A Word About Technology
I recently conducted an informal survey through my weekly email, asking subscribers about their biggest struggle in maintaining their author marketing programs. One of the most common responses was tech. I can confirm, in my experience with authors, this is something I hear about quite often. Not everyone struggles with the same issue, but the good news is, you can overcome tech overwhelm.
Here are my solutions to the most common tech-related issues I hear about from authors:
Tech is scalable.
Just about every app and program contains content or features that will grow with your knowledge and experience. Think about the app you use to write. Whether you use Google Docs or Microsoft Office, each have basic functions. If all you need to do is write, it’s simple to start – put your curser down on the page and start typing. As you learned how to use it, you were able to adjust page and document formatting, maybe add images or tables, and even manage the sharing and editing functions as you prepared to publish your book. That’s one type of scaling. As your comfort and skill grows, so do the apps capabilities grow with you.
Scale could also mean fees. I’m a huge fan of free-to-paid programs and apps for marketing. There are literally thousands of potential marketing tools. I’ve got my preferred tools, like any other business owner. But that doesn’t mean they’re appropriate for you. How do you know if you don’t try them? That’s why I like free-to-paid programs.
If you need an email marketing system, don’t jump right into corporate-level Keap, check out the free versions of MailerLite or MailChimp.
Need a social media scheduling tool? No need to pay a monthly or annual fee. Did you know scheduling tools are now built right into Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter? The best part is because they’re connected to your account, they also include analytics to help you track the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts. Please, don’t spend money you don’t have to and waste time learning something you don’t need right now. Which brings me to my next solution.
You can learn anything.
Within reason. I’m not suggesting we can all become neurosurgeons by skipping medical school and just practicing, but if most of the population is managing to use social media daily, you can too. It just takes practice.
I’ve been on the Internet since it came in the mail on a disk. (If you know, you know.) There have been so many changes: Myspace, Google+, chat rooms, instant messenger, forums, and more… all gone. We can’t predict what’s here to stay, but if you want to increase your visibility as you grow your author platform, you must learn how to get out in front of your audience.
Check out my series on building flawless author foundations to learn more about which platforms are right for you. And then look for free tutorials on YouTube or in blogs. If you’re really struggling, there are tons of low-cost courses too. Do your research and don’t believe anything that sounds too good to be true. Finally, make time to practice.
Which brings me to my next solution.
Yes, you do have time.
You’re reading this, so I know you’re not one of these people who throw their hands in the air and say, I just don’t’ have time for this! You have 24 hours in a day. Are you telling me you can’t spend 15 to 30 minutes a day working skills that will improve your visibility and improve your author platform? If marketing matters, make time.
Among my suggested reading for authors is a book on time management called “ReWork” by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, the minds behind the project management tool, Base Camp. If you use just a few of the practices outlined in this book and make small changes to how you organize your day, you will improve your work/life balance and productivity.
There’s more than one way to do everything.
This is especially true in technology. I remember sitting in on Microsoft skill classes in corporate America back in the 90s and learning that Microsoft built in multiple points of access for just about every function. Unless you’re teaching the technology, I can’t think of a reason why you would need to know all of them. Just work with the method you know. This is true for your tech tools.
Do and use what works for you. One word of caution with those, please make sure it’s still working for your platform. As the rules of engagement change on social media, some of these tools you treasure may no longer serve you. Be flexible enough to give up what isn’t working and look for something that is.
Show yourself some grace.
Don’t give up and don’t be too hard on yourself. Everything you do was new to you at some point. Be patient when learning a new skill or tool. If you need help, ask. There are lots of peer groups (including my Facebook group – Author Marketing with LynnMcG) and I’m here too.
As always, if you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment box below. If you’re feeling stuck and need a little help, schedule a time to get “unstuck” in a free, 30-minute consultation with me– I’ll do my best to help you get unstuck.