Rome wasn't built in a day | Overcoming Anxiety When Building Your Author's Platform
Updated: Sep 20
The best advice I can give to a new author or someone who’s starting a new project is this old proverbial saying, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day,’ which means a complex task takes time and effort and should not be rushed.
January 2020 I knew I wanted to write cozy mystery series and haiku books. And I wanted readers to get to know me as a woman, a mom, a wife, a friend, and the author behind the books. This is the first step in creating your brand, knowing your purpose and your why. You don’t need a book to get started with your brand because YOU ARE YOUR BRAND. You represent your message and your books.
I knew I needed a platform to share my brand with the world. And the only way to do that is through social media, a place to reach people globally. I learned to gain an audience by interacting and engaging with others through common interests; the use of hashtags to expand our social reach, and I took part in different chats and events. And soon my list of followers grew. To me it’s not the number of followers you have, but the rapport you develop with your audience.
One thing I realized, building an author’s platform takes time. But I felt as though I was in a race against the clock, desperately seeking that 25th hour. I was feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, because I couldn’t do it all in a day, not even a week. Anxiety set in and my “to do” list was forever growing. I neglected my role as mom and a wife. I was even neglecting things I needed to do for myself. And the word IMPOSSIBLE kept creeping inside my mind. I felt stressed!
That’s when my good friend Ann told me to take a break. Rome wasn’t built in a day. That was the best advice I received as a new writer, and I’m passing it forward to YOU. I’m going to share 5 steps to help you overcome the anxiety I felt when I created my author's platform.
5 simple steps to overcome anxiety when building your author's platform
1. Write A 'To Do' List
Write a ‘to do’ list of the three top things you need to do. Even though this list will continue to grow, keeping three things on your list at a time, will eliminate the frustration of looking at a list of 30 -100 things you need to do. Once you have completed those three things, cross them out, and add another three things to your list.
Initially, I created a master to do list and I felt overwhelmed looking at it. So I tossed that away and kept a list of 3 things only. If you can work from a master to do list, create one. You can alter my tips to make them work for you. But keep in mind, this is not a race, take your time, and focus on one thing at a time.
2. You Are Your Brand
Think of a name that you will use on all your social media platforms. A name for yourself, because you are your brand. You represent your message and your books. You want people to recognize who you are on all your social media platforms. Then you can either purchase a domain with your name, or use the free extension on any paid or free website. such as WordPress.com, Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, Blogspot. But take time to think about your name, because this is your new identity as a writer/author.
I recommend you to do a google search to see if anyone else has the name you want to use. You can also check out GoDaddy, WordPress, and Squarespace for discount coupons to get your a domain name for two dollars or 10% off for the first year. I remember I purchased my domain from GoDaddy after watching a few YouTube videos on how to create a free website, and was offer a discount code to get my domain name for $2.00 the first year. Searching is well worth the extra savings and control of your domain.
3. Establish Your Presence
You need to establish your presence on social media. I would suggest to create an account on three different social media platforms starting with Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. You can add more platforms as you continue to grow, such as Instagram, LinkedIn, Podcast, YouTube. Change whatever negative vibes, experiences, or attitude you may have about social media by remembering YOUR PURPOSE; to connect your brand with people globally.
Facebook- majority of the world has a Facebook account. You can also join a variety of writing groups to learn more about your craft, share your writings, get feedback and critiques; and you can even establish some lasting relationship and grow your audience; create an author’s page and connect it to all your other platforms.
Twitter- another global platform to extend your audience and share reverent content in 140 characters. Twitter is fun with author’s hashtag such as #writingcommunity #writerscafe and other twitter chats.
Pinterest- is one of the fastest growing web search. You can share anything related to your writing, your blog, your books and the stories you’re working on with a link back to your website, your online base to bring your audience to.
Instagram- is picture based platform, and it’s a great place to showcase your writing life, your books, anything related to who you are as an author. Instagram is owned by Facebook, which enables you to link your accounts and share on multiple platforms at once, including Twitter.
LinkedIn- is great for professional networking for authors to showcase their books, writings and other creative talents. You can also get side hassles to fund your author’s journey.
Podcast- is another platform to share your writing life, author’s interviews, and it’s a great way to promote other authors and yourself. Doing podcast can also help you overcome your fear of public speaking. And extend your audience to those who are loves listening to podcast on their daily commutes.
YouTube- has become my favorite platform. I used to be camera shy, but now I’m not. You can host your own channel, talk about your books, your writing journey, offer ‘how to’, writing tips. And you can create your book trailers. YouTube is the second most popular search engine on the web and the most perfect platform to give your audience a visual of your personality behind the words.
4. Create A Website/ Blog
Your website is your home online. You want to bring your audience from different social media platforms to your official website. Your website should include a home page, an about page, a blog, and a contact page. As you grow as a writer/author, so will your website, and in time add a book page, a project page, and any services you want to provide.
I would recommend to start with a blog if you on a budget and need time to build your website. A blog is an excellent way to get others to follow and look forward to your future content. A blog gives your audience a peek inside your writing life and snippets of your writing style. Stay consistent with your blog posting, by deciding if you’re going to post weekly or bi-weekly, choose a date and share your content to all your social media platforms. And your audience will know when to expect something from you. Consistency and engagement is the key to growing your author’s platform.
Celebrate each step of your journey. Take a deep breath and breathe. Focus on one step at a time even if it’s a step within a step. For example; Your website, focus on your domain name. Next focus on creating a blog, or what you want to include on your home page. The objective is to make your writing journey pleasurable and rewarding, without feeling overwhelm and frustrated. So treat yourself to a good cup of coffee, take a mental break away from the computer, because you can’t get it down in one day. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. And kick the word ‘perfection’ out of your vocabulary. It doesn’t exist! Your goal is to keep moving forward by making your presence known. Your story matters. YOU MATTER. Enjoy your celebrations!