Posts Tagged ‘social media’

How busy authors can consistently blog

Lindsay Manfredi is a ghost writer/blogger and social media marketer out of Indianapolis. Her company, Linzstar Inc. currently works with an array of industries worldwide, ranging from healthcare to tech, helping them craft their message and market their brand.

I’m always amazed at how some authors consistently blog. My friend, Chris Brogan) is always writing, constantly on the road, and I see him doing amazing things for people and organizations. How he does it, and still manages to knock out a great blog nearly everyday makes me pretty much look up to him in awe. (auhhhh.)

Another author that I seem to get things from on a regular basis, whether it be his art or his blog is Hugh McLeod. I have his current book, Ignore Everybody. Both he and Brogan are excellent examples of authors who have used their past blogs as major foundations for their current bestsellers.

But not everyone can do it like they do. Not every author has time to write amazing books and have time to blog. So, for those of you who don’t have the time or don’t understand how this works, here are some tips I have from working with an array of clients who know they need to blog.

  • Hire a copywriter or ghost writer – If you know you need to do it, and you don’t have the time or energy, hire someone. Outsource this. You can choose to have them write under their name, or yours (and you can do this ethically…and I’ll tell you why in a sec.) Bottom line is, don’t keep talking about it or thinking about it. Get your name out there. Get your ideas out there. Oh, and as far as budget is concerned, nearly all of my clients put me in the marketing category.
  • Teach your writing style – If you are going to have someone write for you under your name, give your ghost writer a sample of previous work. This could be a past blog or a previous presentation of some sort. This helps in the entire process. The biggest reason it’s so helpful is for little things like, some of my clients prefer to not use conjunctions. Some are way more lax in their writing style. It’s little things like that, that really make a difference.
  • Schedule a weekly call – Okay, sometimes it’s not always a phone call. I have clients all over the world, so AIM and email are definitely just as useful. I hold my clients accountable to sending me their ideas. Afterall, it is their blog. I typically get the idea, the main points, and any research thereafter is my responsibility. This communication should be geared toward topics, what you’re currently researching and speaking about. But the main thing…your ghost wants to work for you, so be sure to give them the points and make sure they’re asking the right questions in order to craft the post.
  • Turn edits around quickly – (and please don’t be too controlling) Okay, what I mean by this is writers have schedules they adhere to. Or at least I do. I block certain times out for writing and I also have things like business development that still need to happen. The quicker you can get edits to your writer, the quicker we can get things posted, shared, tweeted, and promote what you are saying. I live by my calendar during the week. It’s my checklist. It’s extremely helpful to work with clients who are prompt and responsible. Then you become the dream client. Also, don’t be afraid to say what you like or don’t like. We need to know these things.

There is a healthy balance between giving away bits without giving away the entire book. There are many great writers out there who can help authors do that. Let us help you get your message out if you’re unable to do it. If you’re currently working with a ghost and they’re not up to par, don’t be afraid to go with someone else if you’ve had a conversation and things aren’t getting better. I hope this list helps. Any questions?

6 steps to building a fan based community

If you’re wondering how you can move from no audience to a large fan based community, here’s the 6 steps to follow that will get you on your way.

1. Find where people are already showing up and join them. Your potential fans are already congregating together in different places. Show up in person (or better yet, get an opportunity to speak) at conventions and conferences. Follow people on Twitter and get involved in Facebook groups and pages. Do interviews with other experts in your space. Find where people already are and then get involved.

2. Start a blog and write regularly – This is your home base and where you want everyone that finds you via social media to inevitably land.  Use it to expound on your ideas and teach what you are learning.

3. Setup your email marketing – Gain access to directly email your fans.  This is where the people that truly care about what you are doing are going to be.  Move people from blog readers to email subscribers.

4. Train your community to get involved – This is key.  Start small with things like Q&As but ratchet it up over time.  From early on, teach your fans that you expect them to roll up their sleeves and work with you.

5. Cultivate your top 1% – As you ask your community to get involved you’ll start to see a few people’s names show up over and over.  Invite them in to interact with you and start giving them tools to get even more involved.  These will be the people that will have the biggest impact on growing your fan base.

6. Connect your fans to each other – The goal is not to grow a large list of disconnected followers.  The goal is to build a community.  This means they need to interact with each other.  Give them opportunities to do this via digital and physical means.  Forums, Ning communities, workshops and book signings are all examples of this.

These are the steps that have been used over and over to start and build a community of fans that will buy your book and help spread your message.  The exciting thing is you can get started right away!

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Picture via notsogoodphotography

An author’s guide to using Twitter

Even though Twitter has been around since 2006 it can still be be baffling to a lot of people.

“What can I say in 140 characters?”

“Do people actually read this?”

“Why do so many people think pictures of their food is interesting?” (ok, that one is mine.)

But the truth is that Twitter can be very powerful in building your following and connecting directly with your community. It is the most filter-free mass communication tool available. There are no editors. There are no public relations. Just your words sent directly to your audience.

It is the easiest digital means of having direct contact with your fans.

But how does this help you?

Before we get into the specific advice, it’s helpful to keep a few social media guidelines in mind:

  • Your top priority is helping your followers. Whether it’s news, knowledge, or laughter, your goal should be adding something valuable to your followers’ lives.
  • Respect your followers’ time. Skip the mundane. Tweeting that you’re eating a burrito is alright if your followers are family and friends. But if you’re trying to build a large following of fans, make sure you respect their time and only post updates that are worthwhile (as stated above).
  • Interact with people. You don’t have to reply to everyone that replies to you, but make sure you’re regularly communicating with people that speak to you. There’s nothing more exhilarating on Twitter than when somebody you’re a fan of replies to you. It will build a much stronger bond with your followers.

Now that we’ve got some general guidelines in place, let’s look at our goals with Twitter.

What is the point of an author getting involved and staying active on this platform? Here are a few things you want to accomplish:

  • Establish your credibility and authority
  • Build a community of fans
  • Funnel people to more parts of your online platform (blog, newsletter, etc)

With these goals in mind, how do we accomplish them?

  • Post links to articles that are the subject material as your book. This accomplishes two things. First, it provides interesting and relevant information to your followers. Second, it shows that you are regularly keeping up with new research and findings on your subject material which further establishes your authority.
  • Post snippets of thoughts you have while researching or writing. Everybody loves previews and outtakes. By updating your audience on projects that aren’t released yet you’re giving them a sneak peak into what you’ll be releasing and also what your thought process is while in the process.
  • Retweet relevant tweets. If one of your followers or another expert posts something on Twitter that is interesting or helpful in your area of expertise, post it for all of your followers to see. This accomplishes the same things as mentioned above.
  • Post links to your own content. Whenever you add a new blog post or have an article published online, let your community know. Self promotion is okay when you’re helping your readers (sharing information) and when it’s balanced by other content.

By following these guidelines you’ll quickly start building a following that view you as an expert in your field and readily share your content.

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Picture by respres