Wow. Thanks for sticking with me for an entire month as I attempt to grow my mailing list this year. If you would like to get caught up on previous weeks, check out the 1000 “True” Fan Landing Page.
Review of Past Week (Mission 3: Bribery!): Success. (Notice, no exclamation point here.)
Last week, I put together a collection of 3 short stories to give away as an “ethical” bribe to join my mailing list.Taking this little book I created, I updated all my social media outlets letting everyone know that if they joined my mailing list, they’ll receive this short story collection. Hey, look at what I even did to my Facebook page and how I changed my newsletter subscription screen (small successes, right?):
Also, I may have overloaded twitter with posts. (I learned how to use a tweet scheduler this week. It was kinda fun. Even with 2000+ twitter followers, nobody sees these things, but that’s a topic for another mission.)
Overall, I don’t think many of these tactics worked. Maybe my “ethical” bribe wasn’t interesting…or everyone is giving something away free these days. Oh well. What I’m calling a success is having a gift to share when “true” fans who do sign up. That’s my goal anyway, to make and keep followers.
How did this week pan out?
Current Subscriptions: 31 fans / 1000 true fans (I’m up 5 people this week. Perhaps spill over from last week or maybe from discovering my “platform.” (More of that below.)
This Weeks Mission: What’s Your Platform? Honestly, it wasn’t until this past week that I even thought about what my platform was, or even how a platform applied to an author…or a blogger. (Hey, I didn’t even consider myself a blogger until last week!) Here’s my simplified definition:
Author/Blogger Platform: Your personality trait that draws in “fans.” (Ha ha. Did you like how I slipped that word in?)
I thought it would be my writing. When I started this blog a year ago, I was going to use it to showcase my stories. I started with some flash fiction, then switched to sharing my journey. Why did I switch? Because I got more interest in (cheers for?) my struggle to be a writer than I did with what I created. PLUS, I LOVE DOING IT! (Which now makes me think the “freebie” I created last week was the wrong one. If I had thought about my “platform” then, I would have spent some time creating some little booklet elaborating on some of the more popular blog posts.)
According to Jeff Goins at www.goinswriter.com, there are five different platforms: The Journalist, The Prophet, The Artist, The Professor, and The Star. Check out the details here: The 5 Types of Marketing Platforms and figure out which one you are. In his webinar, he challenges you to find which one is your primary platform and stick to it for 30 days, aligning your blog posts, social media, emails, etc. with this theme.
So, who am I? The professor. I’ve always been the “trainer” and “teacher” at work and in life, having a thirst for knowledge. I’m an over-researcher. (Okay, maybe I’m a little bit of “The Star” too, though I don’t like that title. I do enjoy sharing my stories.)
What does this all mean? Go back up to the definition: Your personality trait that draws in “fans.” So, I’m a professor. It’s who I naturally am. I shouldn’t try to change and be the artist, since my “fans” are here for my experiences. In addition to this, Forbes says, your platform is a combination of personality, authenticity, and expertise.
Now, I’m looking to creating my first newsletter. Knowing my platform helps me determine what content / theme to put in that document. A rant on Facebook censorship probably won’t be my reader’s favorite.
Then, moving on to the future of this blog post series (social media), knowing your platform will help develop your social media presence. What do you post on Facebook? How do you interact on Twitter? Reach to your platform for ideas.
Where do we go from here? How does this apply to “1000 True Fans?” Keeping my platform in mind, here’s some ideas:
- Guest Blogging: Start connecting with other bloggers who align with your platform. Get to know them. Offer a guest post, if they’re looking. The goal is that some of their audience will be interested in what you have to say.
- Networking: Help people by doing favors. Don’t ask, “How can I help,” but rather, find what they need and make a specific offer. Start connecting with like-minded people through meaningful interactions.
- Newsletter: Another thing I need to develop is WHAT my newsletter/email persona is. I’ll be blogging about this in the near future.
- Blog Clean Up: Now that I know my platform, I’m going to reorganize my blog around it. Highlighting those things that make me…well…me.
Learn More: You can find out more about platforms here:
- Build Your Author Platform: 7 Ways to Start From Scratch
- Building Your Platform in 10 Hours Per Week
Next Week: Social media optimization, here I come!
(Note: The first three weeks of this series, I had been loosely following the program outlined in Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing 101’s Webinar: “30 Days to 100 Fans: Mailing Lists 101.” I was supposed to “Experiment with Paid Traffic” somewhere in that 30 days. Utilizing Facebook ads and do free book promotions through sites like Bookbub, Freebooksy, and Booksends. I decided against this at this time. I may revisit it later, but don’t feel I have enough of a platform to take this step.)