If you’ve never heard of author, model, and petite model advocate Isobella Jade, then you haven’t been on the Internet in awhile. Thanks to her saavy and relentless self-promotion, this petite model (5′ 4″) has a big online presence.
We talk about author branding a lot on The Celebrity Editor. Interestingly, Isobella’s size dictates her brand. She refuses to see her small stature as a negative obstacle to be overcome in an industry that prefers tall models. Instead she says she took stock and put to use what she had.Isobella is proving that small is beautiful, too, and is just as capable of selling products as tall.
“I have been able to overcome the odds in a business where every inch counts,” says Isobella. “But it hasn’t happened from being born lucky. Instead it has been through my own will and persistence and the result of just simply trying and chasing what I wanted to happen and making it happen.”
She didn’t even own a computer when she decided to write her first book, Almost 5′ 4″, but that didn’t stop her. Determined, she wrote it at an Apple store in New York City.
After self-promoting her story, she proved that self-promotion can lead to great things – including modeling jobs with Marshalls, Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works, Bon Appetit, Time Magazine, TLC, Easy Spirit, Women’s World, Macy’s, and more.
She’s so good at self-promotion that her story has been featured in tons of media: NYDaily News, The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Allure.com, The New York Post, Ad Age, WSJ, Nylon, Glamour, Media Bistro, Luna Magazine (Milan), Bon Magazine (Sweden), GQ (Italy), Marie Claire UK, and several online sites.
How does she do it? She cross-promotes through her website and blog, her podcast show, more than 100 YouTube videos, and her Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace communities.
Want to know how you can duplicate Isobella’s success? I asked her to share her secrets on how to self-promote through social media. Graciously she consented, and in her own words here’s what she had to say.
5 ways self-publishers should be using social media right now
1. Be accessible. The writing doesn’t end after the last chapter.
Finishing the book doesn’t mean the writing ends for the author. In this era of connectivity readers want to communicate, and communicating through social media means more writing for the author. Readers want to feel connected with the author these days. Readers want to communicate with the author more than ever. They want to send comments and questions, and they expect a reply from the author. Readers expect to be able to connect with authors through social media.
So it is a good idea to be accessible to your readership. It helps build a following and loyal readers.
Of course a website is a nice platform to start with, but also writing a blog is an easy way an author can communicate with readers. Having a blog that has the theme of the author’s book or is related to a topic within the author’s book is a good idea. Actually sometimes a reader will discover an author through her blog alone and the content in it while searching for topics that relate to the author and her books on Google.
A free blog can be set up at www.blogger.com. On the blog you can promote your book, but also write about topics that would intrigue your readers. Perhaps the content in the book can relate to a recent news story. Titling your blog posts with headlines that are Google friendly and that relate to your book and readers is a good idea.
The blog is an easy and quick way to lead your readers to your social media or main website. You can use the blog as a platform to share a video book trailer and the ability to connect through Twitter, Facebook, etc. Many authors hold contests and giveaways with their books. Some put up polls on their blog to find out more about their readers.
It is good to consider a subscription feature on your blog to allow visitors to subscribe to the blog. They will receive emails daily or weekly from posts on your blog which will keep readers in the loop about your events, new blog posts, and new books.
What’s great is that connecting through web 2.0 doesn’t take a lot of money. Most of the outlets are free to use, but it does involving investing the time to update and keep up with the platforms you are using.
2. Manage time with social media and your blog.
Deciding what to post and when is important for authors and self-publishers. For many authors and writers, social media writing is secondary to their main writing for their books.
It is easy to become obsessive over social media, so it is best to delegate a certain time of the day to write and a certain amount of time each day to connect with your readers. Otherwise you can feel overwhelmed. Visitors to your blog appreciate to-date and updated posts. But of course some weeks can be very busy, but it is still a good idea to post frequently. You can schedule blog posts and prepare your content days or weeks ahead of time if you are unable to post on a certain day. Having a successful social media platform involves a lot of organization to be able to spend time in many different areas of the web 2.0 landscape (plus the focus it takes to be a writer and work on your next projects).
3. Decide what social media is best for your readership.
Depending on the demographics of your readership and who your book/s are targeted towards, you can decide what is best for your readership and where to spend the most time when it comes to communicating through the web. For example, your followers on Twitter might not be as active as your Facebook followers or vice versa. It can take time to build a loyal following; trial and error will let you know what is best for your readership. It is good to be a part of as much as you can, but keep in mind the ways your readership might like to best communicate with you. Some authors receive a lot of personal emails from readers, some have more readers contact them through commenting on their blog, their Facebook wall, or through Twitter.
It is also important to remember “why” your readers want to connect with you through social media and why they are reading your posts and following your updates. Consider that your followers on Twitter might not care what you had for lunch. Be aware of why your followers are following you and reading your posts and blog and tweets.
4. Podcasting. Can you hear me now?
I’ve hosted my own podcast radio show since 2007, and I think podcasting is a great element to add to the self-publishers’ social media platform. You can talk on the podcast about topics that relate to your book/s. Authors can conduct podcast readings, and publishers can feature authors and plug their upcoming books. Readers can listen in to live and archived podcast segments. Authors should be involved with podcast readings. An author can read a chapter from her book on the podcast. It is a great marketing tool to spread throughout your social media network.
5. Press Record! We’re using web video.
For authors that are experts in their field or those who have a niche topic within their books, it is all about branding (really for any author it is about branding!), and web video can be a great outlet for building a web following. An author that is comfortable in front of the camera can use web video to use their personality to sell books. Producing weekly or monthly videos to share tips and advice or interviews based on the book’s content is a nice marketing element to add. You can bring your web videos to your blog and share them through other social media outlets: Twitter, Facebook, etc. Beyond just the book trailer, authors can use web video as a part of their own branding.
Isobella Jade is a petite model and author based in NYC. She wrote her first book at the Apple store. She is the author of her modeling memoir called “Almost 5’4””, “Short Stuff: on the job with an x-small model,” and a graphic novel called “Model Life: The Journey of a Pint-Size Fashion Warrior.” Isobella is currently writing a YA novel.
Model Talk Radio: www.blogtalkradio.com/isobellajade
Petite Modeling Tips Blog: http://petitemodelingtips.com/ Personal Blog: http://isobellajade.blogspot.com/
YouTube Videos: www.youtube.com/isobellajade
The Beautiful Undead on Figment.com: http://figment.com/books/7928-The-Beautiful-Undead