Articles get your name out to a wider range of people than doing public speaking. It’s also a different audience, too: the folks that hear you speak are the ones who, like you, like going to conferences. The people who read articles are going to be the ones who stay at home (and the ones who go to the conferences and enjoy learning everything they can about the profession).
Fame is largely a function of who knows you. Being a speaker at events is one excellent way of getting people to know who you are and what you think about things. Don’t forget to answer questions and talk to as many people afterwards as you can.
Everyone likes to think they’re special and they’ve made an impression on someone else. Try to remember as many names as you can. When you do the business card swap with people, be sure to make notes on business cards about who the person is, when you met, or what you talked about as a trigger to memory, too.
Tip: There are several slicko smart phone applications that let you snap a photo of the business card with the cell phone camera and file the information in a database.
Good listeners are hard to find and will make themselves welcome almost anywhere. Men in particular have a cultural tendency to interrupt. If you make a point of listening to whatever the other person in a conversation is saying until they’re all done and then replying, you will differentiate yourself from 99% of the rest of the world. (Hot tip for men: being a good listener will do you worlds of good in your relationships, too.)
Fame is largely a function of who knows you. Get out and meet as many people in your profession as you can. As your network grows, you’ll discover that people know you that you don’t know and you don’t even know the people that they say they heard about you from. You don’t need to be the life of the party, but be interesting.
Don’t sit home alone watching TV. Whenever possible, go to conferences. Go to meetings. Go to lunches and picnics. Participate in group activities. You don’t need to volunteer for hard jobs–indeed, that’s the harder way to be famous; besides, you’ll be asked plenty about volunteering as time goes by and your fame increases–but do pitch in for things.
Part of your success is your online presence, which can augment your local, regional, and international standing. This includes things like having a website, writing a blog (and contributing to other blogs), and being on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media sites. There’s a lot to know about social media and making a splash, but the basic rules are:
- Nobody knows what’s best, so be sure to do something.
- Do a lot. Don’t try just one thing.
- Be friendly.
- Provide good content to your readers and followers.
Fame—being well-known and nothing more— opens doors. It can make networking easier and extend your own networking reach. Fortunately, it’s not hard to become famous and it’s a lot of fun. This next series of posts tells you how to become well-known in your profession.
(If you have a problem with the idea of “fame” and think it’s the same thing as “cheap celebrity,” think of this as career management. It’s all the same thing: you’re doing legitimate self-promotion to further your career and extol your many professional virtues.)
Acknowledgments and dedications are great fun. People who see their names acknowledged in a book get a real spring in their step and they tend to feel really good about themselves and you for quite some time afterward. Giving someone a copy of a book that’s been dedicated to them is a pure pleasure that generates a warm glow in the giver and receiver. Best of all, Acknowledgments and dedications are great gifts that cost you nothing and one-size-fits-all.
Acknowledgments aren’t as big as a dedication. They’re simply a way of saying “Thank you” for something specific to the book. This doesn’t have to be big; little stuff is worth acknowledging, too. I’ve acknowledged people who came up with important ideas, reviewers, agents, publishing staff, and people who made a last-minute repair to a computer monitor or sent me information about one nitty little technical point.
Here’s a short list of people you may want to acknowledge:
- your spouse/significant other
- your agent/agency
- the staff at the publisher, including the acquisitions editor, the developmental editor, the production people, the copyeditor, the proofreader, the indexer, any artists connected with book design and cover or inside illustrations, the marketing team, and so on
- your tech reviewers and researchers–they’re very important to the success of your book and deserve praise
- friends who were supportive
- company representatives who provided support, as well as the names of companies who may have been helpful
- people who inspired you to do this book in the first place
Always keep track of the acknowledgments as you go. Don’t figure you’ll remember the names of everyone who helped or the circumstances by the end of the book. Start an “acknowledgments” file when you first start trying to pitch the book and make notes as soon as they happen.
Another interesting thing to consider is that you should make sure that the people want to be acknowledged. Sure, most people respond to getting their names in print, but you might actually hurt someone if, for example, their employer doesn’t allow them to have anything to do with outside projects even if they don’t make any money. You can make sure that someone wants an acknowledgment when you check on how they want their name to appear in print and that you’ve spelled everything correctly.