Even as an established author who has held book signings before, I have to admit that I was nervous when I set out for Cherry Hill, NJ, this past Saturday. It was my first signing for my latest book, When Talent Isn’t Enough: Business Basics for the Creatively Inclined, but I wasn’t sure why I was feeling on edge. I had signed books before. It’s pretty routine. And it’s not like people would be lined up eager for a stroke of my pen on their books. Honestly, you kind of just sit there and greet customers. That face time is essential though, even if you don’t sell a ton of books.
Turns out, though, once you get back into it, it’s kind of like riding a bike. And so I was sitting in Barnes and Noble, comfortable. Even though I was in hosiery and a fitted dress with hairspray in my hair–quite a departure from my daily work-at-home look that consists of yoga pants, mismatched socks and a messy bun.
I tried to learn from the past experiences signing books, though. I knew to have a handout to give people with the name of the book and some valuable Web resources. (Not everyone buys a book, but if you can get something in their hands, it’s a win because they may go home and buy it online or pass on your information.) I put forth a big effort to greet most of the customers that would meet my eye–even if all I could give was a smile.
I wasn’t marketing my copywriting services, which is my main source of work and income, but this book signing was still a good boost for my brand. I got to show people what Kristen Fischer was all about–I brought the same vibrant personality that my clients hear over the phone and chose to step up my game with a professional wardrobe and in-person dynamic…even for just a day.
It got me to thinking about how things like this fit into my brand. Even if you’re not doing something that affects your main bread-and-butter career, it still impacts it. In my case, writing books on the side is a passion and part of my overall personality as a writer. Putting in a little face time, especially because I work at home and have never met half my clients face-to-face, was essential. And it was nice to “get out there” again. A good reminder that as much as we may work independently, it’s still great to connect with others.
Kristen is a copywriter and author who enjoys what she does for a living. Kristen is also a Certified Professional Resume Writer. Kristen writes regularly for MediaBistro, SheKnows and FreelanceSwitch. She is a panelist on the biweekly, award-winning podcast FreelanceRadio. Kristen is the author of Ramen Noodles, Rent and Resumes: An After-College Guide to Life and her new book, It Takes More than Talent: Business Basics for the Creatively Inclined is due out in January 2013. She has been featured on NPR, CNN, MSNBC, and CareerBuilder; and also in the Boston Herald, the New Jersey Star-Ledger and in the Asbury Park Press.