Market to the Front of Your Own Parade

It’s my first post here at the WordServe Water Cooler, and I’ve been racking my brain trying to find something unique and helpful to share with a group of experienced and prolific writers like yourselves. For the last several years, I’ve hidden behind authors, quietly helping them with publicity, blog tours, and social media. After taking a year “off” to birth and raise a baby and to start my writing career, I find myself having to actually implement all of the marketing advice I’ve offered to others. I now have to build my own writing platform. Even with my experience, it’s scary and overwhelming.

So many other people are more competent than I am when it comes to writing, marketing, social media, cooking, healthy living, parenting…and the list goes on. When I start to think of all the ways I’m under-qualified to write and market a book about food, family, and faith, I’m tempted to become crippled with fear.

This morning, I was reading a book to my 10-month old son and these words jumped out of the page at me.

Climb any mountain…climb up to the sky!

Make a big splash! Go out on a limb!

Hold your head high and don’t be afraid to march to the front of your own parade.

I love the picture of the little boy proudly making a splash and leading his parade in Nancy Tillman’s sweet book, “Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You.”

March to the front of your own parade.

I don’t have to march to the front of your parade or The Pioneer Woman’s parade, or Seth Godin’s parade. My book, my career, my parade.

And better yet, I can hold my head high and be proud of what I do have to offer, the areas I do excel in, and the gifts God wants me to share. I don’t have to measure up to anyone else. I’m uniquely me!

Instead of thinking of it as building our platform, we could just pretend we’re marketing to the front of our own parade. Doesn’t that sound more fun and less intimidating?

Imagine a parade about you and your books, where the collection of floats tells a story. Each float celebrating a part of who you are, what you believe in, what your expertise is, what your passions are, what your books are about, what you are like.

If each of your blog posts, tweets, Facebook statuses, and online bios is a float, does your current collection of floats look like the parade you imagined for yourself? Do you think people are inviting their friends to come watch your parade? Are they jumping in and marching along with you? Is fear of failing, judgement, or not measuring up keeping you from proudly stomping around and letting yourself be seen and heard?

Hold yourself high, and don’t be afraid to march to the front of your own parade. – Nancy Tillman, Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You

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13 thoughts on “Market to the Front of Your Own Parade

  1. Rachel, isn’t it wonderful when the blinders come off? Marching to our own parade – because that’s the parade He’s called us to. Even better? Our road looks different and will be utterly different than Seth Godin’s – because we’re different. Love the post. Great way to call it like it is ~ our own parade. Thank you for sharing with us!

  2. Great word picture. I want to high-step in a top hat with a baton in my hand, saying, “Follow me to the message God gave me to share.” I love the fun outlook on marketing, versus seeing it as drudgery.

  3. I enjoyed your post, very much. The floats are a great visual. Thanks, Rachel!

  4. God designed me to be the leader of the parade he has in mind just for me. Who am I worried about pleasing, if it isn’t him? Thanks for the picture. I’m going to keep in mind as I work on my parade platform.

  5. It’s a wonderful notion to focus on your individuality and uniqueness. The only thing I will always do better than everyone else in the world this: I am the best Neal Abbott there will ever be. We can be our unique self better than anyone!

  6. Wonderful post, Rachel. Thank you so much for sharing this perspective. I love the concept of thinking of all my posts, blogs, tweets, etc. as part of my own parade—it’s definitely less intimidating and gives me the sense of having at least some control (after all, only I can be me!)
    Thanks again! (:

  7. The parade image is wonderful, Rachel. It truly makes all the platform and promotional work sound a lot more inviting and fun, and I’ve always liked parades anyway…Thanks for sharing this!

  8. I just read your post, Rachel, and I’m so glad I did!

    As someone who struggles with comparison, I LOVE this paragraph: “…I can hold my head high and be proud of what I do have to offer, the areas I do excel in, and the gifts God wants me to share. I don’t have to measure up to anyone else. I’m uniquely me!”

    Amen!!! Knowing God made us unique sure lifts a bear-sized burden, doesn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing, and unique blessings to you!

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