There is a fine line between being out there and really being out there. I’ve struggled with this issue. I am not, yet, a NY Times Best Seller, but I want to market myself like I am; however, I don’t have an overabundance of money flowing out to hire a big PR Firm to get me out into the public eye to sell more books. So, like many other authors in the same boat, I am doing my own marketing. But how do I know if I’m hurting myself rather than helping myself in my marketing efforts?
As authors, if we follow some simple guidelines we should be fine. I’m writing about online marketing because that is the wave of the current and the future and it’s the easiest, yet most dangerous, outlet for free marketing. So why is this avenue easy, yet dangerous? Simple…easy because anyone can do it, but dangerous…because anyone can do it and you need to find that balance so you keep people coming back for more content and not scaring them away with too much information that they don’t find valuable.
The easiest way to get an online presence is to have a website and a blog. The second way is to be involved in social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. If you link up your blog to your Facebook and Twitter pages, that is one less step you need to worry about in regard to daily postings. So, you post your blog to your website or your blog site and if you have it linked to NetworkedBlogs on Facebook, the blog posting will be posted on both social media outlets.
Now, I have a Facebook Fan Page, with only 17 fans right now. My Facebook personal profile has more friends, around 310 friends and family members and others I’ve met online. On Twitter, I have about 177 followers and am on 11 lists. My point in mentioning these statistics is that not everyone on my Facebook page and profile is also on my Twitter profile, so since my pages are linked, the majority of people are not getting the same message twice.
The quandary I find myself in comes into play when I’m trying to decide how many times to actively post on Facebook and Twitter. I usually post from tweet deck on my iphone when I’m out, so that it gets posted on Twitter and Facebook and I only have to post from one place. If I’m at my laptop, I still also post from Twitter. I came up with some guidelines for myself that I try to live by so I keep that healthy balance between posting enough and not over posting.
My goal is to write an informative blog post every day, Monday through Friday; I don’t worry about posting blogs on the weekends, unless I have a brilliant idea that I’d like to share, but I do post status updates up to three times a day to keep that online presence going. Keeping in mind that I post the blog, which is linked to Facebook and Twitter, I don’t want people to get tired of hearing from me throughout the day, so I’m frugal with my posts. If I’ve been interviewed, I’ll post a link to that or I’ll post other short thoughts or ideas or tidbits about my day, but I try not to post more than three times in one day. That’s just my preference. Nothing is wrong with posting more, but since my Facebook friends are not just readers of my books, but also my personal friends and family members, I don’t want to always be blabbering about me and my book etc.
Facebook and Twitter are just two avenues you can utilize in online marketing, so don’t overuse them. Think outside the box and look for other ways to still be maintaining that online presence, but speaking to another audience. For example, I just joined a Christian writer’s forum online. I’m able to have a my own profile, have fellow writers and readers follow me there, as well as post blog entries and other articles and participate in their forum discussions and groups.
Also, I am a member of e-zine online and am starting to regularly post informative articles about writing online. They have an approval process before your articles are posted, but this gives you another chance to maintain an online presence, get your name out there and speak to an even different audience.
It’s all about trying to think clearly and have a specific plan that you stick to when utilizing online marketing. You don’t want your efforts to be haphazard. You want your efforts to be fruitful and mean something in the end, which is to get yourself out there to as big an audience as you can get to. Facebook and Twitter are great and I will continue to utilize them, but I don’t want to overuse those avenues and kick myself in the rear, tripping over my own two feet. I want to maintain a stable course and find as many avenues as I can find and utilize all of them to the maximum potential for the greatest good…which is to get out there in the public eye.