31 Day Author Platform Challenge Day 24: “TIL” video

“TIL” = Today I Learned

image from TIL facebook page

You know something others don’t. Maybe it’s a hack on scrambling eggs, a cool Instagram trick, or fixing a leak. Perhaps you just learned it from someone else’s video. Irrelevant.

Today, Day 24 of the 31 Day Author Platform Challenge, you are going to share that learning. Via video! (You need to get more comfortable in video. It’s the future!) And “TIL” is all the rage right now, so let’s hop on board.

You don’t have to be on camera in your TIL vid if you don’t want. I’m not in mine!

My recent key learning is a time saver that lets you type in a few letters and have your pc fill in the rest. It’s called a “macro.” It’s hugely helpful for long words and phrases you use over and over.

Impress your friends (or at least your kids) by creating a custom macro!

What this video shows is how to make the macro by going to your Mac, clicking the Apple logo very top left, then clicking System Settings, scrolling down to Keyboard towards bottom left column, then clicking Keyboard Shortcuts Text replacements and adding in what you want to replace… Sure, I could have just written it out, but isn’t it so much easier in video?

Now, with the macro, anytime I type letters “apc” in a row it automatically types ’31-Day Author Platform Challenge’ for me. Try it for yourself creating any shortcut you want–your home address, email address, whatever you find tedious. Impress your kids by telling them you “created a macro”!

If you don’t know how to record your computer screen (I didn’t until this video!) I can help you there too. This link from PC Mag has step-by-step instructions for both Mac and pc.

Create your own TIL with literally anything. Maybe it’s that you learned where your keys are hiding. Or how to calm yourself when you can’t find them. Or how to call a locksmith at midnight.

Refreshers on creating great video content are on Day 16 and Day 19. For today, I have specific advice:

  • Write a script or outline first. Don’t wing it.
  • Rehearse what you are going to say based on what you wrote. It’s OK to ad lib, as long as you know where yo are headed. Think it through in your head.
  • Practice out loud at least three times until you feel you are ready. (Remember today’s “don’t wing it” rule?)
  • Only THEN should you hit RECORD. But don’t record more than three takes. Save all of them.

Why stop at three takes? Acting advice says more than three takes on vids like these will frustrate you and make you tense, and therefore make you–and the video–come across stale. That’s why you practice BEFORE hitting record.

Have some fun with it!

Tag #31DayAuthorPlatformChallenge so we can see it!

[Aaaand..have you followed 10 new people yet?]

“31 Day Author Platform Challenge” Prep

Getting ready

Well hi! Looks like you heard about the 31 Day Author Platform Challenge, and decided to go for it. We start tomorrow (November 1st)!

First off, welcome! I’m impressed and proud of you. Second, to be sure you start out on the right foot, let’s take a few minutes to prepare.

Prep for the 31 Day Author Platform Challenge:

Grab a fresh new notebook. Create an ongoing “31-Day Author Platform Challenge To Do List.” You can also create an e-version via a new Word Doc, or new To Do list on your phone (the Notes or Keep apps work well). I like having a physical book I can see and touch, and writing down the to-dos by hands helps my brain remember better. But you do you. The point is you’ll want ONE separate and central place to keep track of all your thoughts, notes, and To Dos this month–of which there may be many!

Got a book ready? Label your official “31 Day Author Platform Challenge To Do List” now. Keep it within reach of wherever you spend most of your online time. Any daily task you don’t need to tackle because you’ve already done it (you superstar you), you can come back to this list and pick something to work on. Any day you complete in a flash or any time you have a few extra minutes, come back to this list.

Note on Author Branding

I’ve made an assumption that you not only KNOW what an author brand is, but that you HAVE or are WORKING ON one. I’m not defining or going into detail on what an author brand means here because that’s a whole different can o’ worms. But to recap:

  • When I talk about your personal brand, I am referring to how you present yourself to and are seen by the public, the impression you make on readers, agents, editors, fellow writers/artists, and anyone else paying attention. Scribe Media describes it this way: “Book positioning tells someone why your book is the right book for them. Author branding tells someone why they should read your book, as opposed to anyone else’s.” I’d add to it by saying it tells people why to follow you vs someone else.
  • I trust you have already thought about how you are presenting your unique qualities. I trust you’ve figured out what “brands” you as a person, as a writer, or artist. (To not confuse your brand with your image, scroll halfway down this blog post: https://bitsykemper.com/2016/03/10/creating-an-author-platform/.)
  • If you DON’T have an author brand, or haven’t given it a thought, now is the time! Everything we do in the platform challenge will be supporting it. But if yours isn’t defined yet, don’t panic and bail. What we’re doing in these 31 days can help you figure out and hone your brand. You’ll be better prepared when you’re ready to define it when we’re done.
  • For help on creating an author brand, find great posts by Rocket Expansion, NY Book Editors, and PW herehere, and here.


Get a new, dedicated notebook to capture a Platform Challenge To Do list. Refer to the To Do List and complete any item on list when you have an easy day or free time. Check out the links above if you need a refresher on what “author brand” means. Don’t use the lack of a solid author brand as an excuse to bail on the challenge (nice try, though).

I’m excited to have you on board. I hope you root for the rest of us as we will be rooting for you! Drop your social media handles here in the comments so we can follow each other.

And please subscribe to this blog (up top, right column on desktop, below on your phone) to be sure you get each challenge sent to you.

Let’s get platforming! 🙂