Perhaps many of us writers have it backwards. Maybe our approach should be “build your following before writing your book”. If you think about that for a moment or two, you will realize that this concept was much harder to accomplish or even consider a few years ago.
The fact is that most of us had no medium and no arena from which to build an audience years ago. The only means available was TV, the radio, or published advertising like newspapers, magazines, or direct mail. And the primary reason that this was out of reach for most of us is because of the enormous costs involved.
Today, it is a question of where will we build our following. To go one step further, we can actually build a huge audience that is precisely targeted to specific interests, and we can do it for no cost at all. Those tools are actually available to us right now through social media. Granted, it takes quite a bit of effort, but it is very doable. A seasonable approach would be building your following a little each day. The bonus is if you are heavily engaged with your audience, they will tell what topics interest them the most. Do realize how hard this would have been 20 years ago?
If you like this concept and wish to pursue it further, then check out the following posts …
Learning to ride a motorcycle requires several new skills. You have to learn how to maneuver and balance a heavy, two-wheeled vehicle, how to change gears, how to let the clutch out smoothly and at the right time, and how to work the hand and foot brakes. And that’s before you leave the parking lot. Learning to advertise on social media is a similar experience: there’s a lot to be excited about, but all the options, features, and adjustments can leave you dazed.
On Monday, our good and wise friend Andy Crestodina showed the difference between optimizing for search engines and optimizing for social shares. He also gives us a nice piece of advice about how you can get really crafty and do both. Proofreading might not seem exciting, until the day you publish a post with the headline Making that Shit into the Next Phase of Your Career. Don’t let that happen; read Stefanie’s Tuesday post.