Amanda Luedeke is a literary agent with MacGregor Literary. Every Thursday, she posts about growing your author platform. You can follow her on Twitter @amandaluedeke or join her Facebook group to stay current with her wheelings and dealings as an agent.
Well, with a new year, comes a new me. So say “hello” to my more current photo.
This week, I wanted to share something that I have found particularly effective when it comes to growing platform…
Do you remember those months ago when I offered Free Social Media Critiques?
And then do you recall, if you follow my Facebook group, the other week when I gave Free One-Liner Critiques?
I did both of these things to be nice. And to gain trust. But I mostly did them to grow my platform.
Let’s look at the numbers.
I received roughly 115 comments on my Social Media Critique promo. That’s around 100 people (some commented more than once) who not only interacted with me online, but who were then driven to come back every Thursday in hopes that their site would be reviewed. (I’m still working through the list…just taking a break for now).
The post was shared quite a bit on Twitter and through other venues, and the coolest part is that it attracted NEW readers to the blog. In other words, in exchange for a bit of my time, I got new readers, positioned myself as an expert, and got my name out among people who are not closely linked to me. Pretty cool.
(Not to mention, I got free blog fodder for the rest of my life).
Now, the Facebook promo was even more of a success.
I had around 650 likes before the promo. In days, that number jumped to 750. My post was shared a whopping 86 TIMES on Facebook, and even more so elsewhere. It saw 145 comments and was viewed by 1,474 people. This means that in a sense, it went viral. It went well beyond it’s immediate reach of 650. That week, my FB page reached 5,940 people. What’s even cooler is my next big status in which I asked “What author, living or dead, would you have coffee with?” was seen by 1,741 people.
So what does this have to do with you?
Find what you’re good at. Find that thing that you can offer that your readers will gobble up. Ask yourself “where am I an expert?” and if that thing you’re an expert at ties in with your book, use it to grow your readership.
Nonfiction authors should do this ALL THE TIME. If you’re working on a book on financial stability, and you’re certified and educated and have all your ducks in a row, offer simple things for free. Things that you merely need to give an opinion on. Things Suze Orman would offer.
Fiction authors can do this if their books tie in to their hobbies. Let’s say you write a cozy mystery series that involves baking. Well, you can give away recipes or baking tips or you can answer baking questions for free.
It’s about giving away the goods, and in return, getting followed, liked, Tweeted and shared.
Yes, it takes effort. Yes, it can be time-consuming. But nothing comes easily! And it’s worth it.
What skills do YOU have that can be used to grow your platform?