[Before we start, have you followed 10 new people yet?]
Welcome to Day 2! How did yesterday go? Learn anything surprising about your author brand, or lack thereof? It’s okay to find we’re not at the very top of your game. With busy lives we tend to be stuck in survivor mode and don’t think about long-term goals or big-picture stuff. That’s one of the reasons I want to do this challenge—to stop placing band-aids and start fixing those broken bones. Heck, to start avoiding injury!
I hope yesterday gave you a better sense of where you stand, and recommits you to sustaining a consistent image. The (positive!) consistent image is what will help us grow.
Today we lay the groundwork by making sure we have accounts for some apps that will make our next few weeks easier.
It’s a total drag to be on a roll only to find out you have to create a new account or download a new app. So we’re taking care of that today, with the apps we’ll be using the most.
You’ll be signing up for any new social media you’re interested in, for the apps you need to create pdfs/gifs/videos/memes and cool posts, and look into automation tools to make your life easier.
New social media accounts:
First up are the new accounts you want to start using (if there are any). Spend a few minutes today opening those accounts, picking a handle, setting up a profile and bio, etc. Just create the account. Creating a website? Maybe you need a domain name and you can secure that today, or maybe a new Goodreads Author Page is on your ToDo list. No need to post anything, or broadcast the new account. Simply sign up.
Graphic design help:
Second, since visuals get more attention in rankings, increase the amount of time people spend looking at it, and let the post stand out more, we will be making several meme-type posts this month. (“Meme” is just a fancy way of saying a post that has a background with words and images/photos/video.) I want to be sure you have a way to do that.
Look into ways that make sense for you. Make sure you already have accounts in place to make gifs and memes, like Canva, Book Brush, Instagram, Imgflip, GiphyAdobe, newer sites like Venngage, or the ol’ PowerPoint. Git yer tail a-movin’ and look into them, then sign up for a few that you like. You need at least one.
- Most services have a 30-day trial to take for a spin. Starting with free gives you the option to upgrade to the paid version later, if you find you need it.
- As an aside, if you are a published author and haven’t seen or used Book Brush yet, run, don’t walk to bookbrush.com. I am not getting paid to say this–I’m simply floored at their services. They have hundreds and hundreds of templates that let you pop in your book cover to all sorts of scenarios. Templated range from seeing someone reading YOUR BOOK on the beach to your book being tucked into someone’s Christmas stocking. Super cool, and easy. Literally drag and drop. I’m still on the free trial until a few months before my book comes out.
- Apps like BookBrush and Canva have free templates specifically designed for each different platform. Other bennies in paid version like logo creation or nicer graphics. Those two are my personal top go-tos for post creation. I suggest you sign up for both free versions and play around. Total time suck but fun!
Third, you need an automation tool. It does several things. It will let you create several posts/memes ahead of time and will automatically post them on the dates and times you schedule. It’ll also get your post out across all your platforms simultaneously, so you don’t have to go to each account separately, thus saving you time.
Hootsuite used to be the gold standard, but they charge now, so I abandoned ship. I was using the free version of Buffer which maxes out at three platforms but hey that’s still a time saver. I will also admit it’s not foolproof as I never figured it out why it won’t connect to my Insta. Right now I pay for Canva, which includes a scheduler. It’s the one I use the most since I don’t have to save the meme or exit the app/webpage, I schedule directly from there.
If you know of a good free version of schedulers like Sprout Social, Postify, Social Omph, etc, let us know in the comments!
Check with your web host too. If your host can do it for you, you might not even need a scheduler. I noticed WordPress works with Anchor podcast, for example, and will automatically post an audio version of your blog post to your Anchor channel. (Yes, it is on my To Do list!) It also will post a highlight of your new posts on almost any social media you connect to it. Insta lets you share any Insta post you create with other platforms (click the three dots on top right and click “Share to…”).
But having one place that does it all is great. Look into it!
If you’re already set on all accounts:
If you already had all the above completed, give yourself a gold star! For you, today’s task is to follow 5-10 new people in BOTH your SECOND and THIRD favorite platforms. (Thought you’d skate today, huh? Not on my watch! lol)
Make sure each social media account you have references all the other social media accounts you have–at least to the best of your ability.
Recap in four parts: Set up any new social media accounts you are interested in. Sign up for services that offer (free) graphic design help. Find and sign up for a (free) automation tool. Make sure each of your current accounts references your other social media accounts, including website (if you’re proud of it).
Tomorrow we work on our website, so if you have always wanted to create one, grab that domain name and host and start now, so you’re ready!