By Doyne Phillips, Managing Editor for Southern Writers Magazine
How often have you sat in someone’s office, your eyes and mind began wandering around and noticing the objects on their desk and walls. There were very likely photos of their family, diplomas, awards and things pertaining to their hobby. Many times, these objects give us insight to their personal and professional lives. What you may not realize is this is all by design. This is something people in a professional environment are taught. ow often have you sat in someone’s office
Early in their training they are taught a simple lesson of seeing what their customers sees. They are taught to take a seat in their customers chair, facing their chair, and see what the customer sees from their side of the desk. They are shown to display their awards, diplomas and memorabilia behind themselves in the customers view. There is no need for them to see them because they know what they have achieved. Their customer needs to know what they have achieved and to know they are dealing with one of the best in their field.
Once the customer knows you are a winner, one of the best in your field, they then turn to your personal life. They need to know how you relate to the same interest, like family, hobbies and the like. Everyone needs to know when dealing with others, we have something in common, we are alike.
This is also true for writers. Your readers are your customers. Your readers need to see you are good in your field. If you have been blessed with awards, they need to see those. They need to see your background and current interest. They like to know you have something in common.
Its true your probably have an office but the truth is few of your readers will be visiting it. How then do we present ourselves as those professionals do in a professional setting? Simply we do this on our social media. We use our website, FB, Twitter and even our book covers to present our professional side and personal side. We present ourselves the way we want to be seen by our customers. We tell them of our awards, our speaking engagements, professional societies we belong to and any volunteer work we do. This is to draw interest and develop a common ground with your reader. On your book covers, if room allows, again you want to share your awards and the like. I personally like the signed by author books with the stickers on the cover. This is another connect with the reader.
There important things to remember. Once you feel you have things in place remember to occasionally sit in that customer chair and look around. You are to be checking for anything that needs to be updated such as the latest award or recognition. Photos are another concern. Failing to take the time to update our professional photo can be confusing. When someone thinks your photo is that of your child, oh yes this has happened, it is time to update!
I recently saw a major change in a book cover. The original cover looked cartoonish and comical. It had no connection to the topic of the book. The new cover was spot on and depicted the content precisely. I am looking forward to hearing what impact this made on book sales.
George Bernard Shaw once said, “The only man who behaved sensibly was my tailor; he took my measure anew each time he saw me, while all the rest went on their old measurements and expected them to fit me.” Things do change and we should be taking note of that.
It is of the utmost importance to occasionally take a long hard look at the way you are presenting yourself. Check all your social media sites and update the information as well as the photos. Stay updated and fresh for your readers.