Giving Voice to Your Story http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com Live Your Best Life Lessons Now Wed, 27 Jul 2016 12:41:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.6 How the Heck Do You Make a Living Writing? By C. Hope Clark http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/2016/07/27/heck-make-living-writing/ Wed, 27 Jul 2016 12:39:24 +0000 http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/?p=3891 I write full-time. When I state that fact in my appearances before writers, I receive the full gamut of looks: skepticism, surprise, awe. One woman in her late twenties approached me after one event and exclaimed, “Honey, you’re living the dream!” Earning a living as a writer has become somewhat of a mythical dream, as […]

The post How the Heck Do You Make a Living Writing?
By C. Hope Clark
appeared first on Giving Voice to Your Story.

]]>
I write full-time. When I state that fact in my appearances before writers, I receive the full gamut of looks: skepticism, surprise, awe. One woman in her late twenties approached me after one event and exclaimed, “Honey, you’re living the dream!”

Earning a living as a writer has become somewhat of a mythical dream, as if it takes finding a magical lamp, translating a code, or unearthing the talisman that opens a portal. My journey has not been lined with sugarplums and flowers, but I can give you a dose or two of reality and some serious direction on the options to becoming a full-time writer.

First. . . it’s darn hard work. Nothing in the writing world happens quickly. Even if you write four books in a year and self-publish them, you’ll wonder why nobody is buying. Self-publishing (indie, if you prefer) flooded the world with everyone shouting, “Buy my book!” Your job is to keep fighting, because others will give up. When you think all is for naught, still sit your butt in the chair and report to work.

Second. . . writing requires daily diligence. A gentleman once took issue with my mantra that a writer writes daily. He said he currently worked a job and published part-time, selling two dozen books over the years. I argued he could have done better. There had to be a reason he was still working the day job.

So, therein lies the reality. Now let’s talk pointers. And rather than pontificate, I’ll give you an advice list because you’re eager to know how to get started.

  1. Create a website, a newsletter or blog, and at least one social media outlet. In this day and time, readers expect to connect. And they expect these online presences to represent the quality of your book, when that ever happens. If you cheapen any of the three, you tell the world that you shortcut . . . period. Editors, agents, readers, and potential advertisers or reviewers will Google your name. Don’t make them decline your book because of your online presence. Competition is fierce.
  2. Be consistent. Update all the above with clockwork consistency. Make the reader feel it was worth their time to visit. If you choose every-other Friday for your newsletter, then by all means keep that contract with your readers. The world is starving for credibility and customer service. If you skip deadlines, you’ve told the reader it’s all about you, not them.
  3. Be seen in person. Pick and choose where you wish to be seen. Speak to libraries, schools, book clubs, or service organizations. Home parties. Book stores. Clubs. Community colleges. Dare to charge. While it’s painful to ask for compensation (we hate tooting our own horn), we are respected more in our profession if we charge. People like to think they hired a celebrity or expert, not filled in a slot with someone easy or desperate.
  4. Be seen online. If you are too shy to speak, then double-down on the online appearances. Comment online daily somewhere. Guest blog often, but also comment on the blogs where you’d like to post, putting insightful remarks instead of “Thanks” or “I liked this.” And it doesn’t hurt to list your website in the post. Set a goal of guest blogging at least once a week if not four or five times, especially when leading to a book release. This not only greases your writing wheels, but also improves your Google ranking.
  5. More people will read a magazine/online article in one weekend than will read your book in a year. Find publications that marry with your book’s topic, your profession, your hobbies, your opinions. Pitch features and columns at least once a week. These pieces are rarely over 1,500 words, which ought to be simple for someone professing to be able to write novel-length works. Your byline can mention your book and your profession as an author . . . your website. You’ll also put money in your pocket. This is how I funded the first half of my career.
  6. Write the next book. Readers will finish one book then want to know when the next one is coming out, and you better have a time frame to tell them.
  7. Affiliates and advertising. Don’t be afraid to sponsor affiliate products, books, and services on your website, blog or in your newsletter. However, do not sponsor any you do not believe in. And do not overwhelm your site or newsletter with them to the point they shout louder than you do for your own work. Even your passive income like this ought to speak to your desire for quality and integrity.
  8. Manage your income. I have a spreadsheet that lists my income each month since 2003. I study it for trends, see when my income is lagging, make new decisions on deal offers, or ponder when to back off the book to increase my freelance income so that I can “buy” time to focus on the book later. If income is your main concern right now, then your income-earning tasks take priority.
  9. Give up something. If you want to write more, then something that takes up a lot of your time must be sacrificed. Rarely can someone say their days and nights are not full, which means you must cast aside whatever consumes your writing hours. The cutting hurts, trust me, but the new habit you gain in doing so will be worth that sacrifice.

While we would all love to make a living with our dream projects, the fact is earning a living off books is extremely difficult, often taking six, seven, or more decent-selling books to call your writing full-time. However, every piece of writing you do, whether freelance, copywriting, or fiction, improves your craft. And every piece of writing you do aids your platform. Platform is what generates income.

People appreciate your writing, in any form, and therefore, appreciate you as a professional. Use every connection you have, writing or otherwise. While we hate to think of the work entailed with building platform, that’s the main tool that enables you to earn the time to write your dream book. Daily diligence succeeds. What seems impossible today becomes the light at the end of the tunnel downstream. You just have to remain on track.

 

2014-06-13 16.56.56 (1)C. Hope Clark is editor of FundsforWriters.com and author of the August 5 release Echoes of Edisto (book three in the Edisto Island Mysteries). www.chopeclark.com

 
 
 
 
 

Thanks for installing the Bottom of every post plugin by Corey Salzano. Contact me if you need custom WordPress plugins or website design.

The post How the Heck Do You Make a Living Writing?
By C. Hope Clark
appeared first on Giving Voice to Your Story.

]]>
How to Find Your Target Audience http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/2016/04/10/find-target-audience/ http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/2016/04/10/find-target-audience/#comments Sun, 10 Apr 2016 03:42:45 +0000 http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/?p=3884 Authors and business owners are constantly under the impression that there is a magic formula to finding your target audience. But the truth is… there really isn’t. Experts on author platform like Minday McHorse from the American Writers and Artists, Inc. and Dr. Deborah Siegel from SheWrites.com agree that the best thing you can do […]

The post How to Find Your Target Audience appeared first on Giving Voice to Your Story.

]]>
Authors and business owners are constantly under the impression that there is a magic formula to finding your target audience.

But the truth is… there really isn’t.

Experts on author platform like Minday McHorse from the American Writers and Artists, Inc. and Dr. Deborah Siegel from SheWrites.com agree that the best thing you can do to market yourself is to find your target audience.

The question is…HOW?9673435_s

Finding your readers on the Internet is akin to searching for a needle in a haystack. The U.S. Digital Consumer report states that the average US consumer spends more than 60 hours a week reading and watching videos across digital devices.

If you are a business owner or author reading this, then you know how hard it is to get noticed in a vast sea of informational content. While blogging is a solid way to attract your ideal readers, you need to do this strategically by entering a niche.

Image credit

Let’s take a look at some of the practical points to get you thinking more strategically.

Identify the Niche 

Whether you’re writing in a specific genre as an author or business owner, your target reader is online reading other noteworthy blogs and actively participating in forums and threads on your topic. S/he is already thinking in terms of “niche.”

Let’s take myself as an example. If I want to learn more about content marketing, I’ll visit marketing sites. If I want to learn more about successful book promotion strategies, I’ll hop unto the sites of well-known gurus who specialize in promotion. But

 

10015109_sBottom line: Some niches are easier to classify then others. That’s why it’s more practical to start with your niche and enter that arena as one of the masses. To find your ideal reader, consider these steps:

 

1.Identify your topics. Topics are shaped by the subjects you’re blogging about, subheading, story, pointers

 

Image source

2.Look at the content you’re writing.  Who benefits from all this advice? Are  your topics catering to single parent fathers or perhaps fathers who are in the military? Then maybe your niche is “family” with a sub-niche on fathers and/or military.

Don’t come up with some brand-spanking-new category. In fact, it isn’t recommended.

Offer new and better information to your niche readers. Your niche and audience will determine the kind of content you’re putting online. (tweet this)

51hzbNDGSoL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Your assignment

To help get you thinking about your niche, identify possible topics related to your book’s genre.

Here are some of the words I jotted down which are associated with my memoir, Accidental Soldier: A Memoir of Service and Sacrifice in the Israel Defense Forces.

transformation, mother-daughter relationships, Israel Defense Forces, military service, memoir, cultural challenges, foreign country

What about yours?

This kind of work may feel unnecessary and difficult, but stay with me here…this kind of strategic thinking will only propel your blogging efforts forward.

 

Last CALL for the Blog Your Book Course and Reach your Target Readers ENDS TODAY! Although the course officially started on April 7, 2016, I’ve just received word that the deadline to sign-up is TODAY. (Monday) There are a few spaces left. 

So if reaching target readers is something you’ve been on the fence about, we’d LOVE to have you.

Thanks for installing the Bottom of every post plugin by Corey Salzano. Contact me if you need custom WordPress plugins or website design.

The post How to Find Your Target Audience appeared first on Giving Voice to Your Story.

]]>
http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/2016/04/10/find-target-audience/feed/ 2
3 Ways to Help Your Business Grow Using a Content Strategy Marketing Plan http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/2016/04/05/3-ways-help-business-grow-using-content-strategy-marketing-plan/ Tue, 05 Apr 2016 18:10:47 +0000 http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/?p=3872 A content strategy and content strategy marketing plan are distinctly different from each other. Basically, a content strategy marketing plan builds your brand and a target audience while getting your target people to perform some kind of call-to-action. For example, if you are a debut author, you might be focused on increasing your subscriber list […]

The post 3 Ways to Help Your Business Grow Using a Content Strategy Marketing Plan appeared first on Giving Voice to Your Story.

]]>

10027963_sA content strategy and content strategy marketing plan are distinctly different from each other. Basically, a content strategy marketing plan builds your brand and a target audience while getting your target people to perform some kind of call-to-action. For example, if you are a debut author, you might be focused on increasing your subscriber list by providing some kind of freebie like a free chapter from your book. Or if you’re running a book promotion offering a discount for a limited time, your focus is on sales.

If you post to your blog, then you are generating content. But many people think they need to post constantly to see any traffic. They are surprised that nobody is paying attention to them, get discouraged and then they end up dropping their blog forever. This happens all the time! (By the way, blogging is just one part of the content marketing puzzle.)

Optimize content with the right platform

Reaching the right target audience entails optimization of content (the information) with the appropriate platform. (how you will reach your customers) When you understand the problems facing your target audience, you can also integrate optimized titles, SEO tags and keywords to help build your rankings in the search engines.

For example, reaching out to your audience with specific content that is specifically marketed to your email lists is one way to optimize content with the right platform. If you don’t know what your target audience is specifically looking for, doing initial market research will help generate a profile.

 

Map Your Content

Your target audience directly impacts the kinds of content you put out there. What are your audience’s needs? Who is your target audience? What are your content channels and what kind of content will you be putting out? Blogging establishes online visibility and builds your brand.

Align your goals to suit your content marketing plan

Goals vary depending on the type of business. What are some of the problems you might encounter and how might you overcome them? If yearly goals are too much to digest, try breaking them into quarterly goals.

Is one of your 2016 goals to sell more books or impact a specific target audience? For example, if you’re an author, blogging and writing books are just a few ways to strategize your content. Having a content strategy marketing plan makes your time more accountable instead of just wasting time figuring out what to post each day. Sounds familiar? It also ensures that your content is aligned with the right business goals.

These three content strategies tie into your platform, or how you are going to reach your customers with your many online activities. The key is to think about your platform strategically in light of your target audience. And with so many users reading from their smartphones, your content might just appeal to a wider number of the masses.

Is one of your goals to build a platform and reach more readers? The 4 week online course Blog Your Book and Reach Your Target Readers begins April 7th, this coming Thursday.

Click here for the deets!!

Thanks for installing the Bottom of every post plugin by Corey Salzano. Contact me if you need custom WordPress plugins or website design.

The post 3 Ways to Help Your Business Grow Using a Content Strategy Marketing Plan appeared first on Giving Voice to Your Story.

]]>
How Authors Can Promote their Books with Memes http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/2016/02/25/how-authors-can-promote-their-books-with-memes/ http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/2016/02/25/how-authors-can-promote-their-books-with-memes/#comments Thu, 25 Feb 2016 23:18:41 +0000 http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/?p=3692 When authors think about promoting their book, they usually think how to get the word out online about their book. People online today want a more visual experience when reading content. Using images such as memes have a number of benefits including the strong level of engagement, and the ability to touch peoples’ emotions including […]

The post How Authors Can Promote their Books with Memes appeared first on Giving Voice to Your Story.

]]>
When authors think about promoting their book, they usually think how to get the word out online about their book. People online today want a more visual experience when reading content. Using images such as memes have a number of benefits including the strong level of engagement, and the ability to touch peoples’ emotions including laughter and tears. The text of a blog post is often tedious to read and images can break up writing into bite-sized chunks that are more “digestible.”

So what is a meme?

Simply put, a meme is an entertaining image with text that can help stir an engaging conversation among your fans. Most online content gets ignored, but memes along with videos get many social shares because they are funny, informative, and resonate with people culturally. They also speak some kind of personal truth. It’s a strong form of advertising. Think of those funny images you see on Pinterest and Facebook. Many authors are sharing them to promote their books.

 

Here’s a funny meme from one of my She Writes Press authors, Norine Dworkin-Mcdaniel from her bestselling book, The Science of Parenthood. It definitely represents me in action as I watch my 2.5 year old at the playground. (There, I’ve said it.) As you can see, this meme is also an excellent strategy for branding your book. (See the next section.)

12734063_697697383705958_7414970765135894444_n

Use Memes to Brand Your Book

 

A meme can brand your book and name depending on  this meme is created. Branding helps create a platform and an online person. One way to use memes to brand your book is by complementing visuals and text. For example, if your book is on the subject of happiness, create a fun visual with a quote that says, “you can’t pin your life on someone’s life.” Visuals that complement the text will engage your audience more effectively as opposed to the wrong visual or irrelevant text that can distract your reader from your book links.

 

Use Memes to Create Community

 

One well-known writer’s memes are in fact, a series of helpful and informative posts based on the struggles of his target audience and his own experience. He offers advice which reinforces his “brand voice.”  Memes that uplift the reader can help with the process of creating community. Often readers like myself, will be moved to share a writer’s universal message and in this way, we create community which in turn, can increase a writer’s platform.

1007380_key_to_successUse Memes to Boost Sales

 

Sales is the marketing force of memes. It may take several times to convince your readers that your book is a must-have, which is why it’s important to tap into the visual appeal of a meme. Here are some to use memes to boost sales:

  • Be strategic with the kinds of memes you post. Does the theme of your meme tie in with a special event lime Mother’s Day? Plan a series of memes around evergreen days.
  • Be strategic with the physical space of the meme. In the corner of the meme, include a thumbnail of your book and at the bottom of the image, include the URL where your book can be purchased.
  • Be consistent with your book’s brand. Always find a way to tie the message of your book with your book’s brand.
  • Find ways to target specific audiences like special sales. (non-book store audiences.) What target audience could you share your meme with? For example, if your book deals with mother-daughter relationships, could you share in a mother-daughter type group?

As you can see, memes are visual and can help build an author’s platform. It’s one of the more valued mediums when it comes to building an engaging audience.

 

Need More Help?

If you’ve written a fiction or non-fiction book (or are even thinking about writing one), you may want to “blog your book.” Blogging your book will help you attract and connect with the right readers, and build a following. It’s a way to increase your online visibility and ultimately your book sales.

Blog Your Fiction or Non-Fiction Book and Reach Your Target Readers starts April 7, 2016. In this course you’ll learn the difference between niche blogging and niche readers, and how they’re both important for blogging your book; strategies to engage your audience; content marketing basics; and what constitutes a personal author brand, including how to ensure the quality and consistency of your message. Enrollment includes a live teleconference and recording, weekly assignments and individual feedback from the instructor.

Thanks for installing the Bottom of every post plugin by Corey Salzano. Contact me if you need custom WordPress plugins or website design.

The post How Authors Can Promote their Books with Memes appeared first on Giving Voice to Your Story.

]]>
http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/2016/02/25/how-authors-can-promote-their-books-with-memes/feed/ 4
7 Tips for Taking Good Photos for Your Blog http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/2016/02/08/3684/ http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/2016/02/08/3684/#comments Mon, 08 Feb 2016 03:11:12 +0000 http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/?p=3684 Using images should be an essential part of your marketing plan. But images are different than photos. If you’re using photography consistently to market and promote your blog, then you need to also pay attention to the quality of your photos. A bad photo can make your blog look unprofessional and in the long run, […]

The post 7 Tips for Taking Good Photos for Your Blog appeared first on Giving Voice to Your Story.

]]>
Using images should be an essential part of your marketing plan. But images are different than photos. If you’re using photography consistently to market and promote your blog, then you need to also pay attention to the quality of your photos. A bad photo can make your blog look unprofessional and in the long run, turn your peeps away.

Typically, blog posts rely on images to enhance the visual message of the post. A blog post without images is dull and tedious. Photography however, adds a personal touch. It’s authentic and builds a deeper connection with your audience. When photos are shot well, (especially photos on travel blogs) they become powerful marketing messages.

The best way to think about taking good photos is to think of yourself as a viewer. What draws you into a photo? Think back to a blog that captivated you in terms of the quality of the photos. Was it the composition? The photographic elements? If you’re heavily using photography for your blog whether you’re an amateur photographer or not, these strategies will help you take better photos and visually engage your peeps.

1. Fill the frame with what makes your heart sing. What better way to communicate your passion about a subject than photographing that element which makes your heart sing? Zooming in on the image is a good start, but physically, don’t be afraid to get closer. This concept applies to landscapes, wildlife and people. Get rid of random clutter and distracting images. Figure out what the photo is really about and go after that. Can you figure out the story in each of these photos on these best photographer websites?

2. Simplify and overemphasize. Now that you’ve figured out what to put in your photo, think about how to manipulate the photographic elements. For example, use contrasting colors to emphasize your subject. Can you scale your objects in terms of size? Use the zoom feature to focus on a specific element. Try changing the focal length of your lens to emphasize certain characteristics.

3. Avoid centering the subject. This seems to be the common mistake of many photographers. Who said the subject always has to be centered? Is there something you can explore in terms of other relationships with other objects or elements?

4. Create depth as much as possible. Pull people into your image. Zoom into the foreground without compromising too much on the background, yet keep it in the distance. Create a story and a context for your image.

5. Connect your subjects. Connect the various subjects to help give your viewer a visual journey through your photo – in any direction. Anything can act as a connector – the line after a sunset or a sidewalk. Zoom in on the connector and you’ll begin to also see the composition emerge.

6. Keep your perspective in sync. Perspective is everything. Show your viewers something they’ve never seen before. An image taken at the eye level can be boring and monotonous yet many people do it. Why not take an image of a wedding from the ground?

7. Light is everything. At the peak of the day, the quality of natural light is at its strongest and can easily wash out important features about a subject. Photographically speaking, the periods of sunrise and sunset are the best times to take pictures due to the balance between the light and shadows. Aim for the brightest part of the scene without compromising on the natural light.

Photography is really a journey of perspective of how you see the world. It tells your own personal story and journey. And what better way to take a photo by telling the story, right? Strong photos is authentic marketing.3d-text-1-1383208-m (1)

Thanks for installing the Bottom of every post plugin by Corey Salzano. Contact me if you need custom WordPress plugins or website design.

The post 7 Tips for Taking Good Photos for Your Blog appeared first on Giving Voice to Your Story.

]]>
http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/2016/02/08/3684/feed/ 5
5 Things You Shouldn’t Do When Blogging Your Book http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/2016/02/03/5-things-you-shouldnt-do-if-you-want-to-blog-your-book/ http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/2016/02/03/5-things-you-shouldnt-do-if-you-want-to-blog-your-book/#comments Wed, 03 Feb 2016 03:00:00 +0000 http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/?p=3675 I’m a great fan of blogging one’s book. It’s a wonderful way to build book buzz and a community. It also pulls in a target readership and is a wonderful marketing tool for building one’s business. But bloggers who are intent on blogging their book should avoid these five things early on which will derail […]

The post 5 Things You Shouldn’t Do When Blogging Your Book appeared first on Giving Voice to Your Story.

]]>
I’m a great fan of blogging one’s book. It’s a wonderful way to build book buzz and a community. It also pulls in a target readership and is a wonderful marketing tool for building one’s business.

But bloggers who are intent on blogging their book should avoid these five things early on which will derail them from reaching their goals.

Avoid the temptation to blog chapters

Seriously, writers, you’ve got to stop posting endless chapters online. It’s tedious, unnecessary and won’t achieve your purpose.

Here’s why:

There’s a big difference between print and online genres. A book shouldn’t read like a blog and vis-versa, which leads me to believe that bloggers are misusing the space of a blog.
A blog is a blog, period. Print still has its place in the book world. In fact, a print book should serve to expand the themes and lessons, you are blogging about. Literary posts (a.k.a “chapters”) don’t work too well in the ADHD online world.

Don’t use blogging as a sales-pitch

Yep, this is an ongoing problem with many bloggers. I call it the “blogger’s desperate call” to sell more copies of their book. But guess what? Everybody is doing the same thing, and this self-promotion tactic will only get you so far before readers start tuning out.

Not include a call to action

If you’re going to blog the themes and lessons of your book, a call to action is different than including Amazon type links to buy your book and yes, you don’t want to overdo these. But call to actions (CTAs) matter!

Authors NEED to include them in their posts. Why? As authors, you can dramatically influence conversion rates and who doesn’t want to make a sale or get a new client?

Not choose a niche

Choosing a niche defines your audience. And that audience will bring in traffic which will keep your blog alive while moving your blog from being “static” to being indexed in the Google search engines.

If you don’t choose a niche, then your blog will be in the arena competing with thousands of other blogs. Using golden keywords, deciding on a niche and guest blogging are tactics that will help you stand out from all the other blogs that don’t have a defined audience.

Not providing valuable content that will get the reader to comment

Leaving comments is an important way to create community. But in order for a reader to leave a comment, there has to be something interesting for them to comment on. Remember also to respond to those who made the effort to respond to your post.

As you can see, a blog is a living breathing entity and authors who blog, have to be extra strategic in how they approach blogging their books. The purpose shouldn’t be to get a book deal and definitely not to bore your readers but to create an entertained and informed community as you build that know-like-trust connection with your readers.

 

Need help keeping on top of the blogging game?
Consider hiring me as your personal ghostblogger. In our strategy call, I’ll take my knowledge of golden keywords, SEO tactics, your niche, and target audience, and customize a post that will build content for your site.
Click here to schedule your free 20 minute strategy call today.

Thanks for installing the Bottom of every post plugin by Corey Salzano. Contact me if you need custom WordPress plugins or website design.

The post 5 Things You Shouldn’t Do When Blogging Your Book appeared first on Giving Voice to Your Story.

]]>
http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/2016/02/03/5-things-you-shouldnt-do-if-you-want-to-blog-your-book/feed/ 4
Top 7 Ways to Use Pinterest to Tell Your Story and Grow Your Business http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/2016/02/01/3678/ http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/2016/02/01/3678/#comments Mon, 01 Feb 2016 03:00:28 +0000 http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/?p=3678 If you’re a small business owner, using Pinterest to market your products and services is a fantastic way to get your business known while telling your story at the same time. With so many users however, how can you find the right followers and customers? This article gives 7 top ways to build your business […]

The post Top 7 Ways to Use Pinterest to Tell Your Story and Grow Your Business appeared first on Giving Voice to Your Story.

]]>
If you’re a small business owner, using Pinterest to market your products and services is a fantastic way to get your business known while telling your story at the same time. With so many users however, how can you find the right followers and customers? This article gives 7 top ways to build your business and platform while targeting the right audience.

1.Figure out if it makes sense to promote your business using Pinterest.

Pinterest has a strong visual appeal so sellers of cute, crafty stuff like Etsy are ideal as opposed to products that can’t be seen. You may have already noticed that animals, home décor ideas, cute crafts for kids and recipes are some of the widely found pins.

2.Identify those Pinterest users with a strong platform and follow them.

Doing this consistently will increase your reach. Youu can expect some of these followers and their followers to pin and repin your pins, which helps get your site and your products in front of more people. This guide to Pinterest for business from A to Z gives additional strategies on how to get your site and products in front of more people.

3. Create boards that promote your business with targeted keywords.

All your boards should have pins that directly speak to your target audience, and which brand you as the go-to Pinterest business owner for your specific product or service.

4.Link your Pinterest profile to your other social media accounts.

Each time you pin a new item to one of you boards, your Facebook page will get updated which helps you to attract followers in from other social networks, and increases your presence in all of them.

5.Comment, like, share, email and embed pins on your blog which will help you find more followers and draw traffic (and potential sales) back to your site.

When you comment and like pins, you encourage more interaction. Imagine if a potential client saw your product and wanted to ask you questions about it? Can you see how this interaction, over time, can help grow your business?

6. Pin other kinds of visuals such as videos, infographics and headlines.

Pin a short and fun how-to YouTube video. Infographics show how to use your products and services. If you have a super compelling blog post, like 11 Ways to use Pinterest to get clients, then pinning it on Pinterest would be the absolutely perfect place.

7. Complete your profile on Pinterest.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many Pinterest users do not have a full profile including a URL, a keyword-rich description about their business and a logo or profile picture. Why should someone follow your pins if they can’t actually “see” you?

Making the most of Pinterest for your business doesn’t have to be difficult, but it should be a robust part of your marketing plan if you business would be served by using Pinterest. The important thing to remember is to avoid bombarding your followers with constant pins of your products or services. Think through your plan for using Pinterest and watch your business grow, one pin and client at a time. How are you using Pinterest to promote your business? Got a success story to share?

Thanks for installing the Bottom of every post plugin by Corey Salzano. Contact me if you need custom WordPress plugins or website design.

The post Top 7 Ways to Use Pinterest to Tell Your Story and Grow Your Business appeared first on Giving Voice to Your Story.

]]>
http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/2016/02/01/3678/feed/ 5
The 5 Things Your Business Needs for a Clear Brand http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/2016/01/27/branding-your-business/ Wed, 27 Jan 2016 03:10:14 +0000 http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/?p=3665 Branding is a big topic that leaves many entrepreneurs and businesses scratching their heads. How do I go about branding my products and services? Media experts help businesses and companies build their brands. Books have been written about it. But still, businesses can’t outsource this task without knowing themselves what makes their brand unique and […]

The post The 5 Things Your Business Needs for a Clear Brand appeared first on Giving Voice to Your Story.

]]>
Branding is a big topic that leaves many entrepreneurs and businesses scratching their heads. How do I go about branding my products and services? Media experts help businesses and companies build their brands. Books have been written about it. But still, businesses can’t outsource this task without knowing themselves what makes their brand unique and different.

Have you found yourself scratching your head by a business’s brand? Trying to figure out what that business is all about?

Before you start creating a website or blog that helps build or strengthen your brand, you need to figure out as a business owner, how you want to be known.

For example, if you’re an author using your book to brand your business as many currently do, you’ll want to ask yourself the following questions around …How do you want to be known?
1.What kinds of writing will you do?
2. What subjects are you an expert in?
3. What stories will you tell to cement your expertise?
4. What themes will you cover in your content marketing?
5. What kinds of clients or customers will you attract?
6. Is your book part of a sequel or series?

Now take a look at your list. Is there a pattern that highlights who you are?

Know how would you like to be known? What’s your brand name?

Case in point: I write a lot about courage and interview people who exhibit courageous living for my podcast series, “Giving Voice to Your Courage,” so I’ve recently started to call myself, “the courage coach.” In fact, I’m now blogging about a present challenge as a “scary” thing I had to do to leap and do things differently now. I’m in a process of shifts. This situation feels uncomfortable, but as I take the next step, I’m blogging my experiences as a way to show my transparency. This transparency, as weird as it feels, is actually the voice of my brand.

Branding can also be around your name alone as long as people know who you are and what kind of writing you stand for.

Get clear on your online persona

Now that you’ve thought a bit about your expertise and authorship and how they give your brand credibility, think about your “online image.” This is the emotional part of branding that cannot be outsourced. For example, when prospects land on your website and notice your logo and design, how do you want them to feel? What will they be drawn to doing? Do you want them to feel more confident in their ability to write? Uplifted? What colors, words, phrases, and images will people associate you with?

Give thought to clear branding

Your business must have a title and a tagline. You also need a URL with your business name (or your name if you’re the name behind the business) so readers and media can easily find you. Do you also have some kind of expert status? For example, by virtue of the themes of my memoir — leaving my mom and New York City to serve in the Israel Defense Forces, I’m now billing myself as “the courage coach.”

Support your online brand with lots of content marketing

Create quality content that serves your target market and builds your business. Quality content includes blogging, email marketing, teleseminars, webinars, speaking events, and so on.

Each time you post to your blog, ask yourself if you’re helping your target audience solve a specific problem. If you’re writing a lot of “fluff,” chances are you aren’t building a business that supports a brand.

To build your brand, you need to strategize content which means educating your audience. When you understand the problems facing your target audience, you can also integrate optimized titles, SEO tags and keywords to help build your rankings in the search engines.

Need more help building a following?

Get your free 6 day free e-course that will help you blog your book and platform at the same time!
Get your first lesson by opting in at the top right hand side bar of this website’s home page.

Thanks for installing the Bottom of every post plugin by Corey Salzano. Contact me if you need custom WordPress plugins or website design.

The post The 5 Things Your Business Needs for a Clear Brand appeared first on Giving Voice to Your Story.

]]>
5 Crucial Lessons I Learned about Having an Exit Strategy http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/2016/01/25/7-lessons-i-learned-about-having-an-exit-strategy/ http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/2016/01/25/7-lessons-i-learned-about-having-an-exit-strategy/#comments Mon, 25 Jan 2016 02:51:33 +0000 http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/?p=3663 A few days ago, the director of the ESL (English as a Second Language) program at which I teach called me into her office. She wanted to talk to me about an ongoing problem — students were complaining about me more than any other instructor. She wanted to create a plan that would help her […]

The post 5 Crucial Lessons I Learned about Having an Exit Strategy appeared first on Giving Voice to Your Story.

]]>
A few days ago, the director of the ESL (English as a Second Language) program at which I teach called me into her office. She wanted to talk to me about an ongoing problem — students were complaining about me more than any other instructor. She wanted to create a plan that would help her understand the cause of the problem since I’ve had many happy students over the years, and clearly, this one was a “mystery.” She always had great faith in me as instructor; we just didn’t know what was causing the problem.

I agreed to the plan, which would include her observing me, but deep inside, I silently moaned. Instead of having more time to build my business, I’d be now spending more time trying to get to the bottom of a problem that could just be a subjective issue.

Before the new year, I’d been planning an entire year’s worth of content marketing for my website and how I’d envision my business and build my brand. Complaining students was never an issue so I didn’t have this extra “issue” to tend to, but now, it seemed, I was pushed against the corner.

On the bus ride home, I thought, “I will not victimize myself to this situation.” And so, the minute I got home, I started to give some serious thought to my exit strategy in light of what just happened. Was I responding from a crisis moment? How badly did I want to pursue clients and speak in front of a large crowd? As the emotions started to subside, I felt I could take action. And here’s what I learned from that initial twenty four hours of implementing an exit strategy which I’ll call a “make or break” moment.

1. Having a support system is crucial. It’s hard to go through something so difficult without any support. At home, I reached out to a safe group of women building their businesses on Facebook and one of the women there allayed my fears. It was tough just jumping in, not knowing if anyone was going to “hear” me, but someone need and even “held my hand” when I thought I was seriously going to lose it.

2. Starting with the first step builds courage. I told my friend I was freaking out. If you’ve been following me, then you know I’m all about “courage” – I’ve been interviewing many people about the drive it took to do courageous things. And here I found myself in that very same scenario.

In the thread, I let my hair down. “I’m so scared to let my family down. My family depends on me. I’ve got to pay bills.” In the thread she wrote, “just take the first step. The courage is in the first step.” That took the pressure off me. I wasn’t leaving my day job now, and not tomorrow. So I shared with her the three steps I wanted to do between now and Monday, and I’m happy to say, I’m making some progress.

3. Take steps towards your exit strategy while doing your day job. Barbara Corcoran, SharkTank investor of the Shark Tank, built her business while working two jobs. I know of two teachers who managed to surpass their summer income upon leaving teaching. It can be done. I figure it’s hard work, and it might take longer than I expected, but it can be done providing that I know what I’m doing and it’s meant to be.

4. Take consistent steps towards your business plan. Any successful entrepreneur knows that a plan is only so good if you are actually taking steps towards it. As of now, I’ve written my marketing action steps, which also includes my writing and marketing schedule for the coming week. Right now, I feel I’m up against a mountain

5. Create a business plan. After that encounter with the program director, I suddenly felt driven to put my road map into action. My plan was no longer something “in my head.”

So there you have it – 5 strategies to help with my “exit strategy.” Yes, implementing an exit strategy requires a leap of faith, but as Anais Nin has said, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Take that first step.

Need courage to give voice to your platform?

This 6 day free e-course< “Blog Your Book and Build Your Platform,” will give you the tools you need to build your platform with authenticity, faith and courage. To gt your first free lesson, simply opt-in at the top right hand side bar of this blog’s home page.

Thanks for installing the Bottom of every post plugin by Corey Salzano. Contact me if you need custom WordPress plugins or website design.

The post 5 Crucial Lessons I Learned about Having an Exit Strategy appeared first on Giving Voice to Your Story.

]]>
http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/2016/01/25/7-lessons-i-learned-about-having-an-exit-strategy/feed/ 12
Author Platform 101: Are You Blogging? http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/2016/01/18/3658/ http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/2016/01/18/3658/#comments Mon, 18 Jan 2016 03:00:57 +0000 http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/?p=3658 Most authors don’t realize just how much power they have just by blogging. Good content is needed more than ever, and if authors aren’t blogging, they are missing out on some major opportunities to connect with readers and build a following. Out of all the promotional activities, blogging and guest blogging is the most painless […]

The post Author Platform 101: Are You Blogging? appeared first on Giving Voice to Your Story.

]]>
Most authors don’t realize just how much power they have just by blogging. Good content is needed more than ever, and if authors aren’t blogging, they are missing out on some major opportunities to connect with readers and build a following.

Out of all the promotional activities, blogging and guest blogging is the most painless and cheapest as C. Hope Clark recently shared on my weekly podcast, Giving Voice to Your Courage.

But for some reason, very few authors are taking advantage of this “online real estate.” Recently, I tried to connect with several authors whose work I loved after reading their books. I couldn’t find a trace of a website let alone a Facebook or Twitter page. This was frustrating. Clearly, these authors missed out on a valuable connection.

Blogging is Your Business Card

You just never know who might land on your author page and who needs to connect with the message of your book right now. When you blog, you not only establish an online presence but you also build visibility as part of your author platform.

It’s a way to promote yourself as an expert first and to sell the products, books or services that you have to offer after. It’s a method for publicity and can be a way of branding yourself. But it’s really about making that connection.

When I visit authors’ websites, I see a lot of stuff thrown around about “here’s where I’m going to speak” and “here’s where you can buy my book,” and “here’s my site.” I don’t know about you, but these days more authors turning their blogs into sales pitches and announcements. Since I’ve already read your book (and loved it), I want to “feel” you in a different way. That’s not to say you can’t promote your book (you should) but focus first on engaging your target audience, first.

Next Steps: Don’t Lose Your Readers

Think of blogging as a journey to having a conversation. What is newsworthy for them to know? Well, for starters, does your book address a problem? If you’re writing a memoir, you have a great opportunity to blog about the “lessons” of how your book can serve and help your target reader.

For example, let’s say I am reading your transformational memoir, which focuses on how you went through a midlife crisis and mustered the courage to change your life. Here I am, in my own midlife crisis and your page is relatable. I have to keep going. You just have to find a way to keep my attention. Promotional material can only go so far, for so long.

Blog about Your Themes and Lessons

A “cost-effective” way to market your memoir without posting endless chapters would be to post your lessons or themes. What are some lessons your book “teaches?”

Think about how they can apply your lessons and wisdom to their own lives. They need to know more about you and your lessons before checking out your book.

Here’s an example of what I mean. You’ll notice in this short snippet that I aim to engage my reader with the heart-to-heart issues. I am doing two things in this way: telling my story and blogging about the main themes my story represents.

Here are some possible topics for the author transformational memoir page:

1. The pain of dealing with heartfelt transitions
2. The journey of courage supported by faith
3. The power of positive thinking and visioning

logoTell Your Story

When you blog about your personal story, you allow your reader to see themselves in your story. How powerful is that? You can also give a taste of the story in your book to entice the reader.

When you blog about your story, you can do the following:

1. Ask questions, raise a point, or discuss a two-sided issue.
2. Tell the writing journey of how you wrote your book.
3. Share an inspiring message or lesson from your story “miles.”

Here’s your blog assignment

1. Make a list of issues and problems that plague your target audience. What keeps them up at night? What makes them feel down in the dumps?
2. Now turn these “issues” into bloggable topics.
3. Do a keyword search to optimize your chances of landing on Google’s first ten results page.

Need More Help?

If you’ve written a fiction or non-fiction book (or are even thinking about writing one), you may want to “blog your book.” Blogging your book will help you attract and connect with the right readers, and build a following. It’s a way to increase your online visibility and ultimately your book sales.

Blog Your Fiction or Non-Fiction Book and Reach Your Target Readers starts on February 5, 2016. In this course you’ll learn the difference between niche blogging and niche readers, and how they’re both important for blogging your book; strategies to engage your audience; content marketing basics; and what constitutes a personal author brand, including how to ensure the quality and consistency of your message. Enrollment includes a live teleconference and recording, weekly assignments and individual feedback from the instructor.

Happy Writing!

Thanks for installing the Bottom of every post plugin by Corey Salzano. Contact me if you need custom WordPress plugins or website design.

The post Author Platform 101: Are You Blogging? appeared first on Giving Voice to Your Story.

]]>
http://www.givingavoicetothevoicelessbook.com/2016/01/18/3658/feed/ 3