Promoting Professional Geekery #30 – Tell Authors and Creators

When is the last time you told an author how much their book helped you in their career?  Or an instructional video creator how much they changed your life?

Probably not as often as you’d like.  Actually *I* could be better at it, truth be told, but at least I feel guilty about it when I don’t do it.

If you want people to appreciate and see the value of the Fan-To-Pro lifestyle and career, you need to tell people who helped you out.  That includes authors of the career guides, instructional videos, and other information products that are helping you build your dream job and life.

Almost every author out there has a blog/book web page/something out there.  It’s not hard to find them – in fact it may be hard to avoid them as authors want to be found.  They’re not writing the Necronomicon, they’re writing and selling books and they want to be located.

So go out there and find the author whose book or video changed your career point of view or opened your eyes and let them know how good their creation was – and let them know you’re a professional geek.

Why do they need to hear this?  Well first of all, trust me, any author wants good feedback, we can be kind of insecure.  Also, it helps us become better authors by finding what you liked and didn’t.

But for we progeeks?  We need to let authors know they help us, because they need to know about us and our demographic.

Unless said author is writing a book specifically targeting progeeks, they’re not going to necessarily think about us very much.  They may not even know we exist.  Their world may not include anime-fanartists turned UI designers or ambitious writers turned to tech communication.

When you let them know how great their books or classes or whatever was, you let them know about you.  You let them know about people like you.  They get a sudden jolt that gives them a bit bigger picture of reality.

That means they can better get their books, videos, or whatever out of people like you.  That may mean supplemental material that helps out your fellow progeeks.  That means they may make new and interesting creations targeting people like you  They may blog about their thoughts on people like us.  Making them aware helps them work with people like us – and helps them more.

You help them become aware, do more, and reach more, just by saying “I consider myself a professional geek, and you helped me reach this dream.”

Who knows you might make a new friend or find some new options yourself.

So when an author makes a difference in your career, reach out to them.

– Steven Savage

Promoting Professional Geekery #19: Flaunt It!

The best way to promote pride and awareness of professional geeks?  Well there's many debates that can be had, and I myself won't side with one way or another in order to encourage people.  But one of the more effective, in my highly biased but doubtlessly right opinion, is to basically "flaunt it."

No I'm not talking about wearing a T-shirt reading "I am a professional geek, bow before me" unless that's your thing and you have a good design.  I'm more talking about the fact that you go out of your way a bit to communicate you do what you love for a living and believe in it.  Not shoving it in people's face, but keeping in mind there are chances to promote the ideal.

Some of them MAY involve the obnoxious t-shirt and the shoving it in people's face, but I'd like to keep those the exceptions.

It's important people see proud, happy, healthy progeeks.  There's too much assumption you can't do what you love for a living.  There's too many negative ideas of basement-dwelling obsessives being the closest thing to professional geeks (not that there's anything wrong with that if it's your thing).  They need to see people who are progeeks.

They need to see you.  You're an example, a role model, a testimony.  Yes, I realize just how disturbing that is, but stick with me here.

Whenever people see functional (or at least functional enough) progeeks, even those who are just realizing their ambitions, they see that important idea manifest: you can do what you love for a living.  You can be that.

Here's how you "flaunt it" without overdoing it.  Unless you consider me to be overdoing it, to which I say "bow before my virtual t-shirt."

  • Mention it in your blog, site, posts, whatever.  Be proud of it.  Talk about your experiences.
  • Discuss it at cons as I've mentioned ad nauseum.  Show people it is possible.
  • Help out people professionally – to find their geeky careers.  They'll realize it's possible.
  • Geek out at work and be yourself – appropriately.  People should know you're a geek – just like they know who's a gamer, football enthusiast, foodie, spawn of the Deep Ones (it's the gills).  Be the reminder or example.
  • Stop repressing and start expressing.  Learn to catch yourself when you're harshing your own geek buzz when it's not needed.  Learn to let it out so people can see.
  • Be yourself.

You are the testimony, the reminder, the example.  Scary thought, but it's up to us to show people dreams are worth living, even if it's in ways you never expected.

Steven Savage


Promoting Professional Geekery #8: Mentor People

So much like us here, you want to promote the idea of professional geekery.  You want to remind people "hey you can do what you love," and in some case wave it around to remind people it's TRUE.

So be a mentor to a current or future progeek or a bunch of them.

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