Have you ever met someone – say, a struggling writer – and you just know, before reading a single word of their writing, that they’re going to succeed? I had that premonition when I met Jessica Lemmon. Just talking to her, you know her voice is going to be fun to read! Today she tackles a topic that makes many authors shudder: marketing.
Ah, marketing. You can’t throw a rock today without hitting someone who has a book to sell. With social media channels being so plentiful, how can you possibly be everywhere at once?!
Here are my top five tips for marketing without losing your mind.
1) Participate in the social media that suits you. Are you a Facebook junkie? FB it up! Open a group, schedule your posts, pay for boosts! Tell readers and fans that’s where to find you! If you’re not into Facebook, but love Instagram, you can always link your IG to your FB page. That way when you post your filtered, beautifully styled photo, it’ll share across your accounts. You can be “on Facebook” without really being ON FACEBOOK. You can do Twitter the same way, if you choose, but Twitter is best used live and in person. Schedule a 15-minute slot to pop in, check your notifications, and drop a note to some writer friends. There are a lot of writers on Twitter, including me: @lemmony
2) Website, website, website. In the midst of social media, you may be tempted to let your website die. It’s old news, right? Wrong. Your website is your storefront, a window through which readers peek to see the real you! IMHO, your .com is still your best tool to reach readers. Where social media channels tweak who can see what, your website remains beautifully unfiltered. You post it, and there it is, up for the world to see.
Pro tip: Keep your site up to date! Once a week or once a month, but don’t let your page go without updating every so often. You want people to know you’re active and if your last blog is eight months old, that isn’t going to cut it. (If you’re an author who is badly in need a brand update, I highly recommend Bemis Promotions and Last Word Designs.)
3) Be real. I can’t stress this enough. Be your authentic self and share what you love. If you have a thing for potbelly pigs, tell your readers about it! It doesn’t matter if you’re a romance writer or selling a clothing line. Fans like to see the real you and like to know your odd little quirks. Don’t hold back. Those details will set you apart from everyone else.
4) Be smart. As an addendum to number three above, I have to stress that when you’re “not holding back” also do a little holding back. *grin* If you have a raging political opinion or believe “meat is murder”, just know you could risk alienating some readers/fans…and not for the reason you think! Most folks come to hang out, not feel beaten about the head and neck with an opinion they may or may not agree with. So share what you love, what you’re passionate about, and yeah, okay, poke a little fun at the political candidate who’s driving you nuts, or mention how adorable cows are and that’s why you don’t eat them. Presentation is everything.
5) RELAX. You can’t update ninety times a day on all social media sites all the time, now can you? Guess what? It’s okay! Did you vow to blog every single Friday but ran out of time this week? It’s okay! Did you promise to send out your newsletter promptly on the 15th of each month but this month it’s trickling out on the 20th? No bigs, guys. Cut yourself some slack. Readers will cut you some, too. I recently learned when I failed at “doing it all” that I didn’t have to. Simply lifting those requirements off my own shoulders helped, and then I went one step further and hired an assistant. Do what it takes to write the books and hit the deadlines you can, and let the rest go. No one is perfect, and more importantly, no one expects you to be.
The key to surviving social media isn’t to do it twenty-four seven, but to limit what you can do, and do it well. Keep these five “rules” in mind and remember to breathe. You can’t catch up. There is no race. Have fun with marketing, and if you get to the point of overwhelm, hire a good assistant. You’re worth it.
What’s your favorite social media outlet?
On Monday, April 25 our featured guest will be Summerita Rhayne. Join us!
A former job-hopper, Jessica Lemmon resides in Ohio with her husband and rescue dog. She holds a degree in graphic design currently gathering dust in an impressive frame. When she’s not writing super-sexy heroes, she can be found cooking, drawing, drinking coffee (okay, wine), and eating potato chips. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want.
He’s a mess…
Only she can clean up
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