By Stuart Grant.
Authors often say that they struggle to find an audience. However, it’s also important that an audience can find you, and that means being in all the places that audiences hang out.
We know that social media is a time-suck, and it can be hugely frustrating to feel the pressure of updating social media platforms day in, day out. Despite that, it is crucial to be found, so you need to create profiles on as many platforms as possible. Generally, they don’t take long to set up. As long as you have a great profile picture and a bio, you can add the same content to all of the platforms. What we know about readers is that they like things to be easy. So make it simple. Your bio should be clear and informative. It should include your name in the 3rd person, i.e. “John Smith is a science fiction author based in Florida” – this is important for search engine results. The biographies on most platforms are ‘read’ by search engines, so if your bio includes the phrase ‘Science Fiction Author’ there is a chance that it might be pulled up whenever someone searches for a similar term. The inclusion of both your name and genre will help the right people to find you.
You should also include a call to action and a destination (a link) so that even if you have very little content on your profile, there is a place that people can visit to find out more. You’ll be amazed how many people will want to. Ideally, the link will take them to either your website or some other landing page where they can find free content.
The outcome should be obvious. Even if you don’t update your content very often – if someone is searching for you, or books in your genre, you might be one of the authors they find.
The places I recommend you start with are Facebook (both a business page and a group), Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google + and even Snapchat. These are all free, so why not take advantage of them? The other important point here is that your name is probably not unique. ‘Claiming’ your name on these platforms is good practice.
If you choose to create these accounts and not update them very often, my suggestion is that you are upfront about this. Your bio could contain something along the lines of, “Thanks for checking out my profile, I don’t visit here very often but if you want more information about my writing, or my Science Fiction books, then please click the link below”.
By doing so you sound friendly, up to date and accessible. Consumers will be happy to have found you, and to have been given clear instruction where to go next.
Help your audience find you. Be found. Be everywhere.