How To Build Your Writer Platform
Chances are you have been told you need a writer platform. It’s seen as common sense: in the online age, writers are expected to do at least SOME marketing themselves. Having a writer platform of your own then is an obvious advantage.
But I’m seeing discussion online about social media and how ONLY ‘privileged’ writers – such as those who were TV celebs first – can build a large and engaged online platform.
Hell to the no! You CAN build a platform for your writing. Here’s how … Ready? Then let’s go!
1) Be authentic
First things first, why listen to me?? I’m one of the ‘media elite’ who must have had doors opened for me, right?
NOPE!!! I was as underprivileged a writer as you could get. I had …
- No money
- No support
- Was a teen single mum
- Lived in the middle of nowhere
- Battling severe mental health issues
- Later I’d get cancer too
In short, I was a RANK OUTSIDER. I was a literal nobody.
Yet I managed to carve a place for myself in the industry. The very existence of this site – and everything I have done – is a result of deciding to go ‘all in’ and build a following online. You can do the same. Sure it won’t be easy, but things worth doing rarely are.
2) Shift your mindset
There’s an enduring belief amongst writers that social media success is somehow magic, or at least accidental. It is NOT.
We all have access to tools FOR FREE that we can exploit to get our stuff out there & in front of people.
So, first things first we need a change of MINDSET, ie. Instead of ‘why me??’, THINK: “why NOT me?”
This tiny shift makes us grab the positive instead of railing against the negative. (Yes it sounds like woo-woo yet I’ve never felt locked out & BOOM – I get work from my platform. Funny that).
3) Understand how social media actually works
Unfortunately, most writers don’t understand HOW to use these tools to the best of their ability. This means they end up resorting to ‘book spam’. This means dropping Amazon links in Facebook groups, copying & pasting tweets, sending blanket emails etc. We’ve all seen these posts and skim over them, because they’re BORING.
Screenwriters may not be much better. They may copy and paste statuses or emails and irritate people into unfriending or blocking them. They may then resort to what I call ‘SM WOE’. This is when they write angry blogs and emails and threads about being ‘locked out’ of the industry.
We need to understand how social media actually works instead of how we THINK it works! More, after the pic.
You DONT need a gazillion followers, you need an ENGAGED following
Yes, really! There are users online with 500-2K followers who are super-engaged. Equally, there are those with 500K followers who get no engagement whatsoever.
Any publisher, producer or agent worth their salt is interested in ENGAGEMENT, not numbers.
I have had many great convos over the years with industry pros about engagement, not numbers.
(Psssst – This can be a handy metric too! If they ONLY care about numbers?? Then they’re clueless/worth avoiding).
4) Think about HOW you engage online
Also, HOW we engage is optimum. Creating allies via social media – those that will cheerlead for us **even if they don’t actually consume our work themselves** – is the key. We want others to recommend us and pass the message on.
How we relate to our following then is very important. Authenticity is the top concern … being approachable or welcoming is important, but so is ASKING YOUR FOLLOWING to engage!!
This can be as simple as asking for a retweet or something a little more like running a giveaway.
Giveaways can be expensive with postage costs so high right now. So you could always run a giveaway that’s DIGITAL – ie. an ebook or an experience such as zooming with the lucky winner or book club.
5) Explore digital freebie assets
Alternatively, you can have digital assets that bring people TO your sites for some reason.
In the case of B2W there’s a whole page of digital assets writers can download for free RIGHT HERE.
This is because I really do want to help writers and ‘pay it forward’ … but it’s not all philanthropic!
Like everyone else, I have bills and need to make a living, so these free resources help me too. I want others to go, ‘Hey I like this free stuff. Lucy’s all right, maybe I will try one of her courses.’ BOOM!
But you don’t have to be an educator like B2W to benefit from freebie assets.
Fiction writers can do similar stuff if they want to. Lots of us give away free ebooks on our websites to hook in potential readers like I do here with The Lynmouth stories.
I have LOST COUNT of the number of readers who’ve told me they’ve found my books and my socials via that free ebook. It really works and is only a half-hour coffee break read.
You don’t have to be an author to benefit from free assets either!!!
Screenwriters can also utilise this powerful avenue. You could write a short story version of your screenplay, or case studies of produced movies or TV shows. You could write a report or conduct a survey on something that interests writers and filmmakers. The world really is your oyster. Good luck with your own writer platform!
Want even MORE guidance on getting visible online?
Great news! B2W’s new online, on-demand course is ONLINE CONFIDENTIAL is here to help. In the course I share ALL my experience in utilising online spaces over the last twenty years … I’ve left no stone uncovered!
This course has got you covered …
- How to manage people’s first impressions about you online
- Social media DOs and DON’Ts
- How to get discovered online (and not ruin your credibility)
- Setting up newsletters and websites
- Strategies to get you on the radar of people that matter
You get video tutorials, eGuides and primers, checklists and cheat sheets galore in this course like B2W’s other offers. In addition, you also get helpful bonuses like video walkthrus showing the apps and sites that can make your social media & blogging needs a SNAP.
Even if you’re only half-serious about making a splash in the online space with your writing, grab it while you can!
CLICK HERE to enrol or click any of the pics in this article.