I am sure that there are many other people out there that dread building a network as much as I do. Even though I may seem social, I really feel uncomfortable approaching new people. I’m a Netflix-loving homebody, so it’s even a struggle for my friends to get me to go out and meet other people.
But I understand the importance of networking — especially in business. More specifically, I’ll be writing about building a base and following of dedicated readers, which I think is just another way of networking.
Don’t get me wrong; once I meet the person and we get talking, I feel more comfortable and can actually enjoy myself.
The initial awkward approach and introduction never get easier, though.
Lately I’ve been reading online that self-published authors need to build a following of dedicated readers, and I have decided to self publish. When I read that the authors do all the marketing and networking, I almost laughed. I can’t even network to people face-to-face, so how will I possibly build a base over the internet? It’s lucky that I even decided to start blogging. For years I debated starting a blog, but I always ended up deleting it because I was afraid that no one would read it.
I suppose that is my worst fear. Trying to put myself out there and getting absolutely no kind of response. I would much rather get rejected. At least rejection implies some sort of mental or emotional feeling of my writing. At least if people disagree with, or hate my work, they connected on some level with it.
If I can’t build up the nerve to try making a network, I guess I don’t really deserve to publish my book. So I’m going to take a stab at it. From what I can tell, people network and build a base by blogging (yay, I’ve got that one covered), advertising to their friends, and utilizing whatever kind of advertising and marketing they can.
Right now I am focusing on the blog. If I can keep up blogging regularly, then I might expand to another form of networking. I just really want to publish my book before I graduate college. It’s a life goal of mine, so at least I have the drive to go for it. I don’t really care if it sells. As long as at least one other stranger connects to my words, I’ll be happy. I just have always loved the way that books can spirit you away, and I want to be able to do that for people.
What do you all do to build your base? How do you feel about networking? I’d really love to hear other thoughts on this subject, since I feel it is such a personal step. Networking in business and writing opens you up for public judgement and rejection, and can be stressing. At least the internet provides us with a chance to commiserate!