Post by Cheryl Santa Maria, contributing Women On Business writer
“If you want to become a successful blogger and writer you need to be more like the ‘Oprah Lady’ [whose real name is Robyn Okrant],” my friend told me after patiently listening to me wail and complain about my lack of freelancing prospects.
“She’s a marketing genius,” my friend said. “For one whole year Okrant only ate the foods Oprah suggested, read her book club exclusively and bought all of her favourite things. She wrote a blog about her experiment and it attracted thousands of followers. She was even offered a book deal.”
A book deal? Really?
I’ve been a struggling author/blogger for years and I’ve yet to see my words in print. How was this woman able to attract a publisher and create a successful blog in just a few short months?
“Everything Oprah touches turns to gold,” my friend reminded me. “What [Okrant] found is that Oprah has a way of making things work, even if it’s only through association.”
Maybe I could ride off the coattails of my own chosen celebrity. People like Martha Stewart, right? Perhaps I could spend a year making all of her recipes and crafts …
“That won’t work,” my friend – a marketing guru in her own right – replied. “The ‘Living Oprah’ project will only work one time, and it will only work with Oprah. [Okrant’s] stunt was successful because it had never been done before. From a marketing perspective, she did everything right. First, she identified her target audience. Second, she devised a gimmick, which in her case was her attempt to live like Oprah, to attract their attention. Third, she maintained a frequently-updated blog which only contained relevant information. Okrant used out of the box thinking to differentiate her blog from the millions of others of blogs out there, and it proved to be a brilliant success.”
My friend is right.
While we’re lucky to be living in an age that enables us to market our skills online to a (practically) unlimited audience 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, we need to understand that everyone else is out there trying to market their skills as well.
In the saturated world of the internet it isn’t always the most talented person who finds success but rather, the one with the loudest voice. That’s why it’s imperative you find your niche, market it to the right people, and continually provide your audience with relevant and entertaining information.
If we don’t learn how to sell ourselves properly online, there’s a good chance our work will be forever banished to the sidelines, regardless of how good it may be.
We could all learn a thing or two from the “Oprah Lady”.