Welby Obrien ButtonWritten by Rhonda Funk, Owner of Bring It On Communications

When Welby O’brien identified her niche audience, she didn’t wait for them to come to her…she went straight to them. Author of Love Our Vets; Restoring Hope For Families of Veterans With PTSD Welby identified a need for a family support network–a network that would encourage, educate, and inspire family and friends who are living in the dark and the seemingly lonely world of PTSD.

In the beginning, the Facebook network she created was not perfect and was up and down with interaction to say the least. Welby sought out every group she could find, followed every person she knew in the professional field of PTSD, and posted on walls of other groups and people in hopes of drawing awareness to her product. In her comments to others she would tell of her book, add a link, and offer the book for sale. Day in and day out she shared, but the responses were few, and page likes were slow to trickle in.

It was disappointing and tiring. In fact, Welby began to wonder if this ‘social media thing’ was worth her time. She decided to try something new. Welby created a simple image with an inspirational quote and posted it to her wall. The likes and shares were significant. So significant it became perfectly clear that people valued the encouragement and the inspiration, more than they valued the offer.

In my experience of working with authors I have learned that the only thing that will come from constantly pitching yourself and your product is a garage full of books. Nothing will turn away a person more than an author or speaker who only talks about themselves. Social media should be used to draw people in—give them something to chew on—give them hope—inspire them and move them. I believe social media should look a little bit like this: Inspire, inspire, challenge, inspire, make laugh, educate, sell. Lather, rinse and repeat. When you use a formula similar to this you will find that people start to follow you. They actually read your posts, share your posts, comment on your posts. Add a photo or some inspirational word image and it is magic!

Ask Welby O’brien who adds on about 200 new likes to her Facebook page a week which now has over 19,000 followers on at the PTSD Family Support Network. The network reaches on average more than 120,000 people a week and has over 20,000 people engaging in the posts that are shared.

Not everyone will experience this type of growth and success. Every book, every author, every niche is different. But if you don’t try, you will never know. I always say that being a first time author is like a Costco cart that is full—it’s so heavy that it is hard to get rolling, but once you get it moving it is hard to stop!

Push the cart. Find your niche. Go after them. Inspire. Education. Inspire. Edify. Only then have you earned the right to sell. Only then will you begin to see the fruit of your actions.

Take time to follow the PTSD Family Support Network on Facebook and see for yourself! CLICK HERE