Help Us Make More Connections

After a challenging first half of the year we're keeping ourselves alert to the connections we're making in the industry. The more people we help, the better our own business does.

Sue wants to do more of her Getting to Know You calls. While these calls never include a sales pitch of any kind, the honest personal connections that result have been consistently helpful—on both sides.

Who do you know in the publishing industry? Could be an agent, a publisher, a designer: if they're in publishing, point them to this post and let them know two things:

  1. We'd love to connect to learn about them.
  2. We abhor pushy sales pitches disguised as 'friendly chats' so when they talk to Sue, they're safe.

Taking 80/20 to the Next Level: Engagement Content

We've discussed that about 80% of your online posts and comments should be generous, giving useful and interesting information, with self-promotion only making up the other 20% or so.

Let's take that to the next level: engagement content.

What is Engagement Content?

As nonfiction authors our impulse is to teach, to share practical and actionable content.

Guess what—the 80/20 principle can help here.

Yes, make 80% of your 'giving' posts usable tips, educational content.

The other 20%? Engagement content.

In other words, personal, friendly, sharing, about-you-but-not-self-centered content.

Your day at the beach. A great movie or band you saw or plan to see. A beautiful sunset. A kind act someone did for you.

Why?

Because your goal is to be social and get noticed.

Even at a business mixer or a client meeting, don't you discuss Pat's new puppy or Sawyer's trip to wherever? Of course you do. We're people, and we engage most with people we like.

Give your followers, not just something to learn, but something to like.

Math geek alert: this would make "engagement content" 20% of 80% or about 16% of your overall content. Don't sweat the precision.

Expanding Your Network 15 Minutes at a Time

This year Sue has been using an old-fashioned method to expand her social network. Because she's doing it right, it has not only delivered results but it's been fun.

Any time she comes across the social media profile of someone interesting (from a professional perspective) she spends a little time learning more about them, then invites them to have a 15-minute phone call to get to know each other. She calls them "Getting to Know Each Other" calls. (I'm the writer in the family but since she pays my bills I'll stay out of her business.)

Yes, that's right, it's the old "Can I buy you a cup of coffee?" ploy, ruined by professional networkers a decade ago.

Here's how Sue does it right:

  1. She spent the time to develop a reputation for sincerity and generosity.
  2. She takes the time to get to know something about the other person, even interacting at their blog or other social media accounts, before she raises the idea of chatting on the phone.
  3. When she approaches them, she expresses a specific interest in something they do or offer.
  4. Wait, before that, she actually feels a genuine interest in something they do or offer. That's the whole point: they're professionally interesting.
  5. She uses a simple free tool called Calendly to allow them to schedule their call anytime she's free and which is convenient for them. No phone tag or endless scheduling emails.
  6. During the conversation, she actually listens to them, treats them with dignity and respect, and only shares what Ausoma does as something that might support their business. No sales pitch. Ever. (Did we get that part? That's what killed the "cup of coffee" gag, remember?)
  7. She keeps in touch, and when she finds something of value to them she shares it.

The theme there is generosity. People can tell when you're "having a chat" but it's all about you.

They can also tell, from a mile away, when you're a sincere and generous person who believes that the more you help others, the better your own business and life are.

Twitter's New Rules and Why They Won't Matter to You

Follow us. We know the way.
Follow us. We know the way.
The social media folks at Edgar wrote a super article about Twitter's most recent changes to their terms of service (TOS.) Every time one of the big platforms changes the rules, folks freak.

We don't.

Our service is based on good marketing principles, which are based on thinking like a human being, on generosity, on, believe it or not, kindness. And nobody's TOS will ever ban those principles.

The New Rules and Our Solutions

Here are the two big changes at Twitter mentioned in the article, and why, despite their sweeping nature, they won't matter round these parts.

… more … "Twitter's New Rules and Why They Won't Matter to You"

Best Times to Post on Social Media: Rules vs Principles vs Reality

There is no "best time to post" on any social media.

Any study that claims to reveal the perfect time to post on any social media platform is, instead, revealing the mathematical results of an algorithm they used to calculate certain (possibly beneficial) outcomes at one particular moment in time, for some general group of posters.

No one can possibly tell you when the bulk of your followers and potential followers will be ready to receive your message. There is no calculation to allow one post to be carefully planned to accomplish more than some other post.

Here's what works: consistent persistent personal relevant content.

Always has. Always will. No trickery or algorithms needed.

Update

An article by the social media management tool company Buffer makes the same point with more specifics.