Marketing can be about sales, and ultimately if you don't market, you won't sell anything. How can you sell a product if no one knows it exists? But there's a big distinction between telling people you've got something to sell and the deeper, more essential act. My publicist calls it "publicity." I call it sharing. The thing is, if you believe in something and you care enough about your idea to communicate it to the world by creating something: a product, a book, a work of art, etc, you're doing a disservice to the world by not finding avenues to share. You're not fulfilling your personal calling in the world.
Okay, so if you're anything like me when someone first introduced me to this concept, you might be thinking... well, maybe. Maybe sharing my book with the world is a gift. But maybe it's just annoying. I mean, my friends know I wrote a book. How many times am I supposed to tell them about it?
This question led me to the single most essential marketing (aka sharing) revelation that I've ever had. Whether I have a product or not, my job is still to share. I'm an artist, a dreamer, and I have an idea that I want to share with the world. Each of my books is an idea, but there's a bigger, deeper idea that underscores everything I do. All artists have one. Sometimes the big idea is hard to identify, but once you find your own, you will see what I mean. For me, the idea has to do with playing. I believe that playing is the single most important thing that any person can do, no matter how old they are. Play unlocks inspiration and to live an inspired life is to live a fulfilled life. If I believe this, truly believe it, shouldn't I share it? Shouldn't I blog about what this means to me? Shouldn't I find ways to spark play in the world around me? Shouldn't I post those ideas on Facebook or on Twitter or any other communication avenue available to me, just to further bring that big idea into the world?
Being an introvert, it is difficult for me to think this way. When I have an idea, my first impulse is NOT to turn around and share. But I'm working on developing this habit because I know it is important. The beautiful thing is that I can focus on sharing what's important to me, and in the meantime, people hear about me, and about my books too. It's a magnificient symbiotic circle.
So, if you're wondering about how to market, I say ask yourself a different question. What is it, exactly, that you want to share with the world? Then, create a platform from which you can share those ideas. Also, keep in mind that it's never too early to share. You don't have to be a published author or an award winning film-maker to share your big idea. Share it in small ways. Build your community on Facebook or Twitter. Start a little blog. Share your idea one tiny pebble at a time. You'll be amazed by the change you can inspire, and the community you can grow.