane Write and used blogging to land paid freelance writing gigs and speaking engagements.
Here are the seven steps I took to turn blogging into a business: