Thank you for signing up for this email course. Throughout the coming days and weeks, I will share with you all of my best tips. By the end of the course, you’ll know as much as I do about Twitter and how to use it to find readers, grow your tribe, and promote your brand. But first, I want to share my personal story with you.
Enjoy the adventure you’re about to undertake with this email course!
Special Note: Please don’t share this page on social media as it is part of my private email course. Thank you!
My Personal Journey into the World of Social Media
Do you worry that you’ll either never have the time or the inclination to become the social media expert you aspire to be to successfully market your books?
Do you feel as though you’re so behind that you’ll never catch up?
Are you hoping privately that social media will just go away so you’ll never have to learn it?
Or do you believe that it’s useless to learn social media since it’s always changing, and you’ll always be behind? (I hear this last comment frequently at writers conferences.)
Well, guess what? Social media isn’t going away. It’s here to stay and it will continue to evolve.
Even though you’ll need to keep up with some of the changes over time, that’s no reason to despair. After all, all the changes won’t apply to your book marketing efforts.
My Initial Entry into the World of Social Media
If you assume that I was an early adopter of social media, jumping on new networks as they arrived on the scene, mastering them easily, well, you’re wrong.
Here’s what happened.
I was working as a reporter and after covering a particularly tragic story, I decided to get out of the news business.
Initially, I transitioned into the nonprofit sector. But instead of being on the front lines helping people, as I did when I first graduated from college, I decided to work in public relations and fund development.
My experience as a reporter served me well.
I spent my days writing grants and annual reports, meeting with wealthy donors, and overseeing fundraising events and planned giving seminars. It was fun – sometimes – and stressful.
Eventually, I left the nonprofit sector to start a consulting business helping nonprofits to raise money and handle crisis communications situations. (Working with a Catholic nonprofit gave me a lot of experience in crisis communications.)
To market my new business, I knew that I needed to learn social media.
Well, guess what? That’s when I fell in love with social media. Okay, the word love is a tad extreme. But I really liked it. And still do.
Let me explain.
I was always the type of person who would take on a demanding job, spend the first year overwhelmed, and then spend subsequent years bored.
With social media, I discovered a field that was never boring. It’s a dynamic field where nothing stays the same for long.
I love that! (However, I understand that this is what might drive you crazy.)
So I decided to combine social media with my other love, writing, authors and books.
Wow! What a great business that would be, right?
Even though I had a huge learning curve, I never doubted that I could do it.
Now, I market books for authors in nearly every genre. It’s a dream career.
I Began with Facebook
I started my foray into social media gradually.
Of course, I started with a Facebook profile. I’d had one earlier but for some reason deleted it. So I returned to Facebook and focused on learning it.
After I wrote my first book, I also added a Facebook page. Unfortunately, I followed the advice of an SEO (search engine optimization) expert and created a Facebook page for my book.
What a mistake.
I have since remedied that error and turned it into a Facebook Author page. Why did I do that? Because creating a Facebook page for each book I planned to write would divide my audience and be too time-consuming to manage.
Don’t get me wrong. I love social media but I’m also a huge proponent of being efficient with your time.
No one wants to get caught up in social media time suck. You know what I mean; the vortex we can fall into whenever we spend time on the Internet.
Check out these two posts: Are Facebook Pages Hard? You Bet! 13 Tips to Help You Attract and Keep Facebook Fans and Do Authors Really Need a Facebook Page?
LinkedIn Was My Next Choice – And I Loved It
Then I opened a LinkedIn account and joined way too many groups. I remember being in a blogging group and diligently leaving comments on everyone’s blogs.
I didn’t know then that leaving comments on a blog about Indian food and other random topics would do nothing to build my brand. I should have, I know, but I was a newbie.
And I’m not ashamed to admit that.
I have since narrowed the focus of my groups and am only active in two of them.
To learn about LinkedIn, read this post: Ultimate How-To Guide on LinkedIn for Writers
Reluctantly, I Started a Twitter Profile
Next, I asked a friend if she was on Twitter. She was, and she advised me to join it too.
I groaned and then reluctantly signed up. (Now it’s my favorite social media network.) My first mistake was to use my company name and logo. I didn’t realize then that people needed to connect with me, not a logo.
Then I noticed that people were using an application called Twit Validation. For some reason, I thought this was a good idea.
That was my second mistake. You can’t grow your tribe if you erect a barrier that prevents people from seeing your tweets and learning about you until an app approves of those users.
My account went nowhere.
So I cancelled my account and started follow twenty writers every day.
I Jumped on Google+ as Early as Possible
When Google+ came on the scene, I jumped on immediately. Here too, I was such an inexperienced newbie but in my defense, most people were.
New to Google+? Read this: Social Media for Authors Podcast: How to Conquer Google+
I followed too many people randomly instead of growing a reader base. Then when some experts said that Google+ failed as an experiment, I stopped posting on this network.
I resumed posting diligently about two years ago and joined some Communities.
Pinterest, Instagram and More
Not sure how to maximize your efforts on Pinterest? Read this post: Pinterest Tips for Authors (Plus 57 Pinboard Ideas)
But this took time, effort and dedication. I read a minimum of 10 to 15 blog posts about social media every day.
And I still do.
I’ve made my mistakes and gotten frustrated with apps and networks, but I persevere.
What’s been the payoff? Social media has been great for my brand, books, and business. There’s nothing else like it, and I’m thankful that I found such an exciting career and have met so many wonderful people.
My message to you is, don’t worry if you’re still new to social media. If I could do it, you can too. Read a couple of social media blog posts every day.
Commit to trying something new every few days.
Don’t try to learn everything at once. Start with the one network where your readers hang out and master it before you move on to another.
Post every day, socialize with your readers, and enjoy yourself. Before you know it, you’ll be your own social media ninja.
Starting with the next session of this email course, I’ll start explaining Twitter.
About the Author: I’m Frances Caballo, an author, podcaster and social media strategist and manager for writers. Find out more about about my services and check out my Social Media for Authors podcast on iTunes.
Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web
Wondering what my clients say about me? Keep reading.
Finding Frances Caballo was a godsend for me. I’m fairly new to the social media business and I was at a loss as to how to use Twitter to increase followers. In three months she has increased my following to close to 3,000, engaged with my followers, and provided quality content that she tweeted for me! I highly recommend Frances. She is an expert and easy to work with. Helene Simkin Jara, Author
Frances Caballo is akin to a Superhero. You have social media needs, and you connect with Frances. She comes flying in with gusto and before you know it, you have solutions, understanding, suggestions, and new ideas.
Her reasoning behind suggestions and ideas is straightforward. It was easy for me to go through Frances’s document with a highlighter and mark the actions I needed to take in order to begin the process of increasing my online following. Not only was this a necessary exercise for me, Frances made it fun and exciting with her energy and positive attitude. I thank the heavens for the day I met Frances Caballo online! Sherrey Meyer, Author
Frances is a Godsend. I knew I couldn’t handle all my social media myself but I didn’t want to just hand it off to someone else. Frances helps me manage my social media so that I can interact strategically and develop my platform as an author. Within two days of working with her, I had two queries from potential clients who found me through social media. Lisa Tener, Book Coach & Author