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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