‘Mr Business Brain’ or ‘Trying to blow my own trumpet without ever having learned how to’.

In today’s alternative ‘Alice in Wonderland: ‘When I use a word,’ Trumpty Numpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less’.

Lewis Carroll obviously saw this fellow coming.

Just thought I’d share that with you. Anyway, back to the task in hand. After two ridiculously hectic weeks, I now have to do my best to catch up with everything. Onward!


I don’t have a business brain.

I look at my clutter of short stories and paintings, my carvings and photographs and think ‘I should be able to at least make a bit of a living out of all of these.’

ladakhi door 2            001

But I don’t. And then I wonder ‘how on earth I am going to do it?’ and go ‘aaargh!’ and run off into the distance.

It really doesn’t help.

And so, if I had to have made a New Year’s Resolution this year, it would have been to sort all this out. I didn’t, but that doesn’t mean I can ignore it for any longer.

To begin with, then, how about attracting new blog followers?

Dressed in a loincloth and brandishing a spear (not a sight that sensitive readers should try to picture in their minds), I go charging out onto the lightly wooded WordPress plains, hunting new blog followers.

‘Aha, there’s one!’ I think, spotting a potential follower grazing harmlessly beside the River of Inspiration. I sneak up on them, then hurl a ‘follow’ at them, hoping that they will respond in kind.

Er, no.

It’s just not me, unfortunately. As I have mentioned in the past, I find it incredibly difficult to blow my own trumpet. And I will not ‘follow’ someone just for the sake of getting a ‘follow’ back. I do understand that anti-social media make up the platforms I have to work with, but for some reason I have not yet got my head around using them properly. So for blogs, I shall carry on as I always have. I don’t hunt for followers, I let them find me. Then if they follow me, it is presumably because they like what I’m writing.

Of course, they might simply be after a follow in return, but that won’t happen unless I like what their site does.

I do need to be more professional, though. For a start, then, I have begun to properly update the information on each site I use – such as the ‘Author Profiles’ on Goodreads, Amazon and LinkedIn.

So please feel free to connect with me on those sites – Goodreads LinkedIn. I promise I will put up more book reviews on Goodreads, and try to work out just what the hell LinkedIn is for.

mosque      untitled-grayscale-01

I shall sort out the prices on the paintings and photography websites.

What? Oh, Paintings and Photographs – thanks for asking!

Making Friends with the -Crocodile

And I need to find new ways to promote my novel Making Friends with the Crocodile. 

And then, there is this blog. I must regularly update the information on the ‘About’ page and the ‘My Writings’ page.

Do I need to simply be bolder in my approach to all this? Should I put a ‘shop’ on my blog?

I don’t know. But, learning how to properly use the limited anti-social media I reluctantly and sporadically do take part in (other than blogging), is a priority for me.

But I’m damned if I will ever use Twatter, though.

44 thoughts on “‘Mr Business Brain’ or ‘Trying to blow my own trumpet without ever having learned how to’.

  1. With you on the Twitter thing, Mick, that’s for sure. I find that WordPress is quite big enough of a pool in which to swim, for my own ends, at least. I can’t handle thousands of comments, and in any case would prefer to have fewer, though meaningful ones — even if they take issue with me, which some do. Where is Jackie, by the way? 😉 But we differ in that I’m not promoting sales of anything, so I see where you might want to attract attention here. I love your crucifixion carving; is it oak, and do you have other carvings you can show here?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that particular carving is in oak, Hariod. I put up a post a while back to show a few of my carvings: https://mickcanning.co/2016/08/01/another-creative-art-post/
      Jackie? I have a feeling she is in Kuala Lumpar – I seem to recall she said something about it a while back.
      And I agree completely with you about the fewer but meaningful comments. Even promoting sales, I’d rather have the meaningful interactions. I have to stay sane (sort of…)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Mick, and I remember seeing that post a few months ago — it’s really wonderful work. By the way, every time I come to your site it gets flagged up by Kaspersky with a message saying: “Cannot guarantee authenticity of the domain to which encrypted connection is established”. And the URL named inside that message is thetimelock.photos.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m like you, Mick. I let followers find me and then I attempt to engage and see what happens. About one in ten will turn into a real reciprocal relationship. The slow grow works for me. I’m slogging through this marketing thing too, trying to figure out where and how to apply my efforts and limited time. And we aren’t alone. Good luck with your efforts. If you find the magic marketing solution, let me know!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It never ceases to amaze me how some people can blow their own trumpets with nary a pause to draw breath, while others (most of us) find the task nigh on impossible. That’s where its handy to have a mainstream publisher with a publicity machine, but such creatures are hard to find.

    I suspect, in terms of creating an Internet presence, there may be a risk of spreading oneself too thin. And as for LinkedIn – is it a useful site for artists/authors? When I had a day job one of our senior managers advised us to put ourselves on LinkedIn, referring to it as “Facebook for grown-ups”. I was never inclined to take his advice on any topic, but had a look at it and was amused and delighted by the professional skills some people (i.e. ones I’d worked with in the past) laid claim to. Yes. (LinkedIn did seem to me as being more about finding a better day job.)

    And as for WordPress followers: since His Gibship appeared on Discover (which was a buzz in itself) the numbers have climbed slowly but steadily. However, a huge percentage of them would be spam followers – generally, blogs set up to advertise some product or other.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Discover? I don’t know of that. But if Gib appeared on it, that it is obviously class! I’ve had one or two spammers, but so far, touch wood, not too many.
      No, I don’t know about LinkedIn. I’m always being told it is a place for professionals to connect, but it seems that most either do just that – collect a follower and move on – or use it as a variation on Facebook. And since I’m already on FB, that seems a bit pointless.
      I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it one day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Discover is a Stream run by WordPress editors; if you click on Reader you’ll see it listed below Followed Sites.

        I was lucky enough to have a novel picked up by a mainstream publisher a fair while back, though it was released only in NZ and Australia. They were keen on a follow-up, but the demands of a full-time day job plus writing every evening and weekend proved beyond me. I missed doing other stuff, like hanging out with friends or even watching TV. A lost opportunity, but c’est la vie. As His Gibship is my sole product at present, I’m not fussed about any other kind of Internet presence, though I do need to make more time for reviewing others’ books.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ah, I see it. I’d never noticed it before. How do you know if they feature you, do they tell you?
          It sounds as though you’re comfortable with the internet presence / writing / life balance that you have, Denise. That has to be an achievement!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes, they send you an email to let you know that you’ll be featured within the next week or so. Plus a handsome blue badge to put on your blog! Thanks for those kind words, Mick; “comfortable” is the right one, but I’m also aware that I could/should be doing much more. Plus I hate sitting in front of a computer – a real dilemma for a writer. But I find the support that WordPress bloggers give each other invaluable.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. I know what you mean about self-promotion Mick. During my consulting years I probably could have made a lot more money if I’d have gone independent and marketed myself rather than working for someone else that took half the fees for a bit of marketing and a stable paycheck. But, ew! I remember the lies my last boss used to tell to land work and I just cringe.

    I am on LinkedIn, and a few headhunters have tried to recruit me for contracts there, but overall I’d call it overrated. But what do I know, I’m not the self-marketing type.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s certainly one element of the dilemma, Dave. You do see a certain amount of ‘imaginative’ self-promotion, and I would be too uncomfortable attempting that sort of approach. Perhaps I’ll just bumble on as I’m doing now!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello – c’est moi – I’m back! Anyway I was pleased to come back and read this Blog. Its a bit of everything. Like the bit about Trump – its not going to get past you is it! But I agree maybe Lewis Carroll knew a thing or two. However to the business in hand, I have to say that I think you have some great followers. They all engaged with your posts and do comment. Maybe some of them are contentious and maybe you don’t agree with them, but they have responded. Also, I think you are beating yourself up about the ” to do” list. Let it go. The important things bubble to the top and the others fade away, so aren’t important.
    I don’t know why your Book isn’t selling more save to say its marketing rather than content. As you now I read it and it was one of the best books I read last year ( and I don’t bull sh*t as you know) You want to go to the British Library who run FREE courses. They have a digital marketing course in February which is free and maybe a day there and you would glean some important information.
    I think you can tie yourself up in knots over Media ( and Hariold has a point about all those replies) Be exclusive and selective. People will find you anyway….
    I did however go to have a look at your paintings. There are two I have my eye on. I think they are stunning. So maybe that course may help those as well. You are very talented, sometimes they is enough…. the rest will follow

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to see you back, Jackie. I hope the holiday was good, and I’m looking forward to seeing a post or two on it. Thank you for all that; the blog is actually one thing I’m quite happy about at the moment. I have no intention of going down the road of attempting to attract shed-loads of new followers by pretending to be anything other than who or what I am, because that just wouldn’t work for me, and I do, as you say, have loads of fantastic followers. No, I don’t necessarily agree with all of them, and them with me. But we talk, and that is what I want. I’ve written elsewhere that to merely discuss anything with no one except those who agree with you will neither teach you anything or change any minds. I feel it works very well as it is.
      No, it is the other media I’m uncertain about. Social media are supposed to be a good platform for promotion and selling, and I should be able to strike the balance between doing that and simply engaging with people. I don’t want to be a marketing machine, but I need to be better at what I’m trying to do.
      I will look up the British Library courses – thank you for that. They could be very useful.
      And thank you for the kind words!


  6. I’m with you on the whole following thing. I simply can’t go around stalking blogs to gain followers. And I won’t follow a blog unless I appreciate the content. There are several blogs I follow whose authors don’t follow me back and that is fine. As for Twitter, I can barely keep up with the blogging world and Facebook. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day for all this social media.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have never understood the whole point of “you follow me, and I’ll follow you, although we both know neither one of us is ever, ever, going to actually read the other person’s blog.” But then again, I’m not trying to make any money with my blog, so there’s that.
    As for self-promotion, I feel the same way you do: it’s not my thing. One of the reasons I backed away from trying to publish my children’s books was the realization that I would have to spend tons of time marketing them, and with children’s books, that often means school visits. You know, where I would stand in an auditorium full of kids and talk about my book. The mere thought of doing that several times a week is enough to make me take to my bed and stay there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gosh, yes, that sounds an absolute nightmare. Only if your book is about a Big Bad Wolf, or summat like that, eating children…I think I might do it then. You know, stare at them with a slightly sinister half-smile on your face…sorry – that’s probably the reason I don’t write children’s books.
      Oh, self-promotion. There must be a genteel way to do it, surely?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Brenda Fisher

    A shop on your blog sounds a good idea Mick.
    Our local library does author talks (think they only pay expences though) and display cases to show artists work sometimes. Does yours?

    If so, could you showcase both your book and your other fantastic work in paintings, photographs and carvings.

    Small beginnings I know. Have you tried tourist information places too as they do similar things too in some places

    You’re a super talented guy so you should be able to make a more than decent living from them and people would get loads of enjoyment from their purchases.

    Loads of people read your blog so hopefully you will get some innovative ideas from them.

    Good luck.

    Regards Brenda

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Brenda. There’s another couple of good ideas to add to my list for the coming few weeks. Yes, I’m going to make the effort, and my kind followers have certainly given me a few more ideas.
      talking of ideas, though, you know…coffee…the usual? Sometime soon?


  9. That was a thoughtful and true post, Mick. Trumpet blowing is probably what can get one to places, but it requires a thick skin. For the time being, I am happy with my own thin one- following blogs which have something worthwhile to say and conversely, commenting only when I have something worthwhile to say.

    PS: I have downloaded your book and true to promise, will put a review on Amazon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Sylvia, both for the comments and the download! No, I don’t have a thick skin – it’s probably thinner than most! I agree with you completely about the blogs; that’s one area where I think I probably have got it right, possibly because I enjoy the interaction on them more than I do on the other social media platforms.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Just followed you, Mick. I loved this post! So much to do, so many places we are supposed to do it, which to choose? I have only been blogging for a few months and find this to be the best place to interact with like-minded folk. Social media can be a bit of a contradiction in terms but I keep trying!

    Liked by 1 person

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