We've created an online presence with a website/blog/Facebook & Twitter Account........Check!
Now all we have to do is sit back and wait for our audience to come to us.....................Right?
Yep, if we live on an imaginary planet in a parallel universe where writers snap their fingers and suddenly their phone is ringing because Dreamworks is calling to beg that their fantastic manuscript be made into a movie (actually, it could happen, you never know)!
However, assuming that none of us actually live outside of the earthly realms, we'll pause to consider the fact that the artist typically needs to make some sort of spectacle out of themselves for the purpose of gaining an audience.
We've already drawn attention to ourselves via the internet and now we must move to the next step in the process of building our fan base by:
Making Good Use Of Local Platforms
If I was a young actor and my dream was to one day be a part of the Hollywood scene, before packing up and leaving for L.A. or New York the first thing I'd do is find a couple of jobs with local theater and film companies.
Local work offers not only good experience, but it also gives an artist the opportunity to make connections with colleagues and potential fans.
As a writer builds their platform, they can make good use of opportunities offered in their local community by applying any (or all) of the four suggestions below:
1. Find a cause that is close to your heart and has a platform in your local community. Use a couple of posts on your blog to promote this cause. Be sure to contact the local organization that deals with this cause and let them know about your blog. Offer to post a link to their website on yours and ask if they will also post a link to your blog.
2. Write a few articles about an interesting local current event and submit these articles to several local magazines.
3. Most communities have a local television show whose producers are often interested in booking locals with interesting topics to discuss. Prepare notes on your plans to self-publish your upcoming book. Request an interview. You just might find yourself on television!
4. Teach a free "writing workshop". While it's true that you may consider yourself a "writing newbie", every writer has a unique point of view and your perspective may be just what another writer is lacking and needs to hear. Or, your community may have a few locals who've always wanted to write but have no idea where to start. So, look into free Community Classes sponsored by your local town/state department and offer to teach a couple of writing classes for a few weeks. Your students will be potential fans and colleagues!
Those are four suggestions on how to use your local community to build your platform.
Are there other ways in which you've been successful in growing your fan base via local avenues?
I'd love to hear from you!