From there the missive will vary. We may be connecting two authors who write similar work, or are in the same geographic area but haven’t met. The email may be connecting a friend to an author, or an author to a service they need, or a colleague to a media outlet, or…
I don’t set out to do this with purpose, but in looking through past emails I’ve discovered I’ve made a mutual introduction at least once a week through the past year. Some of those connections have fizzled, but the vast majority have gone onto be great collaborators, friends or partners, and that’s always a “warm fuzzy.”
But what’s more fascinating (and again, without purpose or plan) is how many have come back to be clients, collaborators and friends as a result.
Now, here’s the big surprise. Many of the most amazing connections I’ve been able to give and receive came from places I’d least expect, in other words, outside my own, “traditional” web of connections. For example, I’d expect to make lots of great connections at writers conferences or writers groups, and we do. But then someone will contact us via someone else I met at someone’s cocktail party, totally unrelated to the writing world. Or at the grocery store… or at a church service… or a charity luncheon… or a TedX event… or even a restaurant.
I met an author once who took this to a new level. She always wore a nametag that included her name and “Author” printed on it, and a photo of her book cover, as if she’d just come from speaking somewhere. This prompted plenty of people in line at the grocery store to ask more about what she wrote, making her effectively her own walking, talking billboard. But more important, it became a conversation starter for her, and she learned more about others she met as well, even if they themselves weren’t fans of her genre or even books.
Are ya with me so far? By fostering connections with the new people we meet in everyday life, we’re bound to find whole new webs of connections we never knew existed, and clusters of readers who never knew WE existed. That person you meet at Jiffy Lube may not like women’s fiction, but his sister might be involved in the local women’s group looking for a speaker for their next event… and so it goes.
One small thread can easily become a massive web of connections.
So here’s your challenge — make a mutual introduction this month, and find a new connection amongst friends, family or colleagues you already know. Tell me how you do, or share how a surprise connection has already helped you build your readership.
Creator of Where Writers Win, Shari Stauch has been involved in publishing, marketing and PR for 30 years. She is also the principal author of the WWW blog, and speaks at conferences around the country. The Where Writers Win team’s newest collaboration is The Winner Circle – vetted book review directories, book clubs and other cultivated resources for emerging authors.