The Art of Self-Promotion

4 Sep

self promotion pic

Self-promotion: it’s an art that hovers over a very thin line between rightfully broadcasting what you have to offer and broadcasting so much that you end up with a sock in your mouth (and not in a good way).

Having been a blogger for over two years now, I seem to have reached the point where my blog is part of my identity. It follows me around, and mentioning it has become somewhat of a compulsion.

When people ask me what I do in my spare time, mentioning the blog is only natural because I do actually spend a chunk of my free time brainstorming and writing.

But, there are some instances where mentioning my blog is completely unnecessary, and yet I do it anyway.

Take the other weekend, for example. I was hanging out with my friends, Selby and Deepti. What began as a peaceful night in, watching Pitch Perfect and playing drinking games (“Drink every time they sing!”), slowly transformed into a “ra-ra, let’s rage!” kind of clubbing night. I blame it on President Obama’s new Spotify playlist. It’s just too good.

We ended up at a bar/club, ordering tequila (and whiskey and Long Island iced teas and Fireball and Saki and flaming shots and cake flavored vodka and limoncello and lighter fluid etc. etc.) and dancing.

The evening was going wonderfully! We were talking to dudes and a nice man named Ahmed had noticed me doing an impersonation of Donald Trump and had mistaken my impersonation for dance moves and had grabbed my arms and said, “Your dancing is so adorable, want to go home with me?” I told him I was leaving and pretended to head for the door, only to dip, dodge, and duck my way back onto the dance floor. (And that is why you NEVER impersonate Donald Trump at a club.)

So yeah, it was a great evening.

There was about a half an hour before closing, and things were starting to wind down. And that’s when some guy – let’s call him Geoff, since we never did get his actual name – decided to talk to Selby about skiing. Deepti was talking to a family friend she’d run into, and so there I stood, trying to blend into the wall tapestry (yes, this place had tapestry) so Ahmed wouldn’t be able to find me.

Based on Selby’s facial expression, I could tell that Geoff wasn’t the most riveting of conversationalists, and so I thought I would be better off avoiding the conversation.

But wait! Who is that strapping young lad standing alone at the bar? He’s so tall and handsome! Maybe I should go talk to him. Yes, I think I will. I’ll just go right up and talk to him! Okay, here I go. Wait, two seconds. Okay, now. Wait, one more second. Maybe he’ll come to me. Is he moving? Wait, maybe I’m moving…no, I think he’s really moving! Or maybe the light is making it look like he’s moving? Nope, he’s not moving. Alright, here I 

Just as I was approaching my mystery man, a couple of hooligans ran in front of me, thus forcing Mystery Man to vacate his spot at the bar, and shoving me face first into Mystery Man’s torso.

Pleased to make your acquaintance.

Mystery Man’s name was Chris, and Chris was drunk as the day is long. He asked me what I did for work, only to cut me off and say, “I work in finance. I went to UNH…I know, it sucks. I suck.”

Oh dear. Chris was on some kind of emotional bender.

“Don’t say that,” I said. “At least you have a job!”

“Yeah, I guess.”

“Where are your friends?” I asked.

“They left me,” he said.

Chris was lonely and emotionally unstable, and I was getting bored of talking to him. My calves were also getting tired of lifting up to hear what his 6’5” frame was saying (most of which sounded like he had marbles in his mouth). But, he had the physique of Superman and the face of…Superman, so I figured I couldn’t give up on him.

“Want to dance?” I asked.

“No, sorry,” he said. “I mean, look, you’re a really cool, amazing, talented, interesting girl, and you seem like you’d be an incredible dancer and also a really good conversationalist, and I’m sensing that you make mean scrambled eggs, but this is my first time at a Boston bar, so I’m just trying to ‘survey the scene,’ you know?”

(Honesty check-in: he may have just said “you’re a…girl,” but it was loud, so no one can prove that he didn’t say all of those complimentary things.)

His rejection was perhaps the most vague rejection of all time. Also, as a man who is 6’5”, isn’t he constantly “surveying the scene”? What else is there to look at up there, besides “the scene”?

At this point, I decided it was best to cut my losses (too few to really “cut”) and insert myself into Selby and Geoff’s conversation.

Selby, the gem that she is, facilitated an introduction. She told him about my blogging and my plans to go to France and then to pursue television writing.

Geoff was candidly dubious.

“Why the hell are you going to France and then coming home to engage in one of the most cutthroat industries of all time?”

Wow, okay, Geoff, why don’t you just lock me in a room and shine a light on my face and ask me what I was doing the night someone stole all of the rotating taquitos out of the 7/11 on Commonwealth Ave…(I have an alibi for that, I swear!)

“Because,” I said, “there’s nothing else that I want to do.”

(*Tipsy* Sophie patted herself on the back for coming up with such a brilliant “zinger” of a response.)

“Wow,” said Geoff. “I’ve heard bullshit, and I believe you are not full of bullshit.”

It was a ringing endorsement from Geoff. So “ringing,” that I decided to bless him with the pleasure of my blog URL. Did he ask for it? No. Did he have his phone at the ready to take down my information? Of course not. But, goddammit, if I wasn’t going to dance with Superman, then I sure as hell was going to promote my writing! I forced Geoff to give me his number and proceeded to send him the following text (as he stood next to me):

  
Please note: “Ok.”

OK???

I mean, what else could I expect from an unsuspecting bar attendee who asked questions like a CIA interrogator? And, seeing how I hadn’t bothered to retain his name, how would I be able to verify that he’d actually “spread my URL all over social media”? Geoff, that sly dog, knew I wouldn’t be able to track him.

So there is one example of self-promotion: totally unsolicited, altogether intrusive, and inopportunely timed.

While it’s possible that Geoff deleted that text immediately, it is also possible that he heeded my request and shared it all over social media. It is also possible that he’s responsible for two of my newest and most accomplished Twitter followers, Ken Caillat (Colbie Caillat’s dad) and Ali Spagnola, a comedienne and musician who has 1.98M followers and who created a playlist for drinking power hours!

So I guess a thank you is in order for Geoff! Geoff, I don’t know who you are or what your real name is, but thanks to your diverse and impressive Twitter network, I am one step closer to my dreams of writing professionally. And also to my recurring dream of playing a drinking game with Ken Caillat, while listening to the power hour track, “Drinking with a Helmet.”

Life is all about networking.

*Seriously, though, sharing is caring. Let’s all channel Geoff. (Or, on second thought, maybe it was Kevin?)*

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2 Responses to “The Art of Self-Promotion”

  1. Taylor Yates (@acupof_tay) September 6, 2015 at 12:39 am #

    This made me laugh out loud! I am a really bad blog reader but when I do read, yours is on my short list. I LOVE your drunk enthusiasm at promoting your blog. You go, girl. I hope Geoff reads this.

    Taylor
    acupoftay.com

    • sophpearl September 9, 2015 at 8:01 pm #

      Thank you, Taylor, that’s so nice!! Yes, enthusiasm is such a good word for my promoting tactics haha! 🙂

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