Humanizing the Web with Marc Ensign
At a recent meeting of the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, nationally acclaimed social media expert Marc Ensign advised us to be a Dick and follow the Ten Virtues when it comes to social media. He described his neighbor named Dick who welcomed him into the neighborhood and was always looking after Marc’s interests, sharing his resources and time very generously. From studying Dick’s manner, Marc decided this approach could work on social media as well. His philosophy is akin to Do Unto Others as you would have them Do Unto You. Be kind, generous, and giving, and you’ll help to save the Internet. Here are his Ten Virtues, subject to my interpretation and the accuracy of my notes:
Be Engaged with other people. Listen intently to your connections. Build relationships. Market the people around you. Listen to them and comment on their sites. Like aspiring authors’ posts and websites. Help others get their message out. Connect and give people what they want.
Be Valuable by helping other authors who want to get published. Mentor them, tell them how you did it, and offer tips. Add value to your relationships. Make it about “let me help you” and not about selling.
Be First to offer help before you’re asked. “Let me give something to you first.”
Be Welcoming by putting people at ease, sharing ideas, introducing new options. Welcome everyone even if they disagree with you. Talk about it with them. Make it a conversation. Be open to hearing what people have to say.
Be Humble. Your purpose should be bigger than yourself as an author, than being on the bestseller list or having a high Amazon rating.
Be Authentic. Be true to yourself in all that you do.
Be Generous by helping people and giving information away. People will see you as a resource. On your website, offer free articles and other resources. Your philosophy should be “Let me give to you” rather than “Let me give to you and see what I’ll get from it.”
Be Transparent to appear more human. Talk about what problems you’re having in your writing. Like, “Here’s what I’m doing with this character. Why isn’t it working?” or, “Why isn’t this book selling?” Let people into your life and into the scary stuff of your career.
Be Perceptive by being aware of what’s going on in other people’s lives. Follow up on people’s blog posts by returning later and inquiring about an earlier issue.
Be Awesome. Reach out through your blogs, comments, and sharing. How can you be awesome for someone else?
It’s all about caring, giving, and sharing yourself without being concerned about what you’ll get in return.
Marc Ensign has been featured in/on CNN, the Huffington Post, Inc 500, Forbes, New York Post, PR Daily, Jezebel, and ProBlogger.