Expanding Your Reach
By Jim Kuiken
In pretty much any public venture; business, charity (not-for or non-profit), organization or group, etc.; getting the word out is imperative for success and growth. I’ve been in all these positions, and as a classically trained (and very successful) business development executive, I can verify that this is the critical piece of any successful venture.
Speaking as a writer – my current vocation – if you don’t get the word out, you don’t have people who know about your writing, then you don’t have a following or readership, and you don’t have sales… Lots of folks write books that never sell, or only sell to a few family members and friends. If you’re looking for a successful career in writing, you have to sell articles, books, or whatever you write.
So…how do you get the word out? Some writers have huge book deals, one of the top publishers, and/or expensive marketing firms that help. Two things – first, that is by far the exception rather than the rule, and make up an extremely small percentage (in the single digits) of all writers. And secondly, even they don’t get the full measure of exposure unless they take it upon themselves to do additional marketing and various techniques to spread the word.
This all sounds like a lot of work, something that will take a lot of time. Well…duh! Successful (i.e., profitable) professional writers do take time and spend a lot of effort on making sure they maximize their exposure, besides just sitting there writing and waiting for manna to fall from heaven.
But don’t fret – this isn’t an esoteric article about the theory of spreading the word…I have some very concrete suggestions for you. Things you can start doing now. Many of you are already doing some of these things, but hopefully I’ll give you a couple of new ideas to plug into your marketing portfolio. I know these things I’m suggesting work, because I went from a very small friends and family group to a direct reach of over 4K people in just about a year…and it’s growing daily. The good thing is that once you reach a critical mass, it starts to pick up on its own and expand even faster. Here are some (but not nearly all) of the things you can do.
There are many, many more sites you can look into, based on your interests and what you are trying to get the word out about. Also, make sure you look at the tutorials of these and other sites, and you will find that you can cross-post a lot of stuff…like on LinkedIn. When I post there, I click on “public and Twitter”, and it not only posts on LinkedIn, but automatically posts it (in a reduced version) on Twitter – saving me the time of going to both sites to post.
What is important is that you put out interesting posts on a regular basis. You can do this via a blog post (see Scott Attenborough’s article “Blog to Build Your Audience” on the JamesKuiken.com blog site), or regular postings on these or other sites – but you have to work to get a regular posting out there – on as many sites as possible – if you want to start getting readers interested in following you.
These are only a few very basic sites and techniques, but they are a great starting place. I know there are a lot of you that have other thoughts and suggestions, and I hope you will “comment” on this post to share those thoughts with others – and help them “Get the Word Out”!
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