Posts Tagged ‘highly sensitive’

“People forget what you say, but they remember how you made them feel”–Warren Beatty

Caring for others, wanting to help our fellow humans, comes rather naturally for highly sensitive people, so why shouldn’t promoting ourselves and our products be just as natural? Most likely because we’re thinking of “selling” rather than “marketing.”

Sell: to persuade or induce (someone) to buy something: The salesman sold me on a more expensive model than I wanted.

Market: “on the market” (to make) available for purchase

Although the difference, linguistically speaking, is subtle, there is a huge difference in the way the two are carried out.

When we think of sales, we often think of a stereo-typical used car salesman — pushy, irritating, hard to get away from. I don’t know any HSP who wants to be that person. Trying to “sell” ourselves and our products leaves a sickening feeling in our psyche. And it’s no wonder since we’re consistently thinking of how the “other” feels. We know people don’t like to feel pushed into buying what they don’t want.

However, marketing is simply letting everyone know what we have available. To market ourselves we only need to do what we do best, be kind to others. The rest will slowly take care of itself.

Kristen Lamb and JP Aguiar have similar takes on using social media, Twitter in particular, to market ourselves that really speak to the way HSP’s live.

Kristen calls her suggestion the Rule of 3’s:

  1. Conversation:  Find someone to say something to. It doesn’t need to be a lengthy chat, just a word of encouragement or congratulations. Anything friendly will do.

  2. Information: Tweet a link to a post or article you found helpful, though not necessarily your own.

  3. Reciprocation:  Retweet a link from a fellow tweeter, preferably one you think others would really enjoy.

JP calls his suggestion The 5 Fingers To Social Media Learning:

  1. Index Finger – Know Your Goals: What do you want to accomplish through social media?

  2. Middle Finger – Share The Luv: Be human. Be available. Watch for opportunities to communicate with others, then do it.

  3. Ring Finger – Build Your Community: Sharing great information and being available naturally builds relationships, which will grow your following, your community.

  4. Pinky Finger – Share You Share Yours: Be yourself, but keep it to a minimum. Remember, it’s about building a community, not selling a used car.

  5. Thumb – Be Supportive and Helpful: Watch for the needs of others. All writers like, and need, some help getting the word out about their books, blogs, etc. Be that help.

Selling anything can be difficult, but making yourself available and letting others know you have something they might be interested in isn’t nearly as hard. Social media can be a marketing dream for a highly sensitive person, especially when we dig into our natural talents to be attentive and helpful.

What other ways have you found to market your products that hinged on putting your customer’s needs first?

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If you’re a highly sensitive person like me, then you’ll understand how stressful marketing yourself, your product or your business can be. If you aren’t an HSP, then today’s marketing landscape with its hurry, scurry push in social media probably doesn’t bother you. You may, in fact, thrive on the pressure, the excitement. The downside to that is that mistakes can be made at a faster rate and be more challenging to correct.

It’s also true that HSPs will suffer more stress and anxiety if we jump into all of the things we’re told we should be doing before we take the time to fully plan where we want to end up or if we don’t pace ourselves the way we need to — at a slower rate than the rest of the world. Regardless of whether you’re thinking about blogging or using Twitter or Facebook or any other social media, as an HSP it is imperative to think it through and take your time.

I’m currently working my way through Kristen Lamb’s WE ARE NOT ALONE: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media, which I highly recommend, but I have to continuously remind myself that I am not in a race. As Kristen has pointed out in previous blog posts, writing is more of a marathon than a sprint. Building an author platform goes right along with that. I may not be able to fit in 15 minutes each for Facebook, Twitter and MySpace (or whatever other social media outlet I’ve chosen) everyday, but I can certainly spend that much time on one per day, blog at least once per week and still have time left to work on my “masterpiece”.

Jumping into anything before you’re truly ready, or even mostly ready, gives a higher possibility of failure. It also means a greater possibility of losing your passion to write altogether. Still, it’s very difficult to reign in our enthusiasm, especially if we’re newer to the process. As Jody Hedlund says in her post The Pressure To Jump In Too Soon, “It’s hard enough to have patience. Therefore, when we get involved in the cyber writing world, eventually, we might begin to feel left behind or the pressure to keep up with what others are doing—even if we’re right where we need to be.”

Jody suggests 5 things newer writers can do to keep those feelings of pressure to a minimum, which I think really speak to HSPs:

  1. Concentrate on your writing because that is what will sell.

  2. You can put aside the book you’ve written without editing it. Consider it a project to revisit later when you’ve had more experience.

  3. If your story isn’t working or you’ve lost the passion for a project, it’s okay to put it away unfinished.

  4. Take the time to try out other genres. You may find your best writing isn’t in the genre you thought it was.

  5. Most importantly, spend less time thinking about what everyone else is doing and more time being you. As an HSP you know you’re unique. Capitalize on it.

It’s not the popular choice to take the slow lane when trying to forge ahead in a writing career, but for highly sensitive people it can be the best way. What other ways have you discovered to keep your career moving ahead while maintaining the balance you need as an HSP?

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I don’t think there is anyone who would disagree that blogging on a regular basis is a must to gain a solid reader base. If you want to be noticed you have to get the attention of not just people, but the internet spiders, especially those of Google. The question, however, is how often should you blog?

The vast majority, I think, would say that you absolutely must blog everyday. Their reasoning? Usually it’s an assumption that everyone prefers having their email inbox glutted with “great” new posts on a daily basis. Or it’s all about increasing your Google rank. Or both.

While blogging daily will increase your Google rank, unless it is of very high quality, a daily blog (even just on weekdays) can be seen as a nuisance to your readers — and a major stress factor for you, especially if you’re a highly sensitive person. I strongly disagree with the thought that it’s a wonderful idea to blog on a daily basis, from both a writer’s and a reader’s standpoint.

From a reader’s view, I have enough emails to wade through that the daily blogs, unless they’re amazing, simply get deleted with nothing more than a quick scan. Those that come on a weekly or monthly basis I’m more likely to take the time to read because I believe that person really took the time to produce something of high quality. (It’s a judgement call, I know, but I just haven’t seen enough fantastic daily posts to believe otherwise.)

As a writer, a daily blog puts strain on an already tight schedule. For me, blogging isn’t just sitting down to write whatever pops into my head. There is a lot of research to be done for a quality blog. Not to mention a large amount of time actually crafting and editing it. After all, a “quality” blog gives useful information and makes sure the reader has ready access to helpful sites. If all I wanted to do was give a quick tip, I’d use Twitter.

One such advocate of daily blogging is Gary Smailes of BubbleCow. Gary says in his post Why (And How) Writers Should Blog Every Day, “If you are looking to build a platform then it all comes down to priorities. If you are going to build an online presence then you need to develop a voice and audience. The more you push, the louder your voice becomes.”

If you’re an HSP like me, then pushing and speaking louder is almost the antithesis of who you are. I’m sorry, Mr. Smailes, but there are other ways of making yourself heard.

Basic networking can be done via social media or face-to-face and you don’t have to shout to do it. Building a network, and a following, does not have to happen overnight. Trying to stretch yourself beyond what you can naturally do and without the needed downtime, something non-HSPs do on a regular basis, will only make a highly sensitive person overwhelmed. I know from personal experience that trying to market myself the way “everyone else does it” or, worse, the way “everyone else says I should do it” only gave me wicked heartburn and a lot of cranky days from lack of sleep. It didn’t improve my following at all.

What has worked is crafting quality weekly blogs and networking the old-fashioned way. As a highly sensitive person, I find I absolutely must be creative — and slow — in building my platform. I may not win a lot of readers today, but over time I’m positive I can entice many on The Road to Writing.

BTW: This post took 1 hour 15 minutes to write and edit. That time does not include research on the topic of blogging.

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As anyone who has been reading this blog regularly can see, I missed my normal Saturday posting last week. That’s not the only thing I missed due to family obligations. Because my husband’s grandmother was in the hospital, we spent four hours on the road Monday to go visit her. Being a highly sensitive parent of a toddler who has been having sleep problems lately, by the time we got homw and got our tiny tot to bed I was too beat to think straight, let alone write anything comprehensible.

Some of you may think I’m whining (and maybe I am a little), but my real reason for bringing all this up is to refute what I once read somewhere about family being detrimental to good writing. I have never heard of anyone moaning on their death bed that they wished they’d spent less time watching their children grow or loving their spouse and more time writing.

It is very important to keep to a daily writing schedule, but only to the point that you have ample time with your family. Those sweet moments of life disappear too quickly to spend it on anything else.

In this one writer’s opinion, it’s good to stay on track, but remember to stop and watch the wildlife on The Road to Writing.

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