Let’s admit it – I think most of us secretly (or maybe not-so-secretly?) harbor a dream of becoming full-fledged authors. Many in the BATX community already are – which is beyond awesome. Local author Britney King (“Bedrock”, “Around the Bend”) has joined us today to talk about self-promotion, or marketing yourself. It’s hard to talk yourself up – it feels really wrong to tell somebody else how awesome you are – but in order to promote your blog, you have to remember that you are your brand. Britney is AWESOME at selling herself – and doing it without seeming like a jerk – that’s a fine line to walk, and she does it with grace.
I sent her a few questions via email and she was kind enough to answer them for us!
BlogathonATX: What outlets are available for self-promotion? What works best for you?
Britney King: There are so many. I mean, it seems like a new social media platform is popping up everyday. ☺ I use several of them in conjunction with one another. But mainly, I spend the majority of my time on Facebook, as this is where my target audience currently spends the most time. Oh and by the way, I loathe the term self-promotion. 🙂 I prefer marketing.
I don’t know why but “self-promotion” sounds dirty to me. I’m not really promoting myself actually I’m promoting a product and as an author I just happen to be the “brand” behind that product—so I try to keep in mind it really isn’t about me. This in a sense makes my job easier.
BlogathonATX: What is your target demographic? How did you determine that?
Britney King: I write women’s fiction and I blog about my life lessons. So, women age 18-65 are generally my target audience. With certain books it varies as some books resonate more with certain age groups over others. Overall, I try and tell stories on contemporary issues that will appeal to a variety of women at various ages. This probably goes against a lot of the marketing advice that’s out there—but that’s just the way I prefer to do things right now…
BATX: What are some specific tools and tricks avail to help focus aim?
BK: First, automate as much as you can. Pick a platform or two and be consistent. After that—I think the best advice I can offer is how important it is to connect with your audience in an authentic way. Not everyone is going to love you (or your product) and that’s OK. But if you do a decent job of talking about whatever it is the percentage of people who do like you are interested in talking about (while being authentic) then you’re golden. The key, for me, has been to connect with the people who “get me” and spend less time focusing on those who don’t. I think there’s a Taylor Swift song about that somewhere. ☺ Maybe even a couple of them. 😉
In all seriousness though, I often see people trying to hone in on the PERFECT tool or trick or thing to say… but in my experience there isn’t one. Just focus on being as “real” and honest as you can be. The right people will follow along.
BATX: Is it better to focus primarily on your target demographic or spread your focus wider?
BK: My target audience is fairly broad in age range. And I think this is ok, as some people will connect with certain things and others with well, other things. I guess this depends on your blog, product, or service.
BATX: Have you ever “boosted a post” on Facebook or Twitter? Was it worth it?
BK: Yes. In some cases it was worth it and in others not. What I’ve learned is that the call to action has to be REALLY blatant for it “pay off.” In other words, focus on what implicit action you want your audience to take and ask yourself whether that messaging is really clear in what it is that you are boosting.
BATX: Your fans are intensely loyal – is that something you set out to do deliberately or what it more spontaneous?
BK: I’m a relationship kinda girl and a writer so I want to know what makes people tick. I hope that the level at which I care about not only my fans—but people in general comes across in a genuine way—otherwise I’m doing something wrong. I’ve always tried to be very deliberate about growing my audience in a positive, supportive way. As they say, like attracts like. Also, I’m very loyal. When I like a product or service or person I want others to know about them too. I figure it’s good karma…
BATX: Do you have any advice for someone who feels timid about self promotion?
BK: Stop looking at it as “self promotion.” Stop worrying about selling yourself and focus on connecting. Also, the truth is no one is going to give you permission to do what it is you want to do. Most of the time, they’re not going to ask for it. You just have to do it anyway and trust that what you’re offering is valuable and relevant to the people you’re looking to reach. It’s more about belief in yourself than anything. So… even if that’s all you’ve got—if it’s delivered in a genuine and humble way …it’s probably going to be damn sexy to at least someone out there. Lastly, it’s ok to say “I don’t know” or “I’m just as scared as the next person.” I think people often feel like they have to have it all figured out and yet almost no one does. That’s important to keep in mind…
BATX: What doesn’t work?
BK: Trying to be someone or something you’re not. And trolls. Trolls just don’t work…for me. ☺
BATX: Best advice you received starting out? Worst?
BK: Karma is real! In terms of the online world, this is just my own advice: Be happy for others when they’re happy. Be sad for them when they’re sad. And when they say something that annoys you or pisses you off—ignore it. Unless a common occurrence— then you have to decide whether or not this is a person you want to follow or have follow you. Also, it’s ok to emulate those you look up to—but it’s even better, and I would argue vital, to add your own flavor.
I’m not sure about the worst advice I’ve received…but I do know that when I’ve gone against my own intuition—whether it be about a person or project or whatever—and I’ve ignored that “nagging feeling” that something isn’t quite right—it has always come back to bite me in the ass. Wait…am I allowed to say ass? I guess I should’ve asked about the target audience of this interview. ☺
BATX: What was the hardest part about getting started? How did you get past it?
BK: The realization that it IS work. Hard work. Work that takes time, and consistency, and dedication. Instant success is a rarity. And I think people often forget that. I schedule my time and don’t buy into the excuses I’m so brilliant at coming up with about why it’s not a good time to go the work. Oh, that was some good advice I received once. “Never miss two days in a row of any important habit. It’s deadly.” And… in my experience true.
The other thing excuse I hear and see a lot (I own a women’s network) is people tend to think everyone else somehow has it “easier” than they do whether it be connections, time, money, what have you…but the truth is… we all have our own challenges. For example, I had my first baby at fourteen and my second a just week shy of turning seventeen. The odds were pretty much stacked against me ever having any kind of “dream career.” Also, I don’t have a college degree and had pretty much zero writing credentials behind my name until I published my first novel. I have five kids and a day job—which also as it turns out, equates to not a lot of spare time (or anything else) lying around. ☺ That said, if I’d waited for permission or validation to do what it is I wanted to do…I’d likely still be waiting. Instead, I just went for it and figured things out along the way. Heck, I’m still figuring things out. ☺ I’ve been betrayed, stolen from, reviewed poorly, and even sued in this business. It hasn’t all been rosy—which is one thing I blog about. However, most people don’t see these things—so, from the outside looking in I guess it’s easy to think that way. But, it’s rarely true. For me, or for anyone else.
BATX: Tell us about your books? Where can we buy them?
BK: Well, first off for anyone who has read this far, thank you. ☺ I write romantic suspense, contemporary romance, and dark romance. My books can be found at all major retailers. You can find more info via Amazon and my website.
Thanks so much Britney! There’s a lot of good information here – want to continue the conversation? Leave a comment or join the BlogathonATX Community on Facebook!