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5 Simple Rules To Engage, Engage, Engage! [Guest Post]

The following is a guest post by Matt from Turndog Millionaire.

Hi everyone, before I start I’d like to thank Shannon & Toni for inviting me to post today [AN: our pleasure!]. I want to talk to you about engaging with your readers, something that’s a big part of my life.

If you visit my site you’ll notice I often talk about Author Platforms, but today will focus on a specific aspect of this. So, how can you engage engage engage with you reader?

It’s as simple as you want to make it. If you distance yourself from them, it’s hard, but if you embrace the idea of being part of a community, it’s easy as pie. A lot of you will be thinking of Twitter & Facebook right about now, but I want you to forget about the channels you use to engage. This really doesn’t matter!

What matters is how you approach it. Someone who often aligns with my thoughts is Dan Blank, and this video expresses it rather well. It’s all about Social Media…see how I emphasized Social?

This offers a clue as to what we’ll talk about, so sit back, relax, and read about the 5 rules of engagement:

Know Your Core Values

What do you stand for? What do you hold dear to your heart?

It’s vital your author platform centres around certain values, not based around other people, but YOU. Simply put, your Core Values are who you are. All you have to do is figure out what you stand for.

This is something I discuss in my free eBook, How To Build An Author House, and is vital moving forward. Once you figure out what these values are, simply base your communications around them. If you stay true to these values, your engagement will shine.

Know Who You’re Talking to

This might sound simple, but who are you trying to engage with?

You’d be surprised how many people don’t know who their target audience is. How can you reach people if you don’t know who they are, though? Once you understand them, you can connect in an appropriate manner.

What do they crave?

What would they love to read?

If you’re audience is 60, they will desire very different things compared to a 20 year old. It doesn’t stop at age, either, it looks at location, trends, gender, hobbies, and just about everything that makes up a human being.

How well do you know your audience?

Do It For The Love

I come across many writers who fight the notion of an author platform. They create one, sure, but drag their feet. I don’t understand this because all an Author House does is build a structure around YOU.

To get the best out of it you need to embrace your author platform. Engaging with your readers is the same. Don’t see it as a hindrance, embrace it and love what you do!

If you offer nothing but 110%, it will show in your engagement. Your reader will appreciate this. People love those who show passion.

The world is crowded, but so much of it’s made up of individuals who don’t care.

Don’t be one of them!

Always Create Dialogues

Another thing I often talk about on my site is the notion of 21st Century Branding. One of the big differences between the old and new, is:

20th Century = Monologue

21st Century = Dialogue

Don’t talk at your reader, converse with them. Don’t create messages they read, create messages that ask questions and urge them to get involved.

Chris Brogan recently created a post discussing the differences between a fan and a community member.  The same is true here.

It’s How You Do It…Not Where You Do It

It really doesn’t matter where you do your engaging. Whether it’s on Twitter, at a conference, or on a bus…who cares? All that matters is the actual engagement. If you do it in a manner that connects with your audience, and in a place where they gather, there isn’t a wrong answer.

These rules don’t sit separate to one another; they’re joined at the hip. Don’t pick and choose the ones you like, find a way to implement all five in a manner that works for YOU. It’s your author platform and you make the rules!

Now it’s your turn. Go forth and create an author platform that works for YOU. Engaging with your readers is vital in this modern world of Amazon and Apple. If you’re reading a site like this, you’re making a good start!

If you would like to learn more about this process please download my free eBook Series, How To Build An Author House. It discusses this, amongst much more, so hopefully it will add some clarity.

Matthew Turner (aka Turndog Millionaire) is a Strategic Marketing Consultant & Author of both Fiction & Non-Fiction. With a variety of services to help writers create an Author Platform, he strives to meet modern Authors with a passion to succeed in today’s world. His FREE Ebook Series How To Build An Author Houses focuses on this.

You can download it here or join his mailing list for daily doses of Author Marketing Fun!

  • Huge thanks for having me, girls. Come on people, lets start a conversation :)

    Matthew (Turndog Millionaire)

    • We are always happy to have you Matt! You make great points about the need for an author platform — I think it’s especially great that you pointed out this is exactly what a major author house would do for us, so why can’t we do it for ourselves? I also think its interesting that you suggest defining your values as an author — that’s not something we hear a lot. Do you have examples of some values authors might have an how that relates to their communications?

    • Great question. 

      Ok, lets say our Author preaches about innovation. It’s one of their core values. For their next book they could look to implement some innovative things, such as Social Reading, Social Sharing, and even user generated stories. 

      It could be made specific for the Ipad, where readers are encouraged to create their own stories from his own. A sort of crowd sourced, never ending fan fiction from the author himself

      Alternatively, lets say our Author is about Caring. Why, she could create a new foundation for each book she writes, where 25% of the revenue is donated to a charity, not chosen by her, but readers of her Blog

      The possibilities are endless. As people – Brand or Author alike – we are built up of certain values that make us uniquely ‘us’. It’s our duty to live by these and do justice to who we are

      Our craft can help showcase this :)

      Matthew (Turndog Millionaire) 

  • Great read!

  • Good stuff, Matt, as always!

    • Thanks Nick, appreciate it

      Always good to write a post for another community :)

      Matthew (Turndog Millionaire)