Last week, we talked about the recipe for stirring up a great author platform. Today as we continue, let’s look at two of the ingredients in the gumbo pot, your Network and Social Media.
Who’s In Your Circle? Maximizing Your Network
You would be surprised at how many of us are not utilizing our networks effectively. Here’s a list of what usually happens, and how to fix it!
- You only associate with people that you already know – You may actually have an amazing circle of friends and colleagues. Many of them may even work in the same field as you, or perhaps they do something that is complimentary to your book topic. The plus of this is that you can open your mouth and tell them about your project, and ask them to assist you. For example, you can ask one of your friends to allow you to speak to their staff, or at an even they are hosting. Friends want to support you, but you must be clear about the how. A closed mouth doesn't get fed! Click To TweetBe specific, and ask your friends for support. On the flip side of this, you also need to expand beyond those that you know really well. Are you associated with groups that can support you? As an author, do you belong to any book clubs or writing groups? Are you attending events in your local area that other writers frequent? Authors can and do support other authors!
- Follow up on those business cards! – Even if it is a short email reminding the person how you met. Invite them to lunch or out for coffee. Get to know them. Even if it seems like you don’t have anything in common, you never know who they may know. Or they could happen to be very influential in their community. A short, sweet note makes a lasting impression. They may be chatting with someone else and think of you when an opportunity arises that could turn out to be lucrative.
- Depending on friends and family – Put a bunch of business owners of any field in a room, and I guarantee that many will tell you that friends and family are not always the most supportive, particularly when you are just starting out. Separate your publishing business from family. If they support you, that’s great and if they don’t, don’t take it personal. You need to be thinking like an author and publisher, which means you should be surrounding yourself with others that compliment your profession. Your family is just that, your family.
Social Media is an awesome tool, especially for marketing, and it’s free. A common misconception is that you must be on every single platform, spend all day tweeting, posting, pinning, and be a master photographer (for Instagram). None of that is true. You should choose the platform that your audience is most likely to be active on. You should also choose platforms that you are most comfortable with. Facebook is good for wordsmiths, in that it allows you to do the most writing. Instagram turns a lot of writers off because it’s all about pictures, but it is a great place to post book cover photos, pics at events, etc., as well as Pinterest. The important thing with any platform is to engage with your followers. Make yourself available. Automate your social media posting or hire someone to manage it for you. Share your blog posts on social media (you do have a blog, don’t you??) to send traffic to your website. Don’t just post a bunch of links to purchase your book. Think of social media as being in-person at a networking event. Be personable! Click To TweetYou don’t want to hear someone pontificate about themselves endlessly do you? Share other authors’ posts. Like other businesses’ content. SAY HI to folks!
That’s all for this week. Check back next week for #WriteMyBookWednesday where in Pt. 3 of this series, we will cover using the media and your previous work to expand your author platform. For help with publishing your book, take a look at our Self-Publishing services. Until next time, Happy Writing!