Social media is a powerful tool for creatives. In fact, on Tuesday I argued that it is one of the fundamental changes that led to indie authors being able to pursue their dreams. So, as an indie author who is just getting started, here are five things you should regularly do on Twitter.
1. Follow… and Follow Back
The first thing you need to realize is that Twitter is a valuable tool for establishing and growing both your network and brand. It is not the social media platform where indie authors will just find fans. Instead, embrace it for what it is: a platform to connect to others, to grow, and to get yourself out there. And the best way you can do that is by following them, and following back any who follow you. Don’t be genre-specific, either! I write fantasy, but some of the best lessons I’ve learned have been from romance authors.
2. Participate in Writer Chats
There are numerous weekly writer chats going on in the Twitter world. They will have weekly themes and usually have to do with the experiences or lessons that they have been through. Keep your eyes open for chats that might interest you, and try and participate. Even if you aren’t the star of the first few, I guarantee that you will teach someone something, and you will learn a lot yourself.
3. Play Hashtag Games
These are like writer chats in that each one is hooked to a hashtag, but these games usually highlight your own work. There are multiple games for each day and they usually have some sort of theme attached. My go-to’s (and their hosts) are #MartialMonday (@EllisLoganBooks), #2BitTues (@AngDonofrio), #1LineWed (@RWAKissofDeath), #Thurds (@IAmFunkhauser), and #FictFri (@Grace_DeLunac), but there are a ton more. For a comprehensive list, I suggest checking out Free Writing Events!
4. Support Other Indie Authors
You will find, as you grow as an indie author, that you will be grateful for all the support you receive. The best way to get it is to show some support for those you have connected with. Review their work, retweet their accomplishments, reply to their questions, and share their blogs. It will mean the world to them (trust me, I know!) and they are more than likely to reciprocate the gesture. Considering a lot of your brand growth will be due to fellow indie authors, this is something you should always keep in mind.
5. Be Yourself
I’ve said it before and I’m sure I will say it again: you have to be genuine. Not only will people be able to spot a disingenuous account from a mile away. You will be doing no one, least of all yourself, any favours by not being the real you. You might be tempted to try and wear a mask and make yourself appear more mature or more like what you think you should be like. But the truth is that you should just be you. That is how you make friends, connections, and a lasting impact for you and your brand.
There are more things you can do to get yourself started on Twitter, but these five are the best to get you started. Once you have got those under your belt, I wrote another blog a while back about five tips you can use to grow your Twitter following. Just be sure to drop me a message when you are a big Twitter star.
Did I miss anything on the list? What was your experience like starting out on Twitter, or how is your experience going so far? Let me know in the comments before, and be sure to connect with me on Twitter!