As with most good things, it all started with tacos.
On March 24, 2011 I invited a group of women to meet me for dinner at a Mexican cantina in my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. Most of these women I’d never met before; they didn’t know me or one another. But we all had one thing in common: We all loved to write.
When I was a young girl I was terribly shy. Though I could be relatively outgoing when around close family members and friends, just the thought of speaking in front of people I didn’t know intimidated me.
Fast forward to adulthood: Today I am a teacher and a freelance journalist and someone who’s often paid to speak to large audiences on topics ranging from blogging and business to writing and women’s empowerment.
So how do you overcome a fear of speaking in public? By speaking in public!
You can’t talk yourself out of a fear. You have to feel the fear and do it anyway, again and again, and eventually the fear will melt away.
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!
Enrollment for See Jane Write membership reopens on Tuesday, July 26. If you’ve been thinking about becoming a member, I’d like to chat with you for a few minutes to help you decide if See Jane Write membership is right for you. (more…)