What is more important than Social Media to an author?

Asks publisher, Chris Day

If this pandemic has taught us nothing else, it has taught us that it is not the problem that is the problem – no matter how big and challenging it might be to us individually.  What is more important is how we think about it. Whether we think of it as a disaster or an opportunity, we are right in both cases. It is the way we think about things that will determine what we do about them.

For far too many of us, the consequences of Covid has hit us far too close to home.  Companies are finding themselves unable to cope and are closing. People are losing jobs and the things we used to enjoy are no longer open to us.  It is difficult not to be worried, or even scared for the future.

For all of us, some doors have closed and some of them will never reopen. However, there are new doors opening around us if only we do not allow a victim mentality to rob us of the vision to see them. For those with an entrepreneurial or creative mindset, now is the time to get some wood and build some completely new doors, and take back charge of our future.

Authors tend to be ‘glass half full’ type of people with a positive mindset and the desire to share their knowledge and to help others, but even they can get a crisis of confidence when looking into the future.  Will things ever return to normal? Well, the answer is, no they won’t! Sorry! So, what are you going to do about it?

I believe that building a business as an author, speaker or thought leader, has just got a lot more personal.  It is no longer about going after big numbers of followers or the number of Likes we get for our content, it’s about how we can convert that general interest into a real customers that are prepared to spend their hard earned money to get the value that only you can bring to them from your knowledge and insights. To achieve this you need a strategy.

You should view social media a bit like a fisherman. It enables you to have multiple ‘rods in the pond’ to attach fish that like the look of your bait!  Your bait might be in the form of a post, an article, the thread of a conversation in which you are sharing your knowledge, or in the form of a video. 

However you choose to attract that attention, it is what you do with it next that counts. Most people do nothing!  They seem to be content to have followers, and send them more bait, but seem reluctant to hook them. As a result, then end up with a tank full of fish looking to be fed everyday, but not actually contributing to the author’s wellbeing.  An author deserves more than that.

The strategy I recommend is to think of social media as the means to get people onto your website. This is where they can learn more about you and to take action. On your site, they can find out about your books, your courses, your webinars and see all of the other content you have generated.  So, how do you do that?

Start by writing an article, but not about you and not about your book. Write about something that your perfect reader or customer needs help or insights about.  There maybe something topical happening that might affect them. What is your advice?  What action do you recommend?  You need to position yourself as somebody with answers and solutions.  This will be the reason that people will follow you and want to find more about you. Use your knowledge as a currency!

On a practical note, when writing an article or Blog, start by spending more time on the title than you do on the words themselves. Make your title quirky, intriguing, provocative and unexpected.  You want people to read it and think “What an earth is that all about?”  Generate interest!

Next, only give them an appetiser – not a full meal. If the object is to get them onto your website, don’t satisfy their need for information on social media! Only give them enough so they want more.    You would do this in a number of ways. One is to only publish the first couple of paragraphs of your article and leave it on a cliff hanger.  The add a MORE button which contains a link to take them direct to the rest of the article on our site. Alternatively, you could give them a link to a landing page or a quiz. Anything to get them into a space where they can the join your email newsletter list.

If is one thing saying you have 5,000 followers on Facebook, quite another to have a mailing list of 5,000 fans of your own.  When sending them information, it is not spam as they have willingly joined your list in order to receive targeted information and special offers.  Your mailing list is your most valuable possession and you own it.  You do not own your list on Facebook or LinkedIn.  Don’t leave the future of your business in other people hands. 

One of the most popular tools to build your list is MailChimp. It can integrate with your website to collect sign-ups and it also has simple tools to build an effective newsletter.    

Whatever you do, now more than ever before, with our normal networking events and business meetings unable to operate, you need to focus all your efforts on building you own tribe. Look after them and they will certainly look after you.

© 202 Chris Day