By Guest Blogger: Michele Mattia
Best Selling Author, Inspirational Speaker, Thought Leader, Blogger, certified Life Design Coach and Creative Strategist
Social Media. It’s not a tactic. It’s not a strategy. It’s not about isolationism or the loss of the human connection. Social Media is about expansion, engagement, connection, conversation, and collaboration. It’s the tremendous opportunity we have to learn from one another and affect change. Social networking ignites many to take action. A simple blog post can inspire someone to send an email to the author. This one email can propose a meeting over coffee. A cup of coffee at a café can result in the creation of a collaborative project because a connection was established. Social Media isn’t the loss of the human connection. This is a gift!
Each and every one of us is a brand! What a delicious knowing! As authors, we are the business. We want to make our living, and rightfully so, doing what we love. And just as a company has a platform for their vision, mission and message, so do authors. One of the exciting parts of “being the brand” is the author doesn’t hide behind a logo. It’s very authentic and transparent. We want to connect and engage with our readers. The goal for most authors is to write many books, and although these books might fall under the same genre, or are a part of a series, the common thread is the author. Your audience wants to know the person behind the words.
Long before you launch into the online community, make sure you know and understand the “why” behind your entering into the online/social networking world. Far too often I’ve seen people zeroed in on “I have to be online right away!” or “I want to be a star/celebrity!” The biggest benefit to you and your audience is to know what you want to say, the content you want to provide, and what your fans want to read/hear/know. Ask yourself questions like: What makes my heart sing? What am I passionate about? What do I find myself often talking about with others?
Recommendations on getting started BEFORE you launch:
√ Purchase your domain name right away even if your not ready to launch the website. You want to make sure you get your first and last name, especially if it’s common ~ i.e. JohnSmith.com.
√ Get creative headshots taken! Your audience is going to connect with you and not a corporate logo or book cover.
√ Research. Figure out who your target audience is and where they spend their time online and offline. Determine what content they want to hear and how this is aligned with your message. Discover what content is missing and how YOU are the right and perfect person to fill this gap!
√ Honor your skills and strengths when deciding which social networking platforms you want to launch. For example, if you’re an excellent speaker, definitely consider a YouTube channel.
√ Don’t launch all of your social networks at the same time. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blogging, LinkedIn are the fan favorites. Start with one or two networks and use third party websites and software to help organize and manage: SocialOomph.com, HootSuite.com, Ping.fm, NetworkedBlogs.com, TweetDeck
You’re an author and the real you needs to shine online! Just as the words and chapters of your book tell a story, so does your online presence. What story are you going to tell?