“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” – Shunryu Suzuki
Since I work in social media as well as writing, many people ask why I still take social media courses. The answer is because no matter how much I think I know, there is always someone who knows more. There are also always ideas that I forget in the daily drill of content marketing. I learn so much from simply listening to other experiences. For instance, when I tune in to Stark Social’s podcast, I am reminded of core strategies and learn about important social updates. (Deanna and Nathan are also incredibly charming and fun.)
In the case of Christina Farley’s “Master Your Marketing” class, I wanted to focus on branding and social media myself as a writer and not a hyphenate. Recently I moved towards my freelance income being half writing and half social media consulting. The deeper I delved, the clearer it became that the social media jobs will come: I have a reputation there and when I finish a job for one client, another seems to arrive to replace it.
Most of what I love about social media is the creativity and strategic writing that it requires. My goal is to make most of my living as a writer. So how to be sure that when someone finds me online, they see a writer? After taking Farley’s course on branding and researching other writer’s sites (Melissa Hung has a great overview), I understood that my website needed a strong overhaul. Farley calls it the “central station of all your social media,” and mine had basically become a mess in recent months. I need to keep my past blog posts because companies still link to them, but turn that section into more of a writing portfolio. Encouraged by the worksheets I used in Farley’s course, I found the right theme to use and it all fell into place. I spent a whole weekend updating categories and tags that are relevant to my current work. I only have published articles at the moment, not novels, so it’s a little different than Farley’s website. Streamlining the categories also helped me focus on the topics that typically interest me enough to write.
Now, to turn to social media. Her second course in the series focuses on that aspect of marketing and I used her expertise and careful focus on writers to understand how I can build up my @FairyFolkMyth personality. After revamping my categories on my blog, I realized that the categories are the hashtags I need to use as well. For instance, #WAHMRealities is a common instagram tag for me that encompasses both writing, working and parenting. I have a lot of ideas for writing about parenting, but don’t want that to be my focus. With this hashtag, I can give a hat tip to that important part of my life but still focus on the fact that I am doing the work.
Then there is the #fairyfolkmyth brand, the main topics of writing for which I want to be known. Those often overlap with #bookreviews and #artreviews, so there are my 1-2 hashtags per twitter post that Farley suggests. More often than not recently, I also find that fairy tales relate to parenting, and my TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences) column specifically.
She had some great confirmation on my ideas about tumblr and snapchat. Hearing Farley’s advice for using Pinterest reminded me that I need to clean my Pinterest pages up or hire Brit McGinnis to do it for me.
I completely agree with Farley that if you are on YouTube towards a marketing end goal, you need “to have an experience with people.” She certainly delivers on that idea. I’ve spent years experimenting with YouTube to deliver new audiences to artists, and have very high standards on that front. It may be time to re-evaluate how I use it, but I’m going to let that idea simmer and return to it down the road.
Farley gave some excellent recommendations for keywords to use on each platform. I personally use twitter differently on my main account but am now re-thinking the @FairyFolkMyth account. It has more of a clear purpose, a niche purpose, and I need to be more deliberate with that twitter personality. I’ve been motivated enough to create a spreadsheet towards that goal; now to populate it.
Farley’s third course was focused on attending events as a writer. She has a great philosophy and I’ll delve into those ideas in a later post!