Thursday, July 28, 2011
Putting on Our Platform Shoes Part 3
Anyway, here are a couple more ways you can add planks to your platform.
Do Unto Others. Once you get published, you will want others to feature you on their blogs. Until you get to the point where you have something exciting for people to shout about to the world, spend your time promoting other authors/writers/editors. Review their books, conduct interviews, post fun features and giveaways of new releases. Authors love any opportunity they can get to market their books, and chances are they will gladly accept your invitation to feature them on your blog.
This serves two purposes. It allows you to establish yourself as an up-and-coming author and professional by the questions you ask and comments you insert. It is also a chance to connect with other writing professionals who will be able to offer advice, insight, and help as you move ahead in your writing journey. Featuring authors on your blog will draw the types of visitors you need: readers. And helping other authors and writers promote their work often results in return favors down the road. Start building your circle of friends early.
Not sure how to make these connections? With so many social and business networks out there, it couldn't be easier. Start "friending" authors on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. Read their blogs and leave comments. Join writers sites. If you're a Christian fiction writer, American Christian Fiction Writers is absolutely the best site, hands-down. If you're a romance writer, join Romance Writers of America. You are guaranteed to meet a ton of published authors (maybe some of your favorites!). Simply contact these authors, asking if they're interested in being interviewed or featured. Unless there are extreme circumstances, I can't imagine them declining the offer.
An easy-peasy (and fun) way to build your platform.
Use Your Voice. No, not your fiction voice, you're real one. Speak at conferences. Women's or Children's events. Teach a class. Use any connections you have to seek out opportunities to speak to groups of people who may be interested in buying your book. Even if you're an introvert... even if you're scared to death...I strongly encourage you to pursue this avenue. Want a personal testimony from someone who was petrified of public speaking but kicked her fear in the teeth and lived to tell about it? CLICK HERE.
Seriously, establishing yourself as a public speaker is one of the best ways to connect with an audience. And it's an impressive addition to your writer's resume'.
Get Social! If you don't have a Facebook account by now, you are really behind. Facebook is the number one social networking site in the world and is an excellent avenue for getting your name out there. Maybe you aren't interested in posting about what you had for dinner or what a terrible day you've had. But connecting with other writers and readers (and you connect by commenting on their status posts) is a great way to get others to sit up and take notice.
Even better, create an Author's Page or a Writer's Page that allows people to "LIKE" you and follow you along your professional path. You can learn more about that whole thing on www.facebook.com.
Other networking sites to check out include www.twitter.com, www.linkedin.com, and the promising www.plus.google.com/
How have you built your platform as a writer? I'd love for you to share your experiences!