Twitter For Authors – my new series. I spend a lot of time learning about effective marketing along with marketing tips and tricks, and I’m quite frankly astounded at what I see people doing, or not doing, on Twitter, that hurts their image and their brand. So I thought I’d do some posts to address some of this. Twitter For Authors – Don’t Do That, Do This! will hopefully help you manage the Twitter juggernaut.
Twitter For Authors – Before You Fill Out Your Profile
This is so basic and yet I see so many people screw this one up. Before you fill out your profile, let’s back up and speak for just a moment about branding. If you are an author, you need to create your brand. This is who you are as an author. Way too many authors mess this one up. You market yourself, and your books are a by-product of this. For example, if you write a book called Meanie Mommie Goes On A Mean Mission, it may be a great and catchy title, and you get people following you because of this. But what if your next book is about cute dogs and cuddly toys for them? If you’ve been tailoring your marketing efforts to the Meanie Mom brand, you have to create an entire new brand, and the cute dogs folks won’t know about your meanie mom. If you really think you need to market a particular book, create a twitter account (and a brand) for this. Then create your Twitter profile…
Twitter For Authors – Your Author Profile – Do This
Once you’ve decided how you are going to market yourself (your brand), you tailor your author profile to this. I am an author of mysteries, horror, middle-grade books, and non-fiction. So I’ve branded myself as a master wordsmith. I also created IAHB, the Indie Author Handbook, so I let everyone know about this hashtag (#IAHB is a hashtag that you can use to find great information about and for indie authors). This is my profile:
Master wordsmith, hiker, cyclist. Creator of
#IAHB – Indie Author Handbook. Read Nephilim Genesis of Evil, the Reed Ferguson mystery series, and more.
I get the best information about myself in my profile, and a couple of side things about me (hiker, cyclist) so that I appear human and maybe interesting to others. I could probably come up with something snappy, but what I have gets out my brand (master wordsmith) and the names of my bestselling books.
Twitter For Authors – Your Author Profile – More Do This
Have you won awards? Put them here. Do you belong to an important organization that will attract people to you? Put it here. Are you an expert in something – if you have room, note it.
Unless your account is promoting a specific book, put a professional picture of yourself, not the cover of your book. This is about branding you. And, people are more likely to remember you if you have a picture of yourself. This is what you want, them remembering you the author (your website, blog, Facebook fan page, etc. gets the word out about all your books). Also remember, if you are serious about your craft, then be a professional (see below).
I advise making your account your name (@reneepawlish) unless you’re marketing a specific book. Any number of authors who first created a name that was cute and tied to their books (a character for example), made this mistake. People knew the character, but then the author hit it big, and/or wrote books in another genre, and found out this: you’ve just made it harder for people to find you and your other books.
Twitter For Authors – Your Author Profile – Don’t Do This
I pulled these examples from profiles I’ve seen. I’m not trying to offend anyone, but I cringe when I see authors follow me who say things like:
I’m A Wannabe Writer – yeah, it’s cute, but if you one day want to sell, why are you saying this? You should be creating your brand now as a professional writer, so when you actually publish a book, you have a following who wants what your writing. And they are looking for professional writers…
I’m Currently Working On... – same thing as above – establish who you are and stick with it. Get people thinking that you already have things done and get them waiting/salivating for your next work. They don’t need to know you don’t have anything completed yet.
I’m An Up-and-Coming Writer – again, see above about your branding. Yeah, it’s cute, but it labels you as new and potentially as unpolished, unskilled, bad, etc. Is this what you want?
I Write This, Visit My Website For Examples – Ugh! We live in a world where the average time on a website is 8 seconds. People don’t have time to look things up, and they certainly aren’t going to search you and look for samples of your writing. Hey goofball:), this is what your tweets are for! You tweet writing samples with a link to your writing (think Wattpad or Facebook notes).
Author, award-winning, I’ll have a new name soon – huh? Why would you create one user telling everyone you’ll have a new user and profile soon? Maybe it’ll be a pseudonym? I’m not sure, but I would advise to wait until you’re ready with your branding and then create your account. The likelihood of people following you on one profile and then switching to another when you’re ready is not high. This is confusing to people.
Spelling mistakes in your profile -hello! You are an author, do you think people will want to buy your books if your profile description has typos or spelling errors in it?
Profile but no links – what? This is a place to advertize your website, your blog, your Amazon page. Take advantage of this! If you link back to your website or blog, this is great for your SEO (a back link). Do it!
Author name and nothing else – again, hello! This is where you are selling yourself so why don’t you have any information in your profile? This labels you as amateur. Put in a profile (see above)!
Profile with a picture of you in your bikini or thong at the beach – this might be cute or… (hey I’m not a judge) but it’s not professional. And don’t put a picture of your cat, dog, kids, etc. up. It’s about you, remember? You don’t want people to remember that cute cat picture and then think who was that author – what was their book? I remember the cat, but…
Twitter For Authors – Don’t Believe Me?
Some of you are probably shaking your heads – C’mon Renée, I’m just trying to have some fun. Gotcha, I’m all for fun and jokes. But I’m also serious about selling my books. I just went to a marketing conference tailored for authors and the specifics I’ve shared are the same ones shared by a master marketer who has sold millions of books because he created a brand and stuck with it (I’ll be blogging more about this conference and what I learned soon). Branding yourself is key, and creating a quality Twitter profile and image is part of this. It’s easy to redo your profile, so don’t neglect this key piece of your marketing strategy.
What do you think? What makes or breaks a Twitter profile?
Look for all my Twitter posts on the Promoting Your Books page.
Image courtesy of DigitalArt.