How to Build an Audience | Todd Hiller Interview

Are you an author who would like to build an engaged audience that loves your books? Would you like to learn how to use social media to find loyal readers?

You need to create social media profiles, make interesting posts, and engage with real people.

On today’s episode of The Award-Winning Authors Show, we’re talking about how authors can build an audience to promote their books. I had the pleasure of interviewing one of our best-selling authors, Todd Hiller, author of Fire and Ivy.

You can watch the interview on YouTube below, or listen to the podcast on iTunes, Spotify and more.

Todd has sold over 300 hard copy books in just one year. People throughout his town are recognizing him as an author and are reading his book because of the great reviews. The word is spreading.

Todd says, “If people know what you’re about, rather than just what you wrote about… they get more engaged.” He says it’s important to not just promote his book, but to share his life as a husband, farmer and firefighter. Todd says, 

“If you show them who you are as a person, not just a writer, then they’ll keep coming back to see your posts. When you do promote your book, they’re more likely to see it because they’re already connected with your story.”

To build an audience as an author, you need to allow people to take this journey with you. Let them into your day-to-day life. Let them get to know who you are. Let them see behind the scenes. Let them be there with you for the ups and the downs. 

It’s all about building a relationship with your readers. Todd says, “I was amazed how many friends and family read my book. I didn’t expect it. I was shocked when strangers started to reach out to me online and said they can’t wait to read my book. I was on cloud nine.” None of this would happen if he just posted to social media and left it there. 

Don’t expect people to flock to your social media profiles without any engagement. Todd is intentional about spending time on social media and having real conversations with people. It’s called social media for a reason! Connect with people who look like ideal readers for your book and talk to them. Like their posts, comment on their pictures and send them a message. If you show them that you care, then they will begin to care about you, too.

Your social media profiles as an author doesn’t just serve as a tool to sell your books. Todd says, “People reach out to me and say I’m inspiring them to write their book. I tell them to keep working it, go back and edit… just don’t give up.” You’re inspiring your audience of what is possible. It’s all about building loyal relationships.

To effectively use your social media profiles to build an audience, here are the top tips Todd suggests for authors to use.

  1. Find new readers on social media by authentically connecting with them. Todd uses social media to connect with other authors, poets and creatives all over the world. He’s active on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. He spends most of his time on Instagram because he can post about his book once, and people will find it months later. The ability to tag his book and shout out the author allows the content to spread like lightning.
  2. Show your personality on social media. Todd says, “Your social media is 90% about you and 10% about your book.” It’s important to show all the sides of your personality with a variety of different kinds of posts. They don’t want to be sold your book 100% of the time.
  3. Engage with new followers. You can’t just follow someone and not talk to them. You don’t have to spend a lot of time talking with them, but you need to start a conversation and get to know them a bit. It won’t work to follow and unfollow someone just to increase your follower count. That’s not a long-term strategy

A big mistake authors make is thinking their work is done once the book is published. They’ll fail to put an equal amount of work into the marketing and PR of the book. Authors should make local partnerships with general stores, events, breweries, bookstores… anywhere in town that will let you promote your book. It’s up to you to make those strategic partnerships. Are you ready to put in the work it takes to become a best-selling author?

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To connect with Todd Hiller, you can find him on Instagram here. All of his books are available on Halo Publishing, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

If you’re ready to publish your book, please submit your manuscript on HaloPublishing.com. Or you can download our free publishing guide to learn everything you need to know about the entire self-publishing process.

Start writing your legacy and become an award-winning author!