After spinning my wheels for the past year, I’ve come to the conclusion it’s not only time to rethink the way I “do” social media, it’s time to rethink the way I present myself to the world through it.
It can’t be just me who gets overwhelmed by it all and romanticizes the way it must have been for authors of yesteryear. Social media is sometimes demanding, cumbersome, time-consuming/wasting. I’ve heard it called a “necessary evil” for writers on several occasions. But I don’t want my social media to be a “necessary evil.” I want my social media to be as much fun as I want the rest of my life to be. I’m all about the fun, dammit.
But I wasn’t having much fun at it on a professional level, it didn’t feel like I’d mastered any of it (if there is a such thing!) or that I’d found my ideal community yet, though I’ve made plenty of friends along the way. Shouldn’t this all be more cohesive? Why does everyone else seem so much more organized about it than I do?
With the help of people who know way more than I do about it, I’m renovating and relaunching with more purpose and under a cohesive brand. And I’m excited about it. With a new book coming out (April 15!), the timing feels right. It also feels like someone has stopped that spinning wheel.
WEBSITE RELAUNCH and BLOG PARTY: Friday, March 28
hors d’ oeuvres, giveaways, special guests, party games
What have my Social Media Renovation plans included?
-First, merge my thewhiteforest.com site with this site: Why do I need a static “informational” blog (thewhiteforest.com) and this “interactive” one? Why the extra upkeep? I am no longer simply the author of the White Forest series. My career extends beyond that, so my site should reflect the myriad me’s, rather than the individual books.
-Then, UPDATE the blog theme. This theme, while hot in 2010, has been replaced by a slicker set of theme options. Why not look like the professional I know I am and get with the times?
-Set up the blogs I love in an aggregator! I’ve just signed up with Feedly.com and it is such a relief for all my blog subscriptions to be in one place. Before I would get some subscriptions via email, check my wordpress reader, use comments on my blog to find people, etc, etc. Having them all in one place with a little “hootlet” to share snippets on Twitter is so much more enjoyable. And efficient! I love time-saving devices. Gimme.
-And speaking of Twitter… I used to detest Twitter until I figured out how to make it fun. It’s really about throwing things out to the universe and seeing who responds. And, unlike Facebook, anyone can respond in some way to what you share. I love the group tweeting and live tweeting aspects, sharing with that universe some piece of information or insight gained. If you are scratching your head over Twitter, do what I did and find someone who is really good at it. Whose eyes light up when they talk about it. Buy them a drink and have them teach you how to use it.
-My publisher and I invested in someone to create a graphic and logo that I can use across all my social media platforms in order to bring everything together visually. Brilliant! She worked collaboratively with me to build something that speaks to my personality as well as attracts the kind of people I want in my community.
Take a sneak peek at what we’ve come up with so far on my Twitter Profile. I’m really loving having graphics that are uniquely mine rather than cookie cutter images.
These are just the first steps. The branding will continue across Facebook, newsletters, and other media. There are also other resources I enjoy such as GoodReads and Pinterest. And I’ve made a promise to myself to at least give Google+ a chance.
As writers, we often turn to other writers to help hone our work and see what we can’t. If any other part of our writing career feels stagnant, perhaps it’s time to go outside of our own heads for professional assistance?
I think investing a little money in your writing career (if that’s what you want) can be a great boost. I always tell indie authors, “If you aren’t a graphic designer, do not create your own book cover. Pay a professional (or a talented art student) to do it for you.” I decided to take my own advice when it came to social media and branding.
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What about you? What kinds of social media do you favour and have you been rethinking how you use it? Has anyone else been thinking about branding themselves?