One of the website strategist and specialists I bring into work with many of my authors is Amber Ludwig of NGNG. Last year, AuthorU.org did a special BookCamp that focused on the six critical areas that are must haves to make it in the authoring world today that she addresses.
As the principal and visionary of InsightfulDevelopment.com, every time she works with authors on websites and branding, she looks at these sparks to get them going:
- Social Media
- Branding and Message
- Building a Dedicated and Responsive Following
- Product Development
- Website Do’s and Don’ts
- Content and Blogging
Beginning with Author Branding, it starts with focus—what do you do; what do you offer. Defining and demonstrating a clear and succinct mission statement was created; creating a personal tag that others hook immediately with who and what you are and do; clarity on what you do for your audience; and probing into uniqueness were woven throughout.
A Website checklist—items that aren't normally asked or included is critical to probe. Anyone who says or things that websites are minor plays are ignorant in today’s online world—the website is now the bug of everything you do online—from capture leads, to connect with others, to selling your products and services.
What you put on your website is Content—make sure it’s the right content to match your message and your brand. An excellent exercise on developing content was engaged, where the outcome would deliver blog post ideas, articles, product development—all taking the author business to another level.
All authors want fans and List Building is critical. The concept of creating free, high value information and replacing it often was explored. IDing formats, topics, catchy titles and implementation for roll-out strategies were explored. List Building requires email collections, Mail Chimp was highly recommended over Constant Contact that has become stagnate it what it offers to users. Key take-away was that when List Building in is play is that there must be a clear call to action on what to do next.
Books are products, and Product Development can start before, during or post publication. eBooks, multimedia, CDs, DVDs, teleseminars, webinars, home study course, coaching, group coaching, inner circle clubs, conferences, seminars and membership programs were all explored.
Lastly, Social Media, and the top networks of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram were explored. Beginners start with posts for Twitter once or twice a day, then build; blogging must be consistent, ranging from one to three times a week. For Facebook, just do it! Emphasis was made on not commercializing/pitching on the Personal welcome page … it goes on the Business/Fan page with suggestions on using Facebook ads to direct attention to whatever products were being highlighted on the website.
When posting, keep this in mind: Is your post word-of-mouth worthy? Is your post inspiring? Does your post have a call to action? Is your post interactive?
Calls to Action are critical. You need all six elements--the sparks to keep your author and book plugs in action. Don’t use social media in a lame matter. It’s an amazing and massive tool that has a variety of options to support you and your book. Start with the main players and deep dive into the one that works well for you. Get a website makeover if necessary. Start thinking “what else”—what other products can you develop using your expertise and book as the foundation. Work on building your crowd, fans are important. And keep building on your content.
Judith Briles is known as The Book Shepherd a book publishing expert and coach. She is the Founder of Author U, a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 31 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (ForeWord Indie/Fab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences.
Become part of her inner circle by joining the Author’s Ark and exclusive monthly webinar and coaching event. Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Unplugged, a two and 1/2 day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. In 2015, the dates are August 27-29th. Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Author U – Your Guide to Book Publishing on the Toginet Network at http://togi.us/authoru. Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and Judith Briles – TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at Judith@Briles.com.