by Sarah Acton
The reality is that I too have a regular job that makes my head hurt and divides my energy when I’m not fulfilling my dream to be a full time writer. I have two jobs when I’m not waxing poetic: I work as a marketeer (like a musketeer, but daring dos to sell a product) and I work as a freelance publicist.
We all know that being a writer is not just about the creative writing. As if that’s not a long and hard enough road to travel, most of us have to be our own publicist and brand manager also. Some of us aren’t looking for fame and fortune, some are, but either way, all but a few lucky souls probably need to generate an online profile that matches their voice and content.
Here are my top five marketing tips for emerging writers:
- The great twitter and Facebook debate
Should writers be focusing on writing or expending energy on social media? When you are in the middle of a writing project you may need to go dark for a while, then emerge to tell the world about it. Most emerging writers can’t afford not to engage at some level with their audiences. If you use Twitter and Facebook to promote yourself as a professional writer, I’d recommend Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule posts and stay in control.
- Create original content that suits your story and your writing but don’t post for the sake of it;
- Each platform is different and voice and tone on each will be different also;
- Twitter is useful for networking and Facebook is good for extending reach and sharing opinion and discussion;
- Driving conversations with your audiences will create organic growth and organic connections.
- Genre specifics: Know who you are writing for
Develop a good idea of the profile of your core readership (behaviour, location, cultural preferences). This will offer clues as where and how to reach them. How do they interact on social media? How do they buy or digest books and when do they read?
- Build your brand and position yourself from the start
I like to travel in hope. If you behave and look like a professional writer you are developing your own myth, you become that figure to yourself and to the outside world. Panache, integrity and style not only give you confidence, but will separate you from the pack. A consistent professional approach across platforms will help you in the long run. Build relationships and interact. It is time spent, but it will generate friction. Find ambassadors, allies and create and participate in discussions to engage and create impact.
- Make a splash to engage new audiences
There is no magic wand. But don’t be afraid to try something new. Here are some ideas for widening your audience:
- Find fresh approaches to presenting your work e.g. podcasts, photo and video posts;
- Guest blogging and commenting on other blogs and posts;
- Research and interact with new social media groups;
- Don’t forget to find support and give support to other writers at a local level;
- See (1), drive conversations to engage interest and organic growth.
- Use plain English to convey your message, think about accessibility and lay out;
- Alt tag your images and video on social media (this is great for SEO);
- Add subtitles to your videos (many people watch clips with headphones on busy trains etc. I understand there is a free subtitling facility on YouTube);
- Keep your style fresh and simple;
- Be authentic and consistent
Good Luck to us all for one and one for all!
I know it’s not rocket science but the more you plan and think about your own online profile as a writer, the more you can maximise, if and when the time comes, and if it’s right for you.
“The merit of all things lies in their difficulty.”
The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas