As a teacher of young children, I often hear comments such as these: "Can I tell you about what I did this weekend?" "Let me show you what I brought for Show and Tell." "Look what I can do!" "Listen to my story!" "Look at me!"
I once thought that comments like the ones above only came from the mouths of kids. Perhaps by the time we reach young adulthood, we have found more creative and socially appropriate ways of expressing these thoughts, but let's be honest- don't we all just love opportunities to talk about ourselves? We all want to be noticed, to be heard, and to be an important piece of a conversation that has already begun.
In the video below, Jessica Lee talks about successful ways to make movies for money or to get paid for blogging. The take-away point for me, after watching, was that people don't want to read your writing, watch your movies, buy your art, or participate in your business unless you make them feel important.
Think about it: If you know nothing about an independent film, would you be more swayed to watch it because of the filmmaker's constant pressure and promotion, or because the filmmaker showed you ways that his or her film related to your life? Exactly. Would you rather read a person's blog because it invites you in, or because the blogger only ever talks about his or her story, which relates to you in no way? These aren't difficult questions to answer.
While I do believe that the best way to market yourself is by being yourself, I also believe that it is of utmost importance to care about the opinions of those around you. Start small. Ask a question at the end of your blog, and actually take time to comment when people respond. Invite guest bloggers. If you are a filmmaker, consider letting others share their independent films with you. Whatever you do, remember that your blog/video/business may be great, but it is not going to sell itself if you only ever talk about your life and your work. After all, others may have more to add to what you're already doing than you even realize.
Watch this and other videos on My WebTV at http://webtvs.filmannex.com/MaryRachelFenrick.