It’s no secret that we’re expected to do much more these days than simply write.
Congratulations! You are now the CEO of your personal brand.
In addition to writing, it’s also your job to create a strong online platform to share your work, reach new readers and discover opportunities.
But the rules have changed! Just like the writing world is always changing, the social media world moves at a ridiculously fast pace. It’s easy to get overwhelmed or even lost by all of the possibilities.
If the thought of adding another social media site to your already long list of things to do as a writer leaves you feeling frazzled, take a deep breath and settle in. These quick tips for using some of the most popular social platforms will help you confidently navigate those murky social media waters and build a writing brand that rocks.
We’ve rounded up some quick tips and ideas for using Facebook, Twitter and Periscope to develop your platform. Stay tuned for Part Two detailing how to build your personal brand using LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat!
While Facebook may be the place Aunt Sally comments on all of your photos and status updates (Thanks, Aunt Sally), it’s also emerged as a bustling social network to build community and meet fellow writers.
Join and participate in relevant Facebook groups for writers
One of the best ways to use Facebook as a writer is by joining relevant groups and communities. Participating in Facebook groups is a great way to meet and network with fellow writers, share resources, gather inspiration and even findnew assignments and writing projects.
Use Facebook to help find inspiration and sources
Your Facebook experience can be as pleasant and interesting as you choose to make it. By unfollowing people who no longer interest you and instead following publications and brands you love, your Facebook newsfeed can become a hotbed for writing inspiration.
Similarly, your Facebook network can help out when you’re in a bind. On deadline and need a last-minute source to interview or a quick quote for a piece? Facebook to the rescue!
Consider posting your sourcing needs in one of the active Facebook groups you’re part of and be amazed at the speed in which you’ll discover potential sources or interviewees.
Let your personal network in on what you’re doing
We tend to associate Facebook with being the social media site we use to share personal photos and stories and to keep in touch with family and friends. However, you never know when your personal life and professional life may have some crossover.
When I quit my job to take my business full time, I began sharing my “Becoming CEO” blog posts on my personal Facebook page. I left the privacy setting for those specific posts open to the public and was amazed at the reach of the posts and the number of people who weren’t my friends who began “following” my personal page.
Several interesting business opportunities have popped up after choosing to share my professional life with my personal network.
This fast-paced social media site is the place to share your work, commiserate with fellow writers in real time and find inspiration for future writing projects.
Schedule your tweets ahead of time
Every time you craft a new tweet promoting a blog post or article you’ve written, create two or three different versions of that tweet and save them to a spreadsheet or Word document. Before you know it, you’ll have a master list of all the tweets you’ve written to promote your work.
One day each week, sit down with that document and schedule out at least three tweets a day for the next week. Be sure to share both your new content, as well as re-sharing older evergreen content; consider the fact that Twitter moves at a fast clip and just because you tweeted a post three months ago doesn’t mean your following necessarily saw it then.
Make friends and share the love using a “Notice Me” list
Promoting your own work on Twitter is important, but so is being an active part of the Twitter community. In between those tweets sharing your latest blog post or article, be sure to interact with those you follow and share their work, as well.
My favorite way to find great content to share is by monitoring my “Notice Me” list. It’s a curated list of bloggers, writers and entrepreneurs I admire who create great content and who I’d like to make part of my network.
I add these folks to a private Twitter list and check that feed regularly to find interesting content to share and people to chat with on Twitter. Twitter moves quickly and can be daunting, so curating a list of the people you actually want to hear from can help you save time and be more effective.
Step in front of the camera and give your audience a glimpse into your writing life through a live Periscope broadcast. The livestreaming app is gaining popularity, but if you start now, you’ll get in the game early.
Live broadcast your next writing session
When international yoga teacher Kino MacGregor sat down to work on her upcoming book, she flipped on Periscope and let her community in on the action. She opened the broadcast by talking about the book and her writing process and then simply left the camera on as she typed away.
Thousands of people tuned in live and watched the replay, leaving comments of encouragement, doling out Periscope hearts, and watching as Kino wrote.
If you choose to live broadcast a writing session, think of Periscope as your accountability partner; you may feel more motivated to stay focused when the camera is on.
Share your writing progress with your community on a regular basis
If you’re not interested in live broadcasting your writing sessions (Let’s be honest: No one needs to see my signature PJs-and-messy-hair writing look), consider Periscoping weekly or monthly to update your community on your latest projects and progress.
The good news? Periscope is connected to Twitter, so when you start a broadcast, it sends a tweet to your followers that you’re live, giving your video more reach.
Periscope broadcasts don’t need to be super long to be effective; jumping on for five or 10 minutes is a great way to give your network a visual peek behind the scenes of you and your latest projects.