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How a Make-up Review is About Smart Marketing

How a Make-up Review is About Smart Marketing

Hello Lovelies,

Some of you may have seen my makeup tutorial recently, and I’ve had a few people who have questioned if I was getting into the makeup space. I may not, or I may if there are enough of you who are interested in seeing that.

However, that video was really about how companies (and people) who are thinking outside the box will be able to adapt and become the businesses of the future.

During Covid-19 thousands of businesses closed their doors and many were not able to reopen after three months in lockdown. But I have shown and talked about businesses who adapted. From nail specialists and chef’s hosting virtual “pamper parties”. with a small handful of participants each paying a small fee to participate.

From companies shifting their focus form their brick and mortar locations to their online services. From restaurants offering delivery or pick up when they had not offered that before.

Il Makiage

Il Makiage has built itself for the online generation. They are amazing!

Even if you have no idea about makeup, they have an amazing quiz that helps you pick the perfect foundation. And by perfect, I really do mean perfect. Woke up Like This was exactly the level of coverage, the texture, the right shade for me.

They have a bunch of other quizzes to help you find the right concealer, the right brow kits. You can shop by product, or by “talent”.

Under the talent section, they have several makeup artists who create different looks using all Il Makiage makeup and you can see what products they used to create the look.

If you’d like to see more makeup reviews and content, then please visit the video on Youtube, subscribe to my channel, give the video a like, and comment on what you’d like to see next: A product review or me trying one of the Talents’ Looks?

Il Makiage lets you try up to 4 of the items from the look for the cost of shipping in their “try before you buy” program.

I mean, come on. How amazing is that? Sure, the cost of the makeup is in your higher-end price ranges, but they make it pretty much painless to try their products.

I am not makeup obsessed. I’ve had my fun with expressing myself with makeup but most days I don’t wear any makeup. But they make makeup fun and they keep adding more talent over there. I LOVE it!

Seriously, I don’t need new makeup but I have a 15% off coupon that is burning a hole in my pocket. And I don’t even usually do coupons. I am generally immune to “marketing tricks” but they don’t use these techniques as tricks. It is just a part of doing business and I love how they do business.

I kinda want to get into the makeup scene just because of them. How crazy is that?

The Big Picture

The reality is that innovation has always driven business development and it will continue to drive business development. Online shopping has been consistently growing year after year. Lockdown made it not just a convenience, but a necessity. Several of the thought leaders on business are saying that Covid has advanced online business by years! And as the virus continues to march along, most businesses thought leaders are saying that if you do not have a solid online presence and strategy you will get left behind.

The great thing is that so many brick and mortar stores have seen huge leaps in their sales, which means that people are willing to shop at online stores besides Amazon at growing rates. This means that you do not have to rely on Amazon to have your online store and sell your goods.

Need Help?

So let’s talk about your business.

What are you doing to innovate? How are you changing the business landscape?

If you are struggling with this idea and would like a free consultation then contact me.

Whether you want to up your social media game or expand your online distribution, whether you are investing in a side hustle or are creating a business from scratch after being laid off, I am happy to help you take your company outside the box.

I’ve provided consults and support for small IT companies, SAAS businesses, MLM friends who want to expand their reach, Book bloggers looking to make some money, fiction and non-fiction authors, Etsy shop creatives, even nail technicians who didn’t believe me when I said that they could find a creative way to shift their business online during the Covid Crisis.

I’d love to help you too!

Until next time,

Keep Growing!

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How to save time on Social Media Marketing through PromoRepublic


We’ve all heard over and over how important it is for authors to promote and sell their books. One of the top suggestions for busy authors is to be on all the social media platforms their readers are on and to provide engaging and interesting content to lure those readers into our sales funnel. I’ve often promoted automation tools like Hootsuite and Buffer for this very purpose, but never really talked with you guys about PromoRepublic. Which is stupid, because it’s the tool I live by! So, I sat down and asked myself WHY? Why have I not talked with you about what I hands-down consider the best social media scheduling tool?

My number one response was that PromoRepublic is a lot more expensive than any of the other tools I’ve recommended previously and their free trial time is only 14 days. My other justification was that it wasn’t practical for most authors who only have three or four platforms. They aren’t running as many as I am. Then PromoRepublic added a solopreneur plan that I realize is actually pretty reasonably priced at $108 a year. It only allows 3 accounts, but if you have significantly more accounts you can invest in the small business plan (the one I have.)   I told myself that authors aren’t really investing this heavily into marketing, they won’t appreciate the awesome tools that I love which make this better than the alternatives and well worth the $50 a month, IMHO.

But you know what? I’m probably horribly wrong and shame on me for locking you out of this incredible tool because I made assumptions about you. You deserve to at least know that this is an option, why I love it, and how it could possibly benefit you. So that’s what I am here to show you. Fair warning upfront, I am now an affiliate of PromoRepublic because I find myself recommending it often and realize it makes more sense to have an affiliate link. If you click on a link in this article, it will go to my affiliate page. But again, the reason I chose to be an affiliate is because I really do love this product. It is the one tool, besides Google Drive, that I use every single day as an author. Now that that red tape is out of the way, let me move forward

Why PromoRepublic is Better

 Not going to name names or call out certain companies, because I recommend a lot of them. At the end of the day, you have to decide which one is best for you (which is why I LOVE the fact that most of them offer a free trial period. You can test that for yourself.) As long as you are saving time by automating your posts and planning your schedule, even if you choose to do that by using Facebook scheduling, and then use Buffer for Twitter and another tool for Instagram, and hobble together a completely free system that maybe takes you longer to schedule than PromoRepublic, it still gives you a better online presence and saves you more time than if you just wing it and don’t schedule ahead. However, if you find yourself spending more time on social media than writing, here are my top reasons I think PromoRepublic is better.

The Social Media Platform Options

I will admit that it has been several years since I used the other tools so I’m not sure exactly what platforms or how many accounts you can link but I do know that when I switched to PromoRepublic, it was because I was running five Facebook groups, two pages, two twitter accounts, two Instagram accounts, two LinkedIn accounts, two Google + Accounts and two Pinterest accounts (I know, it was a while ago!) and it was exhausting trying to keep up with all of that. I was literally spending 30 to 40 hours a week managing the accounts and still always falling behind. I did not feel like I had time to actually engage with readers, let alone write. PromoRepublic was the only social media management application that allowed me to access all of those accounts in one location and with visual convenience.

The Visual Convenience

I have been around the block with social media scheduling tools, let me tell you. All seemed so clunky and visually unappealing. Trying to figure out how to schedule a post was often a nightmare that required training videos. Seeing what was scheduled for when was nigh on impossible, and adding links, images, and hashtags was often a mad search across multiple sites to see what was trending, create images to add/ embed, and finding link shorteners. Now, with PromoRepublic I can see each channel, and the week’s scheduled posts. I can quickly add in unique posts using their post creator tool with a strong similarity to Canva, and I can even schedule evergreen content to be shared multiple times over the course of the year.

The Reliability

One of my greatest struggles with other platforms is that they would not share scheduled posts as often as 25% of the time with no warning and trying to figure out why it didn’t share was next to impossible. PromoRepublic is pretty reliable in sharing. You can’t just set and forget it for the year, because all social media platforms require that you renew certificates regularly, but when a post doesn’t get shared, PromoRepublic lets you know and gives you the opportunity to re-schedule it once you fix the certificate. There is even a phone app so you can schedule and design social media posts on the fly and can share as needed.

Post Statistics

Each channel provides a detailed listing of statistics relevant to that site for each post. For example, Pinterest only shows comments and saves, but Facebook shows total reach, organic reach, paid reach, clicks, visits, likes, comments, shares. They are easy to compare to the individual channel’s additional statistic pages, for those nerds who get really focused on such things.

This has made my tracking so much easier. I can now just look at the results in PromoRepublic each week and then just spot check it during my monthly deeper analysis of my page growth and engagement that I do on each platform. This creates so much times savings it is not even funny.

The Speed

Having all the convenience for scheduling, creating posts on the fly, reviewing stats, all in one location has allowed me to cut my social media time down from that crazy 40 hour work week where I never felt like I had enough time to actually get on and engage, down to a manageable 10 hours a week and most of that is interacting with and growing my accounts, scheduling only takes a few hours a week depending on what content I need to add in.

The Savings

From the time savings to the stress savings, and not having to keep track of a dozen different accounts, PromoRepublic really lets you flex your social media marketing and promotion. It is like having a mini-marketing assistant. In my experience, most projects can be done fast, cheap, or well. You can get two out of three, but it is pretty impossible to get all three. If you, as an author, have reached the point in your career where you need time and quality more than money, then you can get an account with 10 profiles and two users (great for an assistant!) for only $50 a month.

Keep in mind that you can also write the subscription off as a business expense if you’re in the US.

Any questions about PromoRepublic? Let me know in the comments below.

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Create a Social Media Plan for 2021 to Maximize Success

Create a Social Media Plan for 2019 to Maximize Success
This post was updated 3/28/2021

As many of you know, I am kinda the queen of trying to maximize everything so this title was just perfect for me. But seriously, social media is such an important part of any marketing strategy. It is especially important when publishers/ bookstores/ event coordinators often use those numbers to decide whether or not to publish/ allow a signing/ invite you to a convention. A solid social media plan is absolutely essential to your marketing strategy. Plus, it can be built absolutely free and scale with you as your business grows. It’s kinda perfect. A solid social media plan requires three key elements:

1. Know Which Platforms to Focus On

No one can really tell you how to make this decision. It is constantly changing and in flux. But do a little bit of research and then pick the platform that works best for you and that you enjoy the most. I say this because someone asked me the other day if they had to be on Instagram because they suck at taking pictures. IGs main book audience is early to mid twenties. If you’re writing to that market a lot of professionals will tell you that you HAVE to be there. But if you don’t take beautiful pictures and you don’t find joy in pictures, then you really, really don’t need to be on that platform. You can also reach YA readers on Bookbub, Goodreads, and Tumblr. They also still make up the vast majority of the Booktube scene. That gives you blogging/ writing spaces if that’s your thing and video if you prefer that. You don’t HAVE to do IG, but you do have to enjoy what you’re doing. Because if you don’t enjoy it, that will bleed through to your interactions with potential readers and they won’t be interested. However, if you write YA and you want to reach them on Facebook because you like Facebook, that will be an effort in futility. Most FB users are 35-70. Very few are in the younger range and most of those only use it to keep up with family. It is a great resource for author communities and networking so you can use it for work in that respect, but not to reach Young adult readers. 

2. Know How to Engage

There is nothing more obnoxious than finding someone is auto-posting their IG images to Twitter, 30 # and all. UGH. How you interact on Twitter is very different than how you interact on Facebook, and IG is different as well. Each platform has its sweet spot and some overlap. It’s ok to share cornerstone content across all platforms but don’t auto-share. Do it with posts unique to each platform. Also, how you interact with the users is different from platform to platform. Take your time to learn the platforms you are choosing. It is better to be solid and strong on 1 or 2 platforms than to half-ass 10 platforms. I speak from experience. A key to knowing how to engage is also built into knowing your brand and the side of you that you want to present to the world. Here is a great video panel on Go Indie Now where we briefly discuss just that. 

3. Know How to Grow

Again, this is very specific for each channel so it would take a lot of time to tell you how to do that on each. You need to learn the rules of each platform. But here are some general tips. Do not always follow back. Be deliberate in your audience. For example, I do not follow anyone on Twitter who does not have something in their profile about being a reader. Even if you’re an author, I won’t follow you unless you’re a reader too. Early on, I followed marketing professionals (because I obviously love it too much!) bookshops, actors (because they’re storytellers too) politicians I agreed with, etc. but it led to unnecessary conflicts for my brand. 

Be deliberate in what you share/ RT/ comment and engage with. Make sure that it fits the persona you are crafting and will appeal to most of your readers. My brand is happy geeky book gal and marketing maven. I don’t engage or comment on anything that isn’t 1. geeky. 2. about books 3. women’s issues (thanks to Hell School series, I get a little bit of political talk 😉 ) or 4. about marketing specifically or indie publishing generally. That geeky topic allows me to share about movies and games I’m geeking out about and connect with those fans, Hell School political aspect lets me talk about social change for women, but I avoid addressing politics, I avoid bashing anything (because that’s not very positive or happy) and I avoid telling people what to do and instead educate them on lots of different ways to do what they want to do. For a personal account following your varied interests and speaking out about topics that matter to you is totally fine. but for a professional author’s account? Not so much. 

Unless you’re JK Rowling. Then you can follow, RT, and say whatever you want because the loss or gaining of 50K followers is a drop in the bucket. Now, if you write political thrillers or scifi with a political bent, then talking politics is allowed though as we’ve all experienced can create a bit of pain. So be deliberate in who you follow, and who you interact with to encourage them to follow you back.

Bonus: Set Goals and Measure Results

Set goals for following and engagement to keep you motivated throughout the year. You saw that I’ve done this for myself in my Annual 90 day Year New Year’s resolution announcement and we are working through those in the Resolutions Community (Feel free to join us!) . I recommend spending about 15 minutes a day minimum per platform. That means that if you are on Facebook, Twitter, and IG then you need to be spending 45 minutes a day on social media. If you are working a full-time job, that isn’t possible if you want writing time, right? So plan carefully. You will want to spread your time out throughout the day so that your engagement is balanced. 

An example would be, spend 5 minutes on twitter while waiting in the coffee line. Share 1 post, comment on 2. Spend the 10 minutes in the pick up line on Facebook and IG liking and commenting. Spend 20 minutes that evening scheduling the next day’s posts, and 10 minutes cycling through each platform again.  A key to setting limits is by setting timers. A key to preventing yourself from wasting time is to be deliberate in what you respond to. If your books aren’t about politics then commenting on a fellow authors political post is not fostering healthy engagement and is not a clever cheat to get around not posting about politics on your own page. (Per the branding discussion.) 

Don’t try to convince yourself that you were working that whole time. Lying to yourself about your problem is the first sign of an addict. I know. More importantly, if you do a google search, you would be surprised how much of that stuff comes up in the search because your account or your “friends’ ‘ account may be public. That is not a solid search engine optimization strategy either.

Another timesaver is to batch some activities. For example, I spend two hours on Saturday morning before the rest of my house is alive working on content and scheduling posts for the following week. Some channels don’t require daily engagement. For example, I do Friday engagement on Goodreads and Bookbub. Saturday during my content creation, I am also listening to Booktube and engaging and growing that audience. I hit up IG 3 days a week, Facebook 2. Twitter I try to do daily.  

Yes, social media is a very fickle and complicated beast but tackle these fantastic tips and you will see your platform growing exponentially. Feel like you need a bit more help with social media? I have a course for that, Social Media 101. I am also developing courses for specific platforms. Which platform would you like to see first? Let me know in the comments below.  

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90 Days Goals: Q3 Check-In-2018

Goal Setting 90 Day Check in Hello Lovelies, For those who recall, at the beginning of 2018 I set some very public author goals for the year using the 90 day plan. And revised and tracked them in Q2. Can you BELIEVE it is already time for the Q3 author goals check-in? Man, this year is really flying! Here’s a refresher of my goals: I’ve put my progress in italics at the end of each section a bit to show where I am with these goals.
  1. Publish 4 books in 2018—The Survivalist Bible Serial launched (I have the first part of the serial in an anthology with M.L.S. Weech, and it will release in October), Clear Angel Chronicles 3, Hell School 2, and Hell School 3. (I’ll be honest, I haven’t had a whole lot of time to write with everything going on. As it is, I will be pushing my luck to get Hell School: Sophomoric Sadness finished and released in December. So I am taking out Clear Angel Chronicles 3 and Hell School 3). Survivalist Bible: Genesis will launch in October as part of M.L.S. Weech’s POWER of WORDS anthology and that is coming along perfectly. Survivalist Bible: Exodus is pretty much done, just needing line edits, and Survivalist Bible: Levi is almost finished. Hell School, I need to pick up the pace on. 
  2. Increase my social reach by 50%. This one is a bit messy for you to see in action. I created a lovely graph in Excel (that I am not going to share, because it’s really not that lovely) with my starting point for each of my social media platforms’ current reach. I will track each stat weekly. This is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. I’m actually not going to mess with this one because it’s a good goal. I’m just going to have to work harder because I haven’t really been working on this goal the last 90 days, so I’m a bit behind. It’s impressive how much I’ve been able to catch up by working on this weekly. 
  3. Re-release my specific previous 5 titles that fit the OWS brand under OWS as part of my partner contract. This is already in progress and shouldn’t be too difficult to finish. Hell School should be coming in May, Angel’s Dance in June, and both books in The Hunters Saga are underway, so this is looking good. Hell School: Fresh Meat is releasing this month, thanks to Rebekah Jonesy. I’ve honestly lost track of the others, but Jonesy is on top of it! I know she is still planning The Hunters Saga to be re-released in October, and Angel’s Dance will probably be this month or next. But I have been so busy with everything else that I’ve really been trusting her to knock this out. She’s been pretty busy too with all the awesome books coming out through OWS. I don’t know how she finds the time! 
  4. Expand my OWS-U course offerings by one course each semester. Ah, did you know about OWS-U? It is this awesome venture that we are doing to provide masterclasses to authors on topics that will help them grow as an author-preneur. I am all for having at least one of my goals focused on giving back. The first semester starts in February, and I am teaching two of the five courses being offered.  A lot has changed about this goal, as we’ve decided to go with Teachable and offer the courses year-round, rather than by semester. I am still looking to add 2 more classes to the line up this year, though. The courses are re-releasing on Teachable this month with an awesome promo sale July 15th of Buy 1 get 1 1/2 off. Don’t miss it! I’ve already started developing The Business of Authoring, which will hopefully be added to the lineup in September, but man, creating courses around everything else we are doing is tough! I am hoping to have another course by December, but still trying to narrow it down between three that people are asking for. 
  5. Increase my book sales by 25%. I hate setting monetary goals. Truly, I do. But they are important. I probably should set this one higher, as my sales took a hit when I joined the OWS executive team back in July 2017. But we’ve got a lot of goals going on with OWS as well, so I want to keep this attainable. This will be easier to attain once we get the books up on OWS Ink. I am sitting at about an 8% increase right now. Definitely could be better. 
I am definitely on track with Q3 to achieve most of my author goals for 2018.
90 Day Plan Q 3 Check In
90 Day Plan Q2 goals and Check-In
  My 90 Day Year- 2nd Quarter Author Goals Report
  1. Preparing The Survivalist Bible Serial for publication– I am totally on top of this and feeling really good about it.
  2. Track Social media reach– I’ve been checking in weekly on this (mostly) This got way bigger than I expected because I am also doing it for OWS Social Media, so am tracking 13 different accounts! But each one has seen growth in both followers and engagement. I am pleased with the progress and hope to see it keep growing. 
  3. Get Angel’s Dance and Hell School: Fresh Meat re-released through OWS and onto Ingram Spark for distribution into bookstores. This actually works towards goal 3 and 5. Once they’ve been re-released through OWS-U, I can start marketing them again! Fortunately, Ingram Spark is running a special promotion in July for Camp Nanowrimo so we will be able to achieve this, no problem!
Now time to set some goals for 3rd quarter.
  1. Plan and execute tours for the books I have re-released through OWS- I will plan a week long tour for Hell School to re-fresh it’s SEO as soon as we get it on Ingram Spark, and a tour for Clear Angel Chronicles as soon as Angel’s Dance is back up. I will also look at doing local book store promotion in August as I should be all healed up from surgery by then.
  2. Keep Building that Social Media Platform- I will keep using the social media tracker, though pairing back to once a month because I am re-launching my website on WordPress and that will have me quite busy this month.
  3. Write 2K words a day on my WIP- Man, being a publisher has you running so many different directions and I am really bad about getthing my word count in on MY projects. I am going to start making writing my first activity of the day before things get hairy, going back to the way I was doing it when I had a full time job, because being a publisher is MORE than a full-time job and my authoring dreams are kind of getting pushed to the back burner.
It’s never too late for you to join the 90 day plan. What are your goals for Q3? Share with us in the comments below. Until next time, Keep Writing  
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Easy Tantalizing Twitter Tips to Unexpected Exponential Growth

Twitter Tips

This post was last update in July 2020

Hello Lovelies,

I have been updating my content, SEO and trying to create a better cleaner system by not having a dozen posts over the years from the same topics. I’d planned to do the same with Twitter, but I do think it is interesting to look back at where I started and where I am now so I will keep these older posts, especially because a lot of the basics haven’t really changed.

Twitter Tips from 2011 is just as relevant almost 10 years later. Even more so, as twitter has become a space where most people are just yelling into the void.

Marketing on Twitter– wow. It’s so cute to look back. While a lot of the specific tools and groups I recommended I would no longer recommend, the marketing tips are still applicable.

But enough nostalgia. While a lot hasn’t changed, there is so much that has changed so it’s important to stay up to date!

What is Twitter

Let’s talk about the bird in the room.  

Twitter. It is this scary, overwhelming, fast-moving place! It’s easy for those who are less tech-savvy *waves* to get overwhelmed and feel out of place. It functions very differently from Facebook, which is all about emotions and *being friends*, whereas Twitter is about gaining *followers.*

Many set up their account and yell into the void, never quite getting a handle on how to actually interact and connect with others. BUT if you take the time to learn twitter, it is the place to become a leader (with followers, aaaahhh, see what they did there?) And the way to do that is to:

Follow Influencers

Follow influencers in your genre. See what they are sharing and emulate that. What posts are getting the most engagement? Create your own posts along those veins, share their posts, and similar content. Influencers should be in your niche.

If you’re an author it’s important to follow the top authors in your genres. But you should also be following reviewers in your genre, readers in your genre, associations, distributors, bookstores. If you are looking for a traditional publisher or an agent, then you want to follow those influencers as well.  

If you are in Software as a Service (SAAS), you should be following your competition, industry thought leaders, SAAS reviewers, associations, and if your SAAS targets a specific industry (like Henry Schein One targeting the dental industry) then you should be following dentistry thought leaders and associations as well.

Same for any industry. Look for the influencers and add them to your following.

Grow your Following

You don’t need to buy twitter followers (despite the thousands of accounts that will follow you and suggest otherwise) but you do need to manage your followers carefully. You don’t want to end up upside down on your follower count. I manage my follower list very carefully. How?

I have a couple of rules and a couple of tools that help.

  1. Only follow back people who are in your niche(s). or who you’re interested in actually engaging with and learning from. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. It doesn’t matter if you have 15,000 followers if your posts get less than 10 hearts or comments. The less people engage with your content, the fewer of your followers twitter will show your content to and it becomes a vicious never-ending cycle. This is especially important if you are on Twitter for the purpose of marketing and sales. Twitter ads are fantastic if you have a clear grasp of your targets. If you muddy your analytics with rando followers then you can’t trust your data.
  2. Follow an average of 20 new accounts a day (again focusing on your specific target group(s).) and clean your list of those who don’t follow back within a week. I use a handy free tool called Followers Analyzer on Android (It’s also available in the apple store) for this. It shows my twitter following and followers numbers. I can also deep dive into New followers, Unfollowers, and who is not following me back. Now be careful and don’t abuse this tool or you could get your account suspended. I’ve never pushed too hard but the most I’ve ever followed/ unfollowed in one day was 50 accounts and I typically don’t do more than 30 a day (follow 20, unfollow 10.)
  3. Twitter Lists- I know, I told you to follow influencers, but what if they don’t follow you back? That’s ok, add them to a list and then unfollow them. With them in your list, you can still keep tabs on what they’re doing, share their content as it’s relevant for your audience, and stay i the know on industry news. A lot of people follow me back when I add them to my public lists. I have tons of lists as I straddle several industries and niches and this allows me to keep my content sharing balanced.
  4. Prune no longer active users- The fact is that a lot of people come and go on Twitter. You unfollowing them helps to adjust your follower/ing figure and if you’re worried that they might come back in time, add them to a list. I would say that 2/3 of my lists are people who don’t post regularly. I use Circleboom to manage my inactive followers

Engage Your Followers

I spend at least 15-20 minutes a day, every day, interacting with people on Twitter. This is part of my Marketing in Minutes a day routine.  

I make sure to comment on why I’m rt’ing content so people know I’m not just botting it. Participate in fun tags, Twitter chats, polls and create your own to build rapport.

Everyone loves to be noticed. Notice people and they will notice you. Too many people are on Twitter just to be noticed and then complain about feeling like they’re shouting into the void.

Don’t be those people.

Master Hashtags

Hashtags are probably some of the most confusing bits on Twitter. You should always include two, but no more than three. Make sure they are the right hashtags and that you are using them in the proper context. You don’t want to be that person who used #Blacklivesmatter and #allLivesMatter in the same post.  Don’t forget to add # before each. Make sure you are using them on the correct day and in the correct manner.

Incorporating Trending hashtags is a great way to get more visibility and be seen as hip. Trendz is a great resource to check trending hashtags. You can even target based on country so if you’re looking to build your UK audience, talking about trending UK topics will help. IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT YOU RESEARCH BEFORE USING, see the #alllivesmatter example from before.

Some great hashtags across all industries are #MondayMotivation #FF #FollowFriday, SelfPromoSaturday SelfPromoSunday #ShamelesspromoSaturday

If you’re an author, these are some of the most enduring hashtags.

Post Regularly

According to an analysis of 14 different social media studies done back in 2017, Co-Schedule recommends posting 15 times a day on Twitter. That tweet frequency may feel ridiculous, but keep in mind that when you RT someone, or respond to someone’s post that counts as a tweet too so those accounts posting 51 times a day isn’t as crazy an amount as it seems at first.

Twitter is a fast-paced animal. So what do you post to fill that time? Most market influencers recommend following the 80/20 rule. 80% should be interesting/ fun/ news posts and only 20% should be sales posts. I am sure if you take a moment to analyze your top influencers in your genre, you will see that they are doing very much the same. So share other author’s content, share interesting articles to readers, share fun memes relevant to your genre. That remaining 20% of your posts should be a mix of subtle “buy my books” such as a book reviewers post, a quote image from your book, or an author interview. That means you have to create these pieces of content, but the great part is that you can re-use this ever-green content. Not sure how to create book quotes? You can use a fremium tool like Canva or Bookbrush, or if you do not have an eye for images, you can hire someone on BooksgoSocial ,  or Fiverr 

I do a weekly analysis of my tweets and engagement and schedule 3-4 posts a day based on evergreen content, new blog posts, an engaging question/ tag game/ or whatever strikes me that is geared solely to build rapport, and ad/ promo content. I look at my top performers from the week before to shape my content choices for this week.

Examples of Content:

 You can also promote sales, sign-ups to your newsletter and following you on other social media that isn’t a competitor to Twitter (like Goodreads, Youtube, or Amazon, probably not a good idea to push Facebook or Instagram.)Now, we all know you can’t live on Twitter. Rather than trying to hop on every hour or so to post, use a nifty free tool like Hootsuite or Buffer, or if you are on a lot of social media sites and want to share different content to all of them, invest in something like PromoRepublic

Then 3 times a day, I go in for about 5 minutes and try to respond to 2 posts and rt 1 piece of curated content. I will also hop on when I think of a good poll or when something cool/ interesting, etc happens spontaneously. Boom, 15 posts a day easy.

Track Your Results

This is a key part of any marketing strategy. Essential. Yet, so few authors do it. With Twitter, they make it so easy that there’s really no excuse NOT to do it. How? Let me tell you. Go to your Twitter profile page. On the right, you will see a little graph that says “Your Tweet Activity.” This shows for the last 24 hours. But right below it, there is a link that says “View Your Top Tweets.” Click on that and it will show you data for the last month. Want to up your tracking game? Create a spreadsheet and track each month what tweets are getting the top views, likes, and retweets. Each month, add to the sheet and that will give you a longer-term view. This helps you adjust and adapt your twitter strategy for the short AND long-term. And it only takes 30 minutes a MONTH? You have no excuse not to do this. This will be the biggest tell on whether or not Twitter is working for you.

Follow these easy tips and you will find your influence on Twitter growing exponentially. Anything else on Twitter got you stumped? Let me know in the comments below. I’m happy to help.

What are your top twitter tips? Let us know in the comments!

Until next time,

Keep Writing!

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5 Inexpensive Ways to Skyrocket Book Event Success

5 Inexpensive Ways to Skyrocket Book Event Success

Hello lovely authors,

Let’s talk about book event promotion. Every author gets nervous about doing book events. Most authors avoid them like the plague. We’ve all heard the stories (or in this case, experienced the horror) of doing tons of work to set up an event only to have no one show up! Now, for this article, I will be focusing on real-world events such as book signings, conventions, author panels, etc. But a lot of the tips can be extrapolated to online events as well.

How do you make your event a big success? Here are five easy steps that are free or low-cost.

  1. Plan Ahead

There’s more that goes into this than you might realize. The first step is to look at event calendars in the area where you want to have the event. (Same for Online events like Facebook Parties. One day this summer I was literally invited to ten fantasy book launch events in the same week!) Make sure you don’t have a ton of competition. I made this mistake with my first book signing in Salt Lake City. I did everything else right but missed the fact that the same day I was doing the book signing there was an ARTS FESTIVAL two blocks away from our signing. The bookstore was dead. There was no traffic at all. If I had looked at the calendar, I would have sent my PAs (AKA, my husband and the heathens) to hand out flyers at the festival an hour before our event to take advantage of the foot traffic, but I didn’t know until an hour before it ended. We were still able to pull in some people, but not as many as I wanted.


After you look at the calendar, plan the date and a good deal of the idea behind the event. Are you doing a book signing, reading, or a talk? Can you partner with other authors in your genre in your area to create a better draw? Contact them and see if they would be interested. It is always easier to get a multi-author event approved than to get a single author event approved (unless you are a NYT bestseller. But if you are, you wouldn’t be here, would you?) Give a good month’s notice (I prefer 6-12 weeks, especially as I am planning around work.)  Create a mock-up flyer, a publicity plan, and go find a venue.

2. Plan the Marketing

You’re asking: Why would you do this before? You aren’t doing it ALL before, but you need to have this kind of information to present to the venue with your media kit so that you can show them why they should say yes to your event. See, for you, this event is all about what you’ll get out of it, but for B & N, or your local restaurant, or Costco, or whatever, it’s what will THEY get out of it. Someone who comes with a plan shows them that you aren’t just hoping to capitalize on their traffic. You are prepared to drive additional traffic to their event. So how do you do that?

It’s actually easier than you would expect. First, make a list of all your local event calendars. Almost all of them will let you share an event for free. (You can make that list when you’re checking for other local events in your area, right?)

Now make a list of all your local news outlets: radio, television, newspapers, newsletters (think city newsletters, college campuses, book groups, everything.)

Make a list of your local libraries. This is a book event. If you aren’t hosting it at a library (FYI, this is a GREAT spot to host events, but you have to be prepared to handle all the sales. I literally just did this as part of promoting an author panel I am doing with Sci-fan Convention, and while at the local library asking if they would hang the promo material, I asked about doing an Indie Author Day Event there in October. She was very excited to get more information!)

Author Night (3).jpg

Let the venue know that you will be contacting these locations asking for interviews, announcements, etc and that you will be creating flyers and posters like the mock-up to promote the event. If they sell books, clarify if you need to bring your own, or if they will order books for the event. Bigger chains like B & N will require ordering from Ingram Spark for your event. (They want to be able to return them if they don’t sell in the next three months.) But often indie bookstores or libraries will require that you bring your own books.

Once you have your location, you can get down to the nitty-gritty. Start promoting. Create a Facebook event with the details, send an invite to anyone in your location and offer an incentive for them to invite others (Like a rafflecopter giving away something tied to your genre, but not your own book. Unless you have multiple books in a series then you can give away the first book. Other options include giving away something big in your genre. I like giving away a copy of Lost Boys when I’m promoting The Hunters Saga. They’re a natural fit.) promote the Facebook event on all your social media.

Find sites like Eventbrite or Spingo that allow you to create a free event. They will promote to your location. Look up your local community Facebook pages. Ask if you can share your event there. Look for local book clubs online and share the information there. Create a Thunderclap or Daycause campaign (free, as long as you get the requisite number of support. Learn how to do so from my first Thunderclap Failure.) 

3. Tap Your Network

Networking is so crucial. You have a network in your life, whether it be a job, church, school (or your kid’s school) your book club, or your online community. Write down every possible resource. Who can you approach to help you promote your event? Does your girlfriend have an awesome laser printer and would be willing to let you make flyers in exchange for the paper and ink? Does your church have a sign maker for church events they will let you use? Is your co-worker a whiz at design and would be willing to create some banners and ads for you in exchange for having their design logo on the ad and maybe $25? Is your babysitter or kid happy to take bookmarks to school to pass out? Can you pass out flyers at church, your yoga class, whatever.

K, some of us don’t have those connections, but who in your online world will help? Tap into those, too. Now onto the “cheap” not free part of this.

4. Figure Out Your Budget and Promote Accordingly

The first step is to make your flyers and hand them out. If you can save yourself the legwork, see if one (or more) of the people in your network will help put them up. Depending on how many flyers you can create will determine where you will put the flyers up. Look at shops around your event locale. Many have community boards or will share it at the front register if you ask. Next, you want to hit up bookish places. College campuses, high school libraries (if your book is age-appropriate.) local libraries. Still have budget for more flyers? If you write sci-fi or fantasy, hit up local game stores. There’s a natural cross-over. Do you have any LARPing groups in your community? Reach out to them.

If you still have the budget, print up bookmarks and offer those to locations who put up your sign to give to their clientele. Still have some money left over? Look at local advertising options. If you still have some money left consider investing it in Facebook Promotion. You can target by location, interest, and other cool analytics. Even as little as $10 can give you some great reach at the local level. Still more budget? Look at the advertising options offered on Eventbrite and Spingo. If you still have more, then you can look at running a 15-second radio or tv ad on local channels that declined to do a story on you. If you are flush, you could even rent out a billboard on a major road in town. Make sure your investment in marketing is laid out in that marketing plan you submit to the venue option. The more invested you are, the more invested they will be.

5. Follow up

Be sure to have a sign-up sheet at the event that specifically invites attendees to your e-newsletter. (If it’s part of a raffle, you will get more sign ups.) Also have SWAG (Stuff We All Get, like bookmarks.) If you have multiple books, offer bundle deals for discount prices. If you don’t, but are doing an event with others, see if they would be open to doing a group bundle.

When the event is over, send a welcome email thanking those who signed up for attending your event. Include a coupon for your e-book. Those who didn’t buy it at the event will likely buy it now. Some might get it on top of getting the paperback. Include your intro email letting them know what they will get being on your e-newsletter list, and how frequently they can expect to hear from you. (Stick to that!) Remind them that you appreciate their honest feedback in the form of a review.  

Be sure to send a thank you card to the host of the event. If you had books left over from the event, swing by in a week and check how sales are going. If they sold them all, ask them to order more. Again, thank them for hosting you and offer to do another event in a few months.  

There you have it, five inexpensive ways to skyrocket your book event success. Even if you have as little as $20 for promotion, you can make your event a success.  Have any questions or tips you’d like to add? Let us know in the comments below.

Until next time,

Keep Writing!