Tag Archives: facebook

Presenting Your Professional Self on Social Media

I wrote this in response to some very bad advice being given to new authors.  I hesitated to share it publicly because it’s from a conversation in a FB writing group and it got me blocked by admin and banned from the group. Apparently, it’s controversial. But, I stand behind my reply and want to share it with other professionals. (That is, anyone who deals with and sells product or services to others.)

The original post stated (paraphrased since I was blocked before I could screenshot it for accuracy): If you’re constantly posting negative things on your personal Facebook profile and it’s chasing away your readers, make a second account and post only positive, uplifting things there. Moreover, this was suggested specifically as a branding tactic so your followers see you as someone who is positive and admirable … even if you’re not.

Notice, this isn’t the same as suggesting that you keep your personal profile separate from your professional one to keep your personal life private. The poster was very specific about “constant negative posts” driving away readers.

DON’T DO THIS!

First, it’s against Facebook’s Terms Agreement. One account per person. If you’re a professional, you really don’t want some petty person report you and have your professional profile shut down.

If you want separate entities, your have the option of Pages and/or Groups. Yes, yes; I know: the algorithms are making harder to get organic views to push you to pay for “boosts” and ads. If you don’t want to use a Facebook Page, encourage people Follow you so they see only your public posts.

More importantly: If an author (or other professional) is constantly making negative posts on a their profile, they definitely should not friend their readers, clients, and fans. I’ll go a step further and say that (in general) clients, fans, etc. should not be on our profile or privy to our private life. They can “follow” and see only public posts, but your private life should stay exactly that: private.

And, what about readers, clients, and fans who are family and IRL friends? Plainly put: They don’t want to hear constant negativity, either. They love you, but ultimately they’re going to walk away from your drama for their own emotional well-being.

There’s a difference between sharing about the rough patch you’re going through or an unpleasant experience and making so many negative posts that other people no longer want to see your content. One is being transparent and relatable. The other is a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

Suggesting negative people start a second profile so they can pretend to be something else to their readers is NOT branding. It’s lying. If someone is an undesirable person in real life, that’s going to leak out.

We can’t hide our true Self.

If we want to succeed, we need to be accountable for what we post on social media. Even on our personal profile. Even if it’s private. It’s important to understand we can’t say whatever we want, whenever we want. There are consequences to being an unpleasant person and for authors and other professionals, it’s loss of support, sales, and reputation.

Instead of violating Facebook terms and risk getting your account shut down so you can LOOK professional, it’s wiser to actually BE professional. Even on your personal profile. Have class and be considerate of others – Just like you would be in real life.

We don’t just walk into a room full of friends, family, and colleagues and just spout off over and over. We need to actually control (and be accountable for) what comes out of us; whether it’s spoken to people in real life or posted on social media.

Instead of expending valuable time and energy babysitting a second account in an effort to be viewed as a decent person, invest your time in learning how to authentically connect and communicate with your audience (personal and professional).

If what you’re posting on social media so negative it turns people off of you and your product/service, the problem isn’t that you’re sharing personal trials. It’s YOU.

Take a moment to self-evaluate:

  • Are you dwelling in the negative?
  • Are you always in a crisis?
  • Are you attacking, complaining, cutting down, soap-boxing …?
  • Are you not authentic in your support of and/or connection with other people?
  • Are you making promises you don’t keep?

That type of behavior exhausts people emotionally. It mentally drains them. It has nothing to do with whether or not they’re going to read your books. If your posts are regularly “taking away” from people, you’re going to lose them. Period.

I’m not saying you can’t be true to yourself on your personal profile. Or that you have to hide parts of yourself. I’m saying you need to take a look at how and what you communicate with others so you aren’t robbing them of their joy and peace of mind.

Before you post, think about what you’re about to put out to your social circle.

  • Is this issue going to matter in 3 weeks? 3 months? 3 years? Will you even it remember it in a few month’s time?
  • Can you rephrase it in a more positive light? Or turn it into a positive learning moment?
  • Is it something you could discuss with a friend or therapist instead of blasting on social media?
  • Type it out, leave it for 3 days until you feel better. Then, consider rewriting or not posting.

This applies to political or religious post, as well. I know you feel strongly about it. How can you communicate your view without making others  feel attacked? You won’t necessarily change anyone’s mind, but if you don’t drive them away, you might be able to teach them something or open them to a new point of view.

If you sincerely cannot control yourself due to medical issues, I suggest your get someone to help communicate with your audience while you seek professional help.  I want you to succeed and if that requires taking workshops or talking with a professional to help you, then do so. You deserve a better life and by helping yourself, you are in a better place to help others.

However, if someone thinks they’re fine and don’t want to make the effort to change how they communicate …. Good Luck. A second profile to hide that they’re a negative person is like a Band-Aid on a gangrenous wound.

Beta Reader Team: Assemble!

header-beta-reader-team | I Am Rosa

 (Or, “How I Found My Beta Team”)

 

My latest book, Eyes of the Hunter is currently in the hands of a wonderful team of beta readers. Even though they’re still reading, I’ve already received some very constructive feedback.  I’m thrilled!!

Today, I received this question from a fellow author:

May I ask how you got a team of beta readers? Because when I tried to get people to read my book before it was published no one was interested!

The short answer is:

I do my homework and am picky about who I ask.

The long answer:

I try to approach people who I know have beta read in the past, are interested in the genre of my book, have a good eye for detail, and have given solid feedback (to myself or others) in the past.

 

5 people agreed to beta read Eyes of the Hunter. Here is how I chose each one …

 

Beta Reader 1

This lady actually found me. She’d read a review I was under attack for writing, loved how honest and fair I’d been, and tracked me down on Facebook to ask if I would review her fantasy novel. I agreed, but couldn’t make it through the book. So, instead of writing a review, I asked if I could just give her suggestions on improvements. She agreed. She made the changes. She got picked up by a publisher (I’m not taking credit for that, btw) and has just release the sequel.

We kept in touch. When I see a snippet or article she’s written, I read it and comment. She’s improved. A lot. She’s serious and dedicated, so I continue to support her. And, she also freelances as an editor. So, when it came time to assemble beta readers, I asked if she’d be interested. She said, “Yes.”

 

Beta Reader 2

Amusingly enough, I found this lady exactly the same way Beta Reader 1 found me! She was being attacked by another author for the honest review she wrote on GoodReads in exchange for an ARC. Curious, I read the review. It was actually a very fair review, praising the author’s writing skill, but pointing out there were issues with the story that didn’t sit well with her. She didn’t finish reading, so she marked it DNF (Did Not Finish) to make sure it wouldn’t hurt the author’s rating. I sent her a message, apologizing on behalf of authors who aren’t dicks, and told her that I really liked how honest and fair she’d been. Since I knew from her GoodReads profile that she liked stories similar to Eyes of the Hunter, I asked if she’d be interested in beta reading it and gave a her brief description. She agreed.

 

Beta Reader 3

About a year ago, a lady in one of the Facebook writing groups I’m part of asked if someone could do some artwork for her. I was interested in what she wanted done and offered my services. I really liked her honesty in comments and noticed she always had great suggestions. So, instead of cash payment, I asked if she’d be interested in beta reading for me. I gave her a brief description of Eyes of the Hunter. She liked the story idea and had read some of my other writing, so she felt confident that she’d enjoy this and agreed.

 

Beta Reader 4

This one, I can thank Beta Reader 1 for. She’d talked me up to this gentleman and I apparently made a good impression in the Facebook groups we were part of. We chatted back and forth on Facebook for months. When he found out I was almost ready to hand off Eyes of the Hunter to beta readers, he expressed an interest in reading it. From our conversations, I knew he’s very honest about his opinions and he has a great eye for detail. Even though the story is aimed for YA female readers, I thought a male opinion would be beneficial. So, I asked if he’d go one further and beta read it for me. He said yes and  offered some amazingly helpful insights.

 

Beta Reader 5

I met this lady through – you guessed it – a Facebook writing group. She sent me a friend request after we’d exchanged comments in the group. I had a favourable opinion of her; plainspoken and insightful. I accepted though we never actually chatted after that … until I saw a status update from her one night as I was about to shut down my computer for the night. She seemed to be in distress and I was worried that she was suicidal. Facebook had just implemented its suicide prevention feature, which was totally useless. So, I sent her a message which led to a conversation that lasted several hours (until I felt satisfied that she wasn’t going to do anything harmful to herself). Being writers, we naturally talked about books and writing. I told her a bit about Eyes of the Hunter and it was apparently up her alley of interest. She told me that she beta reads, critiques, and reviews. So, I asked if she’d like to beta read it for me and she said, “yes.”

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And, there you have it: My amazing beta team for Eyes of the Hunter <3

Finding quality beta readers is a long process:

  • I observe the feedback a person gives to others and what they contribute to conversations in groups.
  • I build a sincere rapport with them. (Note the word sincere. I care about these people and they care about me.)
  • I find out if beta reading is something they’re interested in and what genres they prefer.
  • When I ask them to beta read, I give them just enough detail about the story to hook them, but not enough to ruin the fun.

Some people I asked were swamped with other projects or felt the story was not quite to their interests. No problem! I’ve asked enough people that a couple of “no’s” still leaves me with a fair size group for feedback. Plus if anyone has something come up where they can’t follow through, I wouldn’t be stranded for feedback.


Want to know what guidelines I give my beta readers?
Read my follow-up article, Beta Reader Checklist for Useful Feedback.

How to Find Your Facebook Page Followers List (Excerpt)

It’s important for the Admin of a Facebook Page to keep track of Followers. So, where the blazes did Facebook move that list to!?!?! Here’s the answer …
Find FB Follower List - Header | I Am Rosa
 
When you’re responsible for the the Administration or Moderation of a Facebook Page, it is vital to keep track of Followers. The analytics section provided by the hard-working folks at Facebook is a great way to track numbers and stats, but what about when you need to actually see who those people are? Their names and faces?
 
It used to be easy to do this; a quick link on your Page would take you straight to the list. But, when Facebook got all sophisticated with the stats and graphs, that list link vanished. Luckily, we still have the ability to see the list of Page Followers. It’s a little more involved to get to that list, but this quick tutorial will to help you get there and get business done efficiently … Read Full Article
Find FB Follower List | I Am Rosa

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How to Make Facebook a Positive Experience

As much as we love Facebook, we sometimes walk away feeling like we’re in an unhealthy relationship with it. Here’s some easy tips on how to keep Facebook a positive experience …

Make FB Positive | I Am Rosa

I love Facebook. I love being connected with people from all over the world; sharing laughs, interesting facts, and goofy memes. As a Work-From-Home Mommy and Goddess of Owie Kisses, Facebook is the salvation of my sanity. But, this was not always the case.

For a while, my news feed was flooded with angry rants from gun-fanatics, bigotry, ignorant memes, mindless sheeple reposts, and just plain stupidity. The negativity was overwhelming, and sometimes I’d log off Facebook feeling like I was in an abusive relationship that I didn’t want to go back to.

Here are some really simple things I did to remove the negativity and make my FB experience less nasty …

Read Full Article

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Alternatives to Giving Candy at Halloween (The Teal Pumpkin Project)

Whether you’re concerned about allergies or you’d like to include more than just candy to treat bags, this list of alternatives will help you participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project.

header_teal pumpkin | I Am Rosa

In 2014, the Teal Pumpkin Project was launched by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) as a way for people to offer non-food items or allergy-safe treats to children with food allergies. By putting a teal-coloured pumpkin or Teal Pumpkin sign outside your home, you can let trick-or-treaters know you offer safe alternatives.

As wonderful as that sounds, the first reaction to the concept of the Teal Pumpkin Project is often:

“What am I supposed to give instead?”

This is where the real fun begins for those who stay at home to hand out the treats. Whether you do the “by the handful” method or give out treat bags, you can be creative!

I took this question online to Facebook to find out what others have given as non-food and allergy-free treats at Halloween. Here are some great ideas to get you started …

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