Wouldn’t it be great if you can tell that your book would resonate with your audience before you even wrote it? Yes, it is and yes you can! Award-winning children’s author Kristy Boyd Johnson shows how you can use your expertise to break down your book into bite-sized content which helps in validating the premise for your book. She shares how putting your ideas out on social media enables you to create your platform and build a following without overwhelming your audience. So why wait for your publishing date? Tune in and find out how you can build, manage and repurpose your book’s contents to drive maximum reach now.
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Breaking Your Book Into Bite-Sized Content With Kristy Boyd Johnson
As we always say on Promote Profit Publish, don’t forget to go over and subscribe to breakthrough author magazine. You can find it at www.BreakthroughAuthorMagazine.com. There is no solicitation over there. You just get the magazine every month. It’s pretty simple. Don’t forget to get our LinkedIn newsletter as well. You’ll get articles and podcasts and all that there. I love the new LinkedIn newsletter because there’s no commitment. You don’t have to subscribe. You don’t have to give out your email. You’re not going to get a constant barrage of sales stuff from us. I’m super excited about that.
As you all know, Sara’s not going to be on with us for a little bit. She had a loss in her family. It’s me and Kris. Kris is going to talk about bite-sized content. Let’s talk about content, Kris. Kris is a book developer. I’m a publisher and an author platform builder. We hear all the time, “I don’t have content. I don’t know what to do for content. I don’t have time for content.”
Most of you that are working with us have a book. You have a place to draw social media posts from. If you’ve written a book, you have the capacity for a podcast, articles, or something that touches base weekly, at least once a week with your list, and hopefully 4 to 5 times a week on social media. That’s what Kris is going to talk about. She’ll show you how to do that.
Thanks. I’ve been thinking a lot as I’ve been preparing all this about creating content from a book, even if you haven’t written it yet. The reason that that is a doable thing, even though a lot of you might not know that, is that you are already an expert in your field. You have tons of information. A lot of people I work with think, “That’s not important. That doesn’t mean anything. Everybody knows that. That one is the one that kills me.” No, everybody does not know that. I’m going to give you some ideas.
We are running our I Love Content class for the second time here. Don’t we hear that from these people we’re working on hashtags and keywords and the people in there are like, “What do you mean hashtags and keywords? I just wrote a book or I’m trying to write a book. I didn’t think of all this stuff in advance.”Jargon will kill your relationship with your audience. Speak in easy-to-understand language. Click To Tweet
That’s true, but you have to flip your thinking on that and realize how can you take what’s in your book and hashtag it and get keywords out of it that then create this nice synergy of your book, which leads them to you, and you can lead them to your book? It creates this nice flow. Rather than trying to fight against it, go with what you already have. Keep it simple. KISS it. Make it better.
This is what people are doing. They are like, “I don’t want to do this. It’s so overwhelming. Don’t talk to me about this. It seems like so much extra work.” What that boils down to is, “I don’t know how.” Social media is such a relatively new thing in our world that anyone who is over 30 might struggle with it a bit. Especially if you’re over 40, this is not something that we grew up with. It’s not that we think a little bit differently. We have to rethink things.
The easiest thing to do is to choose key messages from your book. Even if you haven’t written your book yet, you know what you’re an expert in. Think about what you could talk about. If I said, “Talk to me for five minutes about what you do,” you could easily say, “I’m a publisher. I work with this.” I can tell Juliet what she would say generally because I know her well, but I work with authors who are building their businesses and help them use their books to build their businesses, and so on.
She has tons of information, but you can’t bombard people with everything you know because then their eyes glaze over, their eyes start to spin, they back away, and they’re like, “It’s nice meeting you.” It doesn’t work. If you choose something small, think micro small. I can hear you. I can feel it, Juliet. They’re all going, “If it’s small, then no one will notice.” Wrong.
Not only that. I’m going to put it out there. When you’re putting out these little microbursts from your book or your knowledge, you are seeing, “Are people responding to this? Am I getting engagement? Can I say more?” You are validating the premise for your book.
It makes it so much easier for you to figure out what’s resonating because with the little microburst, you go, “This one got a ton of responses. That’s what my audience wants to hear.” It’s this information that organically comes to you. I’m going to give you an example. I’m working on a book on how to homeschool your kids. That’s a big topic. That is a huge, gigantic, enormous topic. I could not possibly talk about how to homeschool your kids in a micro social media post, but I could pick one little tiny thing.
In my example, I’ve been working on videos for number awareness in preschoolers, and we’re talking 3 and 4-year-olds here. I would have a tip. In fact, I’m doing this. My little game for preschoolers is a little number scavenger hunt. I might say to my preschoolers, “Go find me one book,” and they run, scamper away, and then they bring me back a book. I say, “Go get me two toys.” They scamper away and then come back with two toys.
That is building all kinds of beyond-number awareness, but it’s a tiny little fun thing that I could tell parents for my call to action, “Play this game with your kids and see what happens.” You can ask them to give you feedback, “How did it work? Did your kids like it? Did they have fun? How did they expand from that?” This creates this huge engagement, and it’s targeted. It’s for the parents of preschoolers. It’s not for the parents of teenagers. They’re not going to scamper around the house, counting toys, but three-year-olds will.
That’s what’s great about this too. You brought up another area to incorporate. We always talk about providing value. If you can provide a nugget of information that someone can go try and get instant gratification or instant results, they’re going to be a fan and a follower forever. Lesley Michaels and I set something up on LinkedIn. She sent me a text and said, “I got somebody already for what we were trying to attract.” If you can give somebody that piece, you should never worry about you’re giving too much because 95% of the people out there won’t do it, whatever you give to them, but that 5% that will, if they get instant results and they see improvement, they’re going to be fans and follow.
They’re going to be waiting for you to give them the next little tip or strategy. You think, “I have this little number scavenger hunt. How many ways could I send out that same exact message? I don’t have to recreate it every single time. Where can I post on social media?” I started brainstorming different things. Jumping ahead a little, you could do a 30-second TikTok reel. You can make a 2-minute Instagram video and a 5-minute YouTube video on the same thing. You just expand it out a little bit and create more engagement with it.Don't force humor. If you're not naturally funny, don't force it. Click To Tweet
You can write a blog on your website about this little tip for preschoolers, in my case, or whatever your field is. You can go to events. You can guest on podcasts. You can speak to small groups. In my case, I speak at libraries because that’s where the parents are of the kids in my business. There are many different things. I want you to start thinking, “How many places can I talk about this one thing? How many little things could I do?” Pick the ones that feel good to you. If you’re like, “I hate writing blog posts,” then don’t do that. Do the video, and then post it all over social media. It will get you out there in a nice, organic way.
You’re connecting with them in an authentic way. You’ve given them valuable information in a tiny bite-sized piece. That bite-sized is less about you and more about them because bite-sized means it’s digestible. It means they can consume it in a way that gives them empowerment, gives them transformation, but does not overwhelm them. If you overwhelm your audience, you will lose them. Don’t do that.
That is so true. You and I have been giving talks to a book developer that we know well who’s a part of our magazine. When I go through what it takes to build an author platform, they are all sitting, there and most of them have written their books and they’re like, “I should have been doing this.” They tell me things like, “That’s an awful lot of work. I don’t know if I can do that.” It’s a wow.
That’s another piece of this. This is not an instant one-time thing. This is something you build and then you get consistent with it. You have to make it manageable for yourself and digestible for your audience. That simplifies it. You can repurpose your message. You always have to remember that since your audience is coming to you because you are the expert in a field that they don’t know, and you are giving them something they need, you have to give it to them in a way that gives them some success. They can build on each little step and have success. Let’s talk about the golden nuggets you can take right out of your book, even if it’s not written, because you’re an expert. Go ahead, Juliet.
I want to point something out here that you tell me all the time. When I send our books over to her for development, the number one thing she sees is that as experts, you are using jargon. Remember, you’re talking to your followers here who are interested in the topic, and they don’t want to hear jargon. They want you to speak to them in their language.
In fact, if you read this October’s Breakthrough Author Magazine, that’s the article that I wrote. It is Why Jargon Will Kill Your Relationship with Your Audience. Speak in easy-to-understand language. Think about it. When you were in school, say you were in Algebra class, who are the best Math teachers? Were they the ones who were like, “Blah, blah, blah,” or were they the ones that were like, “First, you do this, then you move to this step, practice this,” and then made it so that every little step you could understand, then you go, “I get it,” and now you can do it again and again on each problem? Those were the best teachers.
All I remember from Math is my Geometry teacher telling us that Geometry was either for the very smart or the very stupid.
That might be true.
I wasn’t in either of those categories. It wasn’t my best class.
Think about what you could pull out of your book, excerpts. Tips are my favorite thing. I work with parents, so I like to give practical, simple tips that you can do. You can take snippets of your book, copy-paste them right out and post them, and then ask for people to give you feedback on it, “What do you think about this?”You're not here to be someone else so just be who you are. Click To Tweet
CTA stands for Call To Action. Be careful with a call to action and make sure it’s manageable. You don’t want to tell them, “It’s time for you to write your book,” because that is too big. You can take simple things. You can ask big questions, get people thinking, and ask for their responses. You can solve a problem. I’ve seen that parents of preschoolers are confused about teaching their kids how to do numbers. Here’s how you do it in a fun way. That’s how you want to think. What can you pull out of your book and then how can you post?
I have another example. I’ve been interested in this topic lately, and I know nothing about how to grow my own food. I found this little meme online and I thought, “What a perfect thing to do is to post this.” For me, who knows nothing, it’s like, “I wouldn’t have known that you should put beets and lettuce together, that if you put them together, they grow better. That’s cool.” If you can create a simple little meme or diagram like this on a little micro topic in your book, in your area of expertise, it’s eye-catching. Even if people don’t even know they’re interested, it might get interested. It’s pretty cool.
Also, this brings back every single post that you do on social media, you should have a graphic. We call these infographics. They can be helpful instead of just images.
I put it on here to show that they did it in a different way, but it’s along the same lines. It’s the same but it’s different. In Hollywood, it’s always the same but different. That’s what they’re looking for with movies and TV shows.
I have a degree in Horticulture. It looks to me from your choices here that you are going for organic gardening.
Yes. I’m anti-pesticide. That gives you an idea. The reason it works, people need to hear something over and over. It’s at least seven times before it starts to register.
If you’re a male, that might be twenty times.
Regardless, generally speaking, if they’re looking for your information, they still need to hear it over and over again before it starts to click in. That’s why taking out a little tiny call to action, a tip that they can do now works so well because it’s like, “This is cool. I’m going to try it now. Little Johnny, come here, go find me one book. We’re going to have a scavenger hunt.” They come back and it’s something like, “Let’s try it and see what happens.”
When they have success with it, then they start paying attention a lot sooner. We want that. That’s a good thing. I want you to think in terms of the three general things. Personal nuggets, that’s about you. That’s you connecting with your audience on a more personal level. Did I ever tell you about the time I escaped a serial killer? That’s real in my life. I escaped a serial killer when I was in college.
No. I write about serial killers. I could use your help.Be consistent. Decide how many times a week you're going to post and stick to it. Click To Tweet
That would be a personal nugget if I were wanting to stay connected with a fiction audience or something. For Juliet, who writes about serial killers, that would capture some attention, “Let me hear that story.” Professional nuggets are in the vein of what I was saying about, “I’m an educator working with parents who are homeschooling.” Those are the kinds of things that I, as a professional educator, can help you do with your kids. Whatever your field is, what can you help your audience do that’s small and bite-sized? Humor always works if you can organically do it. Don’t force humor. If you’re not naturally funny, don’t force it. It will backfire on you.
If your audience can’t take a joke, it might not be your audience.
It depends on who you’re dealing with and who you are, both of those things. Your bottom line, be you. You are here to be you. You’re not here to be someone else. Be who you are. I’m a pretty easygoing person. I’m more of a go-with-the-flow person. I’ve worked with a lot of authors who have a serious voice in their books, but it works for them because it comes through as authentically who they are. I’ve worked with other authors who have a great sense of humor.
I have had the experience of working with an author who tried to make jokes at other people’s expense. Do not ever do that. You can make fun of yourself, “I did this stupid thing, and this is what happened. Don’t ever do this.” That will work, but don’t ever sacrifice someone else. It never works. It will backfire on you and alienate people. If you’re naturally funny, make it work for you. People love humor.
The number one thing is to be consistent. Decide how many times a week you’re going to post and stick to it. If you say, “I’m going to only do it once a week,” pick the day. If it’s going to be Wednesday, then every Wednesday, you make sure you post. If you’re going to do it three times a week, say Monday, Wednesday and Friday, make sure you post. There are some apps that can help you pre-schedule them. You can set them all up and then they drip them out. You can set the date and time and they drip them out for you. What are some of the ones we’ve used for that?
I use SocialBee a lot. I do it because you can repurpose inside. You can take an old post and repurpose it. With Facebook, you can go right into Facebook and schedule right in there. If you’re across multiple platforms, you’re going to want to use something like SocialBee. I used to use another one, but I dropped it because it got expensive for what it was.
This brings up a good point. You’re going to be more consistent if you have a content calendar. One of the things we teach in I Love Content is how to put one together and put it together in a way where you learn how to use it on SocialBee or something like that. You’re then able to hand it off to a virtual assistant now that you know how to do it. You should know how to do any task in your business in case somebody leaves.
When you’re hiring VAs, you want to know that they’re not taking an extraordinarily large amount of time. I went through this back in December 2021. I hired a company and it was taking them eight hours to post to social media. I had posted it myself when my assistant left, and it took me 30 minutes. I was like, “What is taking you eight hours a month? You’re not writing it. It doesn’t even take me that long with writing it.”
How you get that consistency is by putting together a content calendar and then having that. Mine is always two months ahead. I’ll give you an example. In 2016, my mother passed away and I had a whole bunch to do. My calendar was ahead, so I didn’t have to worry about it. It just automatically went out the door.
That will simplify and make it less overwhelming for you because you’re prepped. When you’re prepped, you can relax. It makes a huge difference. That’s essentially our bite-sized content.
If this is something that you struggle with, we are running I Love Content. We just started it. We just had our first one, but we are probably going to do it again in probably November 2022 because we have our author platform challenge in October. If it’s something that you struggle with, this might be a great class for you that we put on, and we’ll have Sara back by then. It is a one-month intensive where we have a one-hour session every week as a group, as a class, and then you break off and you work with either Kris, Sara or me, individually on that week too. You get four one-on-ones as well as the four groups.
In those sessions, we work with, “What do you have? How do you break it down? What are the hashtags and keywords? How to use the content calendar and how to get specific on hiring a VA.” If that’s something with what Kris went through that you’re sitting there and you’re like, “I have no idea how to do this,” reach out to us. You can find us over on LinkedIn or Juliet@SuperBrandPublishing.com, and we’ll get you signed up for the next class.
We’d love to see you because when you work with us in the classroom, it’s like a little workshop class. It will help you feel less overwhelmed. We will give you those steps so that you’re taking manageable steps rather than trying to think of it as a whole. It’s easier that way. We give you lots of support and encouragement.
Dan, who took it the last time around, he knew nothing, and then we couldn’t stop him. He’s like, “I’ve got 75 keywords.” We had to go back and pull him back on some of it and say, “You can’t use all of those. We have to test them.” That’s exciting though to see somebody go from, “I don’t have a clue where to begin,” to taking off, thinking about it, marking it off, testing, and getting it going in a way that he never even thought was possible. Next time, we’re going to be working again with social media, and Sara’s going to be teaching next time. We hope she’s back by then. If she’s not, we’ll have something else for you guys. Thank you so much for showing up, and have a great month.
- Kristy Boyd Johnson
- Lesley Michaels – Previous Episode
About Kristy Boyd Johnson
Kristy Boyd Johnson is an award-winning children’s author, and has ghostwritten over 30 books for entrepreneurs over the years. She is a sought-after developmental editor and transformational book coach. She recently launched Starseed Journey Retreats because she can’t imagine anything better than being a beautiful location with beautiful people who want to reconnect with their deepest selves through writing.
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