Have I already talked about how much work #self-publishers have to do to market their stuff? If so, I cannot say it enough. If not, I probably dreamed that I did.
Today I attended a meeting (thanks to my friend, Mia Bolden who owns Beautiful You Studio here in Pensacola, is a life coach, and is my pole fitness instructor AWESOME lady!) about #SocialMediaMarketing. On the way up the elevator, we talked about how there is so much information about this that it is overwhelming. Here are some things that I found valuable from today’s meeting:
It does matter how many people you follow versus how many people follow you. I know that you youngsters are probably thinking DUH, old lady, but I did not actually know that this was a thing. So, I looked at my Instagram and Twitter accounts to find that the ratios were drastically disparate. I had a wopping 600 something followers on Instagram, and I was following over 2,000. This is a BIG NO-NO! I guess it makes you look desperate or something. REMEDY: There’s an app for that! It’s called Unfollow. Go figure. It allows you to mass unfollow people who are not following you back. BOOM!
80/20 Rule: I had heard this before, but I needed it to be reemphasized I guess. Basically, you want to share 80% content-related stuff that is not sales, and 20% sales. So, for my sexual harassment stuff, I should be sharing 80% information about what’s going on with sexual harassment and 20% of what I offer. Another tip was to use the outside information (like statistics) and then create a personalized infographic that addresses that information. So, I could use information from a news article about sexual harassment and create an Infographic using Canva that demonstrates what I would do to address it.
7 Times: We are hit with so much marketing that it doesn’t sink in as quickly as you’d think. In fact, the statistics show that it takes about 7 times to be exposed to something before you notice it or understand it. So, this is why commercials are repeated over and over. Have you ever sang a song but not listened to the lyrics? I do this all the time. I’ll realize it when I decide to sing karaoke. I’m like, “Oh, I did not know that’s what she was saying!” I guess it’s the same concept. We have become so neutralized by all the ads that it takes repetition to get the message through. So, for those of us trying to push our message out, remember 7 is the lucky number.
These were my big takeaways for the day. I hope they help. If you have any questions, feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or comment 🙂
Two weeks ago, after watching the movie Okja, I finally decided to call it quits on the meats. I’d already been going in that direction for a while for health and other reasons, but that film pushed me over the edge. If you are thinking that you need a change, watch the movie. No more encouragement is needed.
Here’s my plan:
Don’t tell the kids and see how long it will take them to realize we haven’t had meat.
Be cheap about it.
Write about it here and share the recipes that work.
Week 1 Recipes:
DAY 1: Enchilada Stuffed Grilled Mushrooms found here. These were fantastic, but I used smaller mushrooms (being cheap), so I had to compromise quickly to feed my hungry teenagers. Luckily, I had a can of refried beans and had recently wanted Mexican pizza (like Taco Bell’s). So, I slapped some beans on some tortillas, layered them with cheese and jalapenos and the leftovers from the mushrooms. THEY WERE A HIT. *The kids didn’t notice the lack of meat.
DAY 2: Zucchini Lasagna (my own recipe). This is one that I’ve been making for a while, but I usually add sausage and pepperonis. I made it the same just without the meat: my favorite Italian marinara, vegetables, and cheese with sliced green zucchini taking the place of noodles. It’s actually better because it only takes about 30 minutes in the oven if you saute the veggies first.
DAY 3: Curry Cabbage & Cauliflower Stir Fry found here. Of course, I had to omit the coconut oil because my wife is allergic. However, everyone loved it, and the kids still hadn’t realized no meat was involved.
DAY 4: Cheated. Went out. Long day. Still no meat though.
This self-publishing journey has been quite a challenge, but it’s a good challenge. I feel myself growing by just doing it. It is crazy to me how often we keep ourselves from doing things just because we don’t know how or we feel we don’t have some authority. I am so glad that I’m overcoming this. What is that study that says you have to practice something for 10,000 hours before being able to do it well? If that’s the case with self-publishing, I’m two books in and have only been practicing for about 1/10 of that number.
Here are some things I’ve learned:
Patience is a virtue. I am not a patient person, so this one is difficult. However, it is interesting when my personality is altered by a process. When I sit down to write, I have my stories in my brain, and I just expect them to flow perfectly and quickly onto the document. Then, I don’t want to have to edit them. And, I do not want to have to go through the grueling process of creating a cover page and marketing plan, etc. These things all take time, and if you rush through them, you will regret it.
Self-publishing is hard. I have read many tips and tricks online, and they all say that you should hire an editor and a cover designer. I am too stubborn for this at this point because I feel confident in my ability to do these things and save money. We’ll see how this works out. On my first book, I had to republish three times because of mistakes. However, that book was an experiment. I wrote it in two weeks and had it published within the same two weeks. I don’t feel like it counts as much.
Do what works for you. This is kind of an extension of number 2, but I have learned that I cannot do what others do. I have to find my own way and s
tick with it. This is the cool thing about self-publishing: you have the freedom to do that, and your success or failure depends on you. My motto for this is, if it doesn’t work, find another way. It’s that simple. I have to follow my own style; otherwise I’d just pay someone to do it for me.
Overall, self-publishing is a journey. I do not expect overnight success. I do not really even care much about that part. What I do care about is that I am finally publishing my work. I’m finally getting my stories out there into the world. If no one wants them, fine. If just one person reads my stuff and enjoys it, I will be ecstatic.