It looks like Boost The Signal isn’t done yet. Thanks to some suggestions from Serdar, contributor to this site and author of many novels, including one I joyfully edited (see, signal boosted), I have one more subject I haven’t discussed in promoting the works of others.
If you’ve deemed yourself an Ambassador for someone and their work, most of the advice I’ve given you is for things most any dedicated person can do. It’s general advice, depending on your level of commitment.
But what if you’re a fellow professional, either inside the same profession as the person you’re advocating for or on an equal level elsewhere? What happens when you’re on the “same” level or even higher for that matter?
I’m glad you asked, because I’ve got some special advice for you. Here’s how you can help someone get the word out about their work and even help them be better at what they do.
OK, you didn’t ask, but play along here.
In The Same Profession
So let’s say you’re in the same profession (or roughly the same) as the person you want to Boost The Signal. What can you do to help them out?
Reach Out: Just contact them. Imagine the boost they’d get alone from just having you talk to them, a fellow expert? If you’re more well known and further along in their career, the effect would be even more pronounced.
Don’t worry about annoying fans, I find that stereotype is usually far more fiction than fact.
Speak As You: Got a blog, interview, whatever that gives you a platform? Mention them. People are listening to you, and I think that an honest recommendation will be accepted.
(Note that depending on your position, image, and policies this may not fit).
Make An Appearance: Does the person or group you’re trying to promote have a blog, podcast, etc.? Make an appearance, do an interview, guest-post – then link back to it. Share yourself and your publicity with their work.
Network: You know people in similar professions, publishers and coders and scientists and what have you. Introduce people to whoever you’ve become ambassador for. They can help out – bring the person into your network.
Coach and Mentor: Provide advice. You may be in a senior position (trust me, it’ll sneak up on you) so help the person out. Edit something, give feedback, offer advice, talk to them. I’m sure they’ll appreciate the help.
If they’re arrogant enough to turn it down . . . well maybe it’s time to rethink your Ambassadorship.
Credit When Due: If the work in question really inspired you, mention it in one of your works. How many authors credit this person or that book? Do that too – give appropriate recognition. Actually you should do this anyway for your inspirations – good promotion is a complex web.
Invite Them Along: Going to a trade show, convention, etc.? Invite the person you’re playing Ambassador along. They can be at your table, maybe do a panel with you, etc. Give them a boost.
In A Different Profession
So if you’re in a different profession than whoever’s Signal you’re trying to Boost, it gets a bit more complex. I’m a Program Manager, so what am I going to do, make a Gantt chart for someone?
Actually . . .
Use Those Skills: Maybe your skills will help out the person you’re advocating for. Promote a writer by doing pictures of their character for a website. Help out a software engineer for work by assisting with a resume. Brainstorm what you can do to help out and apply yourself – it may be a surprise.
Be The Gate: You may not be in the same profession as someone, but their work may be of interest in your profession. Several times I’ve mentioned works to people in my sphere – IT – because let’s face it, we’re all geeks and me recommending books and video games is normal.
Explain Your Market: You can also talk to the person who you’re playing Ambassador for by explaining the market you’re in to them. Maybe that game is going to be too long for your typical busy geek, or that comic will appeal to RPG fans if there’s stats or a world dictionary.
(And the PgM market in IT? Our time is limited so we want damned good stuff that’s fun. Also for you to publish on time, because, hey, schedules.)
Crossover: You may be a different profession than those you’re trying to help, but a lot of the advice for being in the same profession applies. Interview, mention them, make an appearance, etc. You just need to assess what is affective and what’s not – and you may be surprised.
For myself I meet a lot of remarkable people who aren’t in my field, and I pass them on to Kurt who isn’t in my field, because interviews are his big thing
Use The Tools You Have
So you’re a pro – use what you have to help others. It may be not what people expect, but you’ve got the skills to help others pay the bills. You just need to figure out where you can assist.
I also find that there’s something special abut leveraging one’s professional life to help others. You see yourself differently, and you see others differently. It deepens the value of your professional life and your sense of social involvement.
Too often we can think of our jobs and skills as just things we do at work, or want to get away from. Sometimes the latter is true, but by asking what more we can do . . . we do so much more.
Keep Boosting The Signal!
Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach. He blogs on careers at http://www.musehack.com/, publishes books on career and culture at http://www.informotron.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at https://www.stevensavage.com/.