Now that you’ve happened roam into the role of public figure as an author, there are certain qualities that all public figures must strive to do, and that is exude professionalism most, if not all, of the time.
Every one of us tend to at times be impulsive, unaware, and even lax in specific areas of our lives or careers, however, once you have reached specific points in life, professionalism is a must, and that goes for even us authors who write or type more than talk.
Therefore, I will list four qualities that any author must possess in order to increase their professionalism across the board, and hopefully, allieviate many of the snags one can get caught in while in the public eye…because people are always watching and taking mental notes.
Maintain a Great Demeanor
It is very important when at any event to maintain the proper demeanor and poise. Sure, we are authors, and many of us are the most laid back people, as far as appearances and attitude, on the block because much of our time is spent behind the computer keyboard. I know it’s in my nature to over-relax about just about everything, but it is this same characteristic I have of not stressing that allows my mind to grow creatively.
Therefore, I tend to not concern myself much about my looks and am perfectly in love with wearing jeans and making ten jokes or eleven about something I see on television etc as I have a big past in entertainment blogging. I lean on my own independence and can be very opinionated, sticking to my guns, while being very active and outspoken in the things I’m passionate about. The reason I’ve listed these qualities about myself is to let you, the author know, that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being yourself, however, always know when, where, and how much to let loose while also knowing when to reel it in a bit, creating your professional self.
Everything from your appearance, behavior, and how you communicate, both written and verbally, can overtly or unknowingly backfire, or it can increase your success in any industry. Be attractive in word, deed and appearance, so that even when darts are thrown, they have hardly nowhere to land. Stand behind what you believe, but do so in a way that isn’t always provoking negative attention or exuding arrogance. This isn’t meant to change you, but change your way of handling business into a more professional manner. After all, your business is you.
Be accountable for your actions
It’s one thing to do it, and it’s another thing to be accountable for what you have done. A professional will admit to mistakes or bad judgement in their careers.
For instance, if you published an ebook on the day that you announced the release, but blame Amazon or Nook etc. for not presenting it online fast enough, this isn’t professional.
Instead, simply say that it will be delayed because you had to finalize some things in your ebook (which is usually the case), thus, it will be ready in the next 24 to 48 hours hopefully. The author is completely aware of the wait it takes to have a complete book uploaded, and it could even take up to 7 days.
This is a very simple example, but take ownership instead of blaming. You gain more respect from readers, and they will love the fact that you are honest enough to admit that you needed to make the book even better!
A simple solution to this upload process for an ebook is to upload it in a reasonable amount of time prior to the anticipated release date so that it is up and ready to go. This even gives the author time to reread and correct possibly errors that they may have glanced over before the release date.
Be Organized At Events
There is absolutely nothing worse than seeing a complete and utter mess directly in the area of the “professional” at an event, even a book signing event.
Authors, please, discard all loose and unused items into receptacles, such as unfinished food and napkins, instead of leaving them within the eyesight of readers. Imagine a television news crew coming your way at an event, and there is absolutely everything from dirty napkins to toothpicks and a half eaten burger smelling up the area. This isn’t the way you want others to see you…on television.
We have books, authors, and lots of them when we travel, with fliers and all. There is a spot underneath the table that will hide all of these things as long as you have a cloth or skirt covering it. I have seen it all, and when I first started, had my very own glitches when on the road, therefore, take heed and plan to be neat and organized because it screams that you have it together and are very… professional. Finally…
Hold High Standards With Social Media
Have you ever heard the saying when two people are arguing, onlookers can’t tell who the fool is? Authors, take this with you while branding yourself on social media. Social media can be an author’s best friend because we are constantly at the computer working. Therefore, it’s great to be social…with professionalism.
Places like Facebook for instance, which has become one of the largest social platforms of all time, has so many eyes on it that you can’t possibly become caught up in things that are unproductive for your brand. Before posting, think about who could potentially read your posts and how it may impact your career.
When on social media, be who you truly are, but also beware of allowing the media outlets to become your psychologist, therapist and best friend. Everyone isn’t your friend, and once it’s out there, you really can’t take it back. It’s there to stay, so only place what you don’t mind the world knowing onto this type of platform…or pay the consequences later for not being as professional as you should and could have been.
Promote your brand, your books, yourself in a positive light. Understand that not everyone will agree with everything you say or believe, but be professional enough not to argue and accept the fact they only feel different from you. In order to become a real professional, you must know when and how to dodge a punch without striking back or take a hit without getting knocked out. That’s called winning the match because when you dodge the punch and/or continue to stand on your two feet regardless, nothing happens, and it leaves you as the pro that you are.
Those are just some of the things that I believe will help anyone on their professional journey. Just take a step back, examine yourself, and then put these things to action and watch yourself grow.
This article was written by author and blogger Mirika Mayo Cornelius. See more about her at mirikacornelius.com.