Yesterday, I had a question or two about why to make a profile public vs. making it private. It's a fair question, and here's the answer: If you're serious about building your platform, then you want everything in that platform to be public so that it's easy for people to connect with and follow you.
Regarding Facebook specifically, most of my opportunities over the past few years have come through there (for many reasons), and I believe I'd have received fewer (or even none) of those opportunities had my profile been set to private.
Here are my two keys to platform:
- Be easy to find. And once people find you...
- Be easy to contact.
If you do that, you're already ahead of the game.
For today's platform-building task, join Twitter. If you're already there, great! Share your handle in comments below. I'll try and collect them all into a post sometime in the next week or so. If not, got to www.twitter.com, create an account, complete your profile, and share your newly created handle in the comments below.
Twitter won't do everything for a writer, but a writer can definitely benefit from smart use of this social media platform. Learn how much a writer can benefit in freelancer Tim Beyers' Using Twitter to Boost Your Writing Income webinar.
In this webinar, writers will learn:
- How to meaningfully engage other people and be a resource.
- How to land an assignment for a major publication by following the editors on Twitter.
- Case studies of freelancers who have scored jobs on Twitter.
- And more!
Here are a few important things to keep in mind with Twitter:
- Make your Twitter handle your byline--if possible. For instance, my Twitter handle is @RobertLeeBrewer. Remember Jane Friedman from a couple days ago? Hers is @JaneFriedman. Makes it easy to locate you if you can do it this way.
- Use an image of yourself. Remember: Building your writer platform is a kind of branding. You want people to be able to recognize you--not your pet or children--when they're searching for everything you online.
- Make your profile bio snappy and relevant. You might want to use a version of that sentence you wrote for Day 1's task. Incorporate humor if possible. I connected mine to my employer and publisher.
- Follow users who can benefit you. I've put together a list of the 50 best tweeps for writers to follow last night. Use it to get you started. Follow other writers, publications, publishers, organizations, etc.
- Share regularly. If you can do a post (or more) per day, great. But if that's too overwhelming/addicting, just try to post or share something every 2-3 days. Again, just to show that you're using your account.
The Twitter hashtag for this challenge is #platchal. If you include this hashtag in your tweets, you can see what others are posting (if your account is set to public).
Need an idea for a Tweet? Why not link to each day's challenge?
Have fun Tweeting today!
Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, which includes editing Writer’s Market and Poet’s Market. He regularly blogs at the Poetic Asides blog and writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine. He also leads online education, speaks on writing and publishing at events around the country, and does other fun writing-related stuff.
A published poet, he’s the author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53) and a former Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere.
Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.