Building Online Relationships
By Tasha Turner
So much contradictory social media advice being given out there. I was at Boskone a couple of weeks ago. I attended a couple of panels. Spent time volunteering. Sat around talking to people and listening to conversations around me. One of the hot topics was social networking and Building Online Relationships.
Who to Follow
Love a particular author and their publisher? Find out if that author, agent (thanked in the acknowledgements), editor (thanked in the acknowledgements), and publisher have blogs. Follow their blogs, add thoughtful comment on the blogs, if you blog respond to their blogs on yours, link to the blog you are responding to and email the author to let them know.
What you want to do is add value before approaching them. This is a 3-6 month project. Expect to spent 10 minutes a few days a week on it. You might point them to an article or blog you ran across in your journeys that week related to their topic. You might ask a question that gets their readers into a discussion. You might ask a question that gives them an idea for a follow-up blog.
When will I have time to do this? When will I write? I need time for a life, friends, and family. Are you thinking “I blog a few times a week or more, I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, yahoo groups, I never get to write any more”?
Are You Spread Too Thin?
You might be spreading yourself too thin. Pick a couple of places that you enjoy. Set time limits. If you are spending more than 10 hours a week doing social media you might be spending too much time online. Write down what your goals are. Keep that list next to you when online doing social networking.
Using Your Time Wisely
Social media should be about building relationships so you have to do less work marketing yourself and have more time to write. This means you need to set goals for what you want to accomplish. Look at where you are online and who is helping you to reach those goals. If you have built relationships promoting others more than yourself (80% not you/20% you) and they are doing that also then that is a group/space to continue to spend time in. If you are spending most of your time promoting yourself and others but not getting the same back maybe it’s not the right space or maybe you need to re-evaluate how you are doing things.
Fifteen minutes in the morning, 15 minutes at night. Another 30 minutes 2x a week to write your blog. If you are working towards a specific agent/editor/publishing house it might add a little time or you might refocus a couple of your days to that exclusively.
Is this right for everyone? No. I see so many authors burning out because they are not using social media efficiently. Authors must write books and manage social media time. Whether they are going to self-publish, go with a small publishing firm, a mid-size publishing firm, or the big 6 they need a platform today… probably. Authors also need a life outside of writing and marketing books.
Be true to yourself. Don’t let anyone convince you there is only one way to do things be it social networking, how to write, or what path to take to publish a book. Make sure you are having fun as well as attending to business. Life is too short to waste it not having fun doing what you love with the people important to you.
Other helpful posts
- Social Network Platform: What It Is and Why You Need One
- Target Market Research
- Blogging for your Audience