Went to the movies with a girlfriend the other night and after we found our seats, I excused myself to use the restroom.
A little over a year ago, I fell from a motorcycle, in a less that graceful or glorious finish, trapping my foot between the peg and bike frame. The rest of me decided to let gravity win and I crashed to the cement. Body facing one way. Leg the other. “Snap, crackle, pop.” Both bones right below my knee floated freely. Because “bad luck” controlled the moment, this also happened seventy miles from home. Once I determined I’d remain conscious and my brain yet to engage with the injured area so severe pain still evaded me, Forever Guy and his friend chairlifted me onto the back of Forever Guy’s bike. Using a plastic bag sling under my knee to keep my foot from resting on the offending peg and feeling every pebble in the road, we made our way home. Slowly.
I’ve never recovered a hundred percent of the use of my leg, particularly in bending, which is what I needed to complete my personal task in the restroom. Yes, we’re back to the bathroom—gray tiles meant to hide disgusting stains, and all.
As I started my descent, it became clear—past the point of no return—that I’d chosen the porcelain throne meant for—children. Deceiving, because “size” matters in these cases, and while the unit appeared to accommodate, the base—hidden under the fullness of seat—had been “shortened.”
The fall felt like a disaster filmed in slow motion. Down…down…down. I think I actually suffered “the bends” during the altitude change. When I determined no plumbing fixtures had been shattered or severed from main lines, I let loose the breath I’d saved in the event I’d need to scream for help.
On the back of the door, at the level of an age appropriate participant, the poster of a cheeky child—one whose eyes I felt certain were two-way mirrors with a camera crew behind filming my embarrassing debacle—stared back, eerily lifelike. A smirk held a hint of evil in the curvature; a conclusion easily made with the fine digital quality being at such close proximity. White bold letters stretched above the demon seed’s curly head to where her hand clutched a strap.
Good to know, because inside a bathroom stall, pasted at a child’s level—one who possibly couldn’t read given the distance from “floor to rim”—was where this important reminder to always wear a seatbelt while riding in a car, should be placed.
I still giggled when I returned to my seat in the theater at the preposterous ad placement, not to mention the double meaning pertaining to my personal experience.
When we advertise, “shake our tin cups,” we need to make sure we’re standing on the corners where our buyers will pass by. I was surprised to learn my young adult crowd uses Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram (or Snapchat), more than other social cyber sites. My contemporary adult readers prefer Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and Goodreads. So who uses Twitter? Those wanting quick “look at me” posts—a directional sign pointing you somewhere else. Who reads blogs? Faithful followers wanting that personal connection, or those doing research for the subjects you place in your tags.
For everyone out there selling something, know where your target audience “hangs.” Keep a web presence. Advertisement placement is key to developing your business. Plaster your so-called posters where they’ll make the greatest impact and draw potential buyers to you. Your street corner. Your tin cup.
And make sure wherever you market is appropriate for what you’re selling. This applies to the simple advertising, like tags on your blog posts or hashtags on Twitter. You don’t want your erotica romance novel to end up advertised on a site that caters to children’s literature because you put “swings” in your tag, or your Etsy seashell jewelry bulletin buried on a site that sells ammo and hunting supplies because you entered “fish.” Be specific, not generic.
Do not waste your time, efforts, or money, on advertising that only puts you on the backside of bathroom stalls. Unless you own a library or bookstore. Then I’d consider a poster featuring the back blurbs of books pasted on the inside of a stall door, to be a stroke of genius. Take advantage of a captive audience.
Aim for the “front window,” the popular hangouts, and busiest street corners to market your business. If you want to hire a publicist, do your homework. Follow their advertising trail, contact their clients for a recommendation or warning, and price shop. The most expensive doesn’t always mean “the best.”
Whatever avenue you decide to take, enlist help. Friends and family have connections, who have connections, etc. The Web World is endless, as are the opportunities, so don’t just stick to what’s comfortable. Be brave and try new options. You might be pleasantly (and financially) surprised when you enter a new “hang out.”
Thanks for stopping by and remember—smile. Think positive. Be kind.
P.S.: This weekend I take another daunting step toward becoming a museum relic, and to help celebrate the transition, for two days only - Saturday April 9th & Sunday, April 10th, "Damaged - The Guitar Hero" will be FREE on Amazon. The prequel to my "Designer Genes" series, "Damaged" reveals the secret behind Jesse Mason's fall from The Program. A tale of choice and consequence; devotion and the unbreakable bond of twin-linked, brotherly love.