Digital Marketing for Writers: Grow Your Audience and Author Platform | Jenna Moreci | Skillshare

Digital Marketing for Writers: Grow Your Audience and Author Platform

Jenna Moreci, Author • Vlogger • Cyborg

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9 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:00
    • 2. Determining Your Target Audience

      2:31
    • 3. Setting up an Online Presence

      3:48
    • 4. Establishing Your Voice

      6:12
    • 5. Creating a Game Plan

      3:57
    • 6. Audience Engagement

      6:50
    • 7. Common Mistakes

      4:32
    • 8. Your Project

      1:02
    • 9. Final Thoughts

      1:09
62 students are watching this class

About This Class

Join SFF author and Youtuber Jenna Moreci, and learn how to effectively market your writing and grow your readership by building a compelling, customized author platform. 

Writing a novel is hard work, but marketing it can be even harder. Not sure how to excite and engage readers? Struggling to expand your reach? Each lesson will cover the sequential steps for not only developing an author platform, but creating an attention-grabbing voice, providing quality content, and turning your audience into a fandom. 

If you're writing your first novel and not sure how to proceed, or if you have several books under your belt but haven't yet gained a following, this class will help you build a platform that separates you from the writing herd.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN: 

Determining Your Target Audience. Your book is great, but it's not for everyone. Jenna explains the importance of appealing to your target audience and shows you step by step how to determine who your writing is best suited for.

Setting up an Online Presence. Social media is a must for a writer, but with so many platforms available, it can be hard to know where to start. Learn how to build your online presence by paying attention to trends within your target audience as well as acknowledging your personal comfort and skillset. 

Establishing Your Voice. This is the most important step when building an author platform. It's also the one most writers skip! If you want your platform to stand out, it has to have a unique voice. Learn how to personalize your platform and provide content that highlights your talents and strengths.

Creating a Game Plan. Now that you've determined your content, it's time to establish a game plan. Jenna shows you how to maximize your platform's reach via various factors such as setting up a content schedule and proper digital marketing. 

Audience Engagement. Some of the most popular methods for growing your author platform aren't all that sustainable. Jenna breaks down the biggest pitfalls behind common marketing tactics and why communication is the best option for growing your brand. And if you're not that great of a communicator, don't worry - Jenna's tips make approaching readers a lot less intimidating. 

Common Mistakes. So many writers stifle the growth of their own platforms - don't be one of them! Jenna highlights the recurring mistakes writers make when engaging with their audience and offers alternatives that will promote reader interest and loyalty. 

Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hello, everybody. My name is Jenna Moleci. I'm a full-time science fiction and fantasy author, as well as a writing advisor on YouTube. I'm super excited to help you build your author platform. Your author platform is your brand. It's how you present yourself and your work, it's the reach and dedication of your audience, and most notably, it's your ability to sell novels. Establishing a successful platform is one of the most difficult parts of being a writer. There are tons of other authors out there trying to make a name for themselves. Yes, I know it can be hard to stand out, but it's not impossible. Like a vast majority of writers, I started off with no connections, no guidance, and no audience. But by pairing my background in business with my passion for storytelling, I was able to grow my audience reach to over a 100,000 subscribers and counting and turn my writing into my career. This class is for newbie writers who want to go on author platform, but maybe aren't sure how, or experienced writers who have a few books under their belt, but they're just not getting the response they were looking for. I'll be covering the basics for creating a platform including determining your target audience and setting up an online presence, as well as steps you can take to enhance your platform. This includes establishing a voice, creating a game plan, and engaging with your audience. Lastly, I'll cover the mistakes authors make that can really hinder the success of a platform. Your projects for this class will revolve around what I believe are the most important and often most neglected steps, and that's establishing your voice and creating a game plan. That way you can leave this class with an action plan for your platform, as well as the confidence to set it into motion. You don't have to feel intimidated by the prospect of setting up an author platform. This is all about separating yourself from the pack, creating a connection with your audience, and building a sustainable, compelling platform. None of these steps are technical or require any specialized training, anyone can do this stuff. Whenever you're ready, head on over to the first lesson and we'll get started. 2. Determining Your Target Audience: Thank you so much for checking out my class. I don't want to waste any of your time. Let's get to it. Obviously, this class is all about building your online author platform. You might think the first step is to set up your online presence. But there's actually one thing you need to consider first, and that's your target audience. Your target audience is the particular group of people you're aiming to reach via your platform. You should be aiming to reach the readers your novel would most appeal to. But Jenna, "My book appeals to everyone." No, it don't. Everyone's different, no matter how amazing your novel is, someone isn't going to like it. Rather than marketing your book to everyone, you want to nail down your target audience by implementing the following steps. The first and easiest step is to look at your genre. If you're writing science fiction, then your target audience would be sci-fi fans. If you're writing romance, then your target audiences, romance readers, simple. The second factor is your novel's category or age range. Which age group is your novel best-suited for? Typically, categories are divided into the following groups: children's books and juvenile literature, which are books for kids, middle grade fiction, which are stories geared toward preteens or junior high schoolers, young adult fiction, or books typically targeting high schoolers, new adult fiction, which are books typically targeting college aged readers, or adult fiction which essentially covers anyone who qualifies as a legal adult. Now please keep in mind, the line between these categories is blurry. Lots of preteens, read young adult books. Lots of high schoolers read middle grade. People in college are technically legal adults, which means they could potentially serve as a target audience for both new adults and adult literature. You've got lots of wiggle room here. Then there are novels with cross-over appeal. This is when a books readership branches far beyond its target audience. Harry Potter and the Hunger Games are perfect examples. But pinning down the category of your novel will give you a much better idea of the age range of your target audience, even if your particular novel does warrant some category overlap. The last thing to take into consideration is whether or not your novel is niche. Some books cater toward a specific gender, race, sexual orientation, or even fetish. If that's the case, you can add this to your target audience as well. Take a look at novel of yours however far along it is, and honestly ask yourself who is best suited for? If you're not quite sure, ask your critique partners and your beta readers or consult other writers. Figure this out now, that way you can build your platform to specifically appeal to your target audience. I'll cover building your platform in my next lesson. 3. Setting up an Online Presence: You've nailed down your target audience. Now we move on to the next and probably simplest step, and that's setting up your online presence. Now, a lot of writers hate social media. They roll their eyes at the thought of having to use Twitter or setting up a fan page. But the fact is social media and Internet altogether have significantly changed the writing industry. These changes are extremely beneficial to writers. Before social media, the easiest way to advertise your work was to list an ad in the newspaper. We didn't have a lot of opportunities to be self-sufficient and popularize our own work. Now there are tons of avenues for writers to explore and the Internet as the hub for nearly all of them. Social media is essentially free marketing for writers. If you're skipping the step, you're shooting yourself in the foot. When it comes to setting up an online presence, the bare minimum that an author needs is an author website, a mailing list, and a blog. You can host your blog on your website itself, or you can use some type of blogging platform like WordPress or Tumblr. These three pages are essential to have by the time you release your novel, they legitimize your platform and lecture leadership know that you're a professional, but you can't do all your marketing via your website or your mailing list, you're going to need a lot of reinforcement. That's where social media comes into play. You've got a lot of social media platforms to choose from, but the most common ones are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Google Plus. Before you start freaking out, please know, you do not need to set up an account with every single social media platform, but you do need several, and the platforms you choose will depend on a few factors. First, experimentation, try your hand at several platforms, figure out which ones are most comfortable with and which ones give you the best results. I tried out YouTube completely on a whim, I didn't expect anything out of it. Now it's easily most popular platform. Second, target audience, as we already covered, you as a writer have a specific audience you're trying to cater to, and that's whoever would most appreciate your novel. This is why it's beneficial to pin down your target audience before you set up your platform. That way you can choose your social media presence based on where your audience typically congregates. For example, people under the age of 25 statistically gravitate toward Instagram, Tumblr, and Snapchat more than they do toward Facebook or Google Plus, obviously, statistics change over time. It's a good idea to do your research and make sure you're fully informed of the current landscape. The last thing to take into consideration is timing. If you've just started outlining your very first novel, then it's not imperative that you set up a mailing list, right this instant. But it would be good idea to set up a few social media pages and a blog so you can at least begin accumulating an audience. Your platform should grow with you over time, which means you'll probably accumulate a few more pages as your novel progresses. Once you nail down a social media pages you intend to utilize, obviously you need to set up accounts, and when you do this, you want to keep the usernames consistent. Typically the best idea is to use your chosen author name on its own or with the word author in front of it. My usernames are all Jenna Moreci or Author Jenna Moreci, keeping your username consistent makes it so much easier for future readers and fans to find you online. All you have to do is google your name. Additionally, you want to keep your default photos somewhat consistent. Most writers use an author photo of some kind, but if you're not too keen on showing your face, you can create a logo instead, regardless of the image you choose is a good idea to use the same one or maybe two on multiple platforms. That way you're easy for readers to recognize. Those are my tips for effectively setting up your social media presence. Don't swear off social networking, is a very valuable asset to writers today and you should definitely be using it to your advantage. 4. Establishing Your Voice: Now we're getting into the good stuff. It's time to establish your voice. This is an extremely important step that you have to take seriously. It's also the one most writers skip. I'm sure you've seen this before. A new author gets on social media and starts posting incessantly about their work, except they're pretty much talking to no one because hardly anyone follows them. Does this sound familiar? Am I describing you? This is what happens when you don't take the time to consider your voice. Establishing your voice means determining the kind of content you want to provide, as well as the image you want to project. This may sound like being fake, but if anything, it's the exact opposite. Establishing your voice is about really being honest with yourself regarding your strengths and skills and making them work to your advantage. When establishing your author voice, you got to ask yourself two questions. Who am I and what do I have to offer? The first question, who am I? Is a bit more complicated than it seems. People don't often stop to think about that stuff. But I'm asking you to think about it right now. Think about the kind of individual you are, your personality and talents, everything that makes you special and unique. But Jenna, what if I'm not special or unique? Loving that self-confidence, you just radiate positivity. Here's the deal, we are all special and different in some way. I don't care how insecure you feel, there's something interesting about you. Figure it out. Now is not the time to be modest, humility won't sell your book. If you're struggling, think about the greatest compliments you've ever received, or ask your friends how they would describe you to someone else. Once you've done some soul-searching, create a list of your three to five most dominant positive traits. Quirks and eccentricities can make their way into the list provided they're useful or likable. You're writing and creativity don't need to be on the list because they're implied, you're trying to market a book. We already know storytelling is your thing. Think about your other strengths that make you uniquely you. My list is I'm tough, I'm funny, and I'm determined. I'm also honest to a fault, but I can use this as a likable quality depending on the situation. Once you've created your list, you're going to set it aside for a minute and move on to the next question. What do I have to offer? We already know you have stories to offer because that's why you're here. We're looking for something else you can offer, some other type of contribution that benefits the world, particularly your target audience. The reason for this is simple. There are countless novels available for purchase, and people aren't just going to randomly stumble across yours, let alone purchase it if they've never heard of you or have no incentive to do so. But Jenna, lots of authors sell their novels off their name alone. Yes, but those authors are famous or you didn't think so. Now some writers think, okay, I know how I can fix this. I'll just set up a platform and talk about myself. But here is the issue. No one even knows who you are. There are thousands of writers online and even more joining social media every day. Why should readers care about you over all others? What exactly would compel them to tune in? This is why you need to offer something valuable to other people, it's the key to getting the masses interested in you and your work. Now remember, we established a target audience for a reason. The goal is to appeal to that particular group of people and thus the service we're offering needs to attract them as well. Additionally, your service needs to somehow be relevant to your product which in this case is your novel. If you're a great cook, but you're writing a book about dragons, that skill isn't going to be so useful in this regard. Here are a few skills that are relevant. A lot of writers are voracious readers and thus they become book reviewers. That is the service they offer to the masses. Some chronicle their publishing experience, so other newbie writers can see how the process works firsthand. I give writing and publishing advice on my platform. Maybe you're a great actor, and you can act out different scenes from literature. Do you? Finding some way to add value to people's lives is the easiest way to separate yourself from the herd. While other writers are begging readers to give their book a chance you're offering information or entertainment and the more unique you can make your service, the better. Now that we've figured out who we are and what we have to offer, our final step is to merge these things together. The idea is to personalize the service, to make it feel extra special because it's coming from you. You might have decided to offer book reviews and that's great. But a lot of writers do book reviews, like a lot. What makes your reviews different? Take a look at other book reviewers. What's missing from their platforms that only you can provide. A lot of people see other successful writers and seek to duplicate their process. This is a big mistake. The original will always be worth more than the knockoff. You don't want to be anyone's knock off. You want to be the best version of you that you can possibly be. That's where your list of traits comes into play. You're going to find a way to take your service and season it with everything that makes you unique. I'm going to use myself as an example here. This is who I am and this is the service I'm offering. How can I bring these things together. Well, first of all, I can make my content funny. There's a lot of writing advice online and most of it is mind numbingly dull. I'll be the one to change that. People will come to my platform because I'm a delight. Second, I'm a little too honest. A lot of publishing advice is bogged down with jargon or sidesteps the more unappealing facts. But I'm going to cut the crap with my audience. I'm going to cover this stuff no one else wants to talk about, I'm going to be straightforward, and I'm going to do this all with a hefty dose of tough love. Lastly, I'm determined. Grit is super important in this industry, so I'm going to use my determination to motivate others to be just as tenacious. Now my writing advice isn't just writing advice. It's advice from [inaudible]. It's separate from the herd because I established my voice and injected it into my platform. Not only will this set you apart from other writers, it'll allow your audience to become connected to you. They're getting to know your personality through your content. This is how you turn consumers into fans. They may initially come to your platform for book reviews, but they'll keep coming back because they are your book reviews. They are a fan of you. If they're your fan, that means they're going to want to learn about whatever you're working on like your book. 5. Creating a Game Plan: [MUSIC] Now that you've determined the type of content you're going to provide, it's time to create a game plan so you can deliver this content in the most effective way possible. I like to break this step up into its simplest parts. The who, what, where, when, and how. We already established the who and the what. The who refers to who you're appealing to, and that's your target audience, and the what refers to what service you're offering. That brings us to where, as in where are you going to post this content? Think of a central location to host your particular service. It could be your website, your blog, a social media page, whatever, so long as it's consistent. Don't send your audience on a wild goose chase. When choosing your location, you need to take a few things into consideration. Which location is the most visible. You may have a personal website and that's great, but how many hits is it getting? On the flip side platforms like Tumblr have a wide range of users, you might have better success if you posted your content there. Are you a good fit for this location? Lots of writers are turning to YouTube to post their content. But YouTube requires more than just quality information. It requires public speaking skills and a memorable presence. If you're not so great at speaking on camera, YouTube is probably a bad fit. The last thing you ought to consider is your personal comfort. I will be the first person to tell you that being a professional writer means pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. But that doesn't mean you have to make yourself miserable. There's a particular platform just not vibing with you no matter how much you try to make it work. I use to keep an advisory blog on Tumblr, but the problem was, I hate writing blog posts. I much prefer giving advice verbally. Which is why I switched to YouTube. Once you figure out where you move onto when, as in when will you be posting your content? I recommend posting content on a set day, once a week. It's important that you establish a schedule, that way your audience knows when to expect your content. It's also important that you deliver. We all have busy lives and sometimes the universe drops a bomb on you. It's okay to miss a week every few months provided you let your audience know. But if you are regularly skipping weeks and constantly having to apologize to your audience, "sorry I've been gone so long. Life is so crazy." Yeah, your audience is going to disappear real quick. People don't tolerate flakes. A lot of content creators prepare the work ahead of time. They'll have a ton of work saved weeks in advance. That way if life throws them a curveball. They've still got something prepared. Lastly, we reach the how, how are you going to spread the word about your content? It's all well and dandy, if you uploaded a blog post or a video. But that doesn't really mean anything if no one knows it exists. The first you got to consider is the title of your post. Sometimes people like to choose clever or elaborate titles. Say you wrote a blog post all about the mistakes you've made during the publishing process and you decided to title it, "I'm a giant idiot". That's funny, I guess, but it's not exactly searchable. You want to choose a title that someone can easily stumble across while entering a google search. If you title your post "Mistakes I made while publishing my novel", you probably get a lot more hits. Think about key words. What words and phrases will people will be searching for when looking for contents such as your own. The next thing to consider is social media. You made all those profiles for a reason after all. Go to each of your social media pages and announce that your content is live. There are also popular hashtags on various platforms that lots of writers search under. AmWriting is a popular hashtag on Twitter, Writerblr is a popular hashtag on Tumblr, and WritersofInstagram is a popular hashtag on Instagram. I know you probably think hashtags are annoying, but it's a really easy way to make your content available to a much wider audience. So that's how you set up your game plan. Go ahead and set up a platform you plan to use for your main content. Be sure to establish a schedule and don't forget to promote your content on social media. I'll see you in my next lesson where I'll be discussing audience engagement. 6. Audience Engagement: You're well on your way toward putting together an attention-grabbing platform. Now it's time to actually target your target audience. Now, there's a lot of internet strategies for gaining followers, and most of them are technical, like follow for follow apps, ads, or analytics. All of this can potentially work. You will most likely increase your follow count. The problem is, these are what I call passive followers. Sure, they may be subscribed to your blog, but that doesn't mean they actually read your content or even care about what you have to say. Clicks, views, and numbers are great. But your goal should be to accumulate fans, people who actually admire you and want to support you and your product. Before I cover how to grow your fandom, I'm going to go over some of the most popular techniques writers and Floyd and why they're not ideal. The first and probably most popular trick is the follow for follow or follow back method. This is where a writer follows a ton of other readers and writers on Twitter with the expectation that they're going to follow them back. Or are they enlist and act to do this for them. This is a very easy way to increase your follower rate in a short amount of time. However, these people are only following you because you follow them. They don't actually care about your content and the author slim that any of them will ever become your fan. Additionally, it's very transparent when writers implement this method, because as their follower rate increases, so does their following rate. Sure 20,000 people are following you on Twitter, but that doesn't look impressive when you're following just as many, breeders know what you're doing and they're judging you harshly. The second method writers often use is the Automated Message. Hi there, my name is Jenna Moreci. I see that you like books. I just so happen to be writing a book called Don't Eat Yellow Snow: A Cautionary Tale, would you mind following my blog and checking it out? No one likes receiving messages like this because they're impersonal and rude, you're letting them know right out the gate. Hey there I don't actually care about you, I didn't even bother to learn your name. I'm only here for personal gain. The last crappy method I'm going to mention is probably the most annoying, incessant, Twitter spamming, creepy crawly horror novel, bigfoot with a machine gun! Buy now, signal boost. This method may get you a few sales, but it will also get you blocked by a lot of people. Now let me be clear. It's not that these methods don't work. There's just no long-term sustainable benefit. Your goal should be to create a loyal audience and fandom, one that cares about you and will grow with you over time. None of these methods will do that for you. There's simply instant gratification. How does one grow an audience that translates into a fandom, especially if they're just getting started? I've tried a lot of methods over the years, and the number 1, best tactic for creating connections and establishing a loyal fan base is talking to people. Conversations with other human beings. I know this is an introverts nightmare. I'm an introvert as well, but getting involved in the reading community and speaking directly to your target audience, is a huge asset to an aspiring author for multiple reasons. First, let me get the obvious out of the way. You are going to want to have writer friends throughout this journey. Bottom line, writer friends understand the struggle. They will help you during the hard times because they've been there, done that, and probably have solutions on a related note, engaging with the community is a great way to make connections. This is how writers find a better readers, critique partners, and street team members, or get recommendations for editors, agents, or cover artists. Lastly, it is the most effective way to begin building an audience without resorting to spamming or giving off sales and vibes, making friends and mingling with reading and writing community makes instantly relatable. You know of some pretentious writer who's too good for their mirror in readership. You are a real approachable person and that's a great reputation to have, one that will make you popular and likable. But Jenna, How am I supposed to mingle with other readers and writers? There are lots of reading and writing forums online as well as groups on Facebook or Reddit. There's an entire community on Tumblr that affectionately refers to itself as writer war. There's a writing community on YouTube called Authortube, as well as a reading community called Booktube. Readers and writers exist in droves on Twitter. All you have to do is check out the various authors, agents, and phantom accounts and see who's following them. Of course you are taking a class here on Skillshare that is filled with other writers and readers you can mingle right here in the community page. I highly encourage it in fact. But Jenna, how do I talk to these people? Starting a conversation with a complete stranger can be intimidating. Fortunately, the Internet makes it a lot easier, and also a lot creepier, but we'll ignore that last part for now. Here's a basic example of how to easily engage with someone in the reading or writing community, specifically someone reflective of your target audience. Say you're perusing Tumblrs writing community, the easiest way to do this is to type writerblr in the search function and see what pops up. You notice that a particular writer within this community, we blogged a post about a book that you happen to love. Even better, this person is in their mid 20s, which means they fall into your designated target audience. Simply shoot them a message or comment the post saying, "oh my gosh, I love that book too, have you start with the SQL, it's even better. The sidekick is my favorite character." This is an easy way to start a dialogue. You're bonding with them over common ground and showing a genuine interest in them, which makes them much more likely to respond. Notice that I'm not recommending you pitch your book or your platform right out the gate. The key here is to make actual friendships, get involved as you make more and more connections, eventually it'll start exchanging information, including the fact that you're writing a book and that you have a budding platform. At this point, people will actually be interested in your content because you've already proven yourself to be a relatable, likable person, not a spammer or a salesman, but Jenna, this sounds so time-consuming, writing a book is time consuming but you still managed to do that. I know you might be thinking there's got to be be an easier way, and there is, all those methods I mentioned at the beginning that will develop into anything sustainable. Additionally, mingling in the reading and writing community, is not a process that needs to occur throughout the entirety of your writing career. It's just especially beneficial when you're getting started. As your audience grows over time, your fans will spread the word for you. You won't have to be a social butterfly forever. This is just so you can plant the seed for your platform to grow. But Jenna, it sounds so uncomfortable. Comfort zones are for people who never go anywhere in life. I know this probably isn't what you wanted to hear, but as someone who has tried countless tips and tricks, nothing has grown my fandom like communication, reach out to people online, started dialogue, make friends, get out of your writer shell, and watch her follower account blossom. 7. Common Mistakes: Thanks so much for joining me throughout this class.Before we wrap things up, I wanted to end with a few pointers regarding what not to do with your author platform. I've been involved in the writing community for a while. I've noticed a lot of trends that separate the successful authors from the not so successful. I've seen many writers prevent their own platforms from taking off or worse, sabotage themselves right when they were finally growing. Since these mistakes are so common, I think it's important to share with you the key differences between a compelling author platform and one that's going to lose its audience real quick.The first trend is competence versus cowering, we all feel insecure about our work at times, that's completely normal. But if you want to maintain a successful author platform, you can't broadcast all these moments to your audience when talking about your book, do it with confidence. You care about the story, don't you? That's why you're writing it in the first place. Writers who post updates like, "I know my plots pretty generic'' or "Here's my synopsis, I realize it's boring'' or stifling their growth before they even have a chance. You can't expect anyone to believe in your book if you've made it clear that you don't believe in it yourself. Don't belittle your novel, it will not make people want to read it. Instead, speak about your novel with passion and competence. Give it the praise it deserves. The second trend is authenticity versus transparency, it's great to be authentic with your audience. A lot of writers use social media to get personal with their fan by posting a ridiculous selfie or sharing a funny story about their family. This content makes you relatable. You're not some untouchable creative, you're a real person and that makes you a million times more likable. But what makes you likable, is if you're completely transparent. An authentic writer gives their audience and look into their personal life. But a transparent writer uses social media as a diary, that is a big mistake. It is extremely unprofessional to rant on social media about every blunder you face in the writing industry."Another rejection letter, clearly agents just don't appreciate my brilliance.I don't even know why bother''. Be mindful of the complaints you're making online. What impression does it give off if you're constantly listing your failures, tearing down other industry professionals, or throwing a tantrum over your negative book reviews. For every person who offers you sympathy, there will be 10 more sitting at their computer with a bag of popcorn thinking, "oh man, this is juicy. I have got to read that crappy review right now''. Congratulations, You just popularized harsh criticism of your novel.That was stupid.The last trend is appreciation versus desperation. A lot of writers will tweet that they keep refreshing their page to see if their views are increasing. They'll complain that they're not getting enough engagement or they'll beg or bribe people to subscribe. This comes off as extremely desperate and that's not a good look for a number of reasons. One, you're exposing your shortcomings. You're telling people that you don't have much of an audience and they might not have noticed that if you didn't bring it up. Two, your not being appreciative, you should be thankful for the audience you have no matter how small. Instead you're fixated on what you don't have and what message does that send to your fans? You're telling them that they're not enough for you. Three, people by enlarge are naturally repulsed by desperation. That's why it doesn't work much magic in the dating scene. It's normal to worry about your platform, but growth takes time. If you want to facilitate that growth, don't broadcast desperation, vocalize appreciation. Instead of tweeting about how your blog posts didn't get enough views, tweet out a thank you to everyone who did read it. Tell them how much you loved their comments. Showing regular appreciation is not only just a nice thing to do, it has a lot of strategic benefits. One, it makes your audience feel good and if you continually make them feel good about their participation, that only encourage them to participate more. Two, loyal followers get their friends involved. If you're able to foster a bond with your audience, it will grow, because your fans will tell their friends about you. Three, you are boosting the credibility of your platform. Think of it as the glass half full approach. Instead of pointing out the fact that you didn't get a lot of views, you're praising the fact that you have views, period. This boosts your credibility to others who may not be familiar with your platform. They see you thanking the masses for their engagement and support. This tells them, "huh, other people like what they have to say, maybe I should be interested too.'' 8. Your Project: Now, that you've learned the ins and outs of establishing a compelling author platform, I've got a little project for you that will help you put that knowledge to use. I want you to establish your author voice and set up a content game plan. First, you're going to work on your voice. Create a list of 3-5 positive traits that make you uniquely you. Next, create a list of 1-3 skills or services that you can potentially offer your target audience. You don't have to end up offering all of these services, but this is just to give you some options. After that, I want you to prepare a statement regarding how you plan to merge your personality with the services listed. How are you going to establish your voice and make your platform shine? Lastly, we have the game plan, nail down the who, what, where, when, and how for your platform based on the voice you've created. Be sure to share your project with me and your other classmates in the project section, and that way we can all help each other make our platforms the absolute best they can be. I'm super excited to see what you come up with. 9. Final Thoughts: We covered a lot today, and now it's time to put all that knowledge to use. Nail down your target audience, set up your social media platforms, and if you haven't yet, be sure to participate in the class project. List your author voice and content game plan in the project section below. If there's one thing you take away from this class, I hope it's that establishing a successful author platform is not impossible. It doesn't take a ton of money or connections. You don't have to know a guy. It just takes a lot of hard work, communication, and personality. Inject your unique self into your platform. Allow your audience to get to know the best, most dynamic sides of you. By doing this, I was able to grow a legitimate fandom out of nothing, and you can too. Finding your groove and getting comfortable with your platform takes time, and trial and error. You don't have to get it perfect right from the start, but you should start sooner rather than later, so get this platform going now. Thanks so much for joining me today. I can't wait to see your project, and I can't wait to see your author platform come to life.