Marketing 101 by: #TMCProductions

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MARKETING 101

Class is in session!

I am in the process of creating an intensive course for how to market. In the process, I will be sharing tidbits to help those of you along your journey to be able to market yourself and your products (business) better.

Do you need to market?

Well, do you own your own business? If you answer yes, then you do! Even if you have big businesses backing you or your products, the marketing that is done in your favor has gone down in recent years.

What do you need to do?

How to get started?

Have you looked around the internet lately? I know I see ads all over the place. So how to compete with what’s already out there? Keep coming back to read my Marketing Monday posts. I will start with the basics and gradually help guide you through cross-posting, branding, and more.

And yes, I know I started talking about this earlier, but things change… constantly. I will be offering the most up to date information I have

Leave me a comment:

Are you interested in what I have to say?
Do you have something you would like to see me touch on?
What is your favorite social media outlet?

Until next time…
Have fun reading!

~t


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#ThinkingThursday – How to Get Your Name Out There

4How To Get Your Name Out There

Marketing 101.1

The first thing I ask any client of mine is WHO are you? WHAT do you want to be known for? Some people know right off the bat. Others are still searching. Either way, it’s fine. Branding yourself or your products can evolve over time. But you need to have some direction.

Marketing 101.2

The second step is to google yourself or the name you want to be known as. A simple search will show you who your competition is with your name. You may be surprised as to what is out there. Sometimes it’s good, other times it can be something you definitely want to distance yourself from. Ultimately you need to see how you can create a unique image for you.

My third step is to search hashtags.

  • What can be unique to you?
    You’ll want something that is rarely used or hasn’t been used at all. Something that people will begin to associate with you. It can be your name. It can be a product you offer. Or, if you are like me, it can be a company you are under.
  • What can you incorporate that has a following?
    There are TONS of hashtags out there. Whatever industry you are in there are hashtags. By looking at others in your industry, you’ll see what they use. Really take notice of the hashtags that reappear over and over. THOSE are the ones you need to use. By using the repetitive ones, you’ll be included in a social media community circle.

Marketing 101.3

Once you know what you want to be known for and what you can use to be known as you can figure out HOW you want to begin marketing.

Social media outlets are great for this. You don’t have to buy ads to market. Although buying ads will ensure a broader range of people who see your post. The thing I don’t like about this is how many of those who see it really click through??? If you don’t know me from a hill of beans, WHY would you click on my ad? If you do buy ads, make sure to do some research and really know how to punch them up. You’ll need to stand apart from all the other ads out there.

I’ve chosen to go the ad-less route so far. Most of the people who see my posts know me, they know what I’m going through, what I’m doing, what I’m trying to accomplish. Most root me on. 😀 I try to be organic (even with my schedule posts) and be transparent. You can post on social media for free. Which is a big check mark for me. The problem with freebies is you will have to build your audience. Do not expect a tick up on your website or people buying your products left and right overnight. It takes time to build an audience. You have to show them you know your stuff. You have to let them know you. If you come across as an arrogant, crappy person, you won’t have very many people who are loyal. BUT if you are nice, try to help, pay it forward when you can, and be honest with people, people will want to associate themselves with you.

And trust me, you cannot fake that last line!
Over time, people will see you for what you truly are!

You will have to decide for yourself which social media outlets work for you. Not everyone likes Twitter or Facebook or Pinterest or LinkedIn or whatever else you look into. I would suggest, however, to try them. TRULY try them. Give yourself a time limit and an honest try on the outlet to see if you like it. To be honest, I hated Twitter when I first started out on it. But after using it, and participating in chats and contests, I actually like it now. Go figure! *HA!*

Marketing 101.4

Make sure you post regularly. Transparency is great, but people need to hear from you often. Also, the more you post, the higher your SEO (search engine optimization) will be when people look for you on the interweebs. The search engines LOVE new content. They also love meta tags. If you blog and your server offers categories and/or tags, USE THEM!!! If you upload videos to YouTube… USE THE TAGS!!! Pinterest… ADD DESCRIPTION WITH COMMAS!!! Each of these creates Meta Tags which run in the background. The public doesn’t see them, but the search engines do!

By posting regularly, people will begin to notice your posts. They will also notice when you don’t post. Trust me on this. Posting regularly gives you accountability on whatever you are trying to be known for.

You’re busy, right. Posting throughout the day is too demanding. I get that. I get that a lot! I schedule my posts. There are plenty of companies out there who you can use to schedule. Some are free and some charge. Then you can take one afternoon and create enough posts to look busy on your chosen outlets for the week or two weeks or longer.

The main thing I want to stress about getting your name out there is to do it, do it as honest as you can, and do it consistently.

How do you get your name out there?
What are your favorite social media outlets to post on?

Until next time…
Happy writing!
~t


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#TipTuesday – Staying on Track!

2

Staying on Track!

calendar

Many people get overwhelmed when they are marketing their business. Good grief! I know I do!!! One thing I’ve learned to do is “calendaring” or “bullet journaling”. I know several people who do this successfully. To be honest, if I didn’t do this, I wouldn’t get everything done. It’s impossible to keep up with everything.

I absolutely love my calendar and open it up every time I begin to write a blog post, schedule a tweet or Facebook post, or even update a website. Everything is on my calendar.

I use an excel spreadsheet *you’re surprised, right* to layout my monthly calendars. I break them down into different days and have a “TO DO” column. The TO DO list is great for the things I do daily or regularly. Then I list things on the individual days. Like I blog regularly, but then I will post on which days for that week. Once I have completed that task, I’ll highlight that cell in green. LOTS of green boxes makes me happy.   🙂

I wanted to give you all some help and have a FREE DOWNLOAD of my calendar setup.

Now you can go in and plug in the correct month and days. Then start penciling in the things you want to accomplish every day.

I also have a “TIME” column below my calendar for the times I want to schedule certain posts. Like at 8:00 am I have KidLit TV posts. At 5:30 pm I’ll have another KidLit TV post. I have certain posts for my own marketing that go out at 9:00 am, 1 pm, and 6:30 pm. Then I have posts for South Georgia Writers Guild and others that I market for. If I didn’t have my time column and my daily reminder, I would easily get things mixed up or miss them entirely.

I hope this helps some of you keep track of your marketing. Let me know if you try this! Or do you have a different way of keeping things on track? I love to see how others do things too.

Until next time…
Happy writing!
~t


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#MarketingMonday – Reciprocity

1

#MarketingMonday – Reciprocity

Marketing can be daunting to say the least. I mean who wants to sit there and feel like they are bashing others over the head saying things like: “Buy my (insert product)!” “Watch this video!” “Have you seen this?” and yadda yadda on and on. No one, that’s who! It’s the down side of putting your products and yourself out there.

People ain’t got time for all that stuff!

aintnobodygottime

So what can you do? One thing I have found more beneficial than anything else is RECIPROCITY! Or promoting others.

Reciprocity:   a social norm of responding to a positive action with another positive action, rewarding kind action

Yes, talk about other people in your field. Let them know what they say matters. Let them know that you find their post intriguing. Let them know that you think they are important in your field.

HOW can you do this?

  • LIKE what they say.
  • COMMENT on their posts. Ya know, be interactive on social media. ***cough, cough. SOCIAL-IZE! cough, cough***
  • REBLOG, RETWEET, SHARE what they have to say. Spread the word! Give them some link-y love!!!

love-link

As you do this you will accomplish several things:

  • Getting great content out into the world.
  • Getting your name noticed by the poster. They notice who does this… trust me!
  • Having your followers trust you for great content.
  • Building your brand.

And guess what happens when you do this regularly??? People will start LIKING your posts. They will start COMMENTING on your posts. They will start SHARING, REBLOGGING, and RETWEETING what you have to say. You will see it come full-circle. Ya know, the whole “what goes around, comes around” kind of thing.  😉   Will it happen over night? No. Building trust and loyalty takes time. You will have to work at it. But it will happen!

There are several ways to find great content too…

  1. READ. Do a search and see what you can find.
  2. FOLLOW others on the interweebs. See what they have to say!
  3. SIGN UP for blog post notifications. This way you will be able to read posts and easily share what you will.
  4. LOOK at what is trending. See what is popular in your area.

I hope this gives you some ideas on how to begin to market yourself (and others).

Until next time…
Have fun writing!
~t


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Tuesday Tip: 91 Weedy Weak Words to YANK from Your Story

weedyweakwords (1)

91 Weedy Weak Words to
YANK from Your Story

We’ve all heard the advice to SHOW not TELL with our writing.  BUT… How can you do it? What do you look for? Why does it really matter?

I like to use the example of  SHOWING to that of GARDENING.

weed.01WHY DOES IT REALLY MATTER?weed.01

Have you ever started gardening. You stake out a space and prepare the earth. You make sure everything is just so. We do this with our writing too. We have our laptops/notepads handy. We have read books, taken classes, attended conferences, joined critique groups… everything to get our space ready to write.

Then we plant. But do you stop there? NO. You water. You fertilize. You talk to your budding little sprouts. Same for our writing. We continue to learn and write and grow. And yes, I talk to my characters too. :p

Do you stop there though? I hope not. The grass will grow up. Weeds will also pop through the soil. If you’re not careful, it will begin to choke out the plants you have so tenderly grown. With our writing we can become lazy too. We can fall on words that say what mean, but don’t convey what we want to our readers. These are our weedy, weak words. They will choke out our story line, making our reader’s minds wander and potentially leave the story.

We do all this to have a beautiful flower bed. Or delicious fruits and veggies. OR to have a great story that one day will be published.

weed.02WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR?weed.02

Weeds can be tricky. Vines will creep and wind around a plant. Stickers will blend in with a plant’s leaf shape. SHOOT! Some weeds are actually pretty. You have to keep a sharp eye out, move some leaves around, and look in between spaces. With our writing those weedy words can be tricky too. They can hide behind well thought out sentences and characters. They can act like they are helping a verb, but they are really dragging down the text, giving your readers a vague description of what is really happening.

HINT:   A lot of weedy words end in “-ly”. You know… quickly, softly, hardly.   😉

weed.04HOW CAN YOU DO IT?weed.04

So what to do? What to do? If you have a garden, mow the grass. Get on your hands and knees and pull those dang weeds. Yes, get down in the dirt. Get dirty. Get sweaty. Yank and pull those over-grown nuisances out! Same with our writing. Really dissect your story, every paragraph, each sentence. Once again, we have to get down and dirty. Really dig into our writing and wrestle those buggers out!

But never fear. You CAN do this! Think of really wanting your reader to see how your character is acting. Here’s a great example:

He slowly walked to the door.
vs
He trudged to the door.
He crept to the door.

He quickly ran to the door.
vs
He zipped to the door.
He flew to the door.

See? The bottom two sentences give clear, crisp details of what your character is doing. Whereas the first sentences… well, who knows? To help you out, I’m attaching a word doc you can download that has 91 weedy words/phrases that you can almost always eliminate from your story and make it more vibrant for your readers minds.

WEEDY WEAK WORDS LIST

Here’s to no more weedy words!

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
What do you do to help improve your writing?
Do you know of any more weedy words to add to the list?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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Marketing Monday – NEW Writing Contest… #FicFest

#FicFest

Marketing Monday –
NEW Writing Contest…
#FicFest

There’s a NEW Writing Contest on the horizon. AND this one is for everyone. When I say everyone, I mean… E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E!

Picture Books… check_mark.svg.med

Mid Grade…        check_mark.svg.med

Young Adult…   check_mark.svg.med

Adult…                check_mark.svg.med

It’s called #FicFest. It’s getting some shout outs across social media.

What is #FicFest?

#FicFest is an online writer’s contest which helps put manuscripts in front of literary agents. This contest, unlike most, is open to manuscripts in ALL genres (including those usually excluded such as Paranormal Romance or Erotica) in the categories of Picture Book, Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult.

#FicFest mentors are structured into fifteen (15) teams. Each category that I listed has three teams. Each team is comprised of a team leader, and two (2) team members. Once the submissions open, each team will choose three (3) finalist manuscripts and one (1) alternate manuscript to advance to the agent round. This means that an equal number of manuscripts for each category will move to the agent round, guaranteeing that one category does NOT overpower another when it comes time for the agents.

45 manuscripts total move to the agent round, with 15 manuscripts being held as alternates in case one of the main finalists drops out of the contest for any reason. This is one of the things we stress in promoting #FicFest because most contests are overrun with Young Adult. In many contests, they may advance 40 manuscripts to the agent round, but the problem lies in the fact that 30 of that 40 are all Young Adult. That won’t happen with #FicFest.

Nine manuscripts from each category will make their appearance in the agent round. No more, no less. NINE each. Let me stress this one more time. In the agent round, you will have 9 Picture Books, 9 Middle Grade, 9 Young Adult, 9 New Adult, and 9 Adult. Everyone gets a fair chance.

IMPORTANT DATES:

Have I got your attention now???

Tiffany Hoffmann is the brains behind this contest. All I can say is… WOW! She is a great leader and I can’t wait to see the entries.  😀  Did I mention I’m a #FicFest PB Mentor!!!!

Keep a look out on her website  and blog  for updates, the AGENT ANNOUNCEMENT, and so much more!

Here are some SAVE THE DATE dates to be on the look out for:

  • March 20, 2016 @ 12:00 PM EST
    Guidelines & Theme Reveal
    (Host Blog)
  • March 27, 2016 @ 7:00 PM EST
    Meet the Team Leads & Their Members!
    (Team Lead Blogs & Host Blog)
  • April 3, 2016 @ 6:00 PM EST
    Agent List Announced
    (Host Blog)
  • April 17, 2016 @ 7:00 PM EST – 10:00 PM EST
    Q & A with Team Leads & Host
    (Twitter – Using #FicFest)
  • April 24, 2016 @ 12:00 AM EST – April 25, 2016 @ 11:59 PM EST
    SUBMISSION
  • April 26, 2016 – May 3, 2016
    Teams will chose their finalists/alternate
  • May 4, 2016 @ 10:00 AM EST
    Finalists/Alternate Reveal
    (Team Leads Blogs)
  • May 5, 2016 – June 30, 2016
    Revisions
  • July 8, 2016 @ 12:00 AM EST – July 14, 2014 @ 11:59 PM EST
    Agent Round

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
What do you think about #FicFest?
Are YOU planning to enter?
If you are, which category will yours be?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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Marketing… Going Out On a Limb

outonalimb

Marketing…
Going Out On a Limb

Getting our name out there is probably one of the hardest things you face as a small business. There are bigger entities out there, who have been in business longer, have more resources, and have their brand everywhere. So what can you do to compete? Well there are several things, really…

  1. Meet others in your industry.
    Talk to people. Get to know them as people, not just another person who writes what you write, draws like you draw, knows so-and-so, or works with such-and-such. While getting to know other people, they will get to know you. Slowly, you build up a network and share helpful tips and encourage each other.
  2. Talk to locals.
    Get to know the people who live in your community. There will be people who honestly wants to know you, what you do, and how you do it. You will find people who will want to support you. You will also find people who could care less too.
  3. Check out websites and blogs.
    See what others are doing. Leave a positive comment. If it’s a product, leave a review (hopefully positive). Tell others about what interests you. Share the knowledge kind of thing.
  4. Think outside of the box.
    Wonder “What If…” with your marketing. What if I approached honey dealers with my book about bees. Or What If I team up with the local bakery for birthday gift baskets? What If…

While doing all this, people will begin to ‘see’ you. Maybe follow you online. Maybe check out your products and services. Maybe leave comments on your blog. Maybe, just maybe, start talking about you to others.

I try to do these things. Meeting other writers, talking about other endeavors that could be explored. Reading blogs, commenting, and sharing content. I don’t only read writer and illustrators blogs… I read agent and editor blogs, book reviewer blogs, librarian blogs, mom blogs, and on and on. Do I comment on all of them. No. Do I share all of them. No. But I subscribe to a lot of these for email updates. I take time every day to read posts and share the ones that I really like.

I can see a difference in the traffic to this blog and my website. Hopefully they will spill over to sales, book signings, parties, and school visits.

:::LEAVE ME A COMMENT:::
What things do you do to go out on a limb?
Do you talk to people who work closely with your industry?
Do you venture out and try out several things? Like what?
Or do you stick to tried and true things? What are they?

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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