Taking on the world: basic project management for authors

business-coaching-planning-tip

 

If you’re a new writer you may not have linked what you do with basic project management yet our whole life is one great big project to manage. Narrowing it down into a few simple plans will make juggling everything and still getting ahead much easier to manage.

Let’s take a look at one important aspect of your writing career, Marketing Yourself. To sell books you must market them. To help market the book you must also market yourself. We’re going to start with a basic project management technique that will help you along this path.

Open a Word or Excel document, or grab a pen and some paper.

  1. Title and purpose of Project

Insert your name for title and, for this example, Develop a Following as the purpose.

  1. What is your goal?

A goal is a long term achievement to aim for, for instance (and to keep this post simple) to have a fan base of 100 people on Facebook within three months. Your goal can be anything but remember that it’s longer term; where you want to be with this project in three, six or twelve months.

  1. What are your objectives?

 

Objectives are short term. These are the weekly or monthly achievements that will get you to your main goal. With the sample goal above, one objective might be nine new Facebook fans per week.

 

  1. Outline the tasks and/or activities that you will need to complete to achieve your objectives.

This section is where the planning really starts. How are you going to achieve nine new Facebook fans each week?

For Facebook you will need the following;

  • One Facebook account
  • Topics  to post about
  • Images

If you have a personal account, create a page under your official author name. If you don’t have a account yet, you will need to create the account. Do some research first; your author account should not be personal so create your personal space and then create a page.

Make a quick list of topics to post about. These can also include sharing links from webpages, pertinent quotes, and image uploads. Aim for around three or four posts per week.

Collect some images. You will need large ones for your cover photo, a small one (preferably of you) for your profile image and a pile of images that you can upload with your posts.

Measuring. At the end of two weeks, measure your results. Are you getting the numbers you’re after? If not, why not? Is it interesting? Are you writing too much/not enough? Are you sharing links? Adjust what you’re doing if you need to. After one month, measure again. Any change? You may need to tweak  your objectives or, if the numbers are going up but not as fast as you expected, you may need to be patient.

Tip  #1 Do not expect amazing results overnight. Numbers that go up steadily are as important as an explosion of likes.

Tip #2 The reach of your posts is more important than your overall page likes. Reach refers to how many people are seeing or clicking on each post. This includes people that have not officially liked you (remember the ripple effect).

Keep doing the last few steps until you’ve reached your three month goal and then write yourself a report. How well did the project work? What can you do better next time? How close did you come to reaching your goal? Conclude with some recommendations and then get back to work and start planning the next three months.

Tip #3 If you’ve published a book, articles, been a guest blogger, appeared in the local paper do make sure that these events or milestones are included in your Facebook content. Creating awareness of you is going to help sell books.

Congratulations, you’ve completed Patricia’s Project Management 101. Now, go off and translate the steps above into any project you need to plan.

I manage several social media communities as part of my day job. If you’d like to receive a sample plan to project manage your blog (Excel or Word), drop me a line via the comment box below or send an email to patricialeslie.author@gmail.com, or follow my blog as I’ll be writing more about using social media to promote yourself soon

Come visit my fledgling Author Facebook page: Patricia Leslie

Follow me on Twitter @PatriciaLeslieA

Next week: More on my journey as a writer.

 

 

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