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••• The International Writers Magazine - 21 Years on-line - ON WRITING

How Writers Can Utilize Marketing Tools To Expand Their Personal Brand
• Indiana Lee


Writing is artistic, creative, emotional, passionate, and most of all, it’s a personal activity. Most writers produce their greatest content when they’re holed up in their own writing spaces, working in quiet solitude.

However, if you want to have your written voice heard, sooner or later you need to seek out the limelight. If you’re a writer who is struggling to promote yourself — and let’s face it, what writer doesn’t struggle with that? — here are some tips and suggestions for ways that you can utilize the powerful array of marketing tools currently available in order to establish and expand your personal brand.

Build a Blog

One of the simplest ways to begin creating an online footprint for yourself is to set up a blog. You can use it to showcase your writing skills, set up an online portfolio, or promote your own personal thoughts, opinions, and knowledge. Regardless of the specific tone and voice, having your own blog gives you custom, quality content with your own name on it to serve as a solid foundation of online marketing collateral.

If you’re a writer, the concept of writing your own blog may sound like a cakewalk — and it is, as far as the writing part goes. However, here are a few less obvious things to keep in mind as you go along:

  1. Blogging takes time, so look for ways to integrate a steady, sustainable stream of new content for your blog along with your other projects and assignments.
  2. You’re going to want to provide quality content on your blog, so don’t “save it for last” after you’ve burned yourself out on other writing.
  3. If you want your blog to eventually attract readers without constant active promotion, make sure to follow basic SEO rules such as setting up analytics tools and including keywords and backlinks in your text.

Cultivate a Social Media Community

Social media is a powerful tool for all businesses. It enables companies and individuals alike to find new followers, promote marketing material, build a brand, and engage with customers and followers, and answer questions.

As a writer, in particular, it’s a good idea to create a social community of loyal followers. If you do so, though, it’s important to do it the right way. If, for instance, you put a significant amount of effort in upfront, but eventually allow your social profiles to languish, it can come across as lazy and uninvested and can be worse than if you had never set them up in the first place.

Proper social media management requires a steady stream of attention. A few tips to help you pull together a solid social media plan include:

  1. Studying others within your industry who have found success to see how they’re operating on social media.
  2. Taking advantage of tools like Hootsuite to organize and schedule your social posts.
  3. Setting up a posting schedule that provides enough engagement with your followers without overtaxing your time.
  4. Choose relevant platforms to build your community — LinkedIn for professional networking, Twitter for outreach, Facebook for community building, and so on.

If you take the time to structure your social approach beforehand, it will be easier to maintain things over time.

Tap Into That Influencer Energy

If you’re looking for a hand in building up some marketing momentum, influencers are another great online marketing tool that can help to quickly spread brand awareness even if you don’t have your own social channels well-established yet.

Influencers are popular social personalities with captivated followers that listen to their messages. This includes anyone from a celebrity with tens of millions of followers right down to smaller “micro-influencers” who have audiences of ten thousand or less. The nice thing about the variety of influencers is that you can almost always find one to work with, no matter what your budget, situation, or niche.

Say, for example, you write in the entertainment industry. If you already have a following and have money to work with, you can reach out to a celebrity personality and attempt to work with them. If, on the other hand, you’re a fledgling tech writer with few followers and even less money to work with, you can look for a smaller influencer within your particular niche who has a few thousand followers and might be willing to work together in the name of mutual promotion.

Either way, influencers can be a great way to collaborate and cross-pollinate your marketing efforts with others.

Set Up an Army of Affiliates

Another excellent way to recruit others into your personal brand-promotion strategy is via an affiliate program. This is a program aimed at sharing your personal proceeds with others who help to promote you.

This is particularly useful for self-publishers who have something to sell. If you have a book that you sell for $20 a piece, you can create an affiliate program so that others can promote your book and get a portion of the proceeds of each sale. This provides a financial incentive for others to join in on your marketing and can quickly increase the size and effectiveness of your marketing strategy with little to no extra effort from yourself.

Always Strive To Be Evergreen

Finally, it’s worth making an effort to be evergreen with your marketing content. Remember, you’re not a marketer, you’re a writer who is marketing themselves. With that in mind, don’t set up strategies that require massive workloads and tons of your time to maintain. Instead, look for ways to set up “evergreen” marketing content — that is, content that remains relevant over time — whenever possible. A few suggestions include:

  1. Creating content that can remain applicable for a long time, such as an article about general writing tips rather than something about current events.
  2. Encouraging others to interact on your social media in order to keep the conversation going even when you’re not present.
  3. Investing in long term marketing options when possible, such as relationships with small-but-growing influencers or a long-term investment in your domain name.

Promoting Your Personal Brand

As a writer looking to cultivate your own personal brand, it’s important that you keep your foot in the social waters at all times. Things like blog content, social profiles, and working with influencers and affiliates enable you to be personally heard in the digital world.

While some of these options may yield results quicker than others, all of them can help you establish a solid online reputation for the foreseeable future.

Indiana Lee © Indiana Lee - Portland. Oregon

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