I have two Troys in my life. The first is Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The second Troy is Troy Landry, the hard-working man-of-the-land of Swamp People fame.
Love him or hate him, most people can recognize Troy Polamalu by his hair. Even if you aren’t a football fan, you might have seen him in the Head & Shoulders commercials.
Polamalu’s luscious locks are a tribute to his American Samoan descent. Whatever his reason, he likes it long, and he is staying true to who he is.
I see a lesson in marketing in this. Here’s a guy with something that makes him stick out. It isn’t a forced publicity stunt. He doesn’t do it for the attention. But he’s also not afraid to capitalize on it. In addition to endorsing Troy, Head & Shoulders even insured his hair for $1 million.
What is it about your or your writing that makes you stick out? How can you use it to your advantage? Maybe you don’t see anything special about yourself. I suggest you ask your friends what it is that makes you unique. It is harder to tell what is unique about yourself because it just seems natural to you. Let’s take a look at the other Troy.
I don’t actually watch Swamp People. Usually I read while my husband watches the show and I look up from time to time. But I have seen enough to know a little bit about Troy Landry.
This Troy is an all-American kind of dude. He’s an outdoorsman. He’s a family man. He’s dedicated. He loves his work. When he does something, he goes all-in with no second-guessing (which is kind of necessary in his line of work).
Again, I see the lesson of being true to who you really are. But I also see the value of strong commitment to whatever it is that you are doing. Maybe writing a book isn’t as life-threatening as hunting alligators, but the principle remains. Especially when it comes to marketing.
Once you decide what it is that you need to do, go for it. Stop second-guessing yourself. Remember your passion for your subject. Don’t back down when things get uncomfortable. That’s when you need to push through and get the prize.
It will be worth it.
Photo:Troy Landry. (2012). The History Channel website. Retrieved 1:27, July 10, 2012, from http://www.history.com/shows/swamp-people/bios/troy-landry-s3.