Friday, January 6, 2017

Making Connections

There are a number of ways to connect with your readers. The most common currently, though definitely not my favorite is through different forms of social media. Personally I only use Twitter and Facebook though their are others like Instagram, Periscope, Vine, Linked In and Tumblr just to name a few. I am not sure how to use most of them but I have gotten better with the two I use. Once you have established your profile on any that you intend to utilize you must then let your audience know you are there.

Teasers, posts and pictures are wonderful ways to step out into the world of social media but interaction is key. Having information thrown at your readers without inviting them in is a great way to scare them off. Ask questions, play games and respond to comments or messages when they are received. Letting your readers know how much they mean to you will make them not only keep coming back but if done correctly, bring their friends with them the next time around.

Websites are also important places to connect. These days everyone has a website and allowing your readers to come into your world makes them feel less like customers and more like friends. Show them who you are, what you have to offer and give them a place to share in the fun. Once again being interactive is key. My soon to be launched site has my books and calendar of events on it but also has several links to my Facebook, Twitter, this blog, my email and a way to sign up for my newsletter I am launching this month. It will be a learning experience but one that my readers and I get to do together.

Newsletters are common for authors. Not everyone I know has one but several do. It is a way to share struggles and triumphs, upcoming events and a teaser or two along the way. You can also use it to spotlight organizations, events or people that are particularly meaningful at the moment. I am a part of an all volunteer group that writes, publishes and promotes charity anthologies. I was listed as the volunteer of the month which went out in the monthly newsletter for that organization. It is great to be able to feature people or companies that help make a difference in your life both personally and professionally.

The last connection is by far my favorite, face to face. I can say without hesitation it is the one I am best at. I love to smile, shake hands and see the other person as we talk. When I am selling a book there is nothing like signing the copy and handing it to the person that will be taking it home. When networking it is easier to stand out from the crowd by looking the person in the eye and reading their body language as you converse. I cannot wait every time I know I have an event coming up so I can meet new people. 

No matter what your preference in style, for most of us it is a mixture of them all to some extent, the important thing to remember is to make that connection. Most people by nature are social creatures we just have to find that common ground. As writers we must remember that people are more likely to buy from a friend and keep coming back than to make a quick purchase from a stranger they feel nothing towards. Reach out and find a way to bring others into your world and when done right they will keep coming back for more.

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