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Between them, blogging and twitter changed my life.
Seriously. If you've been around here long enough, you know I am an evangelist for both. They have brought me friends and peers, connections and speaking opportunities, customers, income and a regular writing practice that has given me the confidence to pursue a fiction-writing career. But I have had to put the work in. Today I'm delighted to have Alexis Grant back on the podcast to talk about making your own luck in social media, which is definitely something I believe in.
Alexis Grant is an entrepreneur, social media strategist, freelance journalist and travel writer who now helps other people with building an effective online presence. She has just released a course on ‘Using social media to make your own luck'. [Video at the end of the post]
- How to put your networks in place and make strategic connections so that opportunities to come to you. People say ‘you're so lucky' but actually you can make your own luck. The course is an email a day for a month so you can put strategies into place to build your networks.
- For writers, it might mean meeting an editor, or a literary agent. Or connecting with other authors for peer support or blurbing books, or writing opportunities.
- Alexis was named as one of the bloggers to watch in 2012 on Problogger. I was on that list a few years ago and being on lists like that make a real difference. We both connected personally with the writer of the piece, Jade Craven.
- How Alexis met her agent, Rachelle Gardner through her connections on Twitter.
- Don't just target the ‘big names'. Start the process with connecting with anyone who is interesting to you as well as people with lots of followers. But people with smaller and more targeted networks are great too. Alexis and I met on Twitter in early 2009 when we had little blogs and no real audience. We've both grown our platforms since then but we connected before it all.
- How long will it take to make an impact? It does take a while. You need to be consistent over time and make it a habit. How can you push your networks to the next level.
- Alexis recommends Rapportive as a Gmail plugin. It gives you all the social media links of the person who has emailed you. [It's awesome – I now use it too] It means you can connect on multiple channels which keeps you in their mind.
- Who are you connecting with? Readers or other people in your industry. Word of mouth is word of mouth and people do share in their networks. Just connect on a personal level.
- How Alexis moved from her day job as a journalist to full-time entrepreneur. She creates online products but also works with clients as a social media strategist building communities for people. She does a lot of blogging with start-ups.
- How Alexis uses her writing to make money. Creating content is a full-time job – blogging and tweeting for companies. She also writes creatively including an essay on Salon.com
- Alexis wrote a travel memoir a few years ago. It's with her agent but the traditional publishing industry moves so slowly. She has published several ebooks since then, so it's strange to experience both worlds of fast and slow. How Alexis feels about the control aspect of publishing and what she's planning for her writing. The difficulty of selling memoir as indie published. Non-fiction as more lucrative than fiction. Alexis has changed a lot since she wrote the memoir but it's not her focus at the moment.
- On the lifestyle of an entrepreneur. Alexis is heading off to Nicaragua and Costa Rica in February. She will do some work while she's there but it's an experiment in running her business while traveling. I quit my day job a month after Alexis and so we're both excited about what will change in the next 2 years
You can find Alexis at her site AlexisGrant.com and on twitter @alexisgrant.
Jeff Bennington says
Great post, ladies. Will follow on Twitter, and wish you great success with your course!!
angela ackerman says
I love this post and believe in the message. Blogging and social media really helped me climb out of obscurity and build a place in the writing community. Thanks for the link to that plug in–I had not heard about it but I will definitely add it! 🙂
Joanna Penn says
It’s an awesome plugin Angela – I’ve been using it since Alexis mentioned it – amazing what you find out about the random people who email with questions. Maybe a little scary that we have so much info available!
Icess Fernandez says
Fantastic post as usual. I remember when I discovered your blog and had your day job (I believe you were on the other side of the world!) Now look at you! Congrats! You deserve your success!
Joanna Penn says
Thanks Icess, it feels like it has been a long journey and I so appreciate the people, like you, who have been with me a while. This is only the beginning of course!
Marian Pearson Stevens says
Great post Joanna! Watched the podcast and really loved it. I’ll be following you and Alexis. I love Twitter, but am still learning how to navigate. It sure helps to connect with other writers. Thanks so much for sharing what you’ve learned along the way!