Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Standing Out in a Crowded Blogosphere

Today I want to take a pause in the "Writer's guide to" series and talk about something that can apply to any social media medium you decide to use: Standing Out.

I recently read this great post from Firepole Marketing about mistakes even the big players are making. While the article isn't targeted to writers, there is plenty there for us to learn. Several fatal flaws are mentioned, but the biggest one is a failure to share your Value Proposition.

Marketers like to use fancy terms to describe basic things (I can say this because I am one). Basically, a Value Proposition is what you are offering to your readers/viewers that they can't get somewhere else. This Value Proposition is your biggest selling point when it comes to encouraging readers to invest their time (and money) in you.

So how do you determine your Value Proposition? I really like an exercise Christina Katz recommends in her book Get Known Before the Book Deal. She suggests making a list of all the words that describe you. These can be both adjectives (energetic, quiet, reliable) or labels (mom, writer, teacher). Once you have a long list, start combining the descriptions into groupings of two or three. Some are going to be fairly common like "mom and writer". Skip right over these and keep going until you find a few that are unique.

I'll use myself as an example. I'm a writer and an agent. It's not a common combo, but hardly unique. Several others out there have already capitalized on this. But if I take this combo and add in my years of experience in marketing, I have something a little different. Writer, Agent & Marketing Lady.

Now it's your turn. Are you maximizing your Value Proposition?

14 comments:

  1. Hmm, I'm a mom, author, editor, teacher, blogger. :)

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    1. Hmm..I think editor/teacher combo is interesting. If you could figure out a way to teach others to be better self-editors that would be really helpful.

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    2. Yeah. Kelly teach us how to be better self-editors!

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  2. Very interesting post! I've read a couple books on building platform and trying to stand out in the blogosphere, but I don't think any of them mentioned some of the things Firepole did. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. They always have great content. I've found several marketing/platform sites that aren't author focused that still have great information that we can apply.

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  3. hmmm... I'm an attorney author, but that has nothing to do with the content of my blog. Maybe I'm missing my true value. :)

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    1. I think a regular post about legal issues authors need to deal with or be aware of would be extremely interesting. :)

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  4. Great combination, but when I hear lady, I always picture King Julian on Madagascar in his skirt and coconut shells. I guess I could add 'inner 12-yr-old boy to my descriptive list :)

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  5. This is exactly what I did to decided on what to do for my blog tour. I read an article on Indiercon about by Angela (woman who wrote the emotion thesaurus) who talked about bringing something unique. While gaming in itself isn't unique, I haven't come across too many other writers who are serious gamers like me. I took my gaming skills, my love of the RPG and D&D tabletop, mixed with my even bigger love of the CYOA book, and whoosh, there's my blog tour idea.

    You can let me know after if it worked ; )

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    1. I'm really excited for this and can't wait to participate. I think it's great that you stopped to think about your strengths and the unique perspective you bring to the table when planning your tour. :)

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  6. I like this post, but I don't feel I'm a unique combination in any way at all. I'm a writer/blogger/mom/law school dropout. I do teaching writing classes, but that's about it. LOL

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    1. Keep writing your list. It isn't just about the things you do professionally. What are your hobbies, do you collect anything, have a favorite tv show or sports team? What makes you excited? These are all things that make you unique. :)

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    2. I collect cups from all the places we go. But one side of my family is U.S. military and the other side is Eastern. I kind of capitalized on that in my last books.

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