On Saturday, Author U members were treated to a tour de force of social media info and business strategies at the Author U Winter BookCamp. It was “an aaaaamazing and truly special training workshop for authors and would be authors.”
Website strategist and specialist in working with authors, Amber Ludwig focused on building six
critical areas that are must haves to make it in the authoring world today. As the principal and visionary of InsightfulDevelopment.com, she focused on:
- Social Media
- Branding and Message
- Building a Dedicated and Responsive Following
- Product Development
- Website Do’s and Don’ts
- Content and Blogging
Take-aways filled the workbooks all received. Throughout the day, I and others tweeted at #authoru a variety of ahas and tips—check them out. Most attendees at any function want to come away with one or two ideas; participants came away with dozens of ideas of how-tos, how about, try this, do this, change this, etc.
Beginning with Branding, an excellent group exercised immediately engaged all with a focus—what do you do; what do you offer. Defining and demonstrating a clear and succinct mission statement was created; creating a personal tag that others hook immediately with who and what you are and do; clarity on what you do for your audience; and probing into uniqueness were woven throughout.
The Website Master Handout was critical that included the website checklist—items that aren’t normally asked or included. Anyone who says or things that websites are minor plays are ignorant in today’s online world—the website is now the bug of everything you do online—from capture leads, to connect with others, to selling your products and services.
What you put on your website is Content—make sure it’s the right content to match your message and your brand. An excellent exercise on developing content was engaged, where the outcome would deliver blog post ideas, articles, product development—all taking the author business to another level.
All authors want fans and List Building is critical. The concept of creating free, high value information and replacing it often was explored. IDing formats, topics, catchy titles and implementation for roll-out strategies were explored. List Building requires email collections, Mail Chimp was highly recommended over Constant Contact that has become stagnate it what it offers to users. Key take-away was that when List Building in is play is that there must be a clear call to action on what to do next.
Books are products, and Product Development can start before, during or post publication. eBooks, multimedia, CDs, DVDs, teleseminars, webinars, home study course, coaching, group coaching, inner circle clubs, conferences, seminars and membership programs were all explored.
Lastly, Social Media, and the top networks of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram were explored. Beginners start with posts for Twitter once or twice a day, then build; blogging must be consistent, ranging from one to three times a week. For Facebook, just do it! Emphasis was made on not commercializing/pitching on the Personal welcome page … it goes on the Business/Fan page with suggestions on using Facebook ads to direct attention to whatever products were being highlighted on the website.
All were reminded that when posting, keep this in mind: Is your post word-of-mouth worthy? Is your post inspiring? Does your post have a call to action? Is your post interactive?
Calls to action are critical. Don’t use social media in a lame matter. It’s an amazing and massive tool that has a variety of options to support you and your book. Start with the main players and deep dive into the one that works well for you. Get a website makeover if necessary. Start thinking “what else”—what other products can you develop using your expertise and book as the foundation. Work on building your crowd, fans are important. And keep building on your content.
Here’s my call to action for you: Get to Denver, CO May 2-4, 2013. The 4th Annual Author U Extravaganza is open for registration. It will be bigger, better and unbelievable. I promise. See you there. Info here: http://www.AuthorU.org
Judith Briles is known as The Book Shepherd (www.TheBookShepherd.com), an author and book publishing expert and the Founder of Author U (www.AuthorU.org), a membership organization created for the author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 30 books including Show Me About Book Publishing, co-written with John Kremer and Rick Frishman and a speaker at publishing conferences. Her latest, Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms is just being released. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Your Guide to Book publishing on the www.RockStarRadioNetwork.com. Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact her at Judith@Briles.com.