Marketing Monday – Social Media Time Suck

SocialMediaSocial Media – Time Suck

I know I’ve gone in depth on the different social media outlets on this board. After all, this is something I use almost daily and part of my business. It is something I believe everyone who owns their own business should use.

The main question is how much time can you devote to it? Social media can be a time suck. There. I said it. HA! But it really can. You go online to do a little research and before you know it, it is a few *cough, cough* hours later and you’re looking a funny cat videos. *I know, I know. They ARE cute. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†*¬†That black hole can be tough to pull yourself out of. Then all the ‘extra’ time you’ve had to research, get some new writing done, revise, etc is g-o-n-e! ¬†*head meets desk* ¬†So how can we get better results?

  • Focus
    Decide what you want to accomplish. It can be to separate yourself from another writer. Or separating your name, like I had to, from someone else who is well known. Or you want to build your online presence more. Any number of things. Decide what YOU want to accomplish.
  • Schedule
    Use a calendar and pencil in your agenda. Take it in chunks. 15 min / 30 minute / 1 hour segments are great.
    I began setting a long term goal (what I wanted to accomplish over a year). Then I sat down with my calendar that I made and scheduled what I wanted to accomplish each month. (ex: learn a different social media outlet, use that outlet, become comfortable with that outlet, and decide if I wanted to continue with it.) Then  every Sunday I would pencil in what I was going to do each day that week. I would work on writing/revising a manuscript, blog posts, making videos, updating website, etc. Whatever I needed.
  • Timer
    Make it count and keep yourself accountable. Not only do I schedule the days, I give myself a time limit. Use an egg times, or your microwave, or your phone to keep with the time. Even when you are doing something on your calendar, it can be more in depth than you thought to learn, and before you know it, it will creep into your next appointment on your calendar for the day. I will also highlight things when I’ve completed them. It gives me a sense of accomplishment when I see everything for the week in green. This I found EXTREMELY helpful when working on my platform, because I knew I was doing something. Platform building takes time to build and those green highlights let me know I was trudging along.

Thanks for reading along today!

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you do to avoid the Social Media Time Suck.
Do you use a calendar or other method to keep you on track?

DON’T FORGET…

Summer SparksSUMMER SPARKS will be starting this month on June 21st! READ THIS POST¬†and let me know if you will be taking the challenge. Let’s get those ideas sparking!

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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www. Wednesday – KatieDavis.com

http://www.Wednesday —> www.KatieDavis.com

If you’ve been following me long, then I know you’ve heard me talk about this ^^^ lady!

Katie Davis is an author entrepreneur, video making, marketing guru kind of gal! Her website is full of information. It will encourage you to write, to market, to get your video cameras rolling, to putting yourself out there and have a platform to stand on.

Take some time to fully explore her website and listen to a podcast or two. You won’t regret the time spent.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think about Katie’s website.
Have you used any of her services?
Are there any other website you would like to see featured here?
Let me know!

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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Marketing Monday – 4 Ways to Build “Word of Mouth”

4 Ways to Build Word of Mouth

4 Ways to Build ‘Word of Mouth’

On my 12 Ways to Marketing Yourself with Little to No Money, I mentioned “Word of Mouth” as one way to market yourself. This is and isn’t the cheapest form of marketing. I’m confusing, aren’t I. ¬† ūüėČ ¬† It’s totally free, because you are not paying someone to talk about you. Or begging them. Or demanding either. It’s NOT free, because of the time you’ve invested to develop yourself into someone who people trust and look to for advice. ¬†*The Ah-Ha moment!*

So HOW can you become someone who is trust worthy?

1. Be consistent  РIf you are blogging, have certain days/times you blog.
– Content stays the same. Don’t say or do one thing and not back it up.

2. Do your research – Make sure what you are saying can be backed up.
– Go through and practice what you are talking about to make sure it works.

3. Share generously – Let people know what you have found out. Blog or post or tweet about things.
– You don’t have to charge for everything. Give people tidbits, something to build on.
– You can create loyalty and respect by helping others.

4. Offer services – Once you have built up enough knowledge and trust with your community, you can offer more indepth help.
– Don’t push your offers though. Let it come through naturally.

By building up what you have to offer, it will create trust, because people will notice that you do what you say and it is working. They will begin to talk about you and share what you are saying. And you won’t have to tell them to do it. They will do it because you have proven yourself over time.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
What do you do to build up Word of Mouth?
What are some people in our industry that you talk about?
What services have you used because of Word of Mouth?

***As a side note: I do offer services. ¬† ūüôā ¬† Picture Book Critiques & Platform Building Consultations. Just if you are interested.***

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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9 Ways to Establish Yourself (Pre-Published)

nine9 Ways for Pre-Published to become Established

A lot of people ask:

“Should I worry about being established before I get published?”

I answer:

“YES!”

WHY? Because you can build an audience and a name for yourself. THEN when you have a book, you will be recognized as someone in the community, and as someone to be trusted and followed.

There are several ways to get yourself established…

  1. Follow blogs and comment
    Find a few blogs that you like (other writers/illustrators/informative/etc). Follow them to keep up what they are sharing. COMMENT on their posts. Let them know what you think about it, give some advice, interact. When you do this, people will start to recognize your name.
  2. Share content of blogs across social media
    When you find a great post, SHARE IT! Bloggers love to know that you appreciate what they are saying. Spreading the word helps recognize you as someone who is willing to share information that you find valuable.
  3. Blog
    Start a blog. Yes, there are tons of blogs out there. You can offer your view on things. While visiting different blogs, you will see what is out there, what is missing, and what niche you may be able to fill.
  4. Join groups and socialize
    There are email groups and groups on facebook, there are forums too, that you can join. There you can ‘meet’ people and become familiarized with the community. Ask questions, give advice, and share in the ups and downs of the industry.
  5. Talk to people on social media
    Mingle with people. Before you know it, you will have friends. I know a few people for over 15 years that I consider friends, but we have never met.
  6. Book review
    During your career, you are bound to read books. You don’t have to have a book review blog. Post a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, etc. You will accomplish two things. 1) You are giving the book (and the author/illustrator) praise. 2) You are getting your name out there.
  7. Website
    You KNEW that was coming didn’t you!???! It’s okay to have a webpage (or two pages) when you start out. This give you a ‘store front’ where people can find out about you. Trust me, people look… acquaintances, editors, agents, etc. With your own website, you’ll have control of the information that is out there on you.
  8. Videos
    Videos are watched A LOT! By creating¬†videos¬†you are creating another avenue for people to find you. You don’t have to be in front of the camera. You can do a slide show, animation, interviews, or other things to create content using videos.
  9. Social media
    Explore social media to its fullest. I started out on Facebook, but now I’m comfortable on Twitter, Pinterest, and others. By using them I build up content that is searchable.

As you can see, there are a lot of ways to become established and get your name out there. To begin with, take on one or two. As you get more comfortable with them, add others in. Before you know it, you will be recognized as a member of the community and someone who is established as a writer/illustrator.

One of the benefits of doing the above, is you will begin to fit into the community and find your own niche. This will help build your platform and become a person people recognize and trust.

 

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think.
Are there other things you do pre-published?
What do you think is important?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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Thinking Thursday… Getting Established

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Getting Established

Getting established (or re-established) can feel overwhelming. There are so many things we need to do or can do.

  1. Website
  2. Blog
  3. Social Media
  4. Word of Mouth

First thing first though!

Google yourself to see what (or who) is out there.  Check out websites, social media outlets, and blogs to see what is available. You want to become consistent with your name throughout your visual presence if possible. I was very fortunate, I have:

  1. Website
    www.traceymcox.com
  2. Blog
    www.traceymcox.wordpress.com
  3. FaceBook
    (personal) www.facebook.com/traceymcox.1
    (prefessional) www.facebook.com/traceymcox.author
  4. Twitter
    www.twitter.com/traceymcox     or
    @traceymcox
  5. Pinterest
    www.pinterest.com/traceymcox
  6. YouTube
    www.youtube.com/user/traceymcox
  7. Skype
    traceymcox.author

Just to name a few. ¬†As you can see, I was able to keep my name “Tracey M. Cox” in the search.

What if my name isn’t available?

You can do a variation. [Your Name] writes or [Your Name] author/illustrator. Or do the reverse. Maybe you have a pen name or a quirky name you want people to remember you by. Use that.

Be Consistent! Be, Be Consistent!

Not everyone will be coming from your website. You do have all your links on your website, right? Some people will be searching for you from a search engine. Some can be coming from another link, perhaps from someone else’s blog or website. You want them to recognize you!

Not only should you have your listing match, try matching or similar pictures too. This will help visual recognition! I’m more visual than anything. I can remember a face. Names??? Can be sketchy. ¬† ūüėČ ¬† That doesn’t mean you can’t change your pictures. Just remember to do it with all of them. Or have a few grouped together and a few others grouped together. You want people to know it is you when they are searching.

Putting your best foot forward

Your website is your face on the internet. You want to be presentable and allow people to get to know you.

Blogging is a great sound board. It allows you to talk about what you are passionate about, what you stand for, what you want in life. It is a great building block of your platform and branding. Remember to bring your message forward. We all have bad days and you can sound off about it too… just try to do it in a constructive way. Remember people will be reading your posts. Hopefully, some will be agents and/or editors that you will want to present a good image to.

Social Media is a handful! (Zoinks! There goes that constructive whining!!! ¬† ūüėČ ¬† ) It can be time consuming and overwhelming. I took it a little at a time. I researched each outlet and gave it a whole-hearted try for at least a week solid before I decided on it. Do I like them all??? NO! Do I use them all? NO! There are a few I’m on, barely. There are some I’m learning to like too. Then there are the ones I wish would be better, because I really like using them.

Word of Mouth is probably one of the best! Really. I think it is, because that means someone else thinks enough about you to pass your name on. To me, it’s one of the best compliments one person can give another. “Oh, so-and-so is really good at (blah). You should check them out!” Or there is “Such-and-such has a new book out called (TITLE). Go read it!” When you say good things about people, they notice. ¬† ūüôā
While on Social Media, I try to keep it a 1:5 ratio, if not more. Which means for every one promotional post, I will post at least five other posts about somebody else or something else.

Be Friendly

One thing I will say is this…

Don’t constantly talk about yourself!

Talk about others… in a good way!!! Lift each other up. Promote someone who does something really well. Reciprocity RoCkS!

So get out there and let people know you, know what you are about, and who else you like.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think about this post.
What are some of the steps you’ve taken to get establish?
What are some ways you would like to learn about?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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** Did you enjoy this post? Feel free to LIKE, SHARE, and COMMENT ON THIS POST.
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Marketing Monday – Have a Website

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Why You Should  Have a Website

In my video, 12 Marketing Tips to Marketing Yourself with Little to No Money, my #1 tip is to have a website.

It doesn’t matter if you are pre-published or published. If you are in an industry where you are submitting your work,as we are, people will look you up. You want to be visible and have a good presence. Trust me, chances are you are not the only one with your name.

Here’s a little test:

  • Click here to go to GOOGLE
  • Type in your name
  • Hit enter
  • See what is on the first few pages

Were you there?    Did you see others?

When I did this (after I had a few magazine articles under my belt), I was shocked and began blushing on who was pulled up. ¬†SPOILER ALERT: It wasn’t me. Or a the little green men. Let’s just say, it wasn’t my genre. I wanted people to know me for what I do, not for what someone with the same name does.

“But I’m not published yet…”
I wasn’t either when I started my own website. And you should too, if you haven’t already. It doesn’t have to be big or fancy. In fact, most people get aggravated by the bells and whistles. You have to think of the ones who, like me, live in the boonies and don’t have the best internet connection. It can be slow, people.

You can have as little as one to two pages to start with. Something simple.

“I’m published!!!…”
All the more reason to have a website. You can begin to expand with a ‘books’ or ‘credits’ page. You can be published in a newspaper or magazine and give links back to them. When you have books out, give each of them their own page. Include book trailers, awards, and reviews on their individual pages.

What Should A Website Contain

  • Picture of you
  • Description of you
  • Credits you have pertaining to your field
  • Video
  • Supporting material
  • Extra

Picture:
~Have a good headshot. It doesn’t have to be done professionally. The one on this blog of me is a selfie. Yep, I took it and added a little bit of editing. ¬† ūüėČ ¬† The one on my website that I use for flyers, my son took when he was 13. ¬† ūüėČ ¬† I paid him in gum. ¬†Yes, I paid BIG BUCKS!!!! Hahahahahahhaa!
~SMILE in your photo. ¬†Seriously, don’t be a sourpuss.
~Good lighting always helps… editing does too.

Description:
Use your own judgement and go with what you are comfortable with. If you look over my ‘about me’, you’ll see I have the month I was born in and where. You’ll also read that my papa would tell me stories and started my love of learning.
This is where people will get to ‘know’ you. What do you want to be known for. What are your dreams? Are you involved in anything associated with your field?

Credits:
Don’t sweat this one too much. Do you have a newsletter you publish? Do you contribute to a well-known newsletter or podcast or (something)? Newspaper articles? Magazines? Volunteer reading or teaching art at a local school? All these can build you as a credible person.
You should include any organization you are involved in that is helping you further your field. This can include: SCBWI, 12×12, etc. You should also include any formal classes you have taken. This can include a number of professional artist or classes from the Institute of Children’s Literature (ICL).
Give your BOOKS a shout out when they come out. I have a ‘books’ page and from there you can go to the individual pages.

Video:
Welcome people to your website. Invite them to read about you and explore your other page(s), read your blog, etc. Tell them you are a writer/illustrator and how excited you are to be pursuing your dreams.
By having a video you use sight and sound to make a connection. Again, SMILE while you are taking your video, make it genuine. Let your personality come through.

Supporting Material:
This could go with extra depending on your experience.
You can include links to your favorite websites.
You can have links to material that support your books too, such as teacher guides, and coloring and activity pages.

This is only a suggestion and not a ‘you have to do this’ format. As you gain experience, your website can expand.

Where Can I Have A Website?
There are tons of places you can begin a website.
FREE- WordPress is an option. You don’t have to have a blog to do this. Although, you can tie the two together nicely here. I use them for my blog. ¬† ¬†ūüôā
FREE- Wix & Weebly are a couple of other ones off the top of my head too.
FEE- Yahoo is what I use. I’ve been there for over 10 years and have never had a problem with my website. There is a fee for being at yahoo though.
FEE- Any server will have website service, with varying amounts.

 

Just Remember… ¬† This is you we are talking about. Build your website to suit you, your needs, and your message. By doing this, you will begin to have a foundation to market yourself and the products you produce.

I hope this helps you see how important having a website is.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think about having a website.
How important is it to you?
Are there things you include that I don’t? WHY?
I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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** Did you enjoy this post? Feel free to LIKE, SHARE, and COMMENT ON THIS POST.
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Marketing Monday: 12 Tips to Marketing Yourself With Little to No Money by Tracey M. Cox

 12 Marketing tips-tag-md to Marketing Yourself with Little to No Money

Welcome to the new year! What better way to get going in the right direction than to get a marketing plan going? While some of these tips will be directed to those who are published, pre-published can incorporate them into their marketing and get a jump on making their name known.

I’ve created a video for you to watch. It goes over each of the 12 tips briefly…


Over the next several weeks, I will be going into each of these marketing strategies with a little more depth:

check_mark.svg.med  Website
check_mark.svg.med  Blog
check_mark.svg.med  Books
check_mark.svg.med  Business Cards
check_mark.svg.med  Press Kit
check_mark.svg.med  Talk РWord of Mouth
check_mark.svg.med  Social Media
check_mark.svg.med  Librarians
check_mark.svg.med  Flyers
check_mark.svg.med  Volunteer
check_mark.svg.med  Freebies  n
check_mark.svg.medNewsletter

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
Let me know what you think of my thoughts and suggestions.
Do you have a different marketing tip?
Is there something you would like to see more information on that I haven’t already mentioned?
Let me know by commenting below. I want to be able to help you!

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

*Did you enjoy this post? Feel free to LIKE, SHARE, and COMMENT ON THIS POST.
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