Are you throwing money away? You could be, if you’re not making the most of your social media following. Many writers are blind to the value of their followings.
Listen up… You’re building your social media following to promote your writing services, products, or books. That following is valuable, and you can and should profit from it.
Social media tips: recognize the value of your following
I was chatting with a writer a couple of weeks ago. He’s been blogging for several local businesses and promotes the posts he writes on his social media accounts. He has a couple of thousand Twitter followers, several hundred followers on Facebook, and has 900 subscribers on a couple of email lists.
“How much time do you spend on social media each day?” I asked.
“Around an hour.”
“How much do you charge your clients for promoting their posts on your accounts?”
He told me that he charges $75 per blog post.
“OK, that’s for social media promotions. It seems a little low.”
“No, that’s for a post.”
“What about social media?”
“What do you mean?” He sounded confused.
It turns out that he was charging zero, zip, zilch, for promoting his clients’ posts on his social media accounts.
He’s not the only writer who invests time, energy and money in building up a social media following, then gives it away.
Perhaps you’re missing out on income in this way too.
Here are some tips to stop losing money and start profiting from social media.
1. The more followers, the more value: track clicks and conversions
I just took a quick look at my traffic for this blog. A third of my traffic comes from Pinterest. Some weeks, a good half of the traffic comes from Pinterest.
My point: if you’re promoting for others on your social media accounts, you need to know what results you get from your social media and other promotions. If you’re monitoring your results on your own WordPress blog, you can use a plugin like JetPack (free for basic use) which offers stats.
If you’re promoting others’ content, find out what analytics program they’re using. Many of your clients will use Google Analytics. Others will use their online store’s built-in analytics.
Perhaps you’re in the same position as my writer friend above — you’ve been promoting content you create for clients on your own social media accounts. In this case, ask the client to share the results from his analytics program. Which content gets the most traffic? Which content results in conversions (sales, or other transactions?)
It’s super-challenging to track a direct correlation between social media promotions and conversions. That said, there is a correlation. I recommended to one writing student that he stop promoting clients’ content to his own social media accounts if he wasn’t being paid for it. A week later, clients complained, and they paid up; rather handsomely too. 🙂
2. Think in terms of audiences: build (and monetize) your audiences as you need them
All audiences aren’t equal. For example, let’s say you’ve been building your social media accounts to promote your Kindle mystery novels. Some of your mystery readers will be interested in the exercise equipment for which you’re an affiliate. Many won’t be.
That’s OK. Start thinking about building audiences within your social media accounts. Pinterest makes it easy; you can create new boards to build new audiences. You have a limit of 500 boards you can create in one account, and 200,000 followers, so you won’t reach your limit anytime soon.
On Facebook, create pages for audiences you want to build. On Twitter, use hashtags. You could create completely new accounts, but this is pointless. Use the audience you have now to develop fresh audiences. There’s no need to build from scratch.
3. Your following gives you a platform: charge appropriately
You’ve built your social media following. It takes time to build it, grow it, and maintain it. It’s up to you to charge appropriately if others want to use your audiences.
Hint: your social media following is more valuable than the content you create.
4. Create social media offerings: promote them to all your clients (and look for new clients too)
A single Instagram post by a celebrity can cost a brand many thousands.
You may not be a celebrity, but your following gives you a reach. That’s always valuable. The blogging writer above is now charging between $250 and $800 per social media campaign. He’s also charging more for his blog posts. His articles now start at $300 — without any social media promotion.
Start thinking about your own social media following, and the offerings you can create from it. As stated, your following is valuable. Use it.
“My following’s too small,” a beauty blogger told me. Her blog was new, and she had just a few hundred followers across several social media accounts. She contacted me because a brand had contacted her to write a sponsored post, and she didn’t know how much to charge.
Here’s how I responded. “A promotion you create today is the gift that keeps on giving. Your post will stay online for years. Over that time, your client gets value in links, in trust, and in credibility. He’ll make sales from the post you write and promote on social media months and years from now. No other form of paid advertising is as long-lasting. If he runs an AdWords ad, or a Facebook ad, once he stops paying, the ad stops. Yes, your following’s small, but you can and should charge according to the value you provide.”
Do this today: brainstorm ways you can profit from your social media accounts
I’ve yet to meet the writer who’s making the most of his social media following. If you have a following, no matter how tiny, brainstorm ways in which you can use that following, and monetize it. And please… stop giving it away.
Chances are you’re sitting on a goldmine. 🙂
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