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Chamber of commerce

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Jul 7, 2016

A chamber of commerce is an association created to promote and protect the interests of local business owners. You are a local business owner. Your business is writing. There's a good chance you don't have employees, but you may avail yourself of the services of other local business owners like editors, graphic designers, web designers, etc. In short, you are part of the local business community, and it's not just a chamber of commerce, it is your chamber of commerce.


I tell you this because most indie authors consider themselves lone wolves without much in the way of support. That can cause focusing on making a go of it that much harder. When you feel alone, you feel underappreciated, and sometimes it's hard to find the motivation to get out there and promote your work.


Your chamber of commerce is in place to assist you. One of the ways they do that is by providing networking opportunities. Most chamber of commerce organizations across the country host monthly after hours parties for small business owners of every size where they can mingle and make connections that can help increase their bottom lines. Your success as an indie author helps the local economy just as much as the local software company. You should be attending these parties and making the connections that will help your bottom line.

 

You are not alone. You are a small business owner trying to make a buck. Don't shy away from attending networking events at your local chamber of commerce. Mingle and start building your support system.


-Richard


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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor


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You are an artist

Building an author brand: Networking


 


1,145 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, marketing, networking, author, community, local_marketing
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You aren't just an indie author. You are the head of a community. You have a responsibility to cultivate and grow your group. Here are five points to ponder as you examine your role as head of your online community.

 

  1. I get by with a little help from my friends: Your online community isn't a fan base. At least they shouldn't be treated like fans. They are your friends. They are supportive, responsive, and happy for you. You should treat them in kind.
  2. Community and culture: Every community on the planet has its own culture. Your online community of readers is no different. Since you are the founder and manager of your community, you have a sacred duty to identify that culture and develop parameters for engagement that won't diminish it. As an author, your culture is likely to be tied in large part to your preferred genre, but your sense of humor and personal belief system will also come into play.
  3. If you're not engaged, your community isn't engaged: If you let comments go without a response, you won't get many comments. People want to have a discussion. Give them what they want, and let them know they are being heard. Engage, engage, engage.
  4. Community outreach: Participate in other communities and allow other authors with their own communities to piggyback off your success. You need a community of readers, first and foremost. Those can be found by connecting with other authors. Remember, authors don't compete with other authors for readers. Readers devour books like potato chips. There are more than enough of both to go around.
  5. Manage squabbles: I have found that sometimes even the most innocent of comments can be misconstrued and escalated into hurt feelings. You have a responsibility that disagreements in your community are kept below fever pitch. Lively conversation and debate is not just okay, it can be a good thing, but watch closely so lines don't get crossed. When things get personal, draw the line and insert civility. Sometimes all it takes is a voice of reason to end a dispute.

 

Essentially, your goal is to grow your community to the point that it's so large it can't be handled by one person. That's when you'll have one of those problems that's nice to have.

 

-Richard

 

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

 

 

 

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Community Engagement Prompts

Selling Others Sells Yourself

3,817 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: marketing, selling, promotion, writing, community, online, social_media, outreach, marketing_strategy, author_advice
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Host Your Own Webinar

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger Sep 10, 2014

I have mentioned before that you have something a lot of people want: knowledge. You are a writer. More than that, you are a published writer. You have a wealth of experience that writers who haven't published don't have. You've navigated the wilds of indie publishing. Show other authors the way.

 

How? Why not put together a webinar? It's a convenient way to connect with members of your community in a virtual environment that is a bit more intimate than interacting on a social media site.

 

Here are five things you should keep in my mind as you develop your webinar:

 

  1. Give yourself plenty of time from the day you announce the webinar to the day you hold it. A six-week window should give you enough time to build word of mouth for the webinar. Your primary source of communication will most likely be one of the social media sites. Give regular updates on the topics and material you'll be discussing.

  2. Be enthusiastic when discussing the webinar. Don't make a point of announcing that you're a webinar newbie or that you don't have a lot of experience. Keep the focus on the material and your passion for the material.

  3. This is an educational event. You aren't trying to sell them anything. You've probably learned as much or more from the mistakes you've made than the successes you've experienced. Lay it all out there for your pupils' benefit without any spin.

  4. Personalize the material. This is your journey you're using as source material. It is okay to include basic information, but don't make it the heart of your webinar. Focus on the path you've taken.

  5. Invite feedback. Most webinar-hosting sites give participants the opportunity to anonymously rate certain aspects of a webinar. Encourage your pupils to do so. You can even set up your own survey on a separate site to get any additional feedback that goes beyond the webinar hosting site's questionnaire. If you plan on making webinars a regular part of your marketing strategy, you are going to want the metrics that will help you grow and get better.

 

Hosting a webinar is a great way to give back to your community and connect with other writers. In other words, it's a great brand-building tool. Keep in touch with your attendees after the webinar, and make your brand a robust, interactive community.

 

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.


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Branding 101: The Keys to Successful Branding

Make Your Brand Engaging

4,059 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, author, promotion, writers, readers, community, book_marketing, social, inspiration, webinar, social_media, writing_help
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Welcome to the Weekly News Roundup - a collection of news, advice and opinions from around the virtual globe.

 

 

Books/Publishing

 

 

Building a Literary Community: Why and How - The Creative Penn

How connecting with other authors can lead to finding more readers.            

                                       

How to Harness the Power of Viral Marketing - The Future of Ink

When you get a mention online or offline, be ready to pounce on the marketing opportunity.     

 

Film

                                                        

Filmmaking Tips from SXSW: Some of Indie Film's Biggest Movers & Shakers Sound Off - No Film School

A collection of insights from indie stalwarts participating in various panel events at this year's SXSW. 

 

 

How Feature Filmmaking without a Crew Is Possible - Filmmaking Stuff

Gathering an all-volunteer crew can sometimes create more problems than it's worth.                                      

Music

 

 

Checklist: What to Do before You Book the Gig - Bob Baker's The BuzzFactor.com

A little planning is prudent before you start booking gigs.

 

 

Discover How Chords Are Used in the Songs You Love - Hooktheory.com

An amazing and addictive tool that lets you see the similar chord structures of popular songs, and it even predicts what will be the next big thing in chord structure.   

 

-Richard

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

 

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Weekly News Roundup- April 4, 2014

Weekly News Roundup- March 28, 2014

3,484 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: self_publishing, marketing, music, filmmaking, indie, movies, community, shows, promotions, songs, craft, filmmakers, indie_film, filming, playing, viral_marketing
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You are not just an author. You are a source of information for burgeoning authors. That is to say, your journey has educational value. That value is something beyond your books that you can build a community around.

 

You have probably heard the term "content marketing." Content marketing is a fancy way of describing information you share via your social network. At the risk of getting too basic, this blog post is an example of content marketing. After all, it does contain information (content) that serves to draw in readers and hopefully spur those readers to share it with their own circles of family, friends and followers. The more content you provide on a consistent basis, the greater your potential for growing your community. The larger your community, the more books you will sell. 

 

The content that has the most value for you is original content. If the content you create is shared, it gives your brand greater outreach.

 

One of your areas of expertise is writing and selling books. You should be creating content that outlines your experience as an indie author. Even the information you may dismiss as trivial could have significance as a piece of content marketing, especially if you use your talents as an author to tell it.

 

Create original content to expand your community and grow your brand. Lay bare your journey as an author, warts and all, and you will develop a following as a trusted resource of information.   

 

-Richard

https://createspacecommunity.s3.amazonaws.com/Resources Contributors/RidleyHeadshot_blog.jpg

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Passive Marketing is Important Too

Bring Your Community Together through Writing

5,902 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: authors, selling, content, selling_books, community, author_brand, marketing_ideas, marketing_strategy
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I'd like to tell you how wonderful I am. I'm an excellent writer. I've won too many awards to list. I've sold a bunch of books. I can do 10 pushups without a break, and while I can't run a four-minute mile, I can drive it in about a minute and a half from a dead stop. 

 

In case you think I've lost my mind, let me assure you I'm just trying to make a point. If you take to social media to build your brand, you can't do it in a heavy-handed fashion. You have to steer clear of the "me-me-me" approach. Social media is all about building a community. Instead of making it entirely about you, make it about your friends, followers, and readers. They are the ones who will ultimately be responsible for your success, so treat them accordingly.

 

I often see authors focus on themselves. I get it. It's their platform, and they are there to draw attention to themselves and their books. But in today's social media driven world, your brand is the centerpiece of a community. Your role as an author may be what brought your community together, but there are many parts and personalities that you should take the time and effort to highlight.

 

With the community focus in mind, consider trying one of these tactics: Allow a fan to take over your blog for the day with guest posts. Include a "fan of the week" post on Facebook or Twitter. Share or retweet your followers' links that resonate with you. In other words, find ways to share the spotlight with the people who support your career. By doing so, you give your fans greater reason to participate in your community, and they will be more apt to share their positive experience with their friends, followers, and families.     

 

-Richard

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

 

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Include Calls to Action

Considering a Reader's Suggestion

10,012 Views 4 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: selling, writers, readers, writing, community, fans, social_networking, social_media
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As we plunge headfirst into the era of personal brands, we are faced with making strategic decisions on where we should spread our virtual message. "Twitterheads" will tell you that tweeting night and day is the best strategy. "Facebookers" will remind you that they are part of a community that's 800 million strong. The truth is that both platforms should be utilized as tools for building your brand, but are they the best tools at your disposal?


I would argue that there's a better tool out there for connecting with readers and building your social network. I say message boards are the best place for you to interact with people, and you can build stronger relationships than on either Twitter or Facebook. Why? Because each message board is built around a specific interest, which creates an almost immediate connection among members. You're all there to share information on the same topic, and that desire to communicate about one thing creates a deeper bond than you will find on Facebook and Twitter, particularly when it comes to connecting with total strangers.


There's a message board that I participate on regularly, and I've found the conversations I've had there to be enormously enriching and much more in-depth than those I've had with people I don't know on social networks. On the days I blog about this message board's particular topic, I post a link there, and my traffic increases fourfold. I've noticed that some of the members even post links to my blog in the other message boards to which they belong.


Message boards are still king in my book when it comes to building your brand. That's not to say I think Facebook and Twitter are a waste of time. On the contrary, I think they have tremendous importance in your brand-building efforts. In fact, I now have overlapping relationships because of my participation on a message board. I'm Facebook friends with some members of the message board, we follow each other on Twitter, and I've even picked up a few of their friends and followers along the way. For me, there is a symbiotic connection among all these branding portals, one where the focal point seems to be the message board. Find a message board on your book's topic and continue to build your brand!


-Richard

 

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Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Branding 101: Tools for Branding

Branding 101: Keys to Successful Branding

3,333 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: community, community, social_networking, social_networking, branding, branding, social_network, social_network
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I recently had some trouble with the title of my new book. I picked one before I started writing, but I wasn't completely happy with it. The title was a literal description of the book. It was too "on the nose," if you will. Halfway through the writing process, I came up with a different title. It wasn't as literal, but it still fit the story. When I typed the last line of the book, I was struck with another idea for the title. I felt like it was the best choice, and I was happy with it.

 

But just because I was happy doesn't mean I was confident it was the right choice. What is a writer to do? I turned to my friends on Facebook and asked for their advice. They gladly offered their opinions and a few even wanted to know more about the book. Two of them are now reading the first draft. By reaching out to my social network for a little help, they came through for me in more ways than one. They confirmed that the last title was the best of the three. They provided me with my first opportunity to pitch the book and refine my description, and finally, they are providing me with feedback on the actual book.

 

By involving your community, you can plant the first seeds of buzz. Engaging your blog readers and friends on social networks in the writing process makes them aware that you have a new book coming soon. Most likely, they'll then expect updates on the book's progress from that point on, which can start building your readership early and also hold you accountable to finish that manuscript. When it comes to raising awareness about your newest title, it's never too early to get a little help from your friends.

 

-Richard

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Can Your Book Title Affect the Way You Write?

The First 5 Weeks of a Manuscript - Week 2: Genre, Word Count, Finding a Reader, Announcing Intentions

4,472 Views 1 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, books, books, books, books, books, books, books, authors, authors, authors, authors, authors, authors, authors, authors, book, book, book, book, book, book, book, book, writers, writers, writers, writers, writers, writers, writers, writers, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, title, title, title, title, title, title, title, title, community, community, community, community, community, community, community, community, craft, craft, craft, craft, craft, craft, craft, craft, social_media, social_media, social_media, social_media, social_media, social_media, social_media, social_media, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, book_title, book_title, book_title, book_title, book_title, book_title, book_title, book_title
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The key word in marketing today is "community." We are a community. That's why sites like Facebook and Twitter are doing so amazingly well. They provide us with the ability to join and build communities that bypass geographical hurdles. Our communities can expand around the globe.

 

Why is that important? Because ultimately, we are a community of savvy consumers. We don't trust advertising like we used to, since we've been surrounded by ads since the day we were born. We've grown wary of over-hyped products and services. So what is today's consumer to do? We turn to our communities for recommendations and reviews.

 

As an author, you should be doing more than selling your own books to your community. In fact, you will probably lose their trust if that's all you're using your community for. You should be selling other authors to your community. I'm asked all the time for book recommendations from people in my community, and I'm more than happy to tell them. I actually get excited by the prospect of recommending a good book.  It's fun.

 

When you become a source of good books for the members of your community, you become a trusted authority. You gain gravitas in the eyes of your community. And, while I have no scientific proof or studies to support me on this, you may fill your literary karma coffers with all kinds of wholesome goodness that could eventually lead to an in-kind recommendation from another author. If you have a blog (and if you don't, why not?), let the author write a post about their book on your blog. Give them some space to sell their books and they may return the favor. Even if they don't, you have nothing to lose.

 

In short, serve your community and other authors at the same time. It can only benefit you.

 

-Richard

Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.

 

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Do You Have a Marketing Partner?

Be of Service to Other Writers

1,478 Views 0 Comments 0 References Permalink Tags: books, authors, marketing, book, promotion, community, branding
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They say the first post is always the hardest. We all want to be perfect in whatever we do. Whether we're writing a book, recording a song, shooting a film or writing a blog post, we want it to come out just right. Beyond our own self-satisfaction in accomplishing a job well done, we also feel we owe it to our audience. They deserve our best because they shared something with us that can't be replaced....time. So, in an effort to save and add value to your time, this first post is just a statement of purpose, what you can expect from us in this space. This blog, this social outreach, this conversation is for you; the writer, the filmmaker, the musician. Our sole goal is to share information, inspiration and insights from us and from other experts, artists and professionals to help you further your career and craft.

 

We are fortunate that a thriving community already exists here on the CreateSpace website. We hope and anticipate that the members that so readily participate on the message boards will help this blog fulfill its purpose. We appreciate the professional and respectful insight of everyone in the Community and sincerely hope that you all will feel free to join in on the conversation and help everyone succeed.

 

In a word, we want this blog to be useful. Whether you are in the beginning stages of your first project, or a seasoned veteran working on your tenth project, we want this to be a clearinghouse of valuable information and an opportunity for engagement. Thanks for letting us be part of your community and a resource for bringing your work to life. Don't be a stranger!

 

CreateSpaceRichard

Richard is an employee of CreateSpace and an award-winning author.

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