Three Hot Karmic Networking Tips
Hey sci-fi & fantasy folks!
Let’s talk about “networking karma” or “karmic networking”. What is it exactly? Well, in my opinion, it’s treating others in your network precisely the way you would like to be treated! Good begets good. More specifically, it’s sort of an “I scratch your back, you scratch mine” philosophy that is wonderful for making connections, forming new friends and contacts, and for effectively marketing your work as well as that of others in your network. There are really some very wonderful people out in the sci-fi & fantasy writing world, and you should really get out there (in digi and real life) to meet them!
Too often do I see people on Twitter and Facebook with an egotistical outlook on networking. Have you ever been discouraged from “following” someone on Twitter specifically because it was clear that they love to have followers, but don’t want to follow back? What a major turn off! Ego is about as sexy as a rhino in négligé, don’t you think?
So, if you don’t want to be that “unsexy rhino of the digi world”, here are some tips on how you can UP your networking karma and make friends out there in your genre! And many of these things don’t even require much effort! How awesome is that?
1. Go create an Online Newspaper on Paper.li.
Extremely little to NO effort
I happen to have my own online newspaper called “Colby’s Scifi & Fantasy Tell All”, which is a source for sci-fi & fantasy writing, publishing, and marketing needs. This has been invaluable for helping me make connections and for hyping up others’ work, novels, and blog posts. The best thing about it is that this paper is automated! All you have to do is choose your topic of choice, and using Paper.li‘s awesome feed system, you can specify RSS feeds, Facebook keywords, Twitter lists, Twitter hashtags, and more that you can draw from for use in your paper. Every day, Paper.li will search the digi-verse, find all the relevant content you’ve specified, and marshall it into a newspaper powerhouse.
The best part about this is that it will automatically Tweet your paper on Twitter every day AND mention those Twitter followers who were featured in your paper. It kicks ass, and I’ve been able to hone in on tons of cool people who are really nice and also have some pretty awesome things to say and share about indie publishing, sci-fi, and fantasy. It promotes them and fosters good will. In turn, you will also be promoted, assuming that you share lots of relevant and valuable content!
Plus, you’ll have a sexy Daily Paper. No ugly rhinos here:
2. If you’re an avid user of Scribd, make sure you go to your settings and sign up for “Readcasts”.
(Very Little Effort)
If you’re not on Scribd posting excerpts or samples of your work, you’re missing out on a major opportunity! First and foremost, upload your work (whatever you want to promote) on www.scribd.com, and make sure your work has a sexy cover (if possible). Then, sign up for readcasts. What’ll happen is that every time you read a Scribd document, update your own Scribd document, or interact with a Scribd document, it will automatically broadcast your activity to your followers via Twitter and Facebook. And if you have a lot of networks with tons of people, this can get your work as well as others’ work hyped pretty quickly. In the first week of posting an excerpt of my own upcoming novel, “Ghosts of Koa”, I was able to get over 300 reads. Holy cow. All thanks to my colleagues and thanks to “readcasting” on Scribd! (Also, thanks so much to you to all of you who gave “Ghosts of Koa” a read and gave feedback; it’s been so invaluable!)
But of course, we want to help others with their marketing as well, so you should be reading and “readcasting” their stuff too! As a burgeoning writer of sci-fi, reading others’ work is essential to making your own writing better. But wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to broadcast and hype your colleagues’ work while just reading their stuff? Yup! This is an awesome, effortless, and brotherly way of engaging in karmic marketing. Of course, if you’re readcasting others’ work and they aren’t readcasting yours, you might want to give them a friendly nudge. They might not even know about readcasting, but you should tell them!
3. “Liking” on Facebook and “Retweeting” on Twitter
Let’s face it: Twitter and Facebook are currently the largest social networking sites in the world right now (aside from Qzone which is currently localized in China, but the possibilities are endless). With all that juicy content zipping around the FB and Twitter grapevine, you have to get in on it, be in the know, and network!
First of all, if you’re an author, publisher, aspiring writer, or any other sort of business entity, you are doing yourself a disservice if you haven’t set up a Facebook Page (Page, not profile!). Set one up and watch the world open before your eyes. One of the biggest benefits of having a Page is that people can “Like” your page, and Facebook will gather demographic data on your audience. Likewise, you should ALSO be liking others’ pages! Not only will that help to hype your colleagues, but you will also be fed their posts automatically through your newsfeed. This gives you access to a ton of awesome and relevant information that you can share with others on Facebook or via Twitter (if you have integrated your accounts, that is). The point here is to “Like” and “Share” each others’ stuff. Don’t be stingy!
“Retweeting on Twitter”
When someone has an interesting article or content, share it with others! So long as I can find your content on Twitter (and it is relevant), I am a sharing FIEND! Likewise, I can’t tell you how good it feels to have someone share my own content on Twitter, especially when they are sharing my content with 1000+ of their followers. Oh man, is that powerful! Retweeting will put you in contact with SO many people, 98% of whom are really awesome and savvy. One tip though: if you are trying to build your brand as a sci-fi writer, try to share only the most useful and genre-relevant content! Be karmic, but also be smart and targeted about it.
In any case, sharing is caring, folks. Don’t be that unsexy rhino! You can build your brand hand-in-hand with your colleagues, create some very strong connections, and foster new friendships. Get your network karma up. It’ll put all of us all the closer to SFF novel selling nirvana!
Keep it indie (and karmic),