Networking Tips to Create An Overnight Success
by Robin Blakely

Ready to be an “overnight” success?
That critical “overnight” stage may seem elusive, awkward, and even confusing, but it is the single most important phase for the turning point of your creative career. For authors and other creative people like you, “overnight” success actually begins when you first discover the way to shift gears between creating your work and promoting your work. So, how do you develop that special knack?

Start with who you know. You have an eclectic group of contacts. Some of them are friends and acquaintances who are deeply connected in your creative field. Some of them aren’t. But, everyone you know deserves to be counted here. These are the people who can help you build an informal grassroots campaign. They are poised and ready to spread the word about you. But, it’s up to you to empower these people with the most current knowledge they need to spread the word about your latest work.

Next, focus on organizational basics. Arrange your contact information in a functional format that can be used routinely to print out envelopes or send a few emails. Compile one comprehensive list that includes names, addresses, email info, and phone numbers. Add taglines to quickly identify your different contacts, so that you can see the big picture more clearly.

Prepare to communicate. After you’ve created the initial list of personal contacts, you need basic communication tools. What works? A basic website. A postcard with your book cover. A succinct description about the book. A brief paragraph about who you are. But, above all, don’t overlook your cover letter. A cover letter can empower the people who can help you with ways they can specifically lend a hand. Ask them to think about opportunities and possibilities that might exist for you. Tell them that you intend to connect with the media and need to link up with groups of people who are interested in what you’re about. Do they have any ideas for you? Ask for thoughts they can share and the people who they know who you should meet. Follow-up on all suggestions that come your way.

Expand your efforts. Now that you have the makings of a strong personal database, cultivate it with research and expand it with the names of more people. Consider adding people connected to print opportunities. Note the contact information for editors at newsletters, newspapers, and magazines that should be interested in your work, and tagline the reasons that they should care. Consider people who are linked to broadcast opportunities. What specific websites, radio programs, and television shows need to be added to your list? Consider decision makers at live venues who could help connect you to groups of people via lectures, workshops, or classes.

Remember, your “overnight” success takes much more time than you first imagine; much less time than you ultimately fear. So, what’s stopping you? Most often, it’s you. Other people can accidentally get in your way and inadvertently fail to help you when you really need them, but you are unlikely to find anyone with more power to hold you back or catapult you forward than yourself. So, celebrate what a powerful force you are and start directing some of that energy to construct the promotional platform that can advance every facet of your creative career.

Livingston Communications specializes in helping authors transition from one level of success to the next. Known for their holistic approach toward publicity management, Livingston Communications was built on the belief that reaching success is a chartable journey. Paraview is offering its authors customized publicity campaigns developed in cooperation with Livingston. For more information visit their website or contact Robin Blakely at (660) 707-0700 or via email.

© 2004 Livingston Communications



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