Category Archives: Social Media

Some Final Thoughts my adult life I have started several businesses. Each began with curiosity about an industry I wanted to learn more about. As I gained new skills and answered my initial questions, I created a business model based on helping other people answer those same questions.

Several years ago I started Creative Content Coaching to explore how to scale influence while maintaining integrity and authenticity. It was a timely dilemma, as publishing options multiplied and the social media landscape was taking off. After immersing myself in the alt publishing and author platform space, I found my answers and systematized them into a program that I could teach to others.

The program has been very successful, and I could have kept building it. But instead I am headed in another direction, with another set of challenges and exciting new landscapes to conquer. So for now I am moving on from Creative Content Coaching.

I still work with a select few clients on media and messaging strategy. I may still blog here occasionally. But the landscape for authors who want to scale their presence is more settled than it was five years ago, and there are multiple, excellent resources for those who want to find out more—several of which I have linked to in earlier blog posts.

The good news is that quality writing still trumps social media ubiquity. If you have something important to say, can say it well, and have a way to reach people, your platform will grow. Publishing, to a large extent, is about who you know—and half the fun is meeting people along the way. So get out of your shell and share ideas, develop friendships, and enjoy yourself. As Tim O’Reilly would say, bring more value to the ecosystem than you harvest from it.

If you are on my email list, you will continue to hear from me occasionally when I have interesting things to share. And I will continue interviewing people on my Dream Talk Radio podcast and YouTube channel. But for now, bring me that horizon.

Social Media’s Ugly Shadow

200-yr-old cottonwood tree

This article was shared with my email subscribers earlier this month. If you’d like to subscribe, click here.

In this season of All Hallows Eve, when what normally stays in the shadows comes out for all to see, I want to bring up a topic that we don’t often talk about. Namely, that not all online attention is positive. Achieving your goals by growing your platform can also attract negativity: people who use online anonymity to spread cruelty and lies, destroy reputations, and threaten physical harm. For fun. Meet the “trolls.”

Trolling is bullying, plain and simple. It can happen to anyone who gains a large following, especially in tech. And unfortunately, women are often singled out for the worst abuse. Continue reading Social Media’s Ugly Shadow

Bare Bones: Platform Basics for Authors

Bare Bones Platform

At the San Francisco Writers Conference last month I had the opportunity to speak with many authors about their platforms. The variation was stunning, and inspiring. Even among writers in the same genre, there were no two identical approaches to building visibility and community around their work.

As most authors know, a platform isn’t just “I have a Twitter account.” It is as much about individual preference, goals and creativity as it is about the tools themselves. Yet seeing all the rich variation in fully-built platforms does beg the question: where do you start? What are the essentials, the bones, that all good platforms need? Continue reading Bare Bones: Platform Basics for Authors

Why I Will Never Break My LinkedIn Rule Again

LinkedIn is a fantastic platform for all kinds of professional networking. With over 259 million users in more than 200 countries, it is often the very best way to network with leaders in your field. Over half of LinkedIn’s revenue comes from the talent market, so if you are currently employed or would like to be in the future, there is no better place to have your résumé.

I use LinkedIn in a more low-key, professional way than Facebook or Twitter. When I meet people at events and want to stay in touch with them, I connect with them on LinkedIn afterward. LinkedIn groups (there are over 2.1 million of them) are also great places to approach people for interviews, ask and answer questions on important topics, and let people know about relevant articles and events.

LinkedIn ConnectIn using LinkedIn, I have just one cardinal rule: never accept a connection request from anyone who does not add a personal note to that request. Even if I do not know someone, if they have taken the time to study what I do and write a quick, well-stated reason for wanting to connect, I will generally do it. People who don’t go to this trouble are typically just interested in marketing to me, so I have gotten pretty good at ignoring their requests.

But this week I made an exception to my rule. Here is what happened. Continue reading Why I Will Never Break My LinkedIn Rule Again

The Challenge of Author Education

With so much great information available on how to publish and build a platform, the challenge for authors is finding the right advice at the right time. Most authors I speak to struggle not with finding reliable information but knowing which advice is right for their particular situation. Adding to the confusion, even sound advice can become quickly outdated with the rapid changes in publishing, social media, and web technology.

One solution is to find a few names you trust in the industry, follow them, and filter out much of the rest. But curation requires that these trusted voices to be clear about who their audience is for each piece. This is key, because right now there is a wide range of both needs and expertise among authors.

Just how wide this range extends was brought home to me recently when I interviewed Kristen McLean, CEO of Bookigee, about author education and book marketing. Always articulate and insightful about publishing, Kristen identified five different groups of authors with very different needs: Continue reading The Challenge of Author Education