Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Branding 101: Promo and Marketing for Writers, Part One

I just had a wonderful long-weekend retreat with writer pals Caryn McGill and Kathy Weyer. We even looped in Sandy Bremser for a “writer gals” lunch. There is something about focused, concentrated time with other writers that is a good contagion. One’s excitement about current and future projects infects the others. One leaves such an engagement with a renewed commitment to write and publish.

But, for a professional writer, that’s not enough. One must also have a business plan, a marketing plan, and promotional activities developed and implemented. That was the focus (though not the whole story) of our weekend together.

At my first writing conference (I’ve shared this before), I didn’t have a clue what a “platform” was. My only connections to “platform” were shoes and train stations. Clearly, that was not what these writing instructors were talking about.

I’m not stupid. I did “get it” pretty quickly, but the individual components of the platform still were unfamiliar to me. The underlying purpose for the platform is branding. You want people to see your name and recognize what you write. They might even buy your books if you’re lucky! lol

So what does a professional writer do when confronted with expectations? She learns what she must, and she implements that learning as quickly and deeply as she can. It’s sort of a spiral with me. The range at the top of my spiral was pretty small, very narrow at first. Then it widened and went deeper. I now have multiple intertwined spirals. And I know I am not done.

I was told, and went home to learn about and implement, that there are four basics or essentials to your writing platform. Get those going, and you can deepen and extend from there.

The four are:
1) Author website,
2) Blog with regular posts (at least once a week),
3) Twitter with regular posts (at least once daily), and
4) Facebook author pages and membership/participation in FB affinity groups.

Check. Check. Check. Check.

Of course, for me, having multiple genres and pen names to brand and market, I ended up with one website with descriptions of my genres, three blogs, three Twitter accounts, and four author pages on Facebook as well as membership in more than a dozen affinity groups.

I will be coming back to this topic in the coming weeks to elaborate these four basics and then how to extend your reach.

If you are interested in how to find me in a variety of places, check out my website and poke around on the links there: Sharon Arthur Moore, Author  

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