At the beginning of February, I announced I was leaving Twitter. I did. I deleted it, LinkedIn, and I almost deleted my Pinterest account.
But I came back.
Why did I leave? That's easy, I was overwhelmed. I was on most of my social media as Victoria M. Patton. And for me, that made me feel as if I HAD to interact everyday...all day. I know, that sounds weird.
If you are on social media and trying to build a fan base, you will have to interact. But at some point it may become overwhelming. It did for me. I found myself more concerned with my author platform and my social media, instead of my writing. So I had to take a step back.
However, after a couple of weeks away, I thought about it. I didn't want to lose what I had built. A nice following of people I love to interact with. The problem was me. Not my platform or social media.
When I decided to come back, I knew I was going to have to change how I interacted on social media. So I rebranded my presence. Not necessarily changing my logos or website. Just my online presence.
I came back on Twitter as Whiskey and Writing/@VictoriaMPatton. I'm still able to comment as myself...but by presenting Whiskey and Writing up front, I don't feel the pressure to post/interact any more. If I check my Twitter 1 or 3 times a week, I'm okay with that.
Followers still see my name, but they see my brand Whiskey and Writing, front and center, instead of me.
Some people create an online presence around their book or characters. I tried that once. I found it too hard to maintain. I'm all about keeping it simple. But, if you can pull that off, go for it.
For a short time I came back as my publishing company, Dark Force Press. I found that very hard to keep up with.
Note: *I use DFP for publishing my books. Ultimately, when I file an LLC, I will do so as DFP. I will list my Whiskey and Writing and Victoria M. Patton under that umbrella. However, interacting as my publishing company is too complicated. I feel too removed, I often feel I have to speak in 3rd person when referring to myself...it was/is just too much.*
By operating as W&W/VictoriaMPatton I can still remain removed, thus alleviating the pressure of feeling like I have to spend so much time on my social media. (This might just be an in my head only kind of thing.) For me, this sets a small boundary. Whiskey and Writing isn't so personally invested in the every day activities on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or FB.
(I am rebranding Facebook from Dark Force Press to Whiskey and Writing. It will take a few months, due to the rules of FB. I also changed Pinterest to W&W keeping my user name @VictoriaMPatton. )
I don't post everyday, on anything. Maybe I should, but at the end of the day...it's an outreach, and my writing is more important.
I have changed a few things over the last couple of years. My website design has changed, not my colors, font, or logo, that goes to my overall branding I established at the beginning of my writing career. But other aspects. The way I present the pages, the layout, or the design.
You are never stuck with what you first started out with. And, you don't have to have an elaborate brand. You can just be your author name...everywhere...that can be your brand. For me, W&W/VMP are interchangeable. So this works for me.
Using Whiskey and Writing as my catch all made sense. I wanted the freedom to write blog posts about anything, talk about whiskey, share my writing journey, as well as promote my books.
As you grow as an author, what you originally started out with, may not represent you now. This is why I recommend settling on your author name as a domain name. You can always link other domains to it, as I do with Victoria M. Patton and W&W. Both names point to the same site.
My advice when deciding to make changes, is take it slow. Don't do what I did, LOL, and delete everything. For a split second I was going to rebrand my LinkedIn, but I couldn't. I had deleted it. Thank goodness I wasn't really attached to it. And I don't want to start all over again.
If you are going to change part of your online branding/presence, my other recommendation is to do it across all outlets. Don't have one identity on one social media and something else on another. This can get confusing to your fans. This is one of the reasons I am changing DFP to Whiskey and Writing on Facebook. Although, on my page I have who I am in the about section...But, I still think it is confusing.
Take your time.
Start with subtle changes if you are unsure of where you want to go or the exact changes you want to make. Remember, it's okay to change your mind. It can be good for your author outreach/platform to evolve and change as you grow as an author. At the end of the day you have to find what works for you and what will set you apart from other authors.
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Victoria M. Patton
Author, whiskey drinker, and Netflix binge watcher.