by Karin Abarbanel
Building a writer’s platform can seem daunting, but listen to Ethel Lee-Miller and it sounds doable — and even fun. For Ethel, a platform is all about connecting with people and sharing your love of writing and stories with them. Sounds appealing, doesn’t it?
Writer, educator, and encouragement coach extraordinaire: When Ethel Lee-Miller talks about writing, you feel that anything is possible! She’s the author of the heart-warming Thinking of Miller Place: A Memoir of Summer Comfort and Seedlings: Stories of Relationships. She’s also embraced social media as a way of reaching out to build a readership. In a power-packed workshop hosted by the Write Group, she shared some media tips:
Your platform is about you: Your platform is what you “stand on” – it’s about what you value and what’s important to you. “What is it about writing I love? What made me decide to do it?” Ask yourself these questions and begin shaping answers to them and you’ll have the seeds of your writers platform. And remember: It’s organic: it will change and evolve.
Your platform is built on communicating: Deciding how you want to reach readers and potential readers is key. Basic online tools to do this include: a blogs, website, newsletter or column, and publishing articles. Editors and agents are attracted to authors with visibility, authority, and proven target reach. Why not be one?
Craft mission and vision statements: Motivation is key. Create a simple mission statement as a touchstone to inspire you and then create a vision statement – a road map for how you’re going to get there — with target dates for completing projects.
Go where your audience is: Channels abound, but the big players are: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, and Pinterest. Explore their analytics to find the people you want to reach. Facebook, for example, now attracts 40+ users while Instagram is a YA hotbed.
Be disciplined: Building a platform takes time and energy. Start by devoting one morning or one evening to it and stay with it. The more you do, the more you’ll know. It seems daunting, but remember, it’s all about connecting.
Cultivate your e-mail list: Make it a point to exchange emails when you meet people. Building an email list is key to building an audience. Mail Chimp is a user-friendly resource.
Great advice from a writer who’s made it part of her mission to master media. Bravo, Ethel – write and inspire on!