Back in the day when we started our business in 1999 there was a meritocracy of sorts in the world. For the most part people who did the best work got the best gigs. There are 3 things that changed all that: Amazon, Facebook and blogs. If you’ve written a book, the chances of you getting to write another book depend on the sales of your first one and the reviews on Amazon. Publishers will also check your blog and the number of followers/fans you have on Facebook. If you want to design a fabric line, some fabric manufacturers will look at the traffic on your blog and your Facebook stats as well as your design ideas. Like it or not the digital age has turned us, in a way, into a social media-ocracy. If you’re good at asking people to “like” you on Facebook or you’re good at sending your Facebook friends to your blog, you will get better gigs and people will pay more attention to you. Ditto all of this for Twitter. There’s a reason for all of this. Fabric companies, publishers and the like want people to work for them who have a built-in PR machine such as a popular blog or a highly “liked” Facebook page. The idea is that the author or the designer has “built-in” marketing channels and will sell more than someone with fewer visible followers.
So if there’s a blog you follow, click on over to Facebook and like the author. The same thing goes for fabric designers or pattern designers. If there’s a book you love, write a detailed review on Amazon so that author will be able to write some more. Reviews on Amazon are taken extremely seriously so when you write it, imagine that you’re talking to the editor in person. Be honest but realize that these words affect people’s futures more than you might imagine. I’ve never been one for popularity contests but the truth is that the decision makers in any given industry care about this stuff so you should too.
If you want to “like” this blog, our fabric or our books, head on over to The Modern Quilt Studio (one of these days we’ll get a button…) on Facebook and click away. If you’re not a Facebook user, no worries. You don’t have to be to “like” people. You just need to set up a free account. And while you’re on Facebook, look for all of the other people who inspire you and “like” them too so they can continue to do great work.