Linked Out

13 Sep

I’m still a shy person. I’ve learned to put that aside on certain occasions. I have to. It’s part of my job.

~Alexis Bledel

Photo courtesy of sweetkendi, Flickr: WANA Commons

I’m an introvert. It’s not that I don’t like talking to people, I’m just naturally shy and given the choice between fading into the background and starting a conversation with a complete stranger at a cocktail party, I’ll choose the background every time.

This presents a dilemma, because as an author, social networking is an important part of marketing.  And most of us know it should never be about spamming or stalking people and chanting ‘Buy my book! Buy my book!’ Put it this way — whatever would be annoying at a cocktail party is equally annoying online.

So I invest in my social network relationships and take them seriously. I try to have real conversations on Twitter, which is why I only follow about 100 people. Same with Facebook. At last count, 32 people like me. That’s way more than I ever expected. I can survive without 32,000 people liking me.

I regularly visit the blogs I subscribe to and comment when I recognize a connection. I consider some of these people new friends. I belong to a small but powerful marketing group of fellow authors. I update my Pinterest page and my Goodreads account and weigh in with my Nancy Drew Sleuths Yahoo Group as often as I can. That way when I do promote my books, nobody can accuse me of ‘drive-by’ promotion.

Did I mention I’m an introvert? If we use the cocktail party analogy, I’m now the life of the party, standing on the table chatting with everyone and laughing at all the jokes. It goes against my nature. It takes a ton of energy and creativity and personality. 

I’m exhausted and in danger of becoming overwhelmed.

So I made a mistake last week. I joined Linked In. I have no idea why. I wasn’t thinking. I can’t even tell you exactly what the deal is with Linked In, I didn’t do my research. I simply filled out my profile. The next day my mailbox was flooded with more people and more connections. Even one of my former students blathering on about her writing career and asking me questions.

I snapped, and decided I had to Link Out or lose my sanity. Nothing personal. I just needed a quiet corner to contemplate my naval for a while.

Do you get overwhelmed with the marketing side of writing? Do you sometimes wish you could Link Out?

13 Responses to “Linked Out”

  1. Stacy S. Jensen September 13, 2012 at 2:43 am #

    I don’t really use Linked In, but I accidently hit some button that sent a Linked In request to anyone I’ve ever emailed. Reality check! Some people accepted. Others ignored. A handful sent me nice notes explaining why they were not accepting (I don’t do Linked In). A couple said, “Can you refresh my memory on our connection?” Sigh. Linked Out sounds like a good thing.

    • nancyelizabethlauzon September 13, 2012 at 7:30 am #

      That’s the problem with some of these apps. You don’t even realize people are getting messages from you until a friend tells you, which is what happened in my case. I like to be in control of the messages I send, LOL!

  2. fandina72 September 13, 2012 at 3:26 am #

    I can relate…and I’m a big ole extrovert!

    It all gets far too much sometimes and when I realise that I am actually STRESSING about social media, I shut my computer and phone off and just breathe 🙂

    I too, opted out of linked in once I was, um, in. I couldn’t see much point to it and was driven crazy by the copious amount of emails too. I am on twitter but to be totally honest, I still really have no idea how to do anything on there, let alone carry on a conversation. If it weren’t for the automatic tweets from my blog, I would never say a thing! I still keep getting followers though, but I rarely actually go on the site.

    I stick to facebook and my blogs as my main connection places, which is suiting me fine at the moment.

    But I agree, sometimes enough is enough and less, but more meaningful, is definitely more 🙂

    • nancyelizabethlauzon September 13, 2012 at 7:31 am #

      It’s taken me a while to visit Twitter regularly and I’m still learning how to use it effectively. These things can sure take over your life if you let them =)

      • kathleenkaskawrites September 13, 2012 at 9:11 am #

        So true, Nancy. I’m linkedIn, but am not sure why. I still haven’t figured out how Twitter works, although I Tweet. I often wonder when is too much is too much.

  3. 4amWriter September 13, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    I joined all the groups because I was told I had to, if I wanted to be a successful author. I’m not even published yet, and I was told I still had to if I wanted anyone to look twice at my book. Out of all the choices, my blog is my favorite go-to mode of communication and networking. That is where I have built and sustained all of my writing relationships.

    As far as LinkedIn, I use it because I’m a freelance writing coach/editor and that’s where I advertise my services. I agree with you that it’s overwhelming with email notifications and random people contacting you for reviews even if you have never read their stuff.

    Unfortunately, that is the face of marketing these days–at least for little-known authors or aspiring authors. I roll with it because this is the choice I made. But I yearn for the day when I don’t have to network. 😉

  4. Rachelle Lerner September 13, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    I like meeting new people. One of people I met told me that I asked too many questions when I first met her. I need to limit what I ask now. I do follow what you write at Nancy Drew Sleuths.

    • nancyelizabethlauzon September 14, 2012 at 9:49 am #

      Thanks for stopping by, Rachelle! Always nice to talk to a fellow Sleuth!

  5. Margaret September 16, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    I hate the fact that there are 147 social networks you absolutely HAVE to belong to to feel like you’re “in there”. Actually, it’s not a fact, but it’s a societal pressure that we feel. And it has to stop. I’ve already started pairing down my Twitter follows, unfollowing people who only talk and never listen. The problem is, we are told that NUMBERS MATTER. Quantity over quality. This is why people are “buying” Twitter followers. Social Media has its place, but it should be used in the way it was intended, not “gaming” the system. It’s like steroids where everyone is doing it, so in order to compete, you have to do it too. Well, I got sucked in and I’m sucking out. Looks like you’re way ahead of me on that – good for you!

  6. Jewel Divas Style September 18, 2012 at 3:25 am #

    I joined LinkedIn as my business, Jewel Divas, and then months later found out that was illegal and I had to join as myself. So I deleted my business account and joined as myself but wasn’t successful at so deleted that as well. LinkedIn is really only for full on business people I think, those who can and want to spend the time bothering with it.

    • nancyelizabethlauzon September 18, 2012 at 6:20 am #

      You’re right, it’s very business oriented. But what I didn’t like was that it sent messages on my behalf that I wasn’t aware of. I guess I didn’t read the fine print!

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