How can you build a platform?
- Blog!! Oh, don't tell me you didn't see that one coming?! LoL.
- FB and Twitter. They make me shiver but they work super well for others.
- Participate in forums and loops that deal with your book topic.
- Public speaking...
- Ladies' groups--small groups, added to others, add up!
- Bible studies--This is one of my favorites because it's something I've done and there are other benefits, like helping those of us who struggle being in front of people.
- Toastmasters--Excellent for gaining speaking training and experience.
- Book clubs
- Teaching opportunities--look for them.
- Special events in class rooms on your topic, whether they're topical or about a historical time or event that you're knowledgeable about, especially if you write historical fiction. Some teachers would love a writer to come in for a day to speak about the topic, or maybe even teach a short creative writing unit.
- Write a lot of free material and get it out there. This seems counter-intuitive to many, but has been proven worthwhile time and time again.
- Write articles as you research for your book.
- Newspaper column. Even a small newspaper column, probono, can gain you an audience and grow into far more than anticipated.
- Newsletters (Dee's News keeps Dee well connected with the former Amish she writes about and provides her with a great platform, Margaret Brownley started out writing the church news and was encouraged to start writing fiction as a result.)
- Get out into the volunteering areas in your writer organizations, and other organizations. This can be HUGE! Almost all groups need workers and if it's related to you or your book, it can be beneficial for all involved.
How can a professional wall-flower build a successful platform without hyperventilating or moving into a rubber padded room?
- Remember we all have both sides in our nature, we just need to learn how to bring the other side out. We're different at home than we are at work, or with friends, or in the grocery store. We understand our roles in those situations and present ourselves accordingly. Our writer self is no different. We need to understand our role and present ourselves accordingly—putting our best foot forward. More about this in April and May.
- Be transparent without specifics.
- Realize your writing is a business. Even if it's ministry, you need to run it like a business.
“Think of your work like a store. If you had a store, you'd advertise. If no one knows about it, how much product will move off your shelf? ~Angie Breidenbach
- Don't get ME-focused. It's the attitude we have while doing things.
- Make sure you're always giving value, not just flapping your jaws.
- Know the image you want to convey and then create it.
- Build your persona and USE your persona. (More about persona in April and May)
Focus in on who you are as a writer and let that part of your personality take over when it needs to. ~Karin Beery