How Authorpreneurs in Kenya Can Connect and Gain Loyal Followers

As an authorpreneur in Kenya, you may be wondering how to connect your brand (you as an author) to your target audience in order to gain loyal followers who will not only purchase your books; but also share your fiction works with their friends and networks as well. You will need to apply a kind of marketing called inbound marketing in which you attract, convert, sell and delight your target audience. There are various ways of engaging with your target audience and achieving those four goals. Today I want to share four effective ways in which an authorpreneur can do so.

Authorpreneur 101 pic

1. Create a blog and post on it consistently
As a fiction writer if you don’t already have a blog, you need to create one right away. There are many reasons why any brand should have a blog, and for a fiction writer such as yourself – this applies to your brand as well. It is a very effective way of connecting with your audience; as well as sharing your sample fiction works and updates about your brand or any other interests you would like to share. You can write short stories in your blog which your audience can read to get a better understanding of your talent and style of writing as well as the genre in which you write in. A great example is this blog on Romance in Nairobi. You can also choose to share helpful and relevant information in any topic; whether it is geographical information about locations you write about, or helpful tips to writers who are beginning to write fiction stories. This is your own space online that will attract your target audience and let them know more about yourself and possibly convert them to become your loyal followers.

2. Create social media pages and engage with your audience
Once you attract your audience, it’s very important to engage and interact with them. The best way to do this is on social media since that’s where most of them are as well. If you don’t already have accounts, create pages for your brand in which you will connect and engage with your audience. You can choose two or three social sites that you feel comfortable to start with, instead of opening numerous accounts that you cannot keep up with. Examples are; creating a Facebook page for your brand image, opening a Twitter account and then you can add another social media site such as Pinterest or LinkedIn depending on whether you want a visual based social site or you want to network with other authors. You don’t have to get a third social media account, if you are comfortable with only two, stick with that. Make sure you post consistently on your social media sites and use the 80/20 rule; 80% helpful and engaging material and 20% promotion on your brand products i.e. Fiction books.

Elly Kamari - Author FB page

Elly Kamari – Author FB page

3. Create accounts on self-publishing sites
As a writer, you need to be available in sites that are used in your industry because that is where majority of your target audience will be as well. Two main examples of these sites are Smashwords and Amazon. They are important since they sell fiction books to their customers and this is a ready market for you to attract. This is very important especially if you are a self-publishing fiction writer. If you don’t already have accounts in these sites, make sure you open them as soon as possible. You will be able to create a profile for your brand as well as share your writing to your target audience as well.

Self publish on smashwords.com

Self publish on smashwords.com

4. Visit industry-related events and festivals
As a fiction writer, it is necessary to connect with other writers in your genre and area; as well as readers who have a major interest in your industry. Great places to connect with such people are poetry and spoken word events, festivals such as the Storymoja Hay Festival which offers a chance to meet great authorpreneurs in various genres and master-classes that offer insightful discussions and information on various industry-related topics. These kinds of events will be visited by both your potential target audiences – avid readers interested in meeting authors and learning more about their interests. You will also meet and network with other authors; those who have been in the industry for long or new fiction writers beginning to write seriously such as yourself. Therefore ensure you are always on the look out for such events; so make sure you attend the Storymoja Hay Festival in the Nairobi Museum starting on the 17th of September this month.

Come to the Storymoja Hay Festival in Sept. 2014

Come to the Storymoja Hay Festival in Sept. 2014

Get started on doing the above things and you will be on your way to creating a strong and loyal following for your brand as an authorpreneur in Kenya.

Do you have any other sites or tips for authorpreneurs to visit or follow? Please feel free to share below.

This post appeared originally on the Storymoja Hay Festival Blog

6 Workouts that are Hassle-free for a Kenyan Entrepreneur to adopt

As an entrepreneur, sometimes your schedule can be so jam-packed that there seems to be no time for working out. However, I believe that working out is necessary for and entrepreneur, not just for obvious reasons like staying in shape. It helps you get a moment of just focusing on your well-being; you feel great after the workout as well as refreshed and energetic. It’s very advisable to stay healthy and energetic as an entrepreneur.

I have been personally lazy since late last year, I stopped working out for a while, I let myself get de-motivated due to the many issues I was having with my business and I want to get back on track. It’s also very necessary since as a baker, I do love to sample my baked goods (love handles anyone? ^_^). So I’ve decided to look up my options for exercises that I can adopt and incorporate into my schedule. I want to make sure I stick with them and stay motivated.

I’ll share six workout ideas that you can alternate weekly or monthly, so one can stay motivated and on track. They are easy as well as budget friendly (for us youth entrepreneurs that don’t have a budget for gym memberships ^_^).

1. Power – Walking

I like this workout because it’s easy and anyone can do it. You can incorporate power-walking in your everyday life. You can decide to put aside 20 to 50 minutes and power-walk daily. Just choose the time of day that’s optimal for you. You can also decide to power-walk when you get a chance at any time of your day that you’re walking. For example, for me when I alight at the stage, the distance between the stage and home is about a 15 minute walk. So I choose to power-walk and it gives me a 10 minute workout. It’s a very economical and easy way to get you started if you haven’t been working out at all (or slacked like some of us ^_^).

 

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Power-walking is a great Workout (Courtesy:moors-valley.co.uk)

2. Jogging

This is another workout that is easy to incorporate into your schedule, you can allot 30 minutes to 1 hour in your daily schedule to do it. This is the next step from power-walking; you can combine it with your power-walking workout when you feel you’re comfortable enough to do it. For example, if you workout 3 days a week for 50 minutes each time; you can power-walk for 20 minutes, jog for 10 minutes, then power-walk the final 20 minutes. You can gradually build up to jogging the entire workout when you feel that you can manage it.

This is another hassle-free, economic workout that you can make time for and you won’t regret it. If you are not easily motivated to do it (sometimes I will admit guilt to feeling so), you can choose a workout partner. Jogging with someone else gives you an extra push and accountability as well. I used to jog with my sister and we would motivate each other to wake up and do it. Choose someone who you can rely on to motivate you.

 

Jogging is another great workout (courtesy: healthcage.com

3. Cycling

This is another effective aerobic exercise that is great for your body. I’ve included this workout for the cycling enthusiasts, and I have personally noted that there is quite a number of them in Kenya. I once had a delivery guy for my Bakery that cycled daily, it was a passion for him. It also kept him in great shape and he was very energetic (which made him a great employee). So if you own a bicycle, and maybe you don’t really use it often; or if you stopped using it, please take it up again. It makes a great and effective workout. You can just put aside 30 to 50 minutes a few days a week for cycling and you’ll get your weekly workout.

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Cycling is also a great working (Courtesy:en.wikipedia.org)

4. Swimming

This is another great aerobic workout for those who know and love how to swim. I’m proud to say I am one of those people ^_^. I have been swimming since I was five years old and I fell in love with it (it helps that I love water!) I even once dreamed of being an olympic swimmer ^_^ (I apparently love baking more though). I have not been swimming as much as I used to (yes I know that I’m a total slacker 😦 – this will change!)  I have however told myself I will make a point of at least incorporating it into my monthly workout. You can start slowly, maybe once or twice a month, then increase as you’re able to; depending on proximity to the swimming pool and budget. If you have a pool in your home – no excuses please!

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You can adopt swimming as one of your workout activities (Courtesy:en.wikipedia.org)

You can go to the nearest public pool and find out their rates; daily & monthly, and inquire on their hours as well. If they do give monthly, seasonal discounts or passes find out and if you can – sign up. If you’re closer to the Nairobi CBD, you can visit the YMCA and find out their hours and rates. If you are near the Lavington area; Methodist Guest house have a pool as well.  Plan 40 minutes to 1 hour for your workout and you’re good to go. Swimming is a great workout because it’s a great alternative for people with joint or back problems, as well as anyone with rheumatism or arthritis since it’s a low-impact exercise.

5. Aerobics Classes or DVDs

This is another favorite of mine, especially the DVDs. You can choose any aerobic exercise that is on DVD to start working out with. I like them because it’s like being in a class, but at the comfort of your home (no one will be judging your moves for those shy people ^_^). You can choose just regular aerobic classes, Tae Bo, Kick-boxing, etc. However, make sure you start with a beginner level DVD and then work up to intermediate and then to advanced. This is for the good of your health (you don’t want to break your leg in the process of getting fit and healthy). The DVDs are usually very instructional and move with your speed as you begin and gradually advance. My personal favorites are the Billy Blanks Tae Bo DVDs. I’m a fan and have been using their different DVDs for over 3 years. Choose whichever type of aerobic exercise that fits you, keeps you motivated and you will stick with it. These DVDs are a great way of varying your weekly workouts so as not to get bored and lose motivation. They can be purchased in DVD stores or online.

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Tae Bo Workouts are great and effective (Courtesy: csweat.com)

You can also find different gyms or studios that offer aerobic exercises that you can join if your budget allows it. Classes are good because you are motivated by the group’s energy and they are scheduled so it’s hard to miss them (especially when you’re paying for them). Visit your nearby gym and find out the rates and schedules for the classes and sign up.

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Sign up for aerobics classes (Courtesy:en.wikipedia.org)

6. Dancing

Now I know most people love dancing, I most certainly do! The dance workout concept is a great one since it takes a fun activity that is loved by most and makes it an effective workout. There are different ways you can do this; you can buy dance DVDs that offer different workout styles e.g. Zumba, Tango, Salsa, Rumba, Belly-dancing, etc. There are also a large number of gyms & studios in Kenya that offer dance classes. You can choose your dance style depending on your budget and preference. it’s a fun way to exercise and keep the variety in your workout routine.

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Belly Dancing is another fun & effective dance workout (Courtesy: lovehabibi.com)

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Learn how to Salsa! (Courtesy: ublushmagazine.com)

I hope all these ideas will be helpful to any entrepreneur in Kenya out there looking for a hassle-free way to get back into their workout or start, in order to stay healthy, fit and energetic.

If you have any other suggestions for workouts, or know any gyms or class locations in Kenya, please feel free to add them below.

Keep fit and stay motivated ^_^!