Use Hangouts On Air to Grow Your Author Platform

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Day #28


Guest post by Denise Wakeman (@DeniseWakeman)

The Fastest Way To Get Seen, Be Heard, Build Trust And Connect With Your Readers

28429993_sAs humans we have an inherent drive to connect. The moment we connect, you have my attention.

As an author, you want your readers’ attention – the ones you know, and the ones you don’t know, yet. So the natural question is, “How do I position myself so I can connect in the best way with the most people?”

When I’m asked that question, I promptly answer, “Video!”  Live video, specifically. And, it’s never been easier to broadcast a live, online video show.

Now, you’re thinking, “I’m a writer, not an actor or talk show host. Why in the world would I want to do live video?”

Let’s start with the fact live video helps you create intimacy faster than any other medium and accelerates engagement with your audience. Not only that, it will create trust and connection with the very people you want to develop as fans who will buy your books.

With so much competition for eyeballs and dollars, you need to do something unexpected to get attention and create a highly visible presence on the Web. You need to step up and do what other authors in your niche don’t want to do and won’t do. You need to go beyond the blog posts and chit chatting with people on Facebook. As your marketing coach in this moment, I’m advising you to go big and stand out by incorporating live video into your book marketing mix.

Add Live Video to Your Marketing

The fastest, easiest way to add live video is to take advantage of the best tool Google has developed… the Hangout on Air, also known as HOAs.

An HOA is live streaming video, broadcast publicly and simultaneously on Google+, YouTube and your website, if you choose. If you think about it, you can take advantage of the power of the biggest search engine on the Web to create content that is not only broadcast to a large audience in real time, but also posted automatically to the second largest search engine, YouTube.

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You get to interact in real time with your fans plus give them a later viewing option via the recording. Your content is indexed quickly by Google and can also be found on YouTube and Google+. There is no other platform that can offer you that kind of findability and visibility.

Hangouts also offer some advantages that written-word content simply cannot equal:

  • The sense of immediacy
  • The sense that your attention is focused solely on the viewer, for his or her benefit
  • Live, face-to-face contact with your readers and fans
  • Versatility
  • Allowing you to showcase your personality
  • Increasing your authority, celebrity, recognition, and acceptance

There is no substitute for seeing a live face – smiling, talking, animated and interactive.

Broadcasting Hangouts can provide you with a wonderful toolset to help grow your author platform and cement your reputation… but don’t just fire one off here and there without a strategy.

Create a Strategy for Your HOAs

As with all marketing strategies you want to give some thought to why and how you’re going to integrate HOAs into your mix. Consider the following questions and write down your answers:

Why do you want to use Hangouts?
What goals do you want to achieve, using Hangouts?
How they can best help you grow your platform and sell more books?
When are you’re going to broadcast (how often)?
Who is your audience?
What content does your audience want? (Ask them!)
What is your format (interviews, discussion, book club, Q&A)?

Once you know what you want to deliver, then it’s time to dive in.

Getting Started Doing HOAs is Easy

The investment to get started is minimal. All you need to broadcast an HOA is a Google account, a Google+ profile, a YouTube account, a webcam and a microphone.

If you decide on hosting a regular show vs. an occasional event with your fans, then you’ll need to set your schedule and do a couple of test runs to familiarize yourself with the technology. I recommend you create a pre-show and post-show checklist so you don’t forget promotion and follow up tactics when you develop your show strategy.

Some things to include on your list are:

  • Purpose of Show
  • Title of Show
  • Date & Time
  • Guests or not
  • Public or Targeted Audience
  • Description of Show
  • Call to Action
  • Branding
  • Images you can use to promote the show on other social networks
  • Set up an event page on Google+
  • Promote on other social networks
  • Promote to your email list


If this tactic appeals to you as a way to build a more intimate bond with your readers, then I encourage and support you to jump in with both feet. HOAs tend to be casual, fun and informative. You can build rapport with your fans very quickly, and they will appreciate having access to you in a way most authors don’t allow. You have a huge opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

If you’re ready, then your first step is to find and attend some HOAs so you can get a feel for the experience (if you haven’t already). Use this link to peruse the list of scheduled HOA events, find a couple that intrigue you, and RSVP.

Next, experiment and set up an HOA (but don’t broadcast yet). Find someone who wants to help you practice. (Click here for 10 Tips to Make Your HOA a Success.)

Once you’re comfortable, go for it. Schedule an HOA and invite your fans. The best way to learn is by doing! With every Hangout you broadcast, you’ll find your fans showing up time and again as well as sharing and inviting their friends. And that is how you build your platform with Hangouts on Air. Oh, and please invite me when you go live so I can support you!

About the Author

Denise Wakeman at Machu Picchux175Denise Wakeman is an online business strategist, founder of The Blog Squad, and co-founder of The Future of Ink. Denise is the host of the popular Hangout show Adventures In Visibility, focused on helping small businesses and online entrepreneurs optimize, leverage, and strategically use social marketing tools like HOAs to gain visibility, build credibility, and make more money selling their products and services.  Denise is passionate about Adventure travel and how it can inspire you to think bigger and go for what’s possible in your business and life. She’s currently planning a new Adventure for entrepreneurs in Peru.


Copyright: dolgachov / 123RF Stock Photo


  1. Thanks for including my post in the Write Non-Fiction in November event. I’m happy to answer any questions about HOAs that your audience has!

  2. Thanks for this! It sounds like something I want to try. Have been wanting to start putting up product and book promotion videos on my website and youtube, but this sounds like a very simple way to do it.

    Robyn Dolan, author The Working Parent’s Guide to Homeschooling


  1. […] great place for you to connect with a new audience! Google+ Hangouts are a personal way to connect with people since they are live and recorded for YouTube. You can try […]

  2. […] Use Hangouts On Air to Grow Your Author Platform Google Hangouts on Air are a great way to grow your author platform, because they are a fast way to get seen, build trust and connect with your readers. […]

  3. […] this article is modified from the original version which was published on Write Non-Fiction […]

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