Social networking has always been important for girls–invite me to your birthday party and I will invite you to mine. We both gain that way. After all, you get a present and I get a cupcake! In childhood the little bits of social networking we did led to tears as often as it did to cupcakes, but now we’re grownups and we have a book or a music cd to market. We can’t afford to shed tears over this.
Whether it is music or books, if you are an indie, you must take responsibility for your own marketing.
1. Decide what you are marketing. This sounds like a no brainer, but many people are blurry on this, and they apply a lot of energy and get nowhere. I know many people who write, paint and ALSO make music. If you are doing multiple things, separate your website into different pages for each aspect of your career, with a good home page that directs your prospective client to the product they are looking for. I really like the website which Blackmore’s Night has put up, and I also like Mercedes Lackey’s website. Both are professionally done, but a free WordPress Blog can be utilized to good advantage by a determined self-promoter. The lovely folks at WordPress give you all the tools you need to learn how to do this!
2. Make regular posts and updates, to keep your blog fresh. After all – we’ve all clicked on links in the google list that take us to abandoned virtual warehouses, with out of long out of date information and links to nowhere!
3. Use Twitter well and sparingly. Twitter can easily become a spam-fest, so be careful how you use it. Be sure to retweet your twitter-friend’s important events, and they will return the favor. Once in a while, post your homepage, your professional Facebook page and links to your books or your music, but be wise and respect your friends.
4. The eternal sunshine of the Facebook page – again, be careful not to spam the world everyday with your links on your personal page, because your highschool chums and distant cousins won’t pay anymore attention to them than they do Aunt Caro’s constant barrage of invitations to play Farmville. In fact, they may unsubscribe from you. This is where having a professional page comes in handy. After you send out ONE invitation to your family and friends to ‘LIKE’ your professional fb page, you are good to go. Maybe in a few months, re-post the link on your personal wall, but don’t beat folks over the head with it. Do tweet the links to it once in a while, and post them on your blog/website. Page Owners need to make sure their content is interesting and in that way they are encouraging Likes, comments and Shares so that their posts continue to show up in their Fans’ News Feeds, but they MUST NOT SPAM.
BTW – My Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/cjjasperson and I would be awfully happy if you would stop by and ‘like’ me… I’ll save you a cupcake at my next birthday party! (…hmm…should I use ‘lol’ here or is that too hokey?) (I’m not really joking, so maybe ‘lol’ is appropriate… it’s jaunty and pretends I’m not serious…)
It’s tough trying to learn the ropes in the world of self-promotion. There really is no handbook, because the social-network scene is always changing.
One thing hasn’t changed though and that is business etiquette. Trying to walk that fine line between getting your name out there and being that annoying acquaintance who deluges his casual acquaintances with constant demands that they buy his wretched cd or book is difficult. I think this is where our manners come into play–what would you like your friends who are self-promoting to do? Behave the way you want them to behave for you and hopefully you will still have friends in a year!
lol. (I mean it this time.)
I do have some acquaintances on Facebook who bury me with spammy demands to push their product, and I have friends who only ask to have a product pushed once in a while. Guess who I am always happy to help? Not Spam-the-Man Jones and their sad book of badly conceived, not-so-erotic, pornographic haikus.
Now that might actually sell. (Note to self–consider writing a collection of seventeen-syllable erotic poems…)