Today’s topic is Grow Your Author Presence On Instagram but before I get to that, you should know that for the Month of March, we are focusing on you, the author and writer, to help you understand how to take advantage of not only Instagram, but email marketing, book promo, writing tips, and more. Join my special guests and me as we bring you the best of the best on how to get your book written and build a platform of raving fans who are ready to read it!
Instagram Strategies for Authors https://dailywriterlife.com/marketing-expert-ruthie-gray-on-instagram-strategies-for-authors/
Recently I was on the Daily Writer Podcast with Kent Sanders and this is just a short snippet of our conversation. You’ll hear Why writers should be on social media, and how the introverted writer can adjust her perspective of society from one of drudgery to actually enjoyment. How to use Instagram to promote your book, behind-the-scenes ideas, and how to build systems so you can still hunker down in your writing shed and channel your inner Jane Austin. I know you’ll enjoy this short conversation with Kent, which is NOT the same conversation we had a couple of weeks ago in episode 69 called 10 Ways writers can make money, again, this is when I guest interviewed on his show. And now, listen in.
10 Ways Writers Can Make Money https://authenticonlinemarketing.com/10-ways-writers-can-make-money/
Why should writers be on social media?
Kent: Why should writers be on social media in the first place? I mean, I think we all intuitively know it’s important, but from your perspective, as somebody who’s thought about this a lot, you’ve created lots of resources around it. Why should we be spending time on social media in the first place?
Ruthie: Well, social media is not only a place to make the public aware of your writing but it’s the place to network. It’s like a big networking event, that is how you forage important relationships that are integral to your book lunch and getting the word out about your writing.
Kent: In some respects, does it go back to the question of whether or not we want to put time and emotional energy into relationships?
Grow your author presence on Instagram
Ruthie: It is, Social media is social, you can be on Google and do your SEO work that’s important. I do think that social media helps you build your authority better because other people, give you shout-outs as they come to know you as a person, then you earn their trust and they become, for lack of a better term, super fans, They tag you and share your work on Instagram and, others see that and start following you, reading your blog or listening to your podcast. it’s just like a never-ending circle of networking.
Kent: That’s really good. It’s an important reminder because a lot of us are introverts and we would prefer just to stay in front of our computers and not have to engage with the world. So for writers, who are introverted and who perceive all of this as a big pain. Is there a certain attitude adjustment that you would recommend or something that we can shift in ourselves that would help us have more fun with this and value this more?
Ruthie: I get that because, there was a time when I was just like, I just want to write, I just want to get my work out there. And yet I realized that if I didn’t actually interact with other people, they could care less about my content.
Kent: Yeah, that’s a great point.
Use social media to build your writing community
Ruthie: So how to make it fun? You have to sort of determine that yourself. You have to first be committed to carving out a time niche too and building your community.
Kent: Right, And is that a perception that many of us have sometimes? Is that this is gonna take up my whole day, I’m gonna spend hours and hours on social media wasting away my time. It doesn’t really have to take that much time, does it?
Ruthie: It doesn’t have to take that much time, especially when you put systems in place and boundaries for yourself because it ultimately comes back on you. How much time do you have? and how much time are you willing to spend? And then you just cut it off, I do not let social run my life because there is an important work of content creation to focus on.
Grow Your Author Presence
Kent: What are some of the best ways that writers can use Instagram to promote their books or engage people in the book-writing process?
Simple ideas to grow your author presence on Instagram™
Ruthie: Well, for instance, for writing, do you have a daily writing practice? So set up a ring light with your camera and put it on fast speed, just a little clip of you doing that or a picture of it. Take a picture of yourself at events like a podcast and say something like; “I’m getting ready to go on Kent Sander’s podcast”. If you’re going to the printers or if you get that manuscript in the mail post about it. Anything that is integral to the writing process.
Kent: This is really, really good stuff and you’ve given me like 10 really good ideas. I had never thought about this.
Sharing is how your develop trust
Ruthie: Yeah, it’s simple. Sharing, that’s how you develop trust. You’re like, why would anybody not know this? Or Why would they wanna know about it? They wanna know about it. They need to know that behind-the-scenes story. People are nosy on Instagram, and that’s what social is all about, is sharing your life and, developing those relationships.
Posting schedule for authors who want to grow their presence on Instagram
Kent: What do you think about the idea of having some kind of content posting schedule? For example, on Mondays, I post about this particular thing. On Tuesdays, I post about this thing, like you basically you have three to five topics that you rotate on a weekly basis or a regular basis.
Ruthie: Absolutely, because it’s kind of like your Scripture reading. If you don’t have something laid out that you’re gonna do, then you’re probably going to not do it. Some days you’re just like, “should I read Ephesians today?” I like to have a scripture reading plan. Systems are what keep you consistent and consistency is what brings your audience.
For instance, for my posting schedule: I post three to four times a week. No more than that. Monday is always about the podcast. It’s going to be quotes from the podcast. It’s gonna be a carousel form. Wednesday or Friday is going to be a Reel of me just talking about that podcast, but it’s not, go listen. It’s more of a nugget of information from that podcast and then I cite the podcast in the caption. Then Friday it could be a quote, like an inspirational quote. A lot of my audience. They’re writers, so I love to post writing quotes, a lot of them are also entrepreneurs, so entrepreneurial mindset.
My pillars on Instagram are Instagram and email marketing. A marketing mindset is what drives you to do all the other things, it’s not possible to overshare your core message. Say things over and over again.
Kent: That’s a really good thought. Okay. It’s not possible to overshare your core message.
Authors can repurpose their content to grow on Instagram
Ruthie: It isn’t, keep focused on your message. Repurpose content, say it in an email, and say it again in a post. Say it again in an Instagram carousel post and in a Reel. Mix it up and say it in a different way, but keep saying it.
Writers think they have to come up with new content all the time and new captions. That’s what makes it so hard for them to do it. I draw from my podcast. On Monday I go with those quote images, and I go grab the quotes out of the podcast. I pop it in there when I’m scheduling and put a hook in the first line, and a call to action and I am good to go. Don’t make it hard.
Kent: That’s a really good piece of advice because I think a lot of us as writers feel like we have to constantly be turning out a lot of new stuff. It takes the pressure off of us, doesn’t it, where we don’t have to come up with something new, all the time.
Don’t create new content, just repurpose
Ruthie: It really does. That is the biggest drawback for writers is they think they have to create all this new content, You just need to repurpose it. That’s something that I teach the people in my communities all the time. Once you write a stellar email, use that thing again. You need to work smart but not hard. Go back to a post that received a lot of attention and re-share it again with a different image or created in the form of a reel. Share it in your stories. Take the caption that you wrote and just repurpose it.
Kent: That’s really good. I do that on here, on the podcast actually all the time. I reuse content constantly because you have new people come in and listen to it.
People won’t remember all the content you create
Ruthie: Exactly, we are so close to our content that we’re like, oh, I can’t send that email again. They just got that in the last six months. How many emails do you get in your inbox every week? I mean, no one’s gonna remember.
Kent: Exactly. You get something that you like and you just keep coming back to those same things over and over.
Ruthie: That’s why I like using Stories so much because I repurpose a lot of my content, but just in a different way. You want to cultivate that community.
Kent: It’s almost like, like thinking of yourself, uh, kind of like the Hallmark channel, where really they have one type of thing that they do. They’re known for one thing, every movie is like a variation on the same set of messages. This is true of any brand, isn’t it really, you have a set of core themes and everything is a takeoff on that somehow.
Ruthie: It is, you just wanna keep track of your thoughts. What works well for writers is to focus on bringing in an ideal audience of readers. Don’t be afraid to share yourself, your personality, and your life, be transparent, get on video, make a statement, and put a stake in the ground. Photograph or video behind the scenes, your writing process, amidst dog walking, caregiving, and taking care of grandkids. How did you get inspiration for writing? Network. Repurpose your content. Develop a posting schedule and set a timer so you don’t get sucked down the Instagram hole. Cultivate boundaries and promote your book.
Do you need more concrete ideas for how to do this? Listen to the full episode on the Daily Writer Podcast with Kent Sanders, Instagram strategies for Authors, link is in the show notes. https://dailywriterlife.com/marketing-expert-ruthie-gray-on-instagram-strategies-for-authors/