Get Your Platform Moving Part 4 by Tracy Krauss

You’ve got your online hub, your email subscription provider is capturing emails, and you’re producing some great content. Now, in order to ‘move’ your platform forward, you will have to find ways to SHARE. I liken this to pedaling the bike.

I have listed various methods of sharing in no particular order. Obviously, you should not try to become a master of all, but pick the ones that you feel comfortable using and that meet the needs of your target audience.

  1. Amazon Author Profile

If you have books for sale on Amazon, set up your Author Profile. (Go to ‘Authors Central’ to sign up.) Add a bio, a picture and link to your website. You can also add the RSS feed from your blog or website, add videos, start discussions about your books, and more.

  • Social Media: (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.)

View social media as a connection BOOSTER, not the DRIVER. Use social media to promote giveaways, host events, cross promote with other authors, or even cross promote between social media. Share content that links to your hub. Keep in mind, however, that social media is supposed to be social. It’s about relationship building. People get tired of too much shameless promotion. (Remember our frame from Part One: value, trust, and engagement.) Don’t focus on numbers! Focus on engagement! Automate your sharing as much as possible by using tools like Hootsuite, Bufferapp, and Twuffer. Finally, make your content easy for others to share by installing sharing widgets on your website or blog.

Understand the difference between social media for business and for pleasure. Create a separate Facebook page that brands you as a writer or speaker rather than just using your personal account

Finally, don’t try to use every social media platform – use what fits you. Find out where YOUR target audience hangs out and be present there.

  • Goodreads

Even though Goodreads fits into the social media category, I wanted to put it separately because it is a valuable tool, especially for fiction authors. Next to Amazon it is the place where authors want to get reviews. Start a profile as a reader but then apply for an author profile. This is a great place to highlight your books, share giveaways, start discussions etc.

  • Reviews

These are vitally important to an author. The two most important places to get reviews are # 1 -Amazon and #2 – Goodreads. How do you get reviews? Well… ask. Sending ARCs or offering review copies for an honest review are good strategies. Keep in mind that a few negative reviews are not necessarily a bad thing. It means that real people are reading and reviewing your books, not just friends and family.

  • Networking with Other Authors

This is an important strategy, especially within your genre or with authors who have similar core values. Don’t expect other authors to buy and read all your books, however. They are also busy trying to promote their own books and selling to them isn’t the goal. It’s about making connections, which can be very helpful when it comes time for a book launch or asking for an endorsement.

  • Finding Influencers

Asking to guest post is one way to find ‘influencers’ – people whose platform is more developed or who have a wider sphere than you do. Building trust is key to finding influencers. Make sure you are helpful and offer value, not self-serving. Offer to do something for them – even with no expectation of payback. Post on your own blog about people you admire. If you followed someone’s advice or enjoyed their book, tell the world – and then tell them, too. You are offering your audience something of value, but also forging a potential relationship for the future. This takes time – it is neither fast nor easy.

  • Street or Launch Teams

This is a core group of people who like your books, and who have committed to help you market when needed. Things you can do with a street team include: Give out ARCs in exchange for a review, share on social media during a launch, or become beta readers for your next book.

Reward their loyalty with something exclusive: Free books, advance copies, giveaways, or contests. One author I know uses $25 gift cards each month and picks randomly from her launch team members. Another offers every upcoming book free for life so that they can read and review it in advance. Exclusivity is important, so build this team through a separate email list or a private Facebook group.

  • Online Events

Facebook events and online giveaways are good short term strategies to gain traffic.

9. Press Releases

If you publish through a publishing company they will likely create the press release for you and send it to all their contacts. If you are self-publishing you can make these yourself and find a way to get them in the hands of your local media, booksellers, etc.

This is not an exhaustive list! These are just a few ideas for sharing your content. Many of these strategies can become very time-consuming. You do not need to do all of them, but you do need to choose what things work for you in your unique situation. Sharing may keep your wheels spinning, but it can also make you ‘spin your wheels’!

This is the last segment in this series called “Get Your Platform Moving.” I hope you have found it informative and helpful! Now, it’s time to hit the open road! Bon voyage!

Tracy Krauss, current ICWF President, has more than 20 books and plays in print and has successfully launched several titles onto Amazon’s best seller lists for sustainable periods of time. She has taught seminars using this model and hopes that what little insight she has gained can be used by others.

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