31 Day Author Platform Challenge Day 22: Let Me In

Getting Personal

Today we’re getting personal.

The author platform task is: Create a short-ish blog or FB post sharing a personal story.

There are tons of experts that say getting personal makes you more likable and draws readers/followers in. (They also caution against sharing too much.) You’ve been spending all this time with your readers and followers, let’s allow them in a little more. Lots of ways to do that without posting your grocery list. Share insight into why you are a writer (is it in your heart?), what makes you want to write (thinking about the reader?), what makes your day as an author (fan mail!), or even what you hate about being an author (“oh you write children’s books, how cute”).

Maybe it’s a mom moment you’d like to share, frustrating or fun, like:

In that one, I had the chance to tack on another tweet and ask moms if they felt my pain, but didn’t think of it at the time. Look for chances to ask followers why they in turn do in that scenario. Ask them to reply. Engage with them (every one of them) when they do.

Use this task as an opp to break out of the mold and do something different today. At a minimum, use the tweet to add additional commentary as you post the link to the blog you just wrote.

It doesn’t have to be book related! Shed some insight into who you are so people feel like they now you (there’s plenty of stuff you can recycle from your bio page, right?). Suggestions:

  • A story about your kids or your own childhood
  • A funny anecdote (like when I wore my pants and yes shirt inside out)
  • A thought-provoking observation (“Have you noticed…”)
  • A personal goal you’re working towards
  • A challenge that you’re facing
  • A milestone reached
  • A lesson learned
  • A small thing you’re grateful for, like cold pizza for breakfast (maybe that’s just me)

Recap: Share a personal story. End with request to hear followers’ stories. Converse with them (all) when they reply.

[Oh, and before I forget, have you followed 10 new people yet?]

31 Day Author Platform Challenge Day 19: Being Real

Yes, another video!

[Before we talk video, have you followed 10 new people yet?]

You’ve been thinking about what it might be to be n camera.

Today, Day 19, I insist you have some fun creating a “My view today” video. And by that I mean, a 10-25 second video of what you are looking at, at the moment. That’s it, that’s all it’s going to be. Sort of like a BeReal, if you know what that is.

Maybe your view is your laptop, or messy desk, a pile of laundry, a sunny day, rainy afternoon, or car that needs a wash. Let us see the world from your eyes. Shed some light into your day. Let people get to know you!

My (messy) office

I’m a nut about privacy, so be sure there’s nothing in the shot or background that is too identifying, such as mail on the table with your address, your license plate, etc.

The best part is this relieves you of having to be on camera!

Of course if you like, you can turn it to selfie mode and wave hello or whatever. You can station the camera so you’re able to walk around and explain your surroundings. If you want a refresher on making the camera love you, have a look here: https://bitsykemper.com/zoom/

I found some more great general tips on making great video content for social media here.

Please:

  • Please help motion-sick-prone peeps like me by NOT shooting video while you’re walking around, though.
  • Avoid bumping the camera up and down or moving it too quickly in any direction. Even physically turning the camera around to face the other direction is quease-inducing–use the built-in camera function to instantly change views.
  • Add text so people with sound turned off know what’s going on. (You’ll notice I haven’t gotten around to doing that on mine!)
  • At the end, ask followers what THEY see at the moment (or for their version of whatever you are doing). Ask for some insight into their days and lives. (Always look for ways to engage.)
  • Practice a few times until you get the hang of it. No one needs to know how many takes it took you to get this 10-second shot!

Looking forward to seeing you! (Or not, lol)

31 Day Author Platform Challenge Day 17: Why Not Ask?

Go ahead, ask already!

On Day 17, let’s ask your followers an open-answered question (as in, not one that can be answered with a Yes or No).

Why not ask a question? What an opportunity to authentically engage with your audience! The question can be anything, as long as it’s genuine. The point is to start a conversation that will involve as many followers, and ideally RTs, as possible.

The truth is, we talk a lot. We don’t LISTEN a lot.

Wouldn’t it be great if more people asked questions not to give themselves a chance to talk, but so that they gave themselves a chance to listen? To connect instead of monologue?

Don’t listen to respond. Listen to hear.”

(to paraphrase Steve Covey)

Pick a question you are interested in talking about!

Rework the question to best suit each of your social media outlets. I’d word a question on my FB profile page differently than I’d word it on my FB author page, even if I was asking the same thing, because my profile is mostly family and closer friends, while my page is newer and feels more formal. For Twitter, I don’t know most of them personally so it’s going to be worded even more different than those two. On Insta I’d probably be a little sillier, given my audience. LinkedIn will have a professional feel. YouTube would be a video. (You see what I mean.)

Conversations are the best for creating engagement! Since the topic is of your choice, you direct where it goes, and you end it when it’s over. (If only all public conversations could be so easy, lol.)

This is an easy one because there is no prettying up (like Day 14). It’s a simple text post. Yes, you’ll need to go to each outlet one at a time, but no graphics are necessary. You are always welcome to add some, though.

Author Lisa Yee is really good with this on FB. Here are some recent and random examples of some I saw on Twitter.

Odds are you’ll want to follow anyone that replies and RTs. Bonus: potential new followers!

Recap: Pick an open-ended Q to ask, and cross-post variations of it.