On Episode Fifty of The Galley Table I encouraged creators to make me more of their delicious spam. I am really grateful to the Galley Table for inviting me to be on their show, because it allowed me to participate in a fascinating conversation with intelligent, funny people. It’s a great conversation, and I encourage you to listen to the show.
The conversation revolved around building an audience, and the question came up “How much is too much?” If you listen to the podcast, you may notice that during this part of the conversation, I don’t speak until I’m directly asked for my opinion. This is because I hate to be disagreeable, and I knew I held a dissenting view.
Basically, the fine folks on the Galley Table agreed that people should avoid “spamming” – that is, talking about your project, or thing for sale, too much. I agree with this to a point, but for me, spamming has never been a problem. I think that yes, if someone was posting only links to buy their book, that wouldn’t be an interesting person to follow. I’m sure this happens, and I’m sure it’s obnoxious when it does.
But far too often, I’ve seen the opposite happen. People don’t talk about what they are working on. People don’t link to their stuff for sale. People don’t talk about their creative process. And if someone doesn’t want to do that because they’d rather spend their time creating or watching movies or making cookies than on social media, cool, that’s totally fine with me. Rock on. But if someone isn’t doing it because they are scared they might be posting too much? That’s fear talking, and fear is the mind killer.*
Here’s my feeling: If I’m following you on a social network, then I am interested in what you are doing. I want to know that there is a new episode of your podcast up. I am interested that you found a cool new video that made you think differently about your project. I want you to tell me that you heard a song that inspired you to write a short story. I want to see your new picture. And yeah, I want to know that your book is out. If I’m following you, I probably want to buy your book. And if you post that it’s for sale once, twice or three times a day, it really doesn’t bother me. If you have a Kickstarter, I want to hear about it. I want to hear about it when you launch, and when you meet milestones. That is why I’m following you, so that you can tell me when you’ve made new stuff. I really don’t mind when you post about it on Monday and then when you post about it on Friday. Maybe I didn’t have the cash to buy it Monday, but today, I very well might!
I am interested in the people I follow. Some of them post many times a day – and guess what? I like that. If I’m not interested, I’ll just scroll right by it. I wish that the people I like would give me more content, because I’m interested in content, but more than that, I’m interested in the people I follow. That’s why I’m following them.
Is it possible for someone to spam their networks? Sure. Of course it is. However, the problem I generally see is that people don’t speak up enough. That people doing cool things tell me that they are afraid that if they show someone what they are working on before it’s done then people will cease following them. The truth is, I’ve found that people are very interested in the creative process. I am interested. I want to know. Do I buy everything that these people do? No. But I am interested. If I follow you, then your spam is delicious to me, and I want more of it.
So, speak up. What are you doing? I am asking. Tell me.