Telling your story online: Instagram prompts for writers
A few weeks ago, coincidentally just as I was about to launch my new author mentoring programme, The Brand Stylist held an Instagram challenge. Under the hashtag #MyBrilliantBrand, each day there was the opportunity to share something about your business.
What I learned from the challenge
This challenge was exactly that: challenging! It was HARD to put down in words the things that I wanted to share, because it felt like I was boasting. How un-English to tell people the things that you are good at, without being self-deprecating or making yourself small in some way.
But it was also hugely inspiring, and made me feel really excited about this thing I have put together. I am generally not someone who finds it easy to promote my own services – it’s much easier for me to promote other people.
Putting together the structure of my programme, and thinking through what I had to offer was easy. It’s what I do every day at work, in one way or another. Promoting it (and therefore, promoting myself) has required a lot more from me in terms of pushing myself outside of my comfort zone.
So, the challenge came along just at the right time. I had three key takeaways from it that I thought would be helpful to anyone who isn’t quite sure how to talk about their own work online, and I’ve written a few prompts of my own for you as well.
1. I don’t share what I do enough
I realised, as I was responding to the prompts, that I very rarely talked about my work on Instagram. Even when, at one point, I’d decided to create a second ‘work’ account (it didn’t last very long), I STILL didn’t talk about work, I mainly just shared pictures of books I was reading. The challenge made me realise that what I do is a huge part of who I am, and that if my aim is to share my story online, what I’m doing in my day job and in my side hustle needs to form a bigger part of that.
2. Be proud of what you do
As I described my background and my plans, I felt really proud of my accomplishments so far. I like what I do and I am good at it. It’s SO easy for imposter syndrome to raise its head, and I think I might need to write a whole post about overcoming (or getting to be friends with) self-doubt
3. The Instagram community is amazing
I guess I already knew this, as I’ve developed friendships through the app and am launching a business through it, too. But the support I got from complete strangers, when talking about this new venture, was really heartening. It doesn’t necessarily translate into immediate sales, but if you’re putting yourself out there in a completely new way, sometimes it helps to have a few kind words from people telling you they like your idea!
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So, with this wind of inspiration beneath my sails, I decided to come up with a little challenge of my own. I’m not setting this up to run during a specific week, because I have enough launching right now! But if you do take inspiration from any of these prompts, please use #ALifeofWords & tag me @katiemorwenna so that I can read your story and share it!
5 prompts for sharing your creative work online
- Who I am and what I do – Who are you? What kind of books do you write? Just tell us a bit about you. What would someone who has never read your books before want to know? What about your biggest fan?
- What makes my work unique – What do you think makes your writing different from all the other books out there?
- How I got started – When did you first put pen to paper? When did you first start writing your first published novel? There are so many readers out there who want to be writers – telling your story can be a fascinating insight and might inspire some new writers, too!
- What others have said about my writing – Focus on the positive, and share how the reviews have made you feel. All writers have had bad reviews and it’s easy to fixate on those, but what have positive reviewers pulled out? Were there things you hadn’t considered about the story or thought about yourself as a writer?
- Where I work – Do you write long hand, curled up on the sofa? From your laptop in bed? Do you have a writing shed or an office? Or maybe you write snippets on your commute. Share a photo of where you work and tell us a bit about how you came to work there.
I would absolutely LOVE to see your answers!
What have you seen writers share online recently that really struck a chord with you?
PS: If you know an author who is just starting out or who is struggling with their online presence, please send them a link to my author mentoring programme. There are still a few places left, and I would love to help!
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