How can I create a following I hear you ask? It's much easier than you initially think. It is a series of regular, small actions that add up to something quite amazing - a bit like writing a book!
Profiles and followings are grown over years. It isn't an overnight success kind of model (yet to find an authentic over night success!), it is about learning, growing, trying things out and finding what works for you. Personally it has taken a few mindshifts for me to get my head around Facebook, Twitter etc and I've taken it step by step over the last few years. Even for the young authors who have grown up with social media there is a mind shift needed from purely social to having a level of professional presentation that impresses readers and publishers and understanding the value of reputation.
Here are 10 ways to grow a following:
1. Become familiar with what is social media and the different platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn and some of the smaller platforms. If you're feeling a bit daunted by them you'll feel a whole heap more secure about them once they are demystified. Facebook and other social media platforms are great ways to promote, get the word out there - to market - your work and profile.
2. Get along to social media marketing seminars and workshops to learn from those already successfully using social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to learn from them and ask your own questions.
3. Follow published authors on Twitter and Facebook, even Pinterest and Instagram to see how they are using these communication mediums and learn from what they are doing well and not so well.
4. Just as you have the discipline to write regularly you need to update your chosen social media sites regularly. Only a very few people decide to use several different social networking sites, most of us have a favourite one or two and spend 10 - 30 minutes most days on them. Personally I got use to Facebook first and then Twitter and this year I'm making more sense of LinkedIn. You don't have to do everything all at once.
5. Make sure you are sharing interesting content that others want to know about and share. Posts about what you ate at lunch unless you are a food blogger like Lorraine Elliot of Not Quite Nigella, don't qualify as being interesting. Tweets linking to a blog post you've written about something you've learnt that's made life better is much more interesting.
6. Create a blog and make it the centre of your universe with all your social media platforms linking back to it. The blog is where you can have constant information about your books, release dates and links to selling pages so visitors can buy your books. Learn more about making blogs work with one of Australia's top ranking bloggers and best sellers, Jeff Bullas here.
7. Have a publishing content calendar for your blog and social media websites so you know what you're going to write about and share with your audience. Learn more about how to blog, a content calendar and growing a readership here.
8. Start an email newsletter so you can share the news about your upcoming books with an interested audience. Learn more about having your own email newsletter.
9. Share news about other similar authors through your blog and social media profiles. The writing community can be very generous and supportive with each other with cross promoting each other's work. Be active in it and readers will notice and follow you too.
10. Include links to your blog, Facebook, Twitter and any other social media platforms on all your communications such as email signature, business card, published books, website (be sure to make links to your social media sites really easy to find), flyers - anything that helps get the word out about and brings people to your pages.
Vital to Learn from Others
Learning from others is really important, I can't stress enough how vital it is to talk with others about how they are using Twitter and co. , what's worked for them and what hasn't and learning directly from experts via their seminars, workshops, panels, podcasts and webinars
Want more Facebook tips and Twitter tips, read on and listen to out social media podcasts.