Archives for category: Social Media

Let me show you how Neurolinguistic Programming — NLP — is oh-so interesting…and useful for your writing.

I saw this in someone’s Linked In profile:
“My name is Erin — Remember me”
(with someone else’s name, though).

That phrase — Remember Me — is an embedded command
(part of NLP).

Embedded commands tell our brains exactly what to do:
You’ll enjoy reading this.
It’s something you’re going to like and use.
You’ll remember it, because it’s important to you.
(Each of these phrases makes your brain say, uh-huh. Okay.
If you say so

You’ll find a ton about NLP on the web, but basically,
NLP takes how we think (neuro) and communicate (linguistic),
studies the info,
and then uses it to influence ourselves and others (the way we act).

Though some believe it to be highly controversial and even manipulative, it doesn’t have to be. Ideally, NLP is about transforming. Teaching. Leading.

Because, hey,
It really can work.
“My name is Erin — Remember Me.”

What does this have to do with writing?
Aside from the marketing implications for getting your name out as an author (or artist, or photographer, or poet, or screenwriter…etc.) and selling your stuff,

you can use NLP techniques within your characters:
Antagonists with NLP in their dialogue can be influential…and scary.
Protagonists finally falling into their intended leadership positions can use NLP to lead.
In the language of archetypes, Heralds and Gatekeepers can use NLP to direct.
and so on.

Dialogue. It’s a great place to use NLP.
First person POV. It’s a great place to use NLP.
(The first chapter of Rick Riordan’s The Red Pyramid is full of NLP.)

Read about NLP.
It’s cool.
(And useful.)

* Thup


Note: This post is for business-minded, entrepreneurial,
creative types.
If you want to make a living at your art, you’ve most likely heard the term audience.
(Be forewarned: This post isn’t the usual “identify your audience” banter.)

Regarding your audience, a well-known speaker said to me recently,
“Too many writers make blogs for other writers. That’s bad.
You need to write to the audience you want to sell to —
those who will buy your stuff.

I’ve thought about this quite a bit —
and I don’t believe the audience thing (or the whole social media thing) is that cut and dry.

Yes, as an artist of any kind, it’s important to build a social media platform.
People need to know you — who you are and what you do —
in order to like you, follow you, and buy from you.
(Buying is good. As we all know, this starving artist thing is real.
And I like to eat, don’t you?)

But there are many reasons to interact within social media.
Just think of the different social media outlets —
from Pinterest to LinkedIn,
Facebook to Instagram,
blogging to tweeting…

It’s not all about money.
(Thank God.)

Okay, I know —
Some blogs are clearly money-seeking ventures bleeding insincerity.
(Uhyeah, there’s enough insincerity and manipulation out there to
choke a dinosaur.)

Social media, once it becomes only money-and-sales-driven drivel,
turns us into takers
(and alienates people).
(we know this. we’re turned off by this. we need to avoid this. big. time.)

If we’re not careful, this Audience #1 — those who we intend our message to grip, grab, and bless the socks off — can become the Target Market that we hunt for the sale, with little regard for sincerity.

How does a healthy Audience #1 work? 
* Passion. We have something we’re passionate about.
* Benefit. Audience #1 benefits from what we share.
* Follow. Because they benefit, they follow. We now have a Tribe.
* Connect. Tribes like your stuff. But they mostly like us. They keep coming back because of us — the authenticity, the passion, and the willingness to be real while sharing the transaction.
(so, yeah. be authentic, passionate, and willing to be real.)
* Buy-Sell Transactions. Yes, interacting with Audience #1 involves selling something. A book. A work of art. A film. Audience #1 is willing to pay for that benefit, follow, and connection — in a transaction.

With Audience #1, the benefit goes both ways.
It’s both a hard and soft transaction.
(Hard = money; soft = benefit sharing)

But your Audience #2 has a different kind of transaction happening. 
Audience #2 is only about the soft transaction.
(We both benefit, and the benefit is intangible.)

How does Audience #2 work?
* Sharing Art. We create (make our art) and share it.
* Feedback and Support. By sharing our art, we receive feedback and support. while they receive positives from our art, too. Those with like minds cheer us on, keep us on our toes, and keep us sane. By sharing our art with those who wholeheartedly resonate, we form an intangible — yet highly beneficial — bond. And there’s something wonderful about resonating with a group, isn’t there?
* Personal Growth. Finally, that support feeds our spirit. Especially among artists, like-minded banter sharpens our thoughts and, ultimately, sharpens our craft.

What kind of audiences do you cultivate?
<<I contend that we need both.>>

I believe
when we aim ONLY for the target-market transaction,
the arrow may hit the mark, but we lose a bit of humanity.

(Not everything we do is about getting.)
(Balance your audiences.)
(We need a Clan, not just a Tribe.)

A Clan is your like-minded, life-minded people-group
bound by intangibles that matter.

Don’t think it’s a waste of time, to give freely to your like-minded peeps.)

* Thup

What’s the value of connection?
it can be the difference between
yes or no.
Getting to the end or standing still.
Making it or not.

it can be the difference between
isolation and truly living.

* Thup

That’s what the title line says, on an empty blog: title (optional).

In other words, whatever you call the blog, or even if you skip the title, it really doesn’t matter. It’s the content that counts.

Some of us sit and wait until we have the right title to begin. The name has to be special. The parameters have to be just right. The project needs a overview. And in the process of naming the work, the body of the work is left blank.

Don’t get me wrong. Especially in marketing (as in sending an email or naming a blog post), you want to have a title that grabs attention and draws people in. But we often get it all backwards. We think we have to have the perfect title first. But titles are like a research project’s abstract. They come last, if at all.

The title is optional. It’s the body of the work that counts.
(let’s get to work.)


FB 101: the caged animal
Social media is an interesting animal for artists. Yes, it’s an animal we need to be involved with. But I’m of the belief that involvement needs to be temperate, purposeful, and well thought through.

Here’s what I mean.

Reasons for FB
Each of us use social media for different reasons. I began using Facebook simply to communicate with my family and friends. I moved out of state, and my FB community helped me feel connected. I think that’s a pretty good use for FB.

I still communicate with family and friends, but now there’s more. I share what inspires me. I let people in on what’s important to me. And I let people know what I’m doing with my writing, because writing’s an important part of my life. Finally, what I write (and teach) can help others. So I share it. No arm twisting, no guilt-making, no blatant selling. It’s simply sharing a part of me. Pretty basic.

What we do on FB…is it really so benign?
FB can be simple pablum to keep the mind busy. We all know the FB posts with pictures of cats and dogs, what I ate for breakfast, and selfies. Games, stupid Siri corrections, and funny videos make us laugh…and waste our time.

FB can also be inspiring. FBers post encouraging didleys to “hang in there” and true-life stories that make us cry. (The ultimate optimist, I’m a sucker for these.) Encouragement is there for those who want it.

But. Let’s talk. Care of this animal called Facebook may be basic. But the animal’s not safe, by any means. No.

FB Dangers
FB can be volatile. I’ve posted little bits that I thought were benign that turned into name calling. Yeah. As soon as I picked my jaw up off the floor, I deleted the post, unfriended, and took a deep breath. Funny how the anonymity of FB gets people to say things they’d most likely never say in person. Oh. And let’s not get started on politics. Scathing indictments of political figures are common. Embarrassing photoshopped craziness that makes even the crass blush. And, and, and. Parents shame kids, kids bully so-called friends, and people rant. And rant. And rant. (So not needed.)

Social concerns, religion, and politics
Each of us has a different tolerance for social, religious, and political comments. I know someone with a “three strikes you’re out” policy: if you post three times in the social, religious, or political realm, he unfriends you. An interesting approach. Unfortunately, if we go that route on anything that hints of the Big Three, we isolate ourselves from ideas that sharpen our awareness. Not every person with a different view from ours is out to lunch, stupid, or insensitive. I want to be someone known as considerate and open to others’ views. Kind and actionable. With positive relationship that’s authentic — even if we differ. Hey, we all have value. Tolerance, a word I’m not particularly fond of but applicable here, goes all ways.

Feeling used on FB…
FB can be used in business. Selling. I say can be, not should be. Poster beware: With FB’s philosophical foundation of friendship, once a person moves to “selling speak,” the reader feels violated. Used. I feel strongly on this one: Don’t use friendships to sell. Tell, don’t sell (it’s different). Telling says, here’s what I do. Here’s something new (if it is). Just letting you know, in case you’re interested. Post done. Going on and on about the joys of the effectiveness of a product is not what people came to see or experience in your friendship (unless your page is clear that it’s a business page). And even doing that much can feel touchy, as if you’re using the friendship for gain. If I never see you on FB except for posting about buying into your business, I’m onto you. Not good.

Emotional spewing
Speaking of touchy, FB can be way too “open,” sharing anxiety, sadness, depression, hurt, and a myriad of personal experiences that are best kept to close family and friends. Trust your feelings to one-on-one meetings and phone calls with those who care about you. And if someone did something illegal, call the cops. One more thing: I don’t want to know about your bodily functions. Really. It may be funny to you but, trust me, I don’t want to know. (Yes, my professional opinion of you just plummeted went you posted that video about the fart. For all the world to see. It wasn’t funny, and the damage that it does to your character, as a whole, isn’t worth it. Bring it up to something I would admire. Please.)

What’s your temperature?
The bottom line: Whatever you post, it gives the world a temperature of who you are. We emote temperature. Every word that we type tells those reading what we’re like at the core. And I’m not just talking about what we value; I’m talking about our attitude. Our tone emotes.

Tone and temperature…
Tone comes through everything we write. Your outlook on life bleeds through your words. We get a sense of who you are, on the inside. That can be fabulous or terrible. (Think about it.) When a person thinks of us (not just on FB but at any time in life), he or she feels that temperature. Test it out, right now. Think of one friend of Facebook. Someone who posts quite a bit. Don’t you get a certain feeling about the individual, purely on the history of his or her posts?

I thought so.


Facebook and the artist
As an artist/creator/writer, you’ll be told that you MUST use FB. And Twitter. And blogging. Social media is a part of the artist/creator/writer’s life. It behooves us to be intentional about this animal called Facebook — and all the caged animals on social media that can bite. Nothing we write is benign. Every jit and tiddle on the page counts, creating a temperature and tone to who we are to the world. Jit and tiddle wisely.


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