Outreach

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.

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.

The Difference Between Goal Mapping and a To Do List

I have a Passion/Any Planner meeting with friends on Sunday, and I offered to help some people ahead of time who I thought could use it.

One person walked me through her 3-month Gamechanger, which involved cleaning her house and getting it ready for a big move. She calmly proceeded to review all the piles she had: beads and jewelry making supplies she’ll never use again, art to hang on the walls of their new house that can’t be hung at their current place, bags and boxes to donate (that have been there for months), etc.

She was calm and I started having a mild panic attack. Now, I am well aware that when you help people with their mental or physical clutter, you take some of their stress onto yourself. Yet she had no stress in her voice; I did.

I took a moment to review the image of her Goal mapping that she had sent, and then it clicked:

She had fallen into the typical trap of treating her Goal Map like a To Do List.

Here’s what I said to her:

Your Goal Map to clean/clear your house doesn’t end at “Donate old clothes to Goodwill.” You have to add the time it takes to fully get rid of every single bag, such as:

  • Load the bags into car – 15 minutes
  • Drive to Goodwill then to work – 1 hour
  • Calendar the time into a specific day (this is perhaps the last step to every Goal Map) -10 minutes

Then we got to her beads and jewelry supplies. These are more than just things; these are lost hopes of an etsy store, fun times with her best friend, a creative outlet through bad times — I think we all have this sort of collection somewhere.

She is donating them to her friend in Texas who makes jewelry to benefit a dog shelter:

  • Send to Texas
  • Pick up boxes from _____ – 30 minutes
  • Package and box all supplies – 2 hours (I always overestimate how long this will take because emotions tend to slow down the process).
  • Load car with boxes – 20 minutes
  • Drive to post office and send – 30 minutes
  • Calendar this time into a specific day – 15 minutes

Until you go into this much detail and calendar it into your planner, the goals are still just wishes. A map doesn’t just say you go from Home to Work; it tells you every turn and how long it will take.

That’s how detailed you have to get, how deep you have to go.

Then calendar it.

Passion Planner 2017 Prep

I’m the first to admit that I didn’t use the Passion Planner exactly how it’s meant to be

IMG_20161209_125715.jpg

Out of my Goals from 2016, I did the best with my one year goals. There is one on there that will be achieved before the year is over. Overall, not bad. You can read more details here.

used. I didn’t always follow my Goal Mapping or have the correct focus detailed at the top of each day.

 

I was able to track my time better, and specifically how I spend my time – not just the reality but also to see plainly where I actually spent my time vs where I want to spend my time.

While I have three weeks left to 2016, I’ll use this time to really detail my Gamechangers, and follow through on giving each task an amount of time needed to complete, then a spot in my calendar. Already this has shown me where my focus needs to go in terms of hustling for specific kinds of work and not just work in general (ah, the freelance life).

I also was inconsistent with the monthly reflections, which is partly because I had an undated planner but also because the time to do that needs to be calendared, and I just didn’t. However, I’m taking the advice that Passion Planner gives and expanding upon it. They suggest finding a PP buddy to keep each other accountable. I found some of my friends on Facebook who have or want to use a Passion Planner (or another system that’s close), and we’ll have monthly check-ins to help one another. We’re starting next week and I honestly can’t wait (except I can, because I have so much Goal Mapping to do before then).

That is our first task before we meet:

  1.  Finish the Wish List as detailed in the Passion Planner’s first pages.
  2. Detailed Gamechanger Goal Mapping for at least 3 months, 1 year, 3 years and Lifetime.
  3. Share in the Facebook Event as they’re finished.

When we do our video check-ins, we’ll go over any questions about the process and obstacles we found. Then review one Gamechanger apiece and share ideas.

We’ll see how this goes. I know that only using their methods part-time worked well, so I look forward to being more organized with my time. I already feel much clearer mentally.

I have no affiliation with Passion Planner except I’m a fan. You can find their free downloads here to try it out.

 

 

Two Articles I Wrote on Art as a Parent

I guess being a parent really does affect how I view art. Yesterday two articles I wrote dropped on different publications, Better Lemons and Dwarf+Giant, a blog of The Last Bookstore LA. I didn’t realize until I shared them to Facebook that both show how I view art differently since becoming a parent.

One is how The Cat in the Hat reads like a manual for child molesters. I thought I’d get more pushback on this story, but so far all comments except one appreciate my argument for removing that book from your collection. Thanks to Dwarf+Giant for publishing this one!

The other is the first in a series, What Theaters Need to Know: Courting Families on Better Lemons, a relaunched Los Angeles arts website. Here I detail how small changes and larger ones can go a long way towards making families feel welcome at your programming. Until you’ve had to change your child’s diaper on a nasty restroom floor while other audience members bang on the door during intermission, you really haven’t lived as a parent.

Stay tuned for some more interesting articles from me……

Cover Reveal: Covalent Bonds (Geek Romance)

This cover reveal is a little late, but hey, I had a baby.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00001]I’m on page 162 of Covalent Bonds. I do not normally gravitate towards romance as a genre, but Covalent Bonds is a geek romance anthology. It won’t be released until February 14, 2017, so I honestly should be reading another book whose review will be published sooner, but this is too much fun. If I had been into conventions or gaming as a teen, these would be my fantasies.

COVALENT BONDS

Anthology edited by Trysh Thompson

Red Moon Anthologies, Volume Three

It will be out on Valentine’s Day 2017, so stay tuned here for my full review and reminder when it is published!

World Weaver page | Goodreads

ANTHOLOGIST BIO: 

Trysh Thompson has written just about every form of non-fiction you can think of—everything from news, movie reviews, magazine columns, marketing hype, software manuals, and was even an editorial assistant on a gardening book no one has ever read (The 7-Minute Organic Garden—see, you’ve never heard of it, have you?). To keep from being slowly and torturously bored to death by her day job, she turned to fiction as means of escape—reading it, writing it, and editing it.

CONTRIBUTOR BIOS:

 

Wendy Sparrow’s first forays into fiction earned her time-outs, punishment, and “how many times have I told you the Boy Who Cried Wolf story?” But, she persevered. She’s stubborn like that. Now, all her stories have a happily ever after and the lies are sexier and more elaborate. Sometimes, they even contain wolves. (Ha, mom! So there!) She’s active in OCD and autism communities and writes on her blog to support awareness in both. If she’s not writing or wrangling kids, she’s on Twitter, @WendySparrow, where she’ll chat with anyone about anything.

 

From New Mexico to Nebraska to New York to Indiana to Qatar to Washington D.C., Jeremiah Murphy has lived everywhere. And he writes a lot. His work can be found in anthologies such as Fae Fatales, The Dark Lane Anthology, From the Corner of Your Eye, Pagan, and others, as well as at http://www.jrmhmurphy.com.

 

Charlotte M. Ray splits her time between all kinds of gaming, reading and being a wife. Oh, and writing down all those stories that keep plopping up in her mind and won’t leave her alone. She lives (physically) in Finland with her husband and their computers, and (mentally) in whichever imaginary world she is currently occupied with.

 

Marie Piper writes steamy western historical romance, so getting her geek on in Covalent Bonds has been a delight. Her trilogy, Fires of Cricket Bend, is being published by Limitless Publishing, and her short stories have appeared in collections from LoveSlave, House of Erotica, Torquere Press, NineStar Press, and Coming Together. Maidens & Monsters, Marie’s 5-novella old west mystery girl squad serial, is out now. For more information, visit mariepiper.com or @mariepiperbooks

 

Laura VanArendonk Baugh was born at a very early age and never looked back. She overcame childhood deficiencies of having been born without teeth or developed motor skills, and by the time she matured into a recognizable adult she had become a behavior analyst, an internationally-recognized and award-winning animal trainer, a popular costumer/cosplayer, a tabletop gamer, a chocolate addict, and of course a writer. Find her at http://www.LauraVanArendonkBaugh.com

 

Cori Vidae is an editor, anthologist and the founder of Pen and Kink Publishing. She works as an Assistant Editor at World Weaver Press and also occasionally finds time to write things (often Under Glass).

 

Mara Malins is an English writer of romance who battles spreadsheets by day and fiction by night. She lives in Manchester with her menagerie of three cats, two turtles and a long-term partner. She has work forthcoming with Pen and Kink Publishing.

 

Tellulah Darling

noun

  1. YA and New Adult romantic comedy author because her first kiss sucked and she’s compensating.
  2. Firm believer that some of the best stories happen when love meets comedy and awkwardness ensues.
  3. Sassy minx.

Both a hopeless romantic and total cynic, Tellulah Darling is all about the happily-ever-after, with a huge dose of hilarity along the way. Her romcoms come in a variety of heat levels and flavors; straight up romantic comedy, shaken with Greek mythology or stirred with urban fantasy.

 

G.G. Andrew writes quirky romantic comedy—stories about people who fall in love with the most unlikely person, and who stumble through some awkwardness and ill-advised kisses along the way. An avid nerd, she is a book blogger and host of the Writers Who Read interview series, which features writers sharing what’s on their shelf.

 

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