Thursday, June 19, 2014

Guest Post: 4 Steps to Building Your Author Platform by Rivka Kawano

Everyone these days talks about platform, platform, platform. And for good reason! With it you will be able to sell books, get new opportunities, and live your dream. Without it, you are just another person who writes stuff. And there are lots of those.

The good news you can start from scratch, and anyone can do it. But be warned: it will take time and effort, just like all good things. You have spent this long making your book great, invest a little more to make sure someone reads it!

Step 1: Know Who Your Platform Is

This sounds simple, but most authors that I work with don’t start out with a clear picture of who is a part of their audience and who isn’t. The better you know the unique people who will fall in love with you and your book, the better you can start building relationship with them.

Ask yourself the following questions:

●        Who would be most interested in my book?
●        What social media platforms do they use?
●        Where else do they hang out online?
●        Where do they hang out offline?
●        What matters most to them?
●        Why will they love my book?

Knowing the answers to these questions allow you to position yourself and pitch your book in a way that your ideal audience won’t be able to help but buy your book.

Step 2: Know Your Book and Yourself

Having a great pitch is so important for your book. One author I worked with started doing private coaching with me because she was on speaker phone with someone and Oprah happened to walk in the room. Yes, THAT Oprah. While they exchanges a pleasant hello, the author was not able to really maximize the opportunity because she did not know how to build relationships or when and how to pitch her book.

This does not mean that you want to be pushing your book on everyone you meet. It is all about naturally and elegantly working it into the conversation and always leaving the door open to go deeper.

Be clear on your strengths and the best way to connect with others. Are you great in front of a group? Better one on one? Love social media? Play to your strengths.

Step 3: Build a Foundation

Once you start meeting people and introducing them to your book you need to find a way to stay in touch. If you met a girl or a guy you wanted to date would you rely on bumping into them again? Or would you get their number? You need to get the number of your reader!

In the online world though you don’t actually want their phone number, you want their e-mail address. Make sure you have a website, way to sign up for e-mail updates, and links to your social media profiles so that you are easy to find, and easy to stay in touch with. More importantly make it easy for your readers to give you permission to get in touch with them too.

Step 4: Apply Smart Strategies Consistently

What would you think of someone who built the foundation for a house and then left town? That is what authors do online every day. If you have a great website and plan, make sure to execute! Real relationships are built over time and the same is true with connecting with your audience. Be consistent. Be there. Interact. It does make a difference when done consistently!

Rivka Kawano is a marketing coach for authors through her business Author SenseiShe is also author of the book What to Post