February is always a quiet month and this one has been quiet. Late last year I came across a term “working on your business” from other freelance writers. After much soul searching I realised I hadn’t done enough of this.
This quiet February month has allowed me to really look at how I promote myself on social media and how much (productive) time I spend there. You may have noticed some changes already if you follow me on those channels.
The first change is the image sharing site. I’ve used it to promote my books and my photography but spent a lot of time hand-wringing over which should be more important.
This week I took part in Kimba Digital’s InstaBizWeek five day challenge to grow Instagram. The main takeaway for me was that I needed to separate these two areas. I rebranded the first page as an Instagram photography page which will feature not just my promotional photographs but images from my daily life like our new allotment.
I’ve also set up a second dedicated page to all things writing. The new Instagram writing page will feature books I’m reading, the occasional link to book reviews, and of course features promoting my own work. One idea I have ahead of Phobetor’s Children release is some character flashcards with 1-2 sentence introductions, and some quotes from Salmonweird (I’ve posted one already).
This is probably the biggest change of all. I’ve neglected it and I put my hand up – I should not have done so. With the changes I’ve now made, my visibility has increased by 300% in a typical month. I’m also certain that a Salmonweird sale a couple of weeks ago was the result of a Pinterest click through. I’m now an evangelical Pinterest convert.
Gone are the personal boards for running and exercise and other stuff not relevant to my writing or photography. I have kept a board of interesting stuff related to writing and photography from other Pinterest users. I still have some pins promoting some of my best and most popular blog posts from the site and that has a board of its own.
Having taken advice from writers who have made a success of Pinterest, I’ve created dedicated boards for my books. That’s right: there is a Salmonweird Pinterest board with a subsection on actors I’d like to portray my characters. I’ve included a few graphics with quotes and will add more over time.
That means there is also a Phobetor’s Children Pinterest board. Not a lot on there at the moment, just a few links to blog posts. Keep an eye on it though because as the release date approaches, I will add more.
It seems so long ago that I updated MG Mason Creative Twitter. It’s been a useful platform for promoting my books. I sometimes promote my photography on there but it’s mostly been a way to engage with the Writing Community.
I see professional content writers and proofreaders on there but I haven’t engage with freelancers Twitter all that much and I know I ought to for the sake of greater visibility. This weekend I created a second Twitter for this purpose – my freelance writing, my bread and butter. Most of the things I could do with it I could just as easily do on LinkedIn (which I don’t spend all that much time on at the moment) and that needs to change too. Here is the second Twitter account where you’ll find more professional content.
March update: Lots of small businesses report diminishing returns so I think about it less and less. Nevertheless, I recently split off a dedicated book page from my main MG Mason Creative professional page. I don’t intend to spend much time on it until Facebook can prove its worth investing as much time as I used to invest in it. Engagements are better everywhere else.
I go through phases with LI. Some weeks I’m commenting every day, sometimes I go weeks without posting anything. I updated it last spring when I was advised to define my professional writing niches. I’ve had a couple of leads but nothing major. I may re-look at this again, but first I need to make the time for LinkedIn in among all my other pages.
Not Allowing SM To Take Over My Life
Therein lies the crux of the issue: how much time on social media promoting your various business interests is too much? I’m considering working a “social media hour” into my work day every day. It works well for other freelancers. Not every site is going to need attention every day, of course but 5hrs per week should be more than enough. I know before I wasn’t spending enough time on SM so the danger is going from not enough to too much.