DIY Marketing

Master Your Marketing with Christina Farley: Social Media

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” – Shunryu Suzuki


Since I work in social media as well as writing, many people ask why I still take social media courses. The answer is because no matter how much I think I know, there is always someone who knows more. There are also always ideas that I forget in the daily drill of content marketing. I learn so much from simply listening to other experiences. For instance, when I tune in to 
Stark Social’s podcast, I am reminded of core strategies and learn about important social updates. (Deanna and Nathan are also incredibly charming and fun.)

In the case of Christina Farley’s “Master Your Marketing” class, I wanted to focus on master your marketing with Christina Farleybranding and social media myself as a writer and not a hyphenate. Recently I moved towards my freelance income being half writing and half social media consulting. The deeper I delved, the clearer it became that the social media jobs will come: I have a reputation there and when I finish a job for one client, another seems to arrive to replace it.

Most of what I love about social media is the creativity and strategic writing that it requires. My goal is to make most of my living as a writer. So how to be sure that when someone finds me online, they see a writer? After taking Farley’s course on branding and researching other writer’s sites (Melissa Hung has a great overview), I understood that my website needed a strong overhaul. Farley calls it the “central station of all your social media,” and mine had basically become a mess in recent months. I need to keep my past blog posts because companies still link to them, but turn that section into more of a writing portfolio. Encouraged by the worksheets I used in Farley’s course, I found the right theme to use and it all fell into place. I spent a whole weekend updating categories and tags that are relevant to my current work. I only have published articles at the moment, not novels, so it’s a little different than Farley’s website. Streamlining the categories also helped me focus on the topics that typically interest me enough to write.

 

ChristinaFarleyFacebookCover

Farley’s cover photo on Facebook. I love when authors have visuals of their books at a glance. 

 

Now, to turn to social media. Her second course in the series focuses on that aspect of marketing and I used her expertise and careful focus on writers to understand how I can build up my @FairyFolkMyth personality. After revamping my categories on my blog, I realized that the categories are the hashtags I need to use as well. For instance, #WAHMRealities is a common instagram tag for me that encompasses both writing, working and parenting. I have a lot of ideas for writing about parenting, but don’t want that to be my focus. With this hashtag, I can give a hat tip to that important part of my life but still focus on the fact that I am doing the work.

Then there is the #fairyfolkmyth brand, the main topics of writing for which I want to be known. Those often overlap with #bookreviews and #artreviews, so there are my 1-2 hashtags per twitter post that Farley suggests. More often than not recently, I also find that fairy tales relate to parenting, and my TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences) column specifically.

She had some great confirmation on my ideas about tumblr and snapchat. Hearing Farley’s advice for using Pinterest reminded me that I need to clean my Pinterest pages up or hire Brit McGinnis to do it for me.

I completely agree with Farley that if you are on YouTube towards a marketing end goal, you need “to have an experience with people.” She certainly delivers on that idea. I’ve spent years experimenting with YouTube to deliver new audiences to artists, and have very high standards on that front. It may be time to re-evaluate how I use it, but I’m going to let that idea simmer and return to it down the road. mascot-blue-cartoon-bird-website-animal-twitter                       

Farley gave some excellent recommendations for keywords to use on each platform. I personally use twitter differently on my main account but am now re-thinking the @FairyFolkMyth account. It has more of a clear purpose, a niche purpose, and I need to be more deliberate with that twitter personality. I’ve been motivated enough to create a spreadsheet towards that goal; now to populate it.

Farley’s third course was focused on attending events as a writer. She has a great philosophy and I’ll delve into those ideas in a later post!

The Trouble with Nonprofits and Software Pt 1

The year is 2010. I sit in the Antaeus office, likely working through academy auditions or casting for an upcoming reading. Downstairs in the library, sounds of hope and peer encouragement mingle with the Salesforce training. I can hear a tangible optimism, a desire for all those development, general manager, box office folks to jump right into a new software and finally organize those years of Excel lists or poorly photocopied box office reports.

I sit in numerous staff meetings and hear our development associate and office manager essentially plead for someone, anyone, to use this new system. I hear them. I respect them. I understand their point.

I look at my calendar and simply wonder, “When?”

Read more at Better Lemons.

Master Your Marketing w/ Christina Farley: Branding

I was pretty psyched to start Christina Farley’s Master Your Marketing course, hosted by Writer’s Atelier. Even though I consult on branding efforts myself, it’s always hard to be objective. I like to walk through someone else’s process and suggestions to identify where I don’t effectively see my brand.

Since I narrowed my focus to writing and outreach, it’s been difficult to express that in a way that also captures buzzwords people (and search engines) need to hear. So I call myself a Storyteller and Outreach Nerd, changing buzzwords depending on my audience.

Content and copywriting has always been part of the Outreach Nerd work, and recently I’ve separated them in efforts to write more and spend less time on social media. I still love that work and will continue, but I find freelance writing a better fit with my new-ish role as primary caretaker of two young boys, and also need to learn more about building a platform for writing fiction. I’ll soon start to query for my novel series The Blue Dragon Scribe Shoppe, and need all efforts at the ready.

Christina sent us a worksheet to prepare; just for ourselves. I worked on it and vowed to keep an open mind regarding my brand(s). I can’t go into great detail on what was involved – after all, teaching is part of Farley’s livelihood – but as someone who divides her personality into twitter accounts, the graphic representation of my interests juxtaposed with my brand truly helped focus my many ideas within each current opportunity.

Farley and Writer’s Atelier also offered incredibly easy viewing of the video course. I could wait until I had the time and focus to watch as well as return to segments that I wanted to review. She just uses an unlisted YouTube video with corresponding visual aids.

As someone with only a few hours a week devoted to her work plus any stolen time during my boys’ naps, knowing the topics to prioritize and how to use my strengths is one of the most valuable time management tools to master. Much of what I got from Farley’s first course has already helped me understand where to put my focus and what I want my brand to be.

Next up: Social Media!

Part of the Branding course was about our logo and tagline. Farley also curated examples from other authors.

Part of the Branding course was about our logo and tagline. Farley also curated examples from other authors.

Event: Master Your Marketing w/ Christina Farley

I discovered the Writer’s Atelier through NanOrlando, when they hosted a series of NaNoWriMo prep sessions. (I didn’t use NaNo for its strict purpose of writing this year, but as a motivator to continue with my Horatio edits.) I was struck with how useful and supportive their community is. Without knowing me, they welcomed my then 2 month-old into a write-in, and everyone there truly enjoyed his presence and helped me feel comfortable.

So of course I looked at their other activities, and the online class Master Your Marketing with Christina Farley caught my eye. Last fall, three of my editing/social media clients asked my advice on building a platform for their nonfiction works, and that raised new questions for me. Farley looks to address a lot of these questions along with some basics of social media.

I asked Farley the questions that my clients asked me, to see what I might learn from her course. Below are her master your marketing with Christina Farleyanswers.

CMJ: What does a writer’s brand mean to you?

CF: I like to think that a writer’s brand symbolizes who you are as a writer. It not only ties in with your books and writing style, but it draws from who you are as a person. Also a well-developed author brand is more than just the cover of the book or a Twitter header. It delves deeper into all the aspects of the persona of you as a writer. A true test of this is a reader/editor/agent/ should be able to in one glance at any aspect of your writer’s persona grasp a clear concept of who you are as a writer.

CMJ: What does “platform” mean to you? As in, when a publisher says they’ll read a proposal or manuscript if a writer builds their platform?

CF: An author’s platform is essentially like the ‘auditorium’ (if you will) where your voice as an author is heard. Imagine you standing on the stage (scary for some of us introverted writers!) and those sitting in the audience are all of the people excited and eager to hear what you have to say. What you are displaying on the stage and how many people sitting in your audience is what the publishers are interested. An author’s platform is a key component for the nonfiction writer, and though not as important for the fiction writer, it can still be a valuable resource if utilized effectively.

CMJ: How do you divide writing and marketing time?

CF: Writing must always come first. Every time. But there are hours in your day that your brain needs a creative reprieve. That’s when you can spend time on your marketing. The key is to prioritize what is most important and essential to your marketing needs. From there, you can break down a plan and schedule yourself so you aren’t overwhelmed and your writing doesn’t goes by the wayside.

C FarleyCHRISTINA FARLEY is the author of the bestselling Gilded series, a YA contemporary fantasy series set in Korea and upcoming middle grade, THE PRINCESS & THE PAGE, set in France. GILDED was nominated for Korea’s Morning Calm, Ohio’s Buckeye award, and the Tome’s It List. It also was hailed in Epic Read’s anticipated reads, PriceStyle’s recommended summer reads, Book Riot’s favorite myth inspired reads, and BuzzFeed’s 21 amazing series they’ll miss. She is a certified teacher holding a master’s degree in education and has taught writing workshops worldwide.

 

Christina’s Books:

Gilded-FarleyChristinaFarley-Silvern-high-resBRAZEN-coverpp-farley


I will always jump on learning a new way of social marketing, and will report back here on each of her courses*. You can register for the entire series or a’la carte, and also include one-on-one mentoring.

*DISCLOSURE: I arranged a discount to the courses in exchange for reporting on each one.

Marketing Fails & Immersive Ethics

A few weeks ago, I received an ominous text in the middle of the night:

catharsis-text

Needless to say, I was freaked out. Read the full story on No Proscenium to hear how an immersive marketing scheme backfired big time.

Then head on over to Story Forward, a fantastic podcast I just discovered. Noah J. Nelson of No Pro is on a panel discussing the ethics of immersive experiences. Whether you approach it as an audience member or creator, this is a great listen.

If you’re interested in knowing about immersive productions, escape rooms, etc in your area, here’s where to find NoPro. There’s an expansion to other cities in the works:

Email: no_proscenium@outlook.com (send announcements & tips)
Twitter: @noproscenium (look for between issue updates) 
Facebook: No Proscenium Page (Issue Archives for All Regions)
Medium: The No Proscenium Collection (Reviews and Essays)
Podcast: iTunes and RSS 
Patreon: Support the Newsletter and Podcast
New subscriber sign-up: noproscenium.com

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