This article was originally published on www.catherinecarrigan.com as a series of six blogs.
Catherine Carrigan, two-time Amazon No. 1 best-selling author and medical intuitive healer, will be appearing on Ramajon Cogan’s Program for Authors on Saturday, Jan. 17 11 a.m. EST to 1 p.m. EST.
To attend please visit this link.
Enter in this room number: 262 152 215
I am writing a series of blogs in hopes of serving my fellow non-geeks and authors. My goal is that we may all connect more easily with the readers and global audience who need to hear our message.
Ramajon Cogan, Tom Bird Publish Now Guru, (928) 514-1616, firstname.lastname@example.org
Catherine Carrigan, Medical Intuitive Healer and Amazon No. 1 Best Selling Author of What Is Healing? Awaken Your Intuitive Power for Health and Happiness and Unlimited Energy Now, 678-612-8816, email@example.com
Tom Bird, Writing Coach, (928) 203-0200, firstname.lastname@example.org
Greg Keesey, Website Genius and All-Around Great Guy: (717) 819-1049, email@example.com
Scott D. Smith, SEO Guy in London: firstname.lastname@example.org
Robin Charlsen, Twitter Guru: (256) 432-4499, email@example.com
Denise Cassino, Amazon Marketing Genius: (303) 838-3399, firstname.lastname@example.org
Website where you can see how well you are doing on your social media: www.klout.com
Website where you can sign up to create a monthly newsletter: freeemailmarketing.solutions or http://www.constantcontact.com/index.jsp?pn=silverknightsolutionsllc
Website where you can take online courses to learn just about anything to do with computers: www.lynda.com
Artist who designs beautiful logos and book covers: Mynzah Osiris, (928) 239-9328, email@example.com
Jared Doles, Social Ally Dashboard: (480) 878-5947, firstname.lastname@example.org
Part 1. I Am Not A Geek And You Don’t Need To Become One Either
I am not a geek.
I wanted to start with this point because many of us non-geeks and authors believe that a person must somehow be naturally gifted with computers to succeed at social media.
To prove my credentials as a non-geek I have to start with this story.
In 2010, I filed for divorce. Up until that point, my ex-husband had run my website and handled all my computer issues.
While I was working through the divorce, I had the blessing of a full-scale technological breakdown. My house phone broke. My cell phone broke. Two weeks later, my desktop Mac broke. And that was the least of it – practically everything in the house broke – the roof, the fountain, the hot tub, the ceiling in the bathroom. I could go on but it would be way too boring.
This is similar to a breakdown in healing work, when an individual experiences so many overwhelming challenges in their life that they are forced to change. I even write about the blessing of a breakdown in my Amazon No. 1 best seller, What Is Healing? Awaken Your Intuitive Power for Health and Happiness.
So back to the blessing. I went to the local Atlanta Apple store and was educated to the fact that the reason my computer broke was that I had been turning it off incorrectly for the previous four years!
The very kind people at Apple signed me up for their $99-a-year One-to-One training program so I could begin to learn the basics.
Although for years I had a website for my business, about this time a friend of mine encouraged me to start a blog about my work as a medical intuitive.
She said that my talent as a medical intuitive can not be taught or learned and that I needed to start communicating about what it is that I actually do.
The very kind people at the Apple store taught me how to set up a website all by myself.
This reminded me of when I trained my rescue dog Belle to jump through a hula hoop. The dog trainer explained that doing something she had never done before would give her confidence she never had.
Because the folks at the Apple store explained to me that you sometimes have to pay to use photographs on the web, I began to take photos with my iPhone to use in the new blog.
I took photos of my garden, of my orchids, on my walks, when I went to the Atlanta Botanical Garden or anytime I saw something inspiring or uplifting.
Lo and behold, I discovered that I really enjoyed taking pictures and that all my years studying art history at Brown University had finally amounted to something useful.
As part of the transition in my divorce, I had to take over the operation of the old website as well as the new blog about my work as a medical intuitive.
Greg Keesey, the website guru, was invaluable during this process. I can’t say enough good things about Greg. He is able to communicate with us right-brain types and has had my back more times than I can even count. He is reasonably priced, kind and patient.
During this time, I had a professional analysis of my old website. The report said that my old website failed every test there was. It turned out it was going to be cheaper to build a new website than it would have been to try to fix the old website.
So with Greg’s help, I built a brand new website, transferred over years of articles and free downloads, and continued running my new blog.
Although this was an incredibly difficult time, this new foundation building a blog about my work as a medical intuitive and rebuilding my old website set me up for success in the social media.
At the time, I had no social media presence other than LinkedIn.
When you go through a divorce, people say all kinds of unpleasant things and I had a deep fear and dread of the social media.
I didn’t start my Facebook page until February 2013.
I started a Twitter account probably in the summer of 2014, but I didn’t start working on it until January 2015.
In other words, like many other authors, I started from scratch, knowing so little about computers or the internet that I did not even know how to turn on my computer properly.
Today my Klout score is 65.
Jared Doles, my contact at www.socialallyaz.com, says that when you get to a Klout score of 63, you are in the top 5 percent of internet marketers.
To put this in perspective, Dr. Mercola, who runs a huge newsletter about natural health, has a Klout score of 72.
Deepak Chopra’s Klout score is 86.
Barack Obama is 98.
J.K. Rowling is 90.
Cassandra Klare, whose book City of Heavenly Fire is listed on Goodreads as the No. 1 most popular book of 2014, is 72.
Louise Hay’s Klout score is 65.
Esther Hicks is 61.
If you want to see the social media impact of any individual, just go to www.klout.com and enter their name.
The point of my relating all this is that if you set your mind to it, you can build a social media presence that will set you up for success in a relatively short period of time.
Part 2: As Authors, Our Soul Desire Is To Communicate
Communication, however, is actually a two-way street. I have something to say and so you are sitting here reading. You can then speak back to me – by commenting on this blog or responding to me through the social media.
If all I do is write or speak and nobody reads or listens, it’s like that question, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, is there actually a sound?”
When I entered the Tom Bird Publish Now Program headed by Ramajon Cogan, I began listening to a series of webinars hosted by Rama as well as my writing coach Tom Bird.
Tom Bird talks about the New Age of Publishing.
I had published my first book 18 years ago during the Old Age of Publishing and had been so turned off by what I experienced that I didn’t write another book until I found out about Tom Bird.
I had worked on my first book for three years. It became the best-selling book of the original publisher in 1997 but I made $3,000 for thee years of work.
When it was translated into Chinese, nobody even bothered to tell me. I did not own the copyright and failed to make another dime. I decided that since I am an adult with actual responsibilities I needed to focus on working another way in order to make a living.
It wasn’t until one of my clients in Los Angeles happened to be at the LA Library and found the Chinese translation of my book that I decided that if I had written a book good enough to be translated for readers in a large foreign country, maybe I should get back to my writing.
Tom Bird explains that in this New Age of Publishing, we as authors are actually only one step removed from our readers.
By connecting with our readers through the social media, we can communicate our soul messages even more directly and even more easily than ever before.
Here are a few reasons why we as authors need to take the time to create a social media platform:
- To communicate directly with the people who need to hear our message.
- To build our businesses, as writing a great book is one of the best ways to build your business and recruit new clients. When you write a book, you create the best business card you will ever own.
- To connect to other media outlets, such as radio and TV shows as well as other websites and blogs, who can help us share our messages.
- To connect with like-minded people, since social media allows us to create virtual communities who share the same values that go beyond cities, countries or even continents.
- To get you to No. 1 on Google. Beginning I believe in January 2014, Google changed the way it ranks websites and in order to show up high on Google, you have to do a good job in the social media. It is no longer enough to have a website or have a highly connected website. That means that you want to have a widespread presence throughout all the major social media outlets. I got to No. 1 on the front page of Google as a medical intuitive through a post on Google+.
- You want to connect and actually interact with people. It’s not enough to just put up a post on your blog or social media account. Many people will look you up not only through Google but also through something called Klout, which provides a numerical number on a scale of 0 to 100 of how well you are succeeding at social media. My Klout number is currently 65 even though I don’t have hundreds of thousands of followers because I interact with people who take the time to communicate with me. When you are at 63 or above, you are supposedly in the top 5 percent of all internet marketers. In order to succeed at Klout, bottom line, you have to interact with people, which means you will want to respond to the people who comment on your posts.
- U.S. adults spend 11 hours a day with digital media. People spend more time on the social media than on any other activity on the internet. We need to go to where people are in order to communicate with them.
- Big picture, as you build your social media presence you are building your audience for your books and your business and letting people know how you can serve them.
Tom Bird says that many people think that writing a book is the hardest part but are surprised to discover that publishing, which has even more steps, is even more challenging (if we are going to be truthful here) than writing.
I would say that to be successful as an author there are actually three steps:
- Writing a really good book
- Publishing your book
- Marketing your book so that people who need your message will listen.
If all you do is write and publish a book, the souls who really need to hear your message may never find out about it unless you actually do the work to market it.
In this day and age, the best way to do that is through the social media.
Part 3: Your Website Is the Icon, The Seed and The Foundation of Your Social Media Identity
When you are wanting to build a social media platform to help you communicate and connect with like-minded people, you have to start with your website.
I consider my blog, www.catherinecarrigan.com, the place where I write about my work as a medical intuitive and communicate more personally.
This is where I post all the gorgeous photos of my orchids and my garden that uplift my soul and hopefully everybody else. Frankly it’s my favorite of the two websites because it expresses who I really am at my soul level.
My website, www.unlimitedenergynow.com, is where I write about fitness, nutrition and natural healing. This is the latest incarnation of my old website, www.totalfitness.net. I offer a tremendous amount of FREE information there – FREE videos on all kinds of exercises, photos of yoga poses, recipes and downloads of all kinds.
I consider this to be public service because if you actually read my website and even did just 10 percent of what I recommend, you could be an incredibly happy healthy person.
I realize that not everybody can afford to have a session or a class with me, so I give out tons of information so that everybody everywhere can use at least some of what I know.
I changed the name of my business in 2014 as a result of writing my new book, Unlimited Energy Now, as the new name is a better expression of the work I do at the present time.
When you work with webmaster Greg Keesey, he will help you pick out what is called a website theme.
A website theme is a template that you will fill in with your own logo, your own photos, blog articles and information.
Pick a theme that expresses who you are and if you have a business, that best expresses the nature of your business.
Mynzah Osiris created a beautiful new logo for my business that I love very much. He is the same artist who designed the cover of my new book, Unlimited Energy Now.
Because I am not just an author but also run a business as a medical intuitive, I hired Scott D. Smith in London to do SEO or search engine optimization work for my website.
Scott came highly recommended to me by a client who is a chief executive officer of a company over in England.
As an author, you may or may not need SEO work done for your website, but if you do, Scott does the work to make sure your website gets ranked on Google and other search engines.
Once you have set up your website, take these steps to build your social media presence:
- Set up accounts on the major social media. I have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, Goodreads, Instagram, Youtube and Path.
- Connect your website to all your social media.
- Ask Greg to set up a Jetpack on your website. This is incredibly important and time-saving. With the Jetpack plugin, every time you publish a blog article, you blast out your article to your social media sites.
- If you have a business, you may consider setting up a monthly newsletter. I use Constant Contact. Greg has taught me that it’s better to write very short newsletters. I now send out 1 to 2 articles per month with some sort of coupon for business. I used to spend 2 days a month just writing all the articles. Once you create your newsletter, be sure to share it with your social media, which is easy to do through Constant Contact.
- If you need a logo, consider hiring Mynzah Osiris, a brilliant artist who designed both my new business logo as well as the cover of my book. You can reach Mynzah at (928) 239-9328 or email@example.com.
Your website is the foundation of your social media presence because it expresses your core message.
Part 4: Make A Ritual of Writing and Connecting
Many mornings, I will wake up and start writing. I lie in bed with my laptop and write about a topic that someone has asked me about recently.
This is a great way to communicate about my work as a medical intuitive. I find it very relaxing and always keeps me thinking deeply about the broader applications of my healing work.
Here’s how to make each article a social media success:
- Write your blog of 300 to 500 words. People are busy, so if you need to write longer you could write a series of blog articles and post them out over a period of days.
- When you hit publish on our WordPress account, make sure your website is connected with the Jetpack to all your social media accounts so the article gets published on all your social media. This saves you a tremendous amount of time and makes sure that everything you write gets shared with the public.
- Some social media don’t have a way of connecting with your Jetpack, so after you are done publishing, post your article on Pinterest. Greg Keesey, the website guru, can put a Pinterest button on your website so that all you have to do is click the Pinterest button underneath the photograph attached to your article.
- When you are complete publishing, then write a series of 140-character Tweets that you can post on Twitter that lead people back to your article.
- Go to www.bitly.com and get a shortened URL to embed into your Tweets.
- When you post on Twitter, you will get more retweets if you add a photograph. I keep a lot of photos I have taken on the desktop of my computer so that when I post on Twitter, all I have to do is connect a beautiful photo to make your Tweet even more appealing.
- Collect the series of tweets on each blog article. If I write a single blog article, I may come up with 10 tweets that lead people back to the article and back to my website or blog. This drives traffic to my website, blog and business and increases your overall Google ranking.
- After I have collected a series of Tweets, I send them over to the Twitter Guru Robin Charlsen. You can hire Robin to send out tweets for you once an hour 24/7. Since hiring Robin, my Twitter account has grown from 80 followers as of Jan. 15, 2014 to about 7,895 as of Jan. 8, 2015.
- Several times a week, get on www.klout.com. Pick a topic you want to be known for. In my case, I want to be known for healing, and Klout has articles on your topic that you can share with your followers on Facebook and Twitter. You can also connect to other people who are in the same field through the suggested connections on Klout. Even if you don’t have time to write your own material, Klout will have articles on your topic to share with your audience.
- Several times a week, go to www.socialallyaz.com. You can sign up for this dashboard through my contact Jared Doles, (480) 878-5947, firstname.lastname@example.org. Social Ally allows you to connect all your social media accounts in one place, with the exception of Instagram and Goodreads. Reply to everybody who has responded to you. Thank people for retweets.
- After you have written a new blog article and written a series of tweets, you can also schedule these posts to go out to your social media through Social Ally. You can schedule posts to go out as often as you like and also read reports about which posts people respond to the best. Sometimes I am surprised by which articles people respond to the most. Social Ally shows you your most retweeted posts and also lets you know the times of day people are most likely to respond to you so that you can connect with them at that time.
- On an ongoing basis, take photos with your iPhone or smart phone. If you don’t have orchids or an organic garden like I do, visit your botanical garden or some other place where you can take photos that best reflect your writing and your business.
- Make short videos of 1 to 3 minutes to post onto www.youtube.com. Get a friend to film you talking about your latest book. You can upload the video directly from your iPhone to Youtube. Then take a screen shot – a photo of the video – and use that photo on your blog or website. Write a blog about the video, and blast the article about the video around your social media. I put a 1 minute video about my new book, Unlimited Energy Now, on my Goodreads account.
- Goodreads is the largest social media website for readers and authors. As an author, you are entitled to set up a FREE authors account. Once you have set up your Goodreads account, schedule a giveaway of your new book. There were 560 people who entered my first giveaway on Goodreads for What Is Healing? Awaken Your Intuitive Power for Health and Happiness. That means 560 new people heard about my book. Once I set up the giveaway, I sent messages to each person who entered and asked them to be my friend on Goodreads. Some of those people became my fans. I figured it cost me $100 to give away 10 books, counting the cost of the book as well as the postage to send out books to the U.S. This is a small amount of money to get great advertising to people who actually read books.
- Retweet new Twitter followers. I think one of the reasons that I have been so successful with Twitter is that when someone follows me on Twitter, I usually go to their feed, read their Tweets and retweet some of the tweets I like. Of course, if I don’t like what I read – such as if they are pornographic or offensive – I unfollow them. I also read my Twitter feed periodically and retweet positive messages I agree with. I support people who have retweeted my messages.
- On Facebook, a simple practice is to wish your friends happy birthday. I send out a picture of a flower when I send birthday wishes. This usually leads to a conversation – even a short one – where I can interact with my friends.
- In summary, once you build your social media network, you actually want to interact with people because that’s how you build your audience, you increase your Klout number, you find more readers, customers and people who want to help you share your message. They say that people will come originally for your content but stay long-term because of the community.
Part 5: What Happens If You Do Nothing in the Social Media?
Part of what motivates me to continue to connect through the social media is my sheer love of what I do.
I consider my work as a medical intuitive healer to be my true soul calling.
The books that I write are my attempt to simplify much of what I have learned so that people all over the world can access this information so that they too can be happier and healthier.
The thought of not being able to do healing work, not being able to do medical intuitive readings, not being able to teach yoga or qi gong or not being able to write is simply out of the question for me.
These are my passions and why I believe I am alive at this particular point in time.
I want to succeed because it is my true soul longing to serve others with natural healing.
Over the past few years, I have observed friends and colleagues who are highly trained, highly experienced and absolute masters at what they do who have ended up losing their businesses in one form or fashion because they were simply out marketed by 25-year-olds with half their expertise.
In my work as a medical intuitive healer, you would be shocked to find out how much time I need to spend empowering my clients to work through their money issues because money issues keep you in survival mode.
Marketing – plain and simple, in my mind – is simply explaining to others how you can help them.
You have a bad back, I can help you with that.
You are depressed, I can help you with that.
You are exhausted, I can help you with that. I know because I have done all these things over and over and over again, helping countless clients overcome physical, mental, emotional and spiritual challenges that many thought might be the end of them.
If we fail to market, we don’t let others know how we can help them.
If the message doesn’t get delivered, we may never reach the people who truly need us.
Part of what we need to do now is deliver our message in tune with current vibration.
In healing work, we talk about the crucial importance of keeping up with current vibration.
The vibration of the entire planet is speeding up.
If you don’t believe me, just think about how your life was different 5, 10, 15 or 20 years ago!
To be effective, everything – healing work and marketing work – must be in tune with the current vibration.
What worked 5, 10, 15 or 20 years ago may or may not work today.
You can write the greatest book or be the most effective healer on the planet but if nobody knows how you can help them, what good is your talent?
It’s important that we constantly re-examine what is still working and what no longer serves us – whether that be thoughts or beliefs, healing practices or marketing methods.
For example, I have written a monthly newsletter in my business virtually every month every year since my early 30s.
Some months, I would spend two days just writing the newsletter and preparing all the photographs to go with each article.
Now my webmaster Greg Keesey advises to keep the newsletters short – one or two articles – because people spend so little time reading.
Gone are the days when newspaper or magazine ads had any impact. People don’t want to be advertised to – they want to form relationships and buy their goods and services from people they trust.
Let me give you a simple example.
My fiancé, Ken Holmes, just went out to buy an omelet pan.
While he was in a store, he looked online and read reviews about various pans.
He put back the pan he originally chose – based on peer reviews on Amazon.com – and purchased the one that was more highly recommended.
This is how we do things these days.
If someone comes to be my client, I can safely assume that they have done their homework through the internet, read my two Amazon No. 1 best selling books, looked at my testimonials, read my newsletter and possibly interacted with me through any one of the social media sites.
Through the social media, we can form virtual communities of like-minded people who hold similar values no matter where we live. That means we can expand our reach to millions of people all over the globe, sharing not only what we know but also learning from others and bringing their wisdom into our lives and business.
Part 6: Speak English Please, I’m Not A Computer
One of the many challenges we non-geeks and authors face when attempting to tackle the social media are the sacred words used for code communication amongst the cool people.
WTF AFAIK I am not a computer BTW.
(What the F**** As Far As I Know I am not a computer By The Way.)
It’s official, YRAG if you can understand what I just said YKWIM.
(It’s official, You Are A Geek if you can understand what I just said You Know What I Mean.)
By the way, ULKGR8 in that POTD LIG given your WEG obviously.
(By the way, You Look Great in that Photo Of The Day Life Is Good given your Wicked Evil Grin obviously.)
<3 WTV. CHILLAX you can master this KEWL FBC.
(Love Whatever. Chill and relax you can master this cool Facebook chat.)
Fortunately, for us non-natives traveling by necessity to the distant lands of social media, there are websites that can help us understand WTF people are actually saying.
Here are a few good ones:
Those of us who have not yet given up swearing may be able to make out a lot of the expressions on our own, but when in doubt just know that there are places that can translate for you should you need a native guide.
IMO IDK everything TBH, but I am good with googling what I don’t understand right off the bat but I KHYF when you don’t.
(In My Opinion I Don’t Know everything To Be Honest, but I am good with googling what I don’t understand right off the bat but I Know How You Feel when you don’t.)
Once you recognize that it’s just a language, and that we non-Geeks and authors are generally at least above average at communication, it’s nothing to be intimidated by.
Some of the terms can even have you #ROFL.
(Some of the terms can even have you rolling on the floor laughing.)
When I first started taking lessons at the Apple store, I noticed that most of the people giving the lessons were possibly 22 and still looking a bit wet behind the ears while most of the people taking lessons were my age, e.g., 55 years and up, wearing glasses and squinting over our computer lessons.
One of the very cute young things gave me an article that explained that computers are actually a language, and that it’s easier for language natives – those under 30 who were born playing with computers – to pick this stuff up than us non-natives – those my age who grew up writing actual letters we mailed through the Post Office, reading printed newspapers that got delivered to our driveways and hacking out books on our typewriters.
That doesn’t mean we can’t learn, however.
Anybody smart enough to write and publish a book can get a handle on this.
(In My Humble Opinion).
(End of Rant.)