by Lani deGuia
We are hearing more and more of how authors and illustrators need to create a platform to market their work, engage with colleagues, expand readership, and gain exposure for potential publishing. Facebook, Twitter, websites, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+…the social media channels available to you are vast and expanding as we speak. Throughout the upcoming year, I’ll be sharing tips on developing your professional identity online. From the nuts and bolts of starting your platform to the latest trends, there will be something for everyone!
Why a platform?
Do you have a professional presence online? The fact of the matter is that you are technically a “brand” as a writer and illustrator. Your creative work is your product and has a signature style only native to you. If we were in a perfect world, your creative genius will be easily spotted and recognized. However, we know that isn’t the case as our society is oftentimes saturated with less than quality notions. In a competitive market, establishing your brand starts the moment you decide you want to share your work with the public. It could be the one element you need to solidify long-term career success.
A platform is not just an online footprint for someone to “stumble upon” your work and ask to work with you. It is so much more. It gives the public an opportunity to relate to you. Think about your favorite authors and illustrators. Could you share something about them beyond the books they’ve written (such as where they live, how they started, what inspires them)? How does meeting an author at a book signing or conference influence your decision to read their work? We seek to relate and connect to those behind creativity and appreciate authenticity.
Here are three questions to help you brainstorm about your platform progress.
1. Exposure: What platform channels do you currently have? Make a goal to either improve at least one channel or build an additional one (or two!) this upcoming year
2. Identity: How do you define yourself as a creator? What are your core values? Does this come across on your platform channels? Brainstorm 3 ways you can improve sharing your identity through your posts, site, etc.
Do you always update your channel on your latest works, speaking engagements, inspirations, etc.?
What is the tone of your channels? Are you encouraging, inspirational, or negative?
What is the style and quality of the content you share? Do you want to stay informational, personal, or a balance of both?
3. Engagement: How do you work to establish relationships in the virtual space professionally and personally? Is it all about you or are you part of a collaborative? What do you do well and what can you improve?
Take your responses and set some goals for your platform for 2014. If you are chomping at the bit to develop your platform, take a look at Kimberley Grabas’ article “101 Quick Actions You Can Take Today To Build The Writer Platform Of Your Dreams”. It’s a great comprehensive and quick start to find something new to add to your strategy.
So how does your platform look? Please share so we can learn from each other!
Lani deGuia is an educator, blogger, and mother of three. She has over 13 years of educational experience as a teacher, instructional technologist, and curriculum developer in traditional and online classroom settings for both K-12 and adult learners. She currently works as a freelance curriculum writer, social media manager, and social influencer for both small and large national businesses. You can find her at Rose Tinted Traveler where she writes about family travel, 21st century parenting, and technology reviews.
Meet the Friday Blogonauts
First Fridays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer , man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
Second Fridays will feature awesome multi-award winning author Marsha Diane Arnold who will be writing about character-driven and/or nature-based books and/or anything she likes :)
Third Fridays will feature independent Aladdin/Simon & Shuster editor Emma Sector who has helped bring many books into the world.
Fourth Fridays will feature the great Christine Taylor-Butler who has published over 70 award-winning fiction and non-fiction and nonfiction books including the acclaimed new middle grade series - The Lost Tribes.
Fifth Fridays will feature the fabulous Carl Angel award-winning multi-published Illustrator and graphic designer.
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