How do you become an Expert in a society full of them? It’s tough, I won’t lie, but with the right structure and vision you can fast track your way to success. That’s what this edition of the How To Build An Author House Series is about, so sit back and find out how to find, interact, and manage your list of Experts.
If you’ve yet to do so check out the other 9-posts so far in this series, in particular the last two which discovered we’re searching for three types of people:
In the last post (Author Marketing: Find Your Readers & Keep Them) we looked at Readers/Customers, so today it’s the turn of the Expert and how exactly you go about finding them.
An Expert is defined as ‘a person with a high degree of skill in or knowledge of a certain subject’.
In the modern world we live in that means one thing…Followers!
When you think about Author Marketing and trying to create an Author Platform then this especially applies. Gaining online support is the easiest and cheapest way to garner a solid author platform. But here’s the big question: How do you become an Expert in an already over crowded sea of Content?
The biggest tip I can offer is to find these Experts, converse with them, and become their best friend. You’ll not only learn A LOT, but find new followers drift your way.
How To Find Them
As discussed last time, Twitter is the place to go to create your author platform and interact with new folk. Experts are no different and there’s a fairly good chance someone with expertise (at least in writing) hangs around the Twitterverse. As for finding them, well, you go about it the same way as finding readers.
Both of these tools were discussed in more detail in the Last Post, but they simply help you search for people in writing, marketing, and any chosen field, market or genre you’re looking for. Simply start adding keywords that relate to you and get connected with people with big followings and massive authority. Seriously, give it a try; you’ll soon see how easy it is.
Another easy way of interacting with these Experts is via their Blogs (I mean come on, they surely have one, right?). Twitter is a great place to find people, but Blogs are the place to go for delving deeper into their world. This may sound a little creepy, and depending how you go about things it may be, but Blogs are a great way to learn and interact, so make sure you’re a constant reader on certain sites.
There are several ways of finding these Blogs including:
This great Directory hosts a whole array of Blogs, ranging from the mainstream to the niche. Simply searching author marketing brought me 430 Blogs, and although many will be no use to me, there will be some good ones too.
This is a great place to go to see who the market leaders are in your chosen market/genre/interest etc.
I love the Huff as it brings a whole host of info your way. I pay particular attention to the Culture section as it brings some great content on books and authors and the like. Simply put, if you appear on the Huff then chances are you’re Blog is pretty big.
Find an article you like, take a look at the author, and who knows, you may just find yourself a keeper.
The previous two sites offer you a wide array of Experts, but this is purely writing based. Being an aspiring author though (and writing being a fairly big part of that) I suggest getting to know some authors and writers of varying tastes.
Writer Unboxed is full of great Bloggers and articles, so take a look around and see who catches your eye. Again, you could find an Expert to help you along the way.
Considering my Blog is a wordpress.com Blog I often check the homepage and search the ‘Read Blogs’ section. It was just the other day I found several great writers in ten minutes of searching some keywords.
This only brings up WordPress Blogs though so I suggest you use Google Blogsearch too, which searches a whole host of Blogs and Blog platforms.
Google Blogsearch will discover new Blogs, but you may want to check the main Google site too as Experts hide in Communities, Magazines, and Company sites too. I won’t insult your intelligence by telling you how to search Google, but a simple look at your genre followed by Blog, Expert, Guru etc can bring up some decent finds.
There’s a whole bunch of ways to search and find Blogs and I’d be writing the longest Blog post ever if I discussed them all. Below are some other sites, tools, communities, and platforms I use to discover content. I suggest taking a look at them all because they will at very least produce some good links for Twitter or your own Blog
How To Follow them
Once you’ve found your Experts you then need to connect with them and have them fall in love with what you say. Connecting with an Expert will mean you learn a great deal, but you also want them to help you with your author platform, offering Guest Blog opportunities, endorsements, and links etc
You can do this in a good way (interacting, commenting, being enthusiastic etc) or the bad way (spamming, shouting, being a tool). I’m not here to tell you what to do but if you choose option number two then I suggest you just leave this site now because there’s not much here for you.
The main thing you have to remember is this takes time. I mean put yourself in the Experts shoes, they most probably get thousands of visitors each month, loads of requests and emails, and a whole host of new people they don’t know or trust. If after a few months you’re still there, interacting and conversing, well they may just start to take notice of what you have to say.
So when you find an Expert you like the look of Follow Them, share their Links, Re-Tweet, and Comment on their Blog Posts. And don’t simply say ‘Wow, great post’ or ‘woooh U R Awesome’. No, you need to join the debate and give your opinion. If you’re unable to create good conversations and content then maybe this whole thing isn’t for you in the first place.
With time though you may begin to gather their trust, which could lead to Guest Blogs, endorsements and other lovely things that will help thousands of people come to your site. And before I go onto the next point, let me just say leaving decent comments work. A good percentage of my traffic comes via Blogs I leave comments on, probably from fellow readers who like what I said.
How To Stay Organised
So now you’ve taken on all this advice, you’ve been left with a thousand Blogs to keep up with. How the hell do you do this exactly?
You don’t, if you did you’d spend all day reading and have no time to write or work or even shower. So you have to begin a process that makes sure you’re putting your time into only the best. Only you know how much you can handle work wise, but remember the whole point of this is to interact on a daily basis with these Experts. So to stop me from going insane this is what I do:
Overall this means I’m following people I feel bring the best content my way and it stops things from becoming unbearable (for a list of some of my main ‘Follows’ see the end of the post). As mentioned in the last post, I will be setting myself mini aims between now and April to try and improve my network of Readers, Experts, and Agents/Publishers. So for this post my mini aim is:
- To have 15 RSS Feeds on my Google Readers (I currently have 8)
- To be following at least 6 people on WordPress (I’m currently following 2)
On the 1st April I’ll create a new Blog post describing where I’ve got to, why I chose what I did, and how I got there.
So there you have it, another post of the How To Build An Author House Series over with, and another rung on the Author Marketing ladder stepped upon. Experts are a great source of knowledge an can really help you get to where you want to go. Often these people are exactly where you are just a few years earlier, so following their journey, conversing with them, and generally being a valuable member of their army can really help give you a solid foundation.
Next time I’ll be looking at Agents/Publishers, and again discovering how to find, interact, and manage them. I hope your Author Platform is beginning to take shape, and I’d love to hear about:
- The Experts you follow
- The sites and tools you use to find them
- How you form relationships with them
- How you stay organised and on top of things
Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million
Some People I Follow