It was Archimedes who said, “Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand, and with one hand, I can move the world.” And Sir Isaac Newton famously said, “If I have seen further, it has been by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
Mainly used in finance to express the relationship between debt and equity, the principle of leverage can be exploited in all spheres of life. Using simple language, I describe leverage as a small adjustment you can exploit or a simple action you can take wherever you are in your artistic endeavor to maximize your impact and result.
For example, let’s say you’re a musician, author, or craftsman, you can produce a one minute video and upload it to YouTube, Vimeo, or Invideo, and if optimized correctly, your video could go viral. With that little tweak to your strategy or that simple action, you could attract thousands, if not millions, of viewers in one fell swoop. BAAM! You have gone from being a virtual unknown to a celebrity.
So this is the question I want to ask you, when was the last time you promoted yourself and your work? The saddest mistake experts, authors, trainers, consultants, professionals and freelancers (independent producers) of all shades make is to work in the dark or in total darkness hoping that, by dint of their hard work, are somehow known. Or put another way, that what they produce, be it songs, paintings, books, handicrafts and the like, will somehow magically make people discover or find them.
Let me tell you bluntly, as a producer, your chances of being discovered that way in today’s loud and cluttered world are one in a million. Gone are the days of people making their way to your door if you made a better mousetrap. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of other producers making mousetraps that could dwarf yours, so your product alone isn’t enough. In a globalized and internet-enabled world that is the reality. You must tell the world your story or you will remain in the dark.
So, as an artist, songwriter, author, speaker, coach, consultant, crafter, or freelancer of any color, you need to promote your good deeds for a shred of luck to be heard or discovered. Personal promotion is your simplest leverage. Large companies with deep pockets may pay for ads, but they are likely to be operating on a shoestring budget.
So to beat the odds, start promoting yourself. If you’ve written a book, let people know you’re a proud published author. If your book has made the New York Times bestseller list, jump on the rooftop and tell the world about it. If you’re in the process of writing your first book, let the world know that your book will be out in six months, nine months, or any time frame you can imagine. If your team has designed an app, let the people know that you were part of the team that designed that cool app or software that’s making a splash in the Apps or Play Store. Tut your horn, as the Chinese say. Honking is a powerful lever that creative artists of all genres who don’t have a lot of money can use to find themselves in a world awash in noise.
The title of one of Tom Peters’ books is “You Can’t Shrink Yourself to Greatness.” Seth Godin’s advice to independent producers is: “Don’t wait for them to cast you, pick yourself up.” Seth Godin also warns that all producers who want to be taken seriously must strive to be “a purple cow.” By that, he means that you should stand out. In a sea of similarities, only “a purple cow” stands out. You can’t afford to be average because you’re competing with everyone else where “average” is relegated to the dust heap.
Spread the word; don’t smile in the dark. Promote yourself as if your life depended on it because it does. Create links to the amazing things you’re doing or have done, and share the links to all your contacts on over a hundred social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Reddit, WeChat, Telegram, and many more. others. Let everyone know that you are a proud author of your book, or the writer of that song, or the piece of art displayed in a particular gallery.
One of the easiest or simplest ways to maximize your leverage, as I mentioned earlier, is to write a book. Nothing else compares. Your book can get to the White House, Buckingham Palace, and the Kremlin, which you normally can’t, until you become a celebrity. So don’t rest on your laurels until you’ve written a book or two. You can even write articles and upload them to online article aggregators like Ezine Articles and then compile all your repurposed articles into a book.
If you hate writing and think writing a book is out of your league, you don’t have to worry. There are ways to post without lifting a finger using a ghostwriter. You can even get help from world-renowned copywriters like Katie Parrot and/or Sonia Thompson if you know how to get in touch with them. Simply prepare your book outline and you’re good to go. As the saying goes, when the student is ready, the teacher appears.
Promise yourself that you won’t rest until your book comes out this year. According to popular authors who have written at least four best-selling books each, including Ryan Holiday and Chandler Bolt, you can write a book worth reading in 90 days. I tried it and it works, once you know how to use tools like mind maps.
If you want to promote yourself with video (it’s the most popular form of self-promotion), don’t try to overdo it by trying to create HD videos. It is not necessary, at least at first. You can use your smartphone to produce a simple video.
If that’s too hard, you can ask a graphic designer to design awesome covers for your book, ebook, or song cover, and upload them to free video creation sites like Animoto, Issuu, or Invideo, and before you know it, you have a video that people can link to. You can even upload your video to your one page website. You can get a web designer on Fiverr to design a cool site for you for pennies. Or you can design your website yourself on Weebly if you’re into technology. In short, exploit the principle of leverage, particularly self-promotion, to catapult yourself to the next level until you reach the proverbial tipping point and the world will find its way to you.