When I first heard that the opening group session at the All Write Now! Conference at SEMO was "Building Your Writers' Platform," I thought, Oh, no. not that again.
It's not that I don't care about my writer's platform, I really do. It's just that I've read about that same topic and have heard speakers talk about it several times over the past few years.
But, I'm happy to say I was pleasantly surprised.
Whoever said "You can't teach an old dog new tricks," was wrong because I learned a few new tricks, courtesy of technology teacher, Janet L. Cannon, who gave an enthusiastic presentation, supplemented by questions and comments from the audience.
Here are some suggestions which bear repeating:
* Know your audience
* Expand your public platform -- participate in social media, present workshops, win contests, join clubs, attend conferences/workshops, meet agents/editors/publishers and other writers
* Expand your circles of interest (e.g., gym, church, volunteer activities)
* Put your writer’s signature on your e-mails (Note to self: Do this!)
*Make a plan (short-term, mid-range, long-term)
*It’s okay to fail; if one way doesn’t work, try something else
*Have a Plan “B”
*Post questions and engaging content
*Respond in a timely manner
* Publish a small collection of your work
*Focus, but not on sales; overselling turns people off
*Use photos and videos in your posts
*Have color wheels or call-to-action buttons (orange is a stimulating color--I didn't know that!)
*Build relationships; have a circle of writers and friends (I love that the emphasis was on building relationships and not on "networking")
*Don’t pay for followers (but it's okay to give away free stuff, like books or samples of your work)
*Use #Hashtags to increase searchability (but your post has to be public, and don’t use too many #hashtags)
* It's all right to mix professional and personal information on your blog or website because your readers want to get to know you
* Show your personality
* Your attitude determines your success
*Always be professional, even if others are not (this was repeated three times)
How about you? Any words of wisdom to pass along about building your writer's platform?