How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase Sharing

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hat1 How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase Sharing

Sound the alarms! Alert the press! You have a new article on your blog and it is not to be missed!

If you are an author and you are on Facebook, you have likely seen those posts that say, “I just got my book. Please buy it! Here is the link.” What about those that ask, “Please visit my web page and let me know what you think!” (Which means, “Compliments please! No criticisms.”)

Or we see the status updates that say, “I have a new article here, I hope you will read it.” What about, “I just did a podcast interview. It is only 47 minutes long and I know you won’t want to miss it.”

How do you know I won’t want to miss it? I think. I am sorry, but that is exactly what I am going to do.”

Everyone is busy!

We all want to support each other, but that doesn’t mean you have to sell in your posts. Instead you can write effective Facebook status updates that will build a relationship by helping others. Selling books and trying to build that platform all the publishers and agents want us to have is a hard job. But each of us are also trying to figure out how to juggle it all, right?

Sadly, we just don’t have time to write reviews, vote, comment, and promote the hundreds of the members web sites, books, events, interviews and more–even when we believe in what they are doing.

We want to be able to help others

We do want to point the people we serve in the right direction, however, and that means referring those we serve to other people we trust; to a good book we think could be life-changing; to a web site we know where they will be encouraged.

We want to tell the people we serve that we have just the place or just the resource that will help them through this specific place they are in, and we can take comfort in knowing they won’t get lost in the shuffle.

But why would I refer those I serve to other people, not my own books?

What about my own book? you may ask! Well, does it meet their needs? It may. . . but they may be looking for something in addition to it. For example, my organization, Rest Ministries serves people who live with chronic illness. But I also receive emails from people with chronic illness or chronic pain who are going through a rough divorce, have kids with behavioral issues, have a parent with Alzheimer’s Disease. I know they need more than what I can offer them. And I love to be able to narrow down the thousands of books on Amazon to one or two that I know will meet their needs because I know the author personally!

Try to avoid asking for favors if the other person has nothing to benefit from it

gift How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase SharingWhen you are posting status updates in an author’s group, it can be tempting to think, “Well, we are here to support each other, so I need people to go vote for my web site for this contest, because then I will rank higher and sell tons of books and I will eventually return the favor when I have more time.”

We all love a party and with that party comes gifts and favors, right? But do your best to resist the urge to ask for a flat-out favor more than twice a year in your writers group. Like “vote for me to win this category!”

When you start typing out a status update about your latest article you just wrote, the web site updates you slaved over all weekend, or a radio show you are going to be on in thirty minutes, stop and ask yourself, “What is in it for them?” Then write your message with what would interest you if you were them. People constantly are saying they want to have the best Facebook status message, or the funniest Facebook status, but in the end, I see authors who are rushed and they just slap up a generic message with little emotion, except for pleading and desperation.

“Pleeeease come to my site and vote today! I really want to win this bad! You will be making a difference in my life!” I sense desperation and I just click away, because, honestly, there will be a few people a day that ask me to do this, and then someone will question why I did it for one person and not for another. Now, I do vote. When someone is a friend or a peer who I know well and respect their work a great deal, it is worth it to me to see their outreach grow. I have also been the recipient of some awards because people took time to help me and I am very grateful. But, I really don’t have a lot of time online, and I want to invest it into people who understand what to write (and not write!) as their Facebook status messages. Pleading for votes for a different contest every couple of weeks won’t get my attention.

Make your Facebook status update stand out with specifics

What is the message you have and who is it important for? It only takes a few extra minutes for authors to write effective Facebook status updates that will increase sharing of their posts, as well as build relationships with peers online.

For example, if you are talking about parenting styles and how we have to learn both our personality style and that of our child to most effectively make wise parenting decisions, you may be tempted to write, “I will be on the radio today talking about parenting styles. I’d love it if you’d take a break and listen in!” Don’t.

Because what most of us think is, “That’s nice for her. But I don’t have time to finish my own work, much less listen to hers. Oh, well. I am sure she will do fine.”

Instead, tell us who would most benefit from this program. For example:

“If you serve people who are struggling with their kids who won’t get dressed in the morning, kiddos who won’t eat their lunch, and children who won’t go to bed at night, they will gains some new parenting tools they may not have ever heard of before! In my podcast interview today, parents will quickly understand how personality styles can impact how well a child listens to his or her mom and dad. If they miss it, it will be archived later.”

See how that sounds more interesting? Will everyone now tune in? No. Will it not apply to some people? Of course. But will other authors think, “Oh, that describes some of the people I serve. This could be a handy resource for them”? Sure. And you have made it easy for them to click “share” and edit it just a bit so it sounds appealing for their audience.

Would that have shared your message that said, “I will be on the radio today talking about parenting styles. I’d love it if you’d take a break and listen in!”? It’s unlikely.

Make it easy for people to help you

mouse How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase SharingBy simply telling your colleagues what is in it for them, you will save them time, they will recognize you as a certain type of expert, and you are giving them quality descriptions they can easily pass along. For example, future posts could say, “If you serve people who are frustrated parents then you will be interested in . . .” or “If you outreach to teens who are dealing with depression, you should know about my . . .”  These are examples of effective Facebook status updates that will increase sharing online.

You will be reaffirming your expertise in your niche

This is also a great way to not just self-promote but narrow down the different areas of your expertise and make sure those who have callings that overlap with your own to know about it. If you cannot come up with who may specifically be interested in your article, perhaps you should go back and rewrite it for a better niche market (which will improve your Google rankings too!)

Whenever you write, “People who ___ would be interested in this because ___” you are telling people what you do and who you serve. If you are a parenting expert, for example, you will never run out of material! Beside parenting, you can go into issues with adult children, adoption and foster children, children with special needs, children with chronically ill parents, and the list goes on. An article on conflict resolution can be rewritten and adapted dozens of times for all sorts of scenarios, and each of these can be made into a status update that describes, “If you are a parent who ___ .”

Say thanks

As we participate in writers groups, it can become easy for us to get so focused on our own marketing steps, we forget to say thank you. As a writer, you know how easily time can get sucked away when you are sitting on the computer, especially if you are able to access the internet. When colleagues take time away from their own work, to support you, say thank you.

Tell them how much you appreciate it. Go to his or her website and see what you could do to help out. Can you comment on a few blog posts, let them know you visited and found it hard to maneuver around their shop, tell them you loved the clip art they chose, introduce them to someone on LinkedIn.

Little things mean a lot and they will remember that you took the time to offer some encouragement back to them.

lisa copen small How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase Sharing
Lisa is the woman behind the screen who enjoys sharing marketing tips that she has learned along the way as an author, speaker, and director of a nonprofit organization. She has lived with rheumatoid arthritis nearly two decades and is a wife and mom.

 How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase Sharing

32 Ways to Irritate a Radio Host

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woman interview 32 Ways to Irritate a Radio Host

You’ve spent a great deal of time getting an actual interview on a radio program. But could some of your actions be not only preventing you from returning to the show, but also being known among other hosts as a guest to avoid? Here are 25 ways that guests can irritate a radio host.

Make sure none of these reflect your actions!

  1. Ask the host directly, “Have you read my book?” –especially while on the air.
  2. Don’t confirm the interview until 3 AM the morning of interview, on the host’s voice mail.
  3. Confuse time zones so that you are actually at the grocery store when the host calls you for the interview.
  4. Don’t return phone calls from the host or her assistant. Instead, just e-mail her. If she wants to hear your voice, she can look up your interviews on your web site.
  5. Turn down any opportunities to be on the show unless they are broadcast during prime time. Your time is important after all!
  6. Avoid sending any press information. If they want it, they could look it up on your website.
  7. Allow your dogs to lie on the floor of your office when you’re conducting the interview and talk baby talk to them during the commercial breaks.
  8. Insist on using a Bluetooth headset. The convenience is worth a little bit of buzz on the interview.
  9. Don’t worry about being home in time for the interview. You can always call from the side of the road on your cell phone.
  10. The odds of someone calling or ringing your doorbell are minor, so don’t waste time turning off call waiting or hanging up a sign on your front door.
  11. Instead of actually answering the questions the callers have, keep telling the listeners, “If you buy my book, you’ll find the answer to this question in there.”
  12. Name drop. Every time you have a story it involves someone who is famous.
  13. Speak about your topic as though anyone who doesn’t know the lingo is uninformed.
  14. When a caller is completely off topic, go ahead and cut them off and get back to the point you were trying to make.
  15. Interrupt the host. You are the guest after all!
  16. Mention your website over and over again. You want people to be able to find you later and the host doesn’t seem to be helping you out.
  17. Tell a story that is not appropriate for the audience, making some listeners change the station. They need a little controversy for more buzz.
  18. Badmouth a former guest from the show. Surely, the host thought the same thing, right?
  19. Just talk and talk and talk. It is a talk show, right?
  20. Break out into song. . . when you are not a singer. You just felt led to do so, so why not follow your intuition?
  21. Ignore the host’s guidance of the program. You are there to spice it up after all!
  22. Insist on telling a really good story even though it has no real purpose. People need to laugh.
  23. Make comments about the host’s personality, such as “You are always so perky, but let’s get real. . . most of us don’t live that way.”
  24. Don’t look up the web site of the show or listen to past guests. You want your interview to be fresh after all!
  25. Make your offers for listeners really complicated. For example, send the audience to three different websites depending on which book they want.
  26. Talk really, really fast. If listeners missed what you say, they will buy the book.
  27. If it’s a Christian show just throw in a lot of “Christian-ese” so you sound like you are spiritually deep.
  28. Throw in a curse word or two so people know you’re human
  29. Never say thank you, after all, you are doing the host a favor by being on her show!
  30. Have a long web address, such as http://freesite.com/books/buyitnow.com . If listeners don’t get it they could just call the radio host’s assistant later.
  31. When the interview is done, call the host immediately to ask “Why didn’t you mention my book more?”
  32. Send a quick email to the host afterwards that says, “Thanks tons, all good!”

Though some of these may sound like things you would never do, many of us have slipped up and done something along that spectrum just because we didn’t take the time to think about our actions before acting on them. Take the time to prepare, be humble, gracious, and informed so that you can be the best guest possible.

facebook profile small 100x100 32 Ways to Irritate a Radio HostLisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries, a national nonprofit Christian organization for people who live chronic illness or pain. Through her grassroots efforts in learning to market effectively on the Internet, her ministry which began 1996 with a small website has grown to reach millions of people and she enjoys sharing these steps with others through her website http://YouCanSellMoreBooks.com .

 32 Ways to Irritate a Radio Host

8 Ways To Be a Radio Guest Who is Invited To Return

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mic2 300x200 8 Ways To Be a Radio Guest Who is Invited To ReturnMany people put a great deal of effort into becoming a guest on a radio show, however, it is easy to cross that particular radio show program off our list once we have been on the program and not focus on continuing to build a relationship with the host. Once you have been on a program and are considered a “successful guest” hosts are eager to have you back in the future. They know more about you, they understand your platform, and they know what speaking style you have so they can make their program flow even better in future interviews.

Here are some steps to help you be invited to return as a guest:

[1]. Be an organized guest

Have a template ready that you can use once a host confirms you as a guest. Be as brief as possible, and put the following items in a bullet list, so a host can scan it quickly and use it as a reference during the program.

Include a sentence or two thanking the host; a confirmation of the time of the program including the time zone of both the host and the guest; a confirmation of the time you are to call the program or the time the host will be calling you; the phone numbers for your landline which you will be using, and your cell phone as a backup; your area of expertise and a separate sheet with sample questions for the host to ask you; the name of your book and where is available (an image of your cover is nice); the website that you would like to host to mention– in a large font and bold; a brief mention of areas where be will be announcing the program online.

[2]. Let your audience know you will be on the program through your social media channels.

Find out the host’s twitter address, the radio station’s twitter address or facebook page, and use these when announcing your upcoming appearance. Include a link back to the radio station’s website, particularly if they have online broadcasting. Announce your appearance a week in advance, a day in advance, five minutes in advance, a thank you to the host after the program is over, a link to your archived program when it’s available, and a couple more mentions of the archived program in the next six months. This is easy to do in less than 10 minutes with software such as Hootsuite.com where you can schedule tweets and postings on Facebook in advance.

[3]. Make the host’s job as easy as possible

Format all of your promotional material in a clear, concise format to read, without a lot of rambling or heavy self-promotion. Listen to the program in advance and get to know the host’s style, speaking speed, and how frequently commercials are broadcast. The night before the program review your book, make sure your phones are charged. If the program is extremely early in the morning, give yourself time to get up and feel awake. Prepare 20 minutes before the program begins to calm yourself, turn off your phone’s call waiting features, take care of animals and children, put a note on your front door for UPS or salespeople, get a glass of water (no ice, it clinks), etc.

[4]. Be available

When the radio station contacts you, always respond to them as quickly as possible. If you are unable to reply to them in depth for some reason, contact them in some way to let them know you’ve received their call or e-mail and that you are very interested and will respond within a couple of hours. Also, let them know if you are frequently available for last-minute radio interviews. After the program let them know that you would be happy to step in at a moment’s notice if a guest cancels. Provide them with the best way to reach you for emergency situations when they need a guest.

[5]. Be exceptionally nice to the host’s assistant

For many programs you will never speak to the host until you are on the air. Instead, you will be working with the assistant. Always treat him or her with as much respect as you would the host. When you have questions, say “Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few of my questions. I know you’re very busy and I appreciate it.” Few assistants hear this. The assistant may be the person who goes through the stacks of potential guests’ books, who reminds the host about interesting people who would make a good guest, who answers the calls from listeners who want more information about the guest that was recently on the air, who requests a CD of the program to be sent to you from the technical department. When writing a thank you note to the host, include one for his or her assistant as well.

[6]. Take note of topics that could be of interest to the audience when you return

Was there a direction in a conversation the host wanted to take, but ran out of time? Did a topic raised by callers surprise you? What is a point you thought worthwhile to make that didn’t get addressed? Is there an important event or an awareness day that a future program of yours could tie into? For example, if your book is on prodigal children, you could cover the topic of grief around the time of Mother’s Day. In August or September you could speak about the back-to-school days when you have a rebellious teenager. Hosts appreciate it when you provide some interesting angles on a story that they had not yet considered.

[7]. Say thank you

This may seem obvious, but many radio hosts never receive a thank you note. Although it is easy to zip off an e-mail that says “thank you so much” the old-fashioned handwritten card carries a great deal more value in the eyes of the recipient. You can also include some future topics as mentioned above for potential programs. Present these ideas, however, as simple suggestions in a way that may be helpful to the host and not as a way to sell yourself.

[8]. Stay in touch

Make note of things that you found the host was particularly interested in. What seemed to touch his or her core that you had to share? Has the host had a personal experience with one of the things you are speaking of? What other kinds of guests do they have on their program? Keep their contact information on hand so when you come across someone who you believe would make a great guests for their show, an article, or other information or resources, you can send off a short friendly e-mail. Let the host know you are thinking of her and thought this may be of use to her program. This is not the time to sell yourself, but rather just continue to nurture a relationship.

Remember that every host is just a person who is trying to do her job to the best of her ability. Too many authors view radio show hosts as a gatekeeper who can make or break their book sales. The relationships you build with each individual will not only help you as an author, but also as a person who establishes a network of people where each one can help us do our job better. And then, collectively, we can reach more people with the information we think they can use to improve their lives.

facebook profile small 100x100 8 Ways To Be a Radio Guest Who is Invited To ReturnLisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries, a national nonprofit Christian organization for people who live chronic illness or pain. Through her grassroots efforts in learning to market effectively on the Internet, her ministry which began 1996 with a small website has grown to reach millions of people and she enjoys sharing these steps with others through her website http://YouCanSellMoreBooks.com .

 8 Ways To Be a Radio Guest Who is Invited To Return

Spreading The Word About Your New Book

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salebags Spreading The Word About Your New Book

My new book “How to Start a Chronic Illness Small Group Ministry” is now completed and published.  I had a speaking engagement in April and a box of the books literally arrived at 6:45 or so the night before I was speaking and exhibiting.

So now I am back in the mode of marketing a book. . . one that is new–and in my opinion, needed. It is, however, needed only by a certain group of people. For the audience I serve with my ministry, Rest Ministries, I am it will meet a great need. I addressed 10 years worth of emails and questions I’ve received from people eager to start  a chronic illness small group or support group in their church or community.

It’s not a book that will be on the shelves at Borders. And that is okay.

I self-published the book under Rest Ministries Publishers. The books I have written over the years keep my organization financial afloat. The benefit is there is no “middle man” and my ministry financially benefits.

I’ve already began to receive questions about the book, the printer, t0 the cover design and marketing, so the next few months as I check things off my “marketing to do list” (which I have put together after my umpteenth time of reading John Kremer’s 1001 Ways to Market Your Book) I will do my best to keep a running list here of what I have done to market my book.

I hope it is helpful, and I am always eager to hear from you in the comments section about your own experiences, resources, etc.

Warmly,

Lisa

 Spreading The Word About Your New Book

About Lisa

lisa-silly

lisa silly About Lisa

Lisa Copen loves marketing because she loves people. “The ability to discover what people want that they are not finding and then producing the products to serve their needs is an incredible high,” she shares. “It’s not about making money, the but through getting to know people’s desires and what will make their life easier, the money will come if you can provide it.”

She is the founder of a nonprofit, Rest Ministries and National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week, which has served the chronically ill since 1996 with over 80,000 visitors to her web site each month. Through her own organization, she began doing web design and learning internet marketing and was soon doing web site for small businesses and speaking and the business expo of the Poway Chamber of Commerce on Internet marketing.

She has spoken on book marketing and helped authors come up with personalized marketing plans for their books or book proposals at events organized by organizations such as CLASS (Christian Leaders Authors and Speaker Services), AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers) and the San Diego Christian Writers Guild.

As an author of numerous books, she has sold thousands through non-traditional means and has a passion for helping others who want to sell their book! And she is a contributor to the Huffington Post.

Lisa says, “If I can save someone a few steps or teach them to put a new slant on how they can market their book, I feel like I’ve saved them a few steps and perhaps thousands of dollars.”

She has taken training seminars by speaker and marketing experts such as John Kremer, Arielle Ford, Florence Littauer, Alex Carroll, and Derek Gehl.

She speaks at writers conferences and is working on a series of ebooks on marketing your books on a budget and giving internet marketing seminars in the San Diego area.

You can read more about Lisa’s speaking and passions at her personal web site LisaCopen.com

Lisa’s energy, despite her chronic pain, enriches all who are blessed enough to be touched by her ministry. Her personal availability encourages the rest of us to reach for God’s best. Her courage to move forward despite everything models hope for the rest of us. Thank you, Lord, for energizing Lise in her ministries. -Jonnie Wright, author of personal growth Bible studies

 About Lisa

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