Q: I’m told having a book will help me build my social media platform. Can you explain how that works?
A: It’s not so much that the book helps build the platform. Actually, you need the platform to sell the book. But the book can be one plank in your platform. Even that isn’t an entirely accurate way of putting it. All the pieces of the platform puzzle work together, but they can also function independently of one another. It’s more like flowers in a vase. Together, they create an attractive image, but each also stands alone. You can think of them as tools in a box, if the flower metaphor is too girly for you.
Anyone promoting a business needs to be in social media in some way. Maybe just LinkedIn or Twitter. Maybe half a dozen others. It all depends on your goals and, more importantly, where your target market is hanging out. If your potential clients are on Pinterest, you should be too. If not, then don’t worry about it.
A blog is another key component of the promotional arrangement. This gives you a place to show your expertise on a regular basis. You can even put the book and the blog together, either by using the blog as a testing ground for parts of the book before publication, or by using book excerpts as blog posts after publication. Nina Amir literally wrote the book on blogging a book.
If you’re trying to get speaking engagements or media interviews, it helps to be able to bill yourself as the author of a book on the topic. If you have a print edition, you can also sell the book from the back of the room when you give speeches.
Social media, blogging, and public speaking are all good tools to have in your promotional kit. Adding a book to your marketing mix gives an extra level of credibility as a topic expert.