I put this section first because it should be the first focus of any campaign. If you want to focus on publicity, your website and your blog will be the home for your brand, and the quality of that brand will affect your ability to get coverage in the media. It comes before social media because social media should drive traffic to your website.
Does your site look professional? Is it reaching your target audience? Does the layout put your most important content where it belongs? What is your brand? Do you effectively use calls to action? I can answer these questions for you, and many more.
If you don’t have a blog, I can easily build one for you. I built this site in less than a week.
I discovered my knack for social media when I generated 41,000 followers on a Twitter-like site for music. Some say social media strategy is a generational skill, but I know better. It’s about falling in love with a website and doing everything you can to engage in their community.
That’s why, while I can manage your social media for you, I prefer to bring you into the process as much as possible. I will introduce you to the culture of each site and give you the tools to engage. I will show you web apps and plugins that will make your social media use more efficient, while steering you away from ones which will hurt your brand.
The social media sites and microblogs I focus on tend to favor Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and of course Facebook. I love to work with StumbleUpon and Reddit, which share many of the characteristics and benefits of social media.
While there’s plenty of buzz around social media as a tool for gaining leads, it’s really just another way to find and build community. I know an author who transformed a self-published novel into a six-figure contract with a major publisher. He built his platform on the forum section of an economics site. What communities appeal to you? Where is your audience? That’s more important than latching on to the social network of the moment. What sites we focus on will be based on what is best for your brand.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the biggest buzz word in marketing right now. Search Engine Optimization is about taking the steps to help your site get discovered on search engines.
Yes, social media is an important marketing tool; SEO is arguably even more important. While social media helps you network with an expanding group of people in your niche, SEO helps you reach people completely outside your network who are searching for precisely what you write about. 99% of people running searches don’t look past the first page of a Google search, so it’s critical to take the steps that put your page ahead of the millions of other search results.
I practice strictly white hat SEO, which puts the focus on giving your audience great content that strategically uses the keywords they’re looking for.
If you need catchy copy written for your page, you’ve come to the right place. From a pHD in business innovation to a forum for professional DJs, I can write in a variety of voices. This essential skill separates pro copybloggers from the rest. Don’t trust your content to someone who can’t deliver your content in the voice that is targeted precisely for your audience.
IF you want people to discover your site through search engines, a blog is essential. It will also give people a reason to come back for more. But many professionals don’t have the time or wherewithal to come up with blog content. That’s where I come in. I can help you find your voice. Whether you just need help overcoming writers block or you want someone to write a weekly blog for your site, I can deliver high-quality content.
Editing Blog Posts
Some of my clients know exactly what they want to say in their blog posts, but they lack confidence in their ability to present it in a professional manner. They bring me in to edit their blog posts before they go live. Unlike most editors, I review blog posts for three things:
- Presentation and Readability Ever gone to a blog post, only to be scared away by a huge wall of text? That’s what the presentation review is for: making sure your text is friendly and inviting. In this edit I find and source images, perfect the formatting, create headings and break the content down into sections. When possible, I identify opportunities to link back to older posts and suggest easy future posts the current blog can inspire. These are easy ways to increase your pageviews and generate more content.
- Grammar and Punctuation After years working with a professional editor, I’ve learned the editorial skills that even many professional writers lack. In the world of publishing editorial standards couldn’t be higher. Manuscripts aren’t crafted for tomorrow or the next month, as they are in newspapers and magazines. Books are built to last a lifetime, thus all editorial materials produced must be strictly reviewed. I know my em dashes from my en dashes and if I were to use the subjunctive, I’d use it properly.
I use the Chicago Manual of Style for my style guide.
- Search Engine Optimization I do a quick keyword search for the subject of the blog to determine how people are most likely to discover your blog post on Google, Bing and Yahoo. I will then make use of these keywords in your post. I love the challenge of using keywords in a way that never distracts from the content. Your readers always come first.
Editing Manuscripts, Queries and Proposals
Because of my experience working for one of the fastest-growing indie publishers in the world, clients often have me edit their book proposals. You only have one shot at an acquisitions editor or agent, so you want to be sure the materials you send them are as clean as possible.
I started my career as a book publicist. This means pitching traditional media and arranging speaking engagements. Traditional publicity differs from the other sections in that it relies on someone else to shape your message for you. With marketing and social media, you have a message and you get it out there. With publicity you make yourself available to the voices that others already trust─radio shows, newspapers and TV shows, for example─to share your message. You have less control, but the trade off is your brand is being endorsed by a third party with an existing audience who trusts them.
Ideally you should have built up your platform by establishing your brand and your network through the channels above before you reach out to traditional media. Unfortunately, many people contact me about pitching the media before they even have a website or a Twitter account. Unless you are an author seeking publicity for a book set to be published by a traditional publishing house, you’ll want to work on building your audience before pitching radio shows and newspaper columnists.
Whether you’ve produced a book, album, or new product I’m here when you’re ready to announce it to the world. I can produce your media kit, reach out to targeted members of the media and follow up so your story stays on an editor’s radar. I plan and organize author tours and speaking engagements as well as help prep clients for appearances on morning shows.
I’m the first person on the street to help tourists figure out the MUNI map. You may also know me as that woman who offers unsolicited recommendations to people at the bookstore. In college I was the girl the Freshmen turned to when choosing a dorm, and I’d steer them away from the worst cafeteria options to boot. I just love being helpful and showing people the ropes.
One of the things I love most about being a freelancer is consulting with my clients. When you work for a firm or a house, it’s all about getting the task done, while as a freelancer I can take as much time as the client wants to walk him or her through what I’m doing and why. With my individual clients, I see it as my goal to work myself out of a job. The more I do for you, the more you’ll learn to do for yourself. It all depends on you: prefer to be hands off? Prefer to get your hands dirty? Prefer a hand in figuring it out for yourself? Every campaign is customized to the needs of the client.
Speaking for Your Group
If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and you need to bring your company or group into the digital age, get in touch.
I specialize in working with authors, artists, non-profits and small businesses. This means I respect that many start-ups have a limited team and a tight budget. I always do my best to recommend free tools and teach team-members how to work efficiently.
Here’s a list of workshops I can teach. Don’t see what you’re looking for? I’d be happy to build a customized course that best fits your needs.
- Intro to Social Media Marketing
- Using Social Bookmarking and News Aggregators to Promote Your Brand (Reddit, Digg, Del.icio.us, SU)
- Using Tumblr to Promote Your Brand
- Making the Most of Social Media Tools (Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Shareaholic, etc.)
- Publicity: Working With Traditional Media
- Guest Posts: How To Get Them and Why Your Brand Needs Them
- Intro to Search Engine Optimization
- How to Write Blogs Like A Pro
- Measuring Your Progress (Google Analytics, Bit.ly, Alexa, etc.)
- Building Your List With Mailchimp
- Online Etiquette
- Getting Started with WordPress
- Business Blogging 101
- Content Generation: Developing a Routine, Finding Inspiration, Staying Motivated, and Beating Writers’ Block
- Blogging–Is There Money in It?: Intro to Affiliate Marketing
- The Multimedia Blog: How to Use Video, Images, and Music on Your Blog…and Why You Should
- Supercharge Your WordPress: Plugins, Widgets, and Customization
- Starting and Running a Writing Critique Group
- An insider’s View of the Business of Publishing