in 2003 I went to a conference led by a multimillion selling author.
Fifteen or twenty people sat around him having an informal Q &
As I passed by I heard one of
the attendees say, “You’ve hit the big time. So how do you deal with
all the fame?”
The author smiled, shook his
head, and said, “Sorry, let’s go to another question.”
The questioner persisted. “No,
really, tell us what it’s like to be a celebrity. How do you work that
The author smiled again. “No,
we’re not going to go there. That’s not something I’m going to talk
By his tone, I knew this author
was refusing to dwell on thoughts that he was anything special. His
countenance made it clear he wasn’t going to allow the story of his
success to be about him. He was determined to make God more famous, not
Fame. If you’re pre-published,
it’s an issue you’ll eventually have to deal with, and if you’re
published and your book(s) has had a modicum of success, it’s something
you’re already dealing with.
When a reader gushes about how
wonderful your book is, or how powerful your writing is, what do you do
Think about those moments. It’s
the ultimate chance to market yourself. A chance to promote your latest
book, to point them toward your blog, or to get them to promote you to
their friends. Wham! They flipped the switch and the megawatt spotlight
is shining on you. And behind that spotlight is a reader with eyes full
of anticipation, full of the hope that you’ll be as wonderful in person
as you are in print.
That spotlight is on you, and
more than on you. They’ve handed you the spotlight and you can do
anything you want with it.
I suggest you use these opportunities to forget all about marketing?
Might I suggest you take that spotlight that—if we’re honest—appeals to
the insecure part of yourself that craves the attention and turn it
back on your admirer. Might I suggest you don’t talk about yourself at
all but focus your energy on your new fan? Draw them out. Ask them
questions and really listen to the answers. (Please note the “s” on the
end of answers.)What if you determined to make the
entire conversation, whether it’s
one minute or one hour, about them?
you, I’m so glad you
like my books. That means so much.” Then you smile big and say, “Tell
me about you.” The rest of the conversation you ask follow-up question
after follow-up question.
We have an incredible chance to
“market” Jesus in those moments. Remember, the stories of our lives are
no longer our stories if we’re followers of Christ. It’s His story
lived through us.
If you’re a faithful follower of
my column (yes, thank you, I see those two hands), you know I’m a
believer in marketing ourselves in every moment.
If we are little christs
(Christians), then our greatest marketing moment will be when we’re
given a chance to present a reflection of His unfathomable love.