#WDC17: The 2 Keys to Platforming and Publicity

According to this session of #WDC17, the size of an author’s advance generally translates into the size of a publisher’s investment in that author. To that end, authors with low advances may need to supplement their own publicity. Author platforming (generating publicity) is what follows after developing a brand. This time in my Writer’s Digest Conference series, I dive a little deeper into the secrets behind platforming.

The #1 Key to Platforming: Likable Engagement

The best ways to build engagement aren’t all that complicated. So much so that you can list them briefly, like so:

  • Seek one-on-one interactions.
  • Ask questions.
  • Be honest.
  • Be consistent.
  • Be funny.
  • Be useful.
  • Don’t seek attention. That’s called spamming.

The trick is to get out there, to be present, and to not have an attitude problem. Be kind and be fun and insert yourself. And remember: a hundred one-minute chats with people won’t stick as well as one 100-minute chat with one person. Don’t be afraid to spend time with individuals. It can foster genuine and very useful loyalty, and prevent them from forgetting who you are!

The #2 Key to Platforming: Get Visible

It’s important to have your work out in places where others can see it. You can do this with the following, for starters:

  • Blog
  • Social Media
  • Amazon Keyword Optimization
  • Advertisements
  • Book Distribution
  • Events

And of all these items, the most talked-about is the ephemeral blog. Blogs help you generate website traffic, display your skills, and build your credibility. However, they can easily have an underwhelming readership. Therefore:

Author’s Note: Boosting Your Blog

Did you know you can automate your blog posts to post on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook by linking your WordPress account to those accounts? This allows you to have a small presence there for almost no effort.  To generate a little more visibility for a blog, you can also join blog hops or post to the blogs of others. For a simple few minutes of effort, you can even upload your posts to Medium without having to post exclusively to them (e.g. have to produce content for both your blog and Medium separately). Medium is quite the growing platform, and well worth a go.

Presenter’s Note: Facebook Ads

As for advertisements, the conference went over Facebook ads exclusively. According to the presenter, you should:

  1. Never spend more than $20 for Facebook ad boosting.
  2. Use it for geographical events within a 5-10 mile radius, like book signings.
  3. Use it to engage with a select age group.
  4. Use it to boost posts already working.

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