Today I’m talking about goals. I can hear the groans coming from cyberspace because you might be falling behind or off track completely, but here’s the good news. I’m sharing tips on how to get back on track. In my last post, I shared my goals and their status now that half the year was gone. One of the main things I mentioned were time suckers and how to get them under control. My main ones are:
Marketing/Promoting my book
Managing my social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, etc.)
While these are necessary evils, most authors (myself included) don’t want to promote their books. We want to talk to people and write. The big question? How can I minimize the time it takes to do all these without it minimizing these important elements?
I took an online class with Savvy Authors called Marketing Time Management. What a great class! I got the tips I needed, which leads to the next part, solutions.
Social Media Calendar
First step was to identify all my media outlets. (Facebook, etc.) then pick which day(s) of the week I would promote/post on each media. Some sites were each day, some just once a week.
Next I had to determine how much time I wanted/needed to spend on each media and still maintain a presence, and find time to write. Here’s a sample of what I put together. Social Calendar
Now that I knew what days to promote/post on what media, I could pre-schedule my posts a week ahead of time (or longer if you want/need). Enter Hootsuite. I assigned Saturday and Sunday (1 hour daily) to schedule important things I wanted to promote: special book prices, places I’d be, snippets from my book or a nice review.
Now that my promotions were out of the way, I could spend my alloted time interacting with people without the flurry of trying to promote my book. It also gave me time to tackle my task list and find time to write which brings me to the next solution.
One great thing that came out of the class was that I could use my blogs to promote my books (without the glaring, BUY MY BOOK) and connect with readers at the same time. First thing I had to do was determine how frequently I could blog and commit to it. I chose once a week.
I started a blog journal and brainstormed blog ideas to promote my book(s) and still have interesting contents. I also use it to keep any and all blog ideas. I now had a handy list of blog topics without having to scrap my brain about what to write. Looking for blog post ideas? Try Fiction Blueprints.
Lastly, I created (actually cannibalized someone else’s to fit my needs) an editorial calendar which allowed me to schedule all my posts a month (or longer). I chose different types of posts to keep the content interesting: writing tips, special holidays/events, author spotlights, organizing tips, Cayman (where I live), etc. Once I knew what I was going to blog and when, I could write and post them ahead of time without the last-minute rush. Here’s an example of my calendar. Editorial Calendar
Right now some of you may be thinking I’m crazy and that you don’t have time to do any of that. That brings me to another solution.
This a huge topic and one of my favorites. But, so not to overwhelm you, I going to focus on one thing only. Your email in box. If you have more than 2 pages worth of emails in your inbox here are tips to get it under control.
Okay, now that you know how to get back on track, you need to know how to keep on track. Join me in two weeks when I talk about monitor and control.
Do you use these methods yourself? If so, which ones? How do you manage your social media time? Promoting and marketing time? I’d love to hear them.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net