by Marsha Ward
Last Saturday I gave a class at a writers' retreat held at the Merritt Center and Lodge in Payson, Arizona, by the Rim Country District of Arizona Press Women, (now known as Arizona Professional Writers). On the program it was called "Don't be afraid of social media to promote your work." I expanded the topic to include other online tools for marketing yourself and your products.
I introduced the concept of "1,000 True Fans" being a goal to work toward to ensure a living wage from writing. I wrote about that here. We talked about the importance of having an Internet presence of some sort, either a website or a blog. I challenged the participants to quantify their readership by using a worksheet to identify who "follows" them on whatever social media outlets they use or what lists of contact information they have assembled. I encouraged them to commit to use at least one social media or other outreach to their readers, whether it be a Facebook Page, a blog, live events, a newsletter, or Twitter. Then we had a lively question and answer period to end it all.
To my great relief, the class was received well, and I got a lot of comments from the attendees. I even sold a couple of books afterward. It was a good day.
What social media or other methods do you use to become and stay engaged with your readers?