Are you horrified to learn that a huge part of being a successful author is growing your social media? That it’s your role to advertise, promote and sell books? And that it’s down to you, to create a trust worthy brand that connects with your target audience?
Relax, you’re not alone. Everyone starting out has faced the same crippling fears. Regardless of your journey and goals, the building blocks are the same. The hardest part of building a platform is conquering your doubts and jumping aboard the media wagon.
As a new writer, I imagined success would miraculously happen. An agent would, above the thousands of other competing writers, immediately spot my talent. Together we would sign with a publisher who would advertise, promote and sell my book to the world. Feel free to laugh, or perhaps agree, but unfortunately the industry does not work that way any longer. Chances are, that even if you are lucky enough to be chosen by a publisher, the funds to launch your book will be slim. As an unknown author, weather you plan to self-publish or not, much of the work will fall to you.
I feel your pain. Creating a brand is terrifying. But once the hard works done you’ll be clearer on your journey to success. Here are my three steps to get you started:
Step 1, your brand.
Who are you trying to reach? Who is your target audience.
This is where you pick your pen name, take a fantastic profile picture and maybe create a logo. The fun stuff! The harmless stuff! But remember, it’s also important to identify your target audience, because knowing who your targeting will help you tailor your online presence and develop a strong foundation upon which you will begin.
But it’s more than that. You won’t get far just adding friends and family to Facebook. Do some research, what is the ideal demographic audiences for your genre. What are there likes, hates and aspirations? Use that knowledge to target your market and to connect with the needs of your audience. There’s no point in sharing media about unicorns and rainbows if your trying to connect with readers who love Dark Fantasy or love Gothic Thrillers. You want followers that will engage with you, that might potentially have an interest in what your writing. It’s not all about the amount of followers you have.
Step 2, choose your email address wisely.
This is the root connection for every media you’ll use. Keep it tidy and professional. Separate it from your personal emails for convenience and simplicity by using a name that reflects your brand/ you. Link each and every one of the social medias to the branded email, and, we’re on our way.
Step 3, choose your media.
Take your pick: Facebook, twitter, flicker, WordPress, Instagram, Blogger, YouTube, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest…. Each one is different with its own set of perks and downfalls. I suggest trying one at a time to avoid unnecessary anxiety. Then use the ones that work for you.
Whichever you choose, remember to apply your brand. Your image and name will be a starting point, from there your authentic voice, likes and interests will help your peers connection with you. The best way to start a following, is by connecting with likeminded individuals. Don’t be mislead, there’s no need to be fake, being authentic is the fastest and most rewarding way to connect. Get things moving with a comment, like or share. Watch, interact and learn. Some social media are fast moving, mistakes are forgotten and forgiven. Everyone was new at some point, and years on, I still make plenty of bloopers.
So dive in, here’s my top tips:
- Use great images. You only have a few seconds to grab the reader’s attention. Make sure each image has great resolution, is brand friendly, and check for royalties, not all images are for free.
- Don’t spam. People will unfollow you. Instead, connect with the readers and let them come to you.
- Stay away from tough topics such as politics, abusive posts, your personnel drama. Ask yourself: Is it going to hurt your brand? Is it the opinion of your brand? Will it gain you followers or lose you followers? This is a business after all, so keep it professional.
- Connect with people in your industry.
- The more you post, like and share, the more faith your brand will garner.
- Talk about topics relevant to your brand. Create content that will drive your audience to engage with you by asking questions, sharing interesting links, quotes and adding updates relating to your genre and WIP.
When you’ve mastered those try another media. Remember your time is valuable, you don’t have to slog away at all of them, only the ones that yield the best results and work for you.
So there you have it, be bold, be brave and go explore the virtual world of socialising. Do you have any tips on brand or platform building? Or maybe you have some great experience you’d like to share with the community? Don’t be shy, you know I love hearing from you.
Thanks for stopping by, until next time, Much Love.