Becoming Visible As An Author in 2011

by Trish

(via Empire Movies)

The secret?

Find your loyal fans.

Now, I’m sure you’re already got quite a few. These are the people who you already email, always want to know what you’re working on right now, you go to lunch with them, you always hear from them (or they are always glad to hear from you!).

Those are your loyal fans. It does NOT take millions of loyal fans (although we’d love it, wouldn’t we?), but it just doesn’t. It just takes a rabid tribe of about 150 to start and perhaps 1,000 total.

I’m sure those numbers surprise you. But really, can you pay much more attention to more than 150 people you really, truly like on Facebook or Twitter? And trust me, once you get above 1,000 friends, the list just become unmanageable.

So lower the bar. Think L-O-Y-A-L fans, not every single person in Walmart on a Tuesday night. Think about people who are truly interested in what you have to say and what you are writing, not every person at the Seahawks game. Think people who will be so interested that they will in turn share you with their 150- to 1,000-person circle. Think compound friending, not having to meet and greet every single individual who couldn’t care less about you at a social event. Think strategy.

Think about a list.

How do you reach those 150 to 1,000 loyal fans? How do you interact with them? How do they keep up with you? A blog is great, but it’s a launch pad to better things. Trust me.

A list is not an RSS subscription. That is a list, but you don’t actually send anything. Google reader does. I’m talking about another kind of list. An email eZine list. This is a separate signup from RSS. This is different than just a RSS feed of all your blog posts. This is a “loyal tribe” list.

If you didn’t have email, but were marooned on a deserted Pacific Ocean Island, would you try to get everyone on that island to be in your tribe? Of course! (It’s a lot smaller than the world at large.) But you would fail. Not everyone will want to be on your team, or in your tribe. Some will want to join another tribe. That’s fine and dandy. I mean, you can’t force people to like you. Instead of getting those who actually do like you and want to be in your tribe to give you their email addresses, they would simply camp close by. Your email list is like your camp. You care about these people and you give them special favor. (You’ll be a popular tribal leader if you gave everyone coconuts, I promise!)

Then think of your email newsletter as a chance to give your loyal tribe coconuts. (Of course, substitute something you’ve written or produced or created for the coconuts; we’re writers, not crazy Johny Depp as Jack Sparrow.)

What can you give them?

We’ll talk about that next time.

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