We all have heroes. With today’s social media it’s easy to lurk in the shadows and be a #stalker. We read their posts, stare at their pictures, listen to their music, read their books, buy their merchandise, but never interact. We’re not a true #fangirl.
That’s a good start, but a one-sided relationship isn’t a relationship. It’s time to step out from the shadows and engage.
You know they want you to do this, right? They do!
Did you know artists want to quit at least once a week? Some once a day. With deadlines looming, maybe twice a day.
Many artists have destroyed their works in moments of self-doubt and self-loathing. Is there someone you admire and want their work around for future generations? Let them know.
When they proclaim Christ with their gifts, they face serious spiritual opposition. They might suffer health issues. Family problems. Anxiety. You could be that voice of encouragement and blessing that presses them on to minister
one more day,
one more book,
one more album,
or one more creation.
How to be a #FANGIRL:
1. Write to Them
Emails aren’t for grandma only. Let them know how they’ve impacted your life and faith. Tell them which work is your favorite and why. If you want to be really crazy, send a card. You know the paper kind you put a stamp on?
2. Sign up for Newsletter
Be the first to know about new products, public appearances, special prayer requests, or praises.
3. Follow Blog
Often you get a deeper look into their heart, faith, and family. You might get a family recipe, history tidbits, or a free Bible study guide. Artists love to give free things to their #fangirls.
4. Join their Team
They’re called influencers, street team, launch team, or tribe, but it’s the group of people gathered by the artist to help with marketing. Authors may give you a free copy of their book in exchange for book reviews. Musicians offer merchandise or desirable seats in exchange for promotion.
4. Follow all Social Media Sites
Since they need a platform, be a pillar holding it up. Be everywhere they are. You know that good feeling LIKES on Facebook give you? Be their affirmation with your interaction.
My friend Kim Vandel is an amazing author and social media genius. I read her debut novel, Into the Fire, and am so enthralled I keep wondering what Kate is doing, as if she’s a real friend. She’s writing book two, Among the Flames, and I try not to nag her too often when it’s going to be done, but I’m really, really excited to see what happens next.
Kim wrote a series of blog posts to encourage #fangirl behavior.
5. Write Reviews
It’s not just enough to tell your mom or BFF you like something, let the world know. Post honest reviews on Amazon or Goodreads. If you receive the book for free you need to mention that in your review.
6. Quote Them
When their words speak to your heart share them with others. It’s like free samples at Costco. You give away a little bit to create an appetite for the whole work. Create a meme, you know where you put words on a cool picture? Don’t know how to do that? I can help. Awhile ago I blogged a PicMonkey tutorial. Tweet them. Post their quotes on Goodreads or Facebook.
7. Attend Public Appearances
Go see them in person when they’re in your area. Attend the concert, play, book signing, or art show. Ask to have your picture taken with them. Not to brag or anything, but recently I had the opportunity to meet Francine Rivers and a few years ago I met Fernando Ortega. I feel so blessed!
When I met Sarah Sundin, WWII Christian historical fiction writer, and I gushed about her books, she said, “It’s so nice to know that someone other than my family reads my books.” She has three times as many Facebook followers than residents in my hometown, but still appreciated hearing from me personally and made me feel like a hero for saying anything.
8. Pray for Them
Since you already decided to write to them, see #1, why don’t you ask them how you can pray for them? Another friend, Sarah Moser, was faithful to pray for and write to one of her favorites, a New York Times best-selling author. When he spoke at our annual writers conference, the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal, she was humbled that he asked her to head up his prayer team.
Stalking is fine in social media. It’s a beginning. You encourage yourself with your favorite artists’ work and support their business. But being a #fangirl gives you the opportunity to take it to the next level and engage in a more personal way.
Ten lepers were touched by the Master’s hand, only one turned back to say thank you.
Give back to the masters who have poured out their lives to touch you with their gifts and abilities.
It’s time to step out of the shadows and be a #fangirl.