5 More Quick, Easy Ways to Promote Yourself in Your Underwear

In June, we talked about some Tips, Tricks and Tweaks you can use to promote yourself on the interweb.The title's been changed from promoting a book to promoting yourself, because all writers, and even that sub-species of writers—people—can use the methods listed below to help establish a solid web presence. This includes everything from announcing your latest blog posts and upcoming events to networking with other movers and shakers in the field.

Best of all, you can still do all this in your underwear! Which...er, hopefully, you've changed since June.

1) The Benefits of LinkedIn: or why the site is no longer the virtual equivalent of that HR person who kept popping their gum during your phone interview.

Formerly only useful for networking in DayJobLand, LinkedIn has become a forum where writers meet, connect and help each other out. Here's a sampling of some of the ways Linkedin can help you promote yourself:

  • LinkedIn has a group for nearly every writing interest. Novelists, non-fiction writers, and several genres all have their own forums. There are groups that join with agents and other industry professionals to exchange news, tips and trends. You can join groups that allow you to showcase your work, or offer daily prompts and advice.
  • Adding your LinkedIn profile to your website increases your site's SEO optimization. Keep this in mind when you're writing your profile.
  •  LinkedIn can help you keep those in your network current. A new blog post, publication in a lit mag or a reading you're doing in a major city—update events like these in your profile and those in your network will receive an email. You can also provide links to your website and all other social media.

 2) The Number 1 Rule for (making contacts) Friends on #Twitter.

Twitter's a funny bird. With its 140 character limit and potential for vast reach, it can be all too tempting to sacrifice quality for quantity: to pay those services which promise followers, to send repeated posts begging others to buy, retweet, click on a website, etc.

However, savvy Tweeters know that establishing a strong presence on Twitter requires them to answer the ever-present question of all internet users: "What's in it for me?" They answer this by being:

  • Useful:Their Tweets link to craft and industry related information other writers would find interesting.
  • Personal: They retweet others when appropriate, read and comment on linked blogs, thank others for tweeting links that were helpful and of course, always respond to contact with a personal message of their own.
  • Tactical: By establishing real relationships and a positive presence on Twitter, smart Twitizens lay the foundation for promoting their own work to followers who will really be interested and who will spread the word.

3)   A Quick Way to Improve Your Website: Get Others to Use It in Front of You

 Look in the mirror. Just like it would be difficult to describe the way others see you (I mean, besides 'hot piece of ass', obviously), it would also be difficult for you to really know how others view that cyber-you—your website. There are two things every user wants when they click onto a website: ease and information. One of the quickest ways to find out if your site provides that is by asking trusted (but honest) internet-users in your life to access your website, preferably in front of you. I say the last part because your "users" could say they like your intro page, but you will notice that they quickly click past the (very expensive) opening music and graphics to get to it. Likewise, you can set tasks for your users and have a dialogue with them as navigation is happening, so they can alert you to any glitches on your site.

Example: A blogger was wondering why her website wasn't gathering many Twitter followers. A close friend pointed out that a Twitter button on the site would make it easier than typing her name into a search engine after users left her site. She added buttons/links for all her social media and reaped the rewards

4) Make Your Email Your Calling Card:            

This one is easy. In minutes, you can turn your email signature into what those in the marketing world refer to as "A Call to Action". Adjust the settings in your account to automatically close every email with:

  •   A link to your website and other social media
  •   Follow Buttons for Twitter, FB, etc.
  •   Up-to-date information such as recent blog posts and publications.

5) Virtual Time-Management for Dummies or How Not to End Up Feeling, as Bilbo Baggins quoth: “Like butter scraped over too much bread.”   

It was Sartre who once said, 'Hell is having nothing to Tweet about." (Wait a minute? He didn't say that? Well, how should I know? I'm not French!) My point is, don't make the mistake of becoming such a pro at promoting your writing that you stop writing. When used for professional purposes, the world of social media can be daunting at first. However, it can soon become a rush. All that interaction and feedback and information shared and discussed can seem a haven from the sometimes lonely world of the blank page or screen.

However, as we all know, filling that page or screen with some of the completely awesome world that lives in your head takes some discipline. You can keep your online promotional efforts both consistent and controlled in a two simple ways.

  • Keep a schedule: Once you get into a rhythm of what sites you use and what you do while there, you can schedule regular times during the day or week to maintain your presence. Tweet three times a day before you brush your teeth.  Read and comment on your favorite blogs in the kitchen while you wait for dinner to nuke. Join in with your favorite discussion groups on lazy Sunday afternoons
  • Keep a Later List: You will often find there's not enough time to read every article or follow up with every contact you encounter daily. A Later List is handy for keeping track of things you want to follow up on, without feeling overwhelmed. For quick reference, you can divide your Later List into categories, such as: To Read/To Contact/To Research.          

Of course, there will be occasions when you have a time-sensitive event to promote and you'll log more minutes online, but keeping a schedule is a good way of not losing your way in the addictive world of social media. #GoodLuck!                     

Naturi Thomas-Millard

Column by Naturi Thomas-Millard

Naturi is the author of How to Die in Paris: A Memoir (2011, Seal Press/Perseus Books) She's published fiction, non-fiction and poetry in magazines such as Barrow St. and Children, Churches and Daddies. At Sherri Rosen Publicity Int'l, she works as an editor and book doctor. Originally from NYC, she now lives in a village in England which appears to have more sheep than people. This will make starting a book club slightly challenging.

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Comments

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami August 21, 2014 - 5:54am

Yes, it would be nice to promote your work at home. Presumably one would get dressed first, like maybe a trip to the garden maze. (Oh yea, I have a little garden maze did you know? Jk)

kensmosis's picture
kensmosis August 28, 2014 - 6:05am

I had no idea linkedin had come so far; I still thought of it as a pure job-hunting site and definitely will have to explore it more thoroughly.   Also, your advice about having others critique your website is excellent.  Many businesses really could benefit from doing just that.  I would also suggest that it's important to try your website on different browsers, computers, and with varying window sizes, etc, to see how compatible it is.  Many times, something that looks perfect on one computer is unusable on another.  Thanks for another excellent column!