I've been told - and quite often, actually - that I suck at marketing myself. I don't deny or argue this fact. I'm a creative who is usually too busy focusing on the next thing to be done (blog post/book synopsis/art piece/essay/advice column) to focus on the business side of things. Which, if we are being totally honest, sucks big, giant balls.
Ginourmous ones, actually.
Here's the deal: You can be the best at whatever it is you do. You might even be fucking incredible at what you do. You gave it your all and are making those dreams you've harbored since your days of eating paste during show and tell in kindergarten. YOU SHOULD BE FUCKING PROUD OF YOU. Unless you're still eating paste. I'd wager it's fair to say that if you are still doing that, we've got a problem.
For those of you who kicked the habit in the first grade, it's time to talk turkey. Even if you and your tiny little slice of the internet are proud of you and your awesomeness, you aren't going to be climbing any higher than where you currently stand if only you and your tiny little slice of the internet are aware of your very existence. On the flipside, maybe you're slightly obnoxious and entirely lovable in 140 and twitter/facebook/instagram/pinterest/your blog/tumblr/snapchat/vine/youtube/periscope/blab is totally your bitch, we need to verify that twitter/facebook/instagram/youtube/pinterest/your blog/tumblr/snapchat/vine/periscope/blab is actually aware that your particular platform of choice is in fact, your bitch.
What do I mean by that? Sharing yourself and your talents with your fans and audiences is a good thing. You build a following that way and this is a good thing. But, if like me, your goals include things like All the Book Deals and Podcasts That Not Only My Mother Listens To and Best-Selling Books and Legions of Fans Everywhere, you need to reassess how it is that you present yourself online. I'm not talking about covering your tattoos here for the dayjob. What I am referring to is everything that I happen to suck at; namely, showcasing your street cred when there is most defintely street cred to be showcased.
Read that last sentence again because yes, I'm talking about me, too, here, and yes, that probably sounded a little pompous. Wherein lies one of the biggest reasons so many of us are busting our asses for little recognition when those already following our journeys are left to wonder when the universe is going to wise up and give us that big break we totally deserve -- we don't want to sound like assholes who are stuck on ourselves but we don't know how to find the right balance of pride and humbleness that is going to feel right and get the job done. That's where I lose interrest in the whole thing and say screw it, throw my hands up in the air (because I truthfully do not care most days), and distract myself from sucking at self-promo with a sharpie, a new ceramic tile, and a sassy #Chingonafest quote that probably would fall apart if I took the F-bomb out.
I've had this conversation with a number of respected colleagues recently and every single time it happens it's because of a new project or promo requiring a long bio and stats for vetting purposes. If I've reached this point in a convo with another party, it's usually because they already know something about me and it was enough to get them to ask for more details. This, my friends, is when the conversation comes to a screeching hault because the street cred currently impressing the other party is - and this is important, people - SHIT THEY SHOULD HAVE ALREADY KNOWN. Turns out, I'm totally awesome but I'm awesome INSIDE MY HEAD and pretty much only inside my head. I'm not shy by any stretch of the imagination, but I've had Don't Show Off beat into my head since I was old enough to realize being the oldest meant new shoes and hand-me-downs made my little sisters hate me.
I'm not going to pretend to have suddenly become an expert at self-promo because I am not now and probably never will be. What I do know is this:
Being humble is killing the potential, people.
We need to stop standing in our own way.
So, I challenge you to celebrate you and all that makes you fabulous: in your online bios and media kits and blog posts and facebook statuses. Tell your husband that your ass looks fabulous in those jeans you just bought because asking him if they make your butt look big is doing nothing for your self-esteem and everything to make sure you continue to leave the acknowledgement of your worth up to someone else. See where I'm going with this? No? Lemme show you:
Things I should have tattooed to my forehead (Read: #ScrewHumble)
- I am Latina Magazine's #Dimelo advice columinist and only the second in the magazine's history. I'm proud of this fact and even prouder to say that my #Dimelo column shares the spotlight in the magazine's 4.5 million combined readership (as of 2014).
- I am an award-winning photographer and artist with three pieces selected for juried art shows in 2015 alone, along with one of those images having been also recognized as a #BlogHer15 Voices of the Year/Photo of the Year award recipient.
- I co-host the Blogher MultiCulti party with Ananda Leeke and Dwana DeLacerna. We are all very proud of the fact that the 2015 party had over half-a-million social media impressions on the #multiculti hashtag.
- I have a crystal award on my mantel with my name on it that says I should be all Mountain Tops and Screaming From because CRYSTAL AWARD WITH MY NAME ON IT, Y'ALL!
- I say Fuck a lot but I've never been kicked out of church.
- Jenny Lawson, Jill Smokler, Ann Imig, Kathy Cano-Murillo, Catherine Connors, Rita Arens, and Lela Davidson all blurbed my book, BabyFat: Adventures in Motherhood, MuffinTops, & Trying to Remain Sane, which launches 9/28. I am eternally grateful for their support and belief in me and my book, and I'm fucking proud because I should be and deserve to be.
- I'm having a really good hair day.
- I am the founder of the #chingonafest community, Girl Body Pride, and am kicking ass at motherhood.
- I am not fixed but I am not broken. I survived my own suicide attempt in college, overcame severe math anxiety that almost led to failing out of college to graduate magna cum laude, and am not ashamed to say I deal with depression, ADHD, body image issues, and was bullimic for too many years to count.
- August McLuaghlin of Girl Boner once featured me in an interview about Love Your Body Day on the National Eating Disorders Awareness site.
- I'm still here, dammit.
- The Husband is hot, but you'll have to take my word for it.
- This one time when I wrote about raising my daughter to be a bitch on purpose and it almost kinda sorta went viral (okay not really) on Latina.com. Because that was also awesome.
- I was featured in iBlog magazine once. Thank you for the interview, Lisa Stone!
- I've traveled the country to speak about topics ranging from mental health to evolution and building your own empire.
- One of my blogging/self-acceptance idols, Karen Walrond, knows my name now.
- I screw shit up on a regular basis but I am a good person, dammit.
- I gave birth this one time, and the kid is so awesome that I'm pretty confident my vagina will, like, totally forgive me for not asking for a C-section.
- I was published in Sarah Fader's Stigma Fighters anthology.
- I feel pretty today.
- I am a member of the Twigtale Parental Advisory Committee.
- I ignored 44 agents and countless publishers who said no and kept looking for my yes for #BabyFat. It took six years and I stuck to it. Don't ask me where I left my car keys five minutes ago because I've already lost interest. I'm too busy being Not Humble because this is starting to feel fabulous.
And just wait until I get my shit together and itemize this list into individual tweets and social shares. I'm just getting started. I've got a lot to learn, and I may never have this marketing thing entirely right, but I'm doing okay, I think. Now? It's your turn.
What's on your #ScrewHumble list?