One of my decisions for 2018 was to create more content on my own platforms that is real, engaging, and inspiring for others as well as for myself. I’ve literally spent the last 4 years studying social media best practices, building a community of followers, and doing what I’ve learned on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others.
But you know what happened? NOTHING.
I curated amazing content that was lost in the wind. I spend countless hours posting and reposting and sharing without any results. And all the while this extensive, dedicated, and predictable social media “job” took away from my writing time. So one of my main goals for 2018 was to remove myself from Facebook & Twitter. They are time sucks and I don’t feel like they help me to get my books into more readers’ hands. I haven’t quit completely. I still have some amazing news and events happening in my writing world, but my sharing is through Hootsuite in advance or here on my blog and especially with my amazing PATREON followers. I can’t tell you the peace I’ve experienced since dumping my social media persona, and how much writing and editing I’ve been able to get done!
Another decision I made in December getting ready for the new year was to cut out anything that didn’t work, regardless of what the marketing manuals told me. That meant dumping MailChimp, my quarterly newsletter that took up a full day to release and cost me a monthly fee, even if I wasn’t using it. I am so happy with that choice. In addition, I closed all my websites except for this one and my square store (so I can take payments at in person events). I also released my web designer and recreated my own website with the help of a wonderful friend, Jason Wahler, who you should stalk on social media. I stopped my subscription to Canva Business, which means I have to recreate ads instead of clicking a button. All in all, these choices are saving me $140.00 on monthly expenses. That’s 14 book sales just to cover the costs of business and social media “musts” that weren’t working for me.
I’d say I made the right decision.
Now I am strategic with my marketing plan. I have 5 groups that I send information to every morning introducing myself, my books, and my speaking desire at their school, convention, or conferences. I petition libraries and bookstores throughout the country. I query agents for my books because I still desire to be traditionally published with a big 5 press or one of their imprints. This decision has yielded me 3 speaking gigs, a bookstore placement in California, and a potential Skype visit with a school in New York. And it’s only January 19th.
I decided to take it a step further. Writing goals on paper is the #1 way to achieve them. I have seen this come to pass many times in my writing career. It’s one thing to “want” something, but it’s another thing altogether to have concrete goals that you are working toward. Once they are written, then it’s a matter of being strategic to reach those goals. Here are my top 10 for 2018. I hope you feel inspired to write your own and I’d love to see them in the comments.