More aspiring authors than I can mention in desperate need of a platform refuse to use social networking. They see it as a waste of time and a time sink. Published authors needing to promote their books also won’t go near Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google Plus. Somehow, it is beneath them, an activity not befitting a real writer.
Yet, social networking offers great benefit for all writers—at least those wanting to build platform, brand themselves and sell books (or even get discovered by a publisher). And it can be done quickly, efficiently and pleasantly if you know how. In fact, it can be fun and life changing. Once I embraced social networking, I found I enjoyed it and it enhanced my life on a personal and a professional level.
If you want to get started building platform, growing a tribe, branding yourself, or selling books using social networks—or relationship marketing—here are four steps you need to take:
- Sign up for at least two of the social networks. I highly recommend Twitter and Facebook, however, you may want to choose LinkedIn if you run a business in conjunction with your book. Google Plus is growing fast as well, and it’s a hot place to be and has many cool features.
- Begin sharing great information. Let people know you are an expert by offering tips, tools, steps, advice–write short articles, tweets, status updates and post them to all your networks. Also share information offered by others and anything related to your industry or field of interest.
- Follow, friend or connect with the type of people you would like to have follow, friend or connect with you. See social networking like a huge networking event in cyberspace. Reach out and touch someone…ask them to connect. Don’t be shy. It’s easy on the Internet because they can’t “see” you, so you don’t initially have to hold a full conversation and you need only show in your bio and status update stream that you have something to offer. (And DO connect, friend, follow, etc., the people who contact you. After all, that’s the whole point.) Also connect with “influencers,” people with large tribes; try to have a conversation with them, get to know them, get involved in their communities.
- Post two or three times a day, if possible. Try to alternate between personal and professional information, but don’t get too personal. Keep a balance, but lean more toward the professional side.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by even signing up for social networks, check out author Joanna Penn’s newest product, “Social Networking for Authors & Writers.” Learn from a fellow author how to use the social networks with an ebook, an audio interview with social media expert Alexis Grant and personal videos on how to use Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as the reader-specific social networks like Goodreads and Shelfari. Click here to purchase Joanna’s program.