Social networking. It’s really just networking on steroids. As an author or speaker, you need people to notice you, to care about what you offer and to buy what you sell. Networking – online or off is never easy. Here is an article I found that really explains how to create a “tribe” or community of loyal followers.
I know who the target audience is for my books but I’m having trouble connecting with them. How do I network with my readers?
Networking is a very loosely used term. It can encompass many forms such as face to face meetings, group meetings, virtual presentations, social media discussions, and informal gatherings.
The bigger issue is that you need to define your perfect readers before deciding how to network with them.
If you know they always go to library talks, attend webinars given by authors, or hang out on Pinterest, then you have the basis for building a relationship with your readers.
Here are 5 tactics you can use to connect with your readers.
- Be interested in them. Do not talk about yourself, take the time to learn as much as you can when it comes to interests, wants, and needs. All of these bits of information will help you to better target your approach to gaining your own following.
- Talk in terms of reader benefits. Readers are only interested in themselves and by concentrating on what is in it for them (WIIFT) you will have a better chance of grabbing their attention.
- Be a part of the conversation. Add your comments without the sales approach, be the one that shares readily. Readers will be sure to find out more about you when you offer free advice and share on a regular basis.
- Be an advocate for the reader. Find reasons to support their reading needs. Offer suggestions and even offer parts of your own work.
- Direct them to some of your social media platforms by asking for input. Ask and you shall get followers and potential readers for your books.
With these tactics in hand, you will still need to constantly feed information and follow up, and through, with conversations. Being there consistently shows you are truly interested in them. Show up sporadically and you will likely be dismissed as someone who is just trying to sell their wares.
So how can you be consistent with keeping up on all the conversations?
Start your day with a list of places to visit and make comments. Add time snippets to your day to add to conversations. At Author’s Success Guild, we add to some of our social media platforms first thing in the morning, check the status a couple of times during the day to make sure there is nothing urgent to answer and finally look at our statistics for our entries at the end of the day.
We use a number of tools to help us with the process. We use Tweetdeck for our Twitter feeds, Hootsuite to do scheduling of posts and monitor responses, and direct messaging for our groups. Being informed about what is happening at all times keeps us busy and it keeps us involved and responding to reader needs. You should consider doing the same.