Award Winning Best Selling Florida Author Yvonne Mason

My Books, writing tips and reviews

Networking and Word of Mouth

I come from the old school style of promotion and networking – for you youngsters ie post internet it was called word of mouth. What people did is this- My father had his own heating and A/C Business which he started in 1948. He holds the oldest license in the State of GA. for that business. He is now 85 years young and still even after all these years gets phone calls from grandchildren and greatgrandchildren of his old customers who started out with him all those many years ago. My Dad never placed an ad in the paper, never had an ad in the phone book and never paid for an ad on the TV in fact for years we didn’t even own a TV. What he did have was his work ethic, his word and is business cards. He carried those three things with him everywhere he went. He handed out his business cards to people in the grocery store, at church, in the dime store. People he was standing in line with.

His cards have traveled many miles in many places from south of Atlanta to as far north of Atlanta you can get without being out of the state. He worked on everything from water heaters- to gas heaters to floor furnaces to the new fangled water pump – computer units. His profession has spanned four generations. He stood by his product and his service. His reputation was one of impeccable stature. His business grew because he was known and when someone needed the job done they were told to call my Dad.

My point is this. I have embraced the internet made it my friend. I know how to promote and market myself and my work. However, that being said, my grounding came from my Dad and my Mom who taught me old school. The handshake, the face to face, the “I know somebody”.  They taught me how to carry my self in such a way that when I shake a hand or hand out my card it means something. It not just a motion I go through- It is personal! When I market on the internet it is personal – I am not just a faceless name trying to peddle my craft. I believe in my readers and I believe in my craft. That was not learned on the net. That was taught to me at the feet of my Dad and Mom.

That brings me to my next point. I belong to a networking group of women that meets once a month somewhere in Port St. Lucie. We meet for several reasons. One is to share our expertise whatever it may be. Two is to network with others to share their expertise- in other words we market each other. We learn about each other on a personal and professional level. We bond as women and as professionals. Then we enhance that by using the technology of the internet. We have the best of both worlds.

Contrary to popular belief- the internet does not take the place of old school. It will inhibit your ability to really shine if you do not get out in the real world. The internet is not – I repeat is not the real world. It is a curtain that we have learned to hide behind because most of us are not comfortable with who we are or what we have to sale. So we use the internet as our escape.

The internet should only be a tool to help us to succeed. Not the means. Nothing takes the place of that warm handshake that eye to eye contact. That excitement when we talk about our craft face to face. There is no emotion on the internet. IT is just a dumb grey box.

I am so grateful for the old school experience. So grateful that my parents taught me how to deal with people from the time I was five years old and had to answer the business phone. I am so grateful that I had to learn to put aside my shyness of strangers and to put my hand out to shake a strangers and introduce myself. It has helped to mold me into the success I am today.

People want to see the person behind the curtain. They want to interact with the person they are doing business with. They are tired as I am of pressing buttons and talking to a machine. They want to talk to a real person.

I have made so many wonderful friends both professionally and personally in Networkers for Women. They have not only been there for me professionally but personally as well. It would not have happened had it not been face to face- sitting down and talking- having lunch- sharing ideas- thoughts and feelings.

Yes, the internet is a great tool- it is not the only tool nor is it a personal tool- Old School is still the best foundation for success. The internet just enhances it. Remember that the next time you want  to  make a contact – face to face or a phone call is so much more personal and much more impressionable. Remember you can only make one great first impression anything after that is secondary. Why not make it the best it can be. A firm handshake and a direct look in the eye.

May 10, 2013 Posted by | Marketing | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Getting Known in the Book World!

I get asked this question at every event I attend, every time I do a public speaking gig and when I am out in public and people find out who I am. They all say “How did you get out there?”

Well as Rick Ricardo said to Lucy, “Let me splain.”

In order for people to know about my books they must first know about me. Yes, I know before all of you go all postal on me with comments like “But I am a very private person, I am shy, I can’t talk about myself, I don’t know how to talk about myself, I don’t know what to say, there is nothing outstanding about me, I am afraid(that is my all time favorite), just sit back and pay attention for a few minutes.

I am basically not only a very shy person, I am also a private person. I spent many years not believing there was anything worthwhile that anyone would be interested in. I knew I could write and I knew I did it well. I also knew that in order to sell my work I had to sell myself.

I had to take a close and honest look at who I was warts and all. I had to allow others to see my strengths and weaknesses. I had to be able to stand outside of the herd and let my own light shine above the Frey. Was it easy? No it was not. Did it take courage? Yes it did. Was it worth it? You betcha!

When I hear the above statements I more often than not reply “Just how serious are you? Just how bad do you want your work out there?”
This is what separates the men from the boys so to speak. This is what tells me who is really willing to do what ever it takes to get their work out to the public.

No one on this earth can sell your work like you the author. No one knows you better than you know yourself, even if you lie to yourself. You still know yourself better than anyone else. Only you can sell yourself. That is one of the many reasons I don’t go agents, publicist or PR people. I am just one of many they work with and they only scratch the surface. If I am in the mood to wear something unique I can. I am not afraid to step outside of the box, the reason, people will remember me. They might not remember all the titles to my books but they will remember the name.

Do I have down days and days that are filled with self doubt, sure I do. But I only allow it in for just a second before I push it aside and go at it again. I am unique, there is only one of me and I am the only one who writes like I do. Therefore I put something special out there.

So unless you are truly willing to put yourself out there and willing to do what it takes to make your name known – then you are basically wasting your talent and your craft. Being an author is like a marriage- it is work- like a marriage it will not grow or blossom without sacrifice and hard work. It will not work without honesty within yourself and those you come in contact with.

So Getting back to the question – How to get known in the Book World. Answer – Market yourself first. Find your niche- be unique- don’t follow the herd. Stand out from the herd. The rest will come

Wore this to a Networkers Luncheon in Vero Beach

November 4, 2011 Posted by | yvonne mason | , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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