What I have learned can be boiled down to one word.
Of course reducing any idea to a single word means using an approach similar to that of a chef when an ingredient is reduced for incorporation into a dish. You concentrate the ingredient and then blend it to spread its flavor to the entirety of the dish.
This is the same approach for the presence I mention above. But of course like the ingredient in cooking you don’t want to overdo it. In other words you don’t want to over saturate and risk overpowering and ruining the dish. Balance becomes the key.
Let’s take Twitter for instance. If you are going to put yourself out there on Twitter, and I think you should, you have to balance your presence through your tweets. Too many and you become over saturated and ineffective. Too few and no one will know you’re there. You’ll be like the kid at the high school dance leaning against the wall – watching. He can tell you what’s going on, but no one will know him and chances are he won’t be doing much dancing. If you are on Twitter you want to be in the dance.
Websites are another area where presence is important. Where presence should be a simple concept but an opportunity.
I crave information. If I’m curious about something, I hit Google at a minimum. For instance, I’ve been reading a couple of writers lately that I simply love. With each of them I wanted to learn more so I fired up Google. For one author there was no website at all. For the other there was only a brief blurb on the publisher’s website. I should also mention these two authors have larger publishers so budget shouldn’t be a problem. Their lack of web presence intrigues me.
Candidly, I was shocked at the lack of the web presence.
I dug further, no Twitter for either. Neither has a Facebook page.
I guess there’s a theory that if you’re big enough then you don’t need any additional help, but while these two authors have larger houses, read budgets, I would’ve thought websites were no-brainers. From checking around by asking friends these two authors are not unknowns, but are certainly not as wide spread as if they had perhaps a bit of a web presence.
It seems to me that a website is the logically the first place to start in establishing an online presence. You get to have complete control over what people see.
With a simple link you can tell people where to go to learn about you, see what you are up to, read an excerpt of your writing, or, gasp, buy your book.
Used to be it cost a good deal to set up and maintain a website, but those days are long gone. There are loads of places out there, I like Weebly.com but look around and see what works for you.
Someone once told me that it is difficult to have someone tell you “No” unless you ask them a question.
Same concept here with the online presence. If you want people to be able to learn more about you, and maybe buy a book or two, give them a way to find you – give the several ways to find you. If you’re not there and people come looking they won’t come back and they certainly won’t send other’s your way.