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Welcome to the Author’s Mindset Podcast. I’m Dan Padavona, your partner on this amazing journey to becoming a successful author. If you haven’t already, please click the Subscribe button so you receive all my tips and motivation. And while you’re at it, head over to my website at DanPadavona.com and click on my Advice for Authors blog for my latest tips and tricks and new techniques I’m using to advertise my author brand and generate higher earnings in my writing career. Once again, that’s Dan Padavona.com. I generated half a million dollars in Kindle sales and Kindle Unlimited page reads over the last 12 months and kept over $360,000 in profit. And that’s after advertising, book cover designs, editing and new equipment. I did it all as a self published thriller and mystery writer, and I want to teach you to do the same.
Over the last few episodes, I’ve been talking about generative AI and its use for authors, and I think this is going to become a bigger and bigger topic over the next few years, as generative AI becomes more intertwined with our work process. As I mentioned, I was testing out three different AI platforms over the last two months. And so far I’ve settled on Sudowrite as being clear and away the best I’ve used; I’m really enjoying Sudowrite. And I’m going to tell you from experience, from having worked with the technology, having seen how impressive it is and how useful it can be, that it is quite limited. It’s just not capable of writing an entire book. So the stories that you are hearing in the news: the sky is falling reports that authors and all creatives will soon be out of work is absolute hogwash and nonsense.
What I love about Sudowrite and the other technologies which are out there is that this is a wonderful second opinion, or a brainstorm session. So for instance, you’re writing a book. Just pretend that you have another author sitting next to you that you can just bounce ideas off of whenever you need. You can brainstorm character ideas, their backgrounds. I almost always throw out like at least half of it. And then what I do take, I reword into my my own voice, because I don’t want a computer writing a book for me, and my readers don’t want to hear a computer’s voice, they want to hear my voice. And that’s always going to be the case, folks. I’m going to keep harping on it that that authors will always have jobs, as long as they remain creative. There is no way that an AI is going to replace a good creator in any art form.
But there are some great uses for Sudowrite. It produces some pretty good prose if you know how to direct it. And it did take me three to four weeks before I started to get better at it. Once you know how to pull the levers behind the scenes, you can get prose that will give you a feel you want. You’re still going to have to modify; I see far too many adverbs and adjectives, just way too many descriptors. But once you put it in your own voice, you really have something special. I just love it. Again, as a brainstorming session it it just helps the process along and keeps me from getting stuck.
All right, so let’s get into today’s episode of the Author’s Mindset. We’re all on social media, aren’t we? I advocate that when you’re using social media. You use as many platforms as you want to use, but keep your focus on one social media platform, put your effort into that one social media platform. For me, it’s Facebook. And the reason it’s Facebook is because I have a very good following there.
There’s a lot more engagements, especially organic engagement for creatives on Instagram. There are others who swear by Twitter, but I have seen over and over again that I’m able to organically build my follower list on Facebook a lot more quickly than I can in places like Twitter and Instagram or Tik Tok, which I’ve only dabbled in a little bit. I advocate you put all of your concentration on one platform. Build your following there and just use the other platforms on a now and then basis so you don’t overwork yourself. Get as good as you can on that one platform; that will become your home base away from home.
And I say that because with any social media platform, always keep in mind, that it is not your property. If Facebook changes the rules or Twitter changes the rules, they can pull the rug out from under you at any point. It’s their house. So you need to keep your home at your website and in your newsletter. That’s your true home. But you can build your following through a social media platform, and then introduce those people to your home. That’s the way that you can bring them into the fold. I’ve built a modest following on Facebook. I’m a little bit under 2400 followers right now, and most of them I’ve built organically. So it can happen, you can build a sizable following on Facebook. And I regularly find ways to bring those people over to my webpage, introduce them to my books, and introduce them to my newsletter, and hopefully get them signed up so that they are a part of my home all the time.
So today, we’re looking at five ways to organically build your followers on your Facebook author page. And the first one that I’m going to start with is to share killer content. It’s shocking how many people don’t follow this rule. You know what your readers enjoy. Always be on the lookout for for articles from others or produce articles of your own. That will get people talking on your Facebook page. So if you come up with some great killer content, or you just find it buzzing around the internet, by all means, share it on your Facebook page. And this will get people talking and get them engaged.
The second thing is you want to partner with influencers in your industry. Influencers have gotten an eye-roll bad name over the last year. It seems like everybody thinks they’re an influencer these days. It’s almost becoming a profession. Actually, it is professional for some people. An influencer is somebody who simply has some push in your industry, or among readers of your genre. So what you want find the overlap between their audience and your audience, and simply approach that influencer and say, you know, we should co-promote together. I’ll drive some traffic to you; you drive some traffic to me. We’ll build together. And that’s the way to form relationships. It’s not asking for somebody to do something for you. Find a way to help them just as much as they can help you.
Thirdly, you want to focus on engagement. And the way to build engagement, is to talk in your readers’ voice. Give them things which they already are interested in, ask questions, run polls. You want people to be so engaged with what you’re posting, that they share your content. When people like your content, they share your content. That’s how you spread beyond your borders. When I’m talking about engagement, I’m talking about things that are fun for your readers, that are interesting for your readers. You don’t always have to be posting cat memes. Think about what the people in your genre like. I’ll post a lot of things about Thomas Harris and Hannibal Lecter because that’s basically where we all cut our teeth in the dark thriller industry.
I’ve seen over and over and over again, the authors who are jumping online and saying buy my book, buy my book, on social media. It doesn’t work. Nobody goes on social media to see that type of stuff. They want involvement, they want entertainment, and your job is to entertain them. Does that mean you should never post about your new book? Of course not.
Got a new release? Let them know. Want to generate interest in your back list? By all means, do so. But keep your salesy posst to one quarter or less of your content. So in other words, one in every four posts might be kind of salesy. I do far less than that, and I see a lot more success. You’re the party planner. They’re coming in for the party. Don’t try to sell them insurance while they’re there.
Did you know that when you click on likes, you will see next to each name, a clickable button, which says invite? If it’s grayed out, you’ve already invited them, or they’re already part of your followers. Always click the Invite button, and I encourage you to do this quickly. Every day as you are making posts, and you’re going through and seeing who responded and who liked your posts, go through the last 24 hours worth of posts, check all the likes, and find everybody who has that invite button sitting next to them and click the invite. If you’re driving hundreds of eyes to your posts multiple times per day, day after day, even if you only get like one in 50 people to click that invite button, you’re going to slowly build those followers, and you’re not going to be paying a penny to do it. That’s great. Advertising is fun, too. Bu organically building followers is a lot more fun. It’s all free.
The fourth thing I want to bring up is the need to increase your post frequency. I advocate (and this may blow your minds) four posts per day. Really. I used to post once every four or five days. I got it to about one per day several months ago and stuck with that, and I saw a lot more momentum. Far more people were clicking on my posts. I was getting a lot more engagement. It was like they understood and expected that I was going to show up in their timeline, and they were a lot more engaged. I was recently told to increase my posting to four times per day. So that’s what I do now. I was worried about driving people away. You may be, too. I’m just going to tell you that there is nothing to worry about. As long as you are sticking to what I spoke about earlier: engagement, fun, keeping people involved, just making it a party and making it a fun time for everybody who is part of your page, you’re not going to get any blowback. You’re going to get more likes, you’re going to get more people engage, you’re gonna get more people from outside your borders, coming in to check things out and see if maybe this is someplace that they would like to live as well.
These are your fans. They want to hear from you. Don’t be shy about it.
And don’t tell me you can’t come up with four posts per day. I don’t know what to talk about. You are an author, you write books, you are a creative if you can’t come up with four posts per day on social media. I mean come on, are you serious? You probably make four posts to your personal page on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram on your own. You can’t do that on your author page? Of course you can. Up the frequency, get people involved, and you’re going to see much faster growth.
The last tip I’m going to share is a pretty fun one, and it will save you a little bit of work down the line. Once per week, go through all your Facebook posts and check the ones which had the most engagement. Find the posts which are doing the best. And whenever you see a post which really sticks out and is getting a lot of engagement, copy that post, stick it into a spreadsheet or a Google Doc or somewhere where you can find it very easily. Then just keep it in storage. Several months later, bring it back. Some people may recognize the post, but 99% of them won’t. Nobody will balk. In fact, there are studies which show that people on social media react more strongly to something they’ve seen for a second or third time than they did the first time that they saw it. They’re more engaged at that point. So bring it out, and use it again. Not only is it saving you work down the line of always having to come up with new posts, you already know it works, you already know that it builds engagement.
If you enjoyed this episode, please do me a favor. Go to Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, or wherever you’re listening to this podcast, and give me a rating and a review. Positive reviews help other authors or anyone engaged in self development, find this podcast. Remember to head over to DanPadavona.com and check out my Advice for Authors blog. It’s absolutely free. You can see what I’m working on now and what techniques I’m employing to grow my author business. And if you’d like those tips, you can apply them to your own career.
Remember, the seeds of happiness flourish when you shine a positive light. So make someone smile today, and remember to stay amazing.
Thank you for listening to the Author’s Mindset Podcast.