c386e2e61ab603bd8c4a97c84a105674By Marc Gilson

As an aspiring writer, I’ve had to learn a lot about the power of social media and branding. Understanding how to create and reach your audience is no longer the sole purview of agents and publishers. It takes a proactive and well-planned strategy to attract readers to your material and educate them about your brand. Exposure isn’t just a matter of having the loudest megaphone or the flashiest lights. With the right tools, the right timing, and the right strategies, virtually anyone can establish themselves in the social media arena. The key is to become a student of the process and learn from the experts.

In my case, Gunnar Simonsen has been instrumental in helping me learn and use the social media tools freely available. It was Gunnar who taught me the power of the Twitter hashtag. After using the #amwriting hashtag over just a few days, I gained several new followers, which ultimately led to short story being accepted by a new ebook application scheduled to launch in the summer of 2013. He also gave me some invaluable information about how to dialogue and network with people in the publishing industry and other writers like myself. I still have a long way to go. But thanks to Gunnar, my compass has been fine-tuned and I can move toward success with confidence and clarity.

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From GunnarSpeaks:

I have known Marc for over twenty years now. We actually met while we were both attending Mt. Hood Community College. Marc is an amazingly gifted human being who I find is one of the brightest people I know. I asked him to write this short piece to best showcase how he used something as simple as a hashtag (or pound sign#) on Twitter to cut through the noise and reach his target audience.

And to be honest, my secret here is that I also wanted an opportunity to introduce him to each of you. Marc is a thinker with a deepness to him that comes out in wise words with a touch of snark. Do yourself a favor and check out some of his blog posts. I think the guy is brilliant and a gift to this world.

As for the kind endorsements he gave me in his post, I did not ask for them. But that’s how Marc rolls. I simply wanted to introduce you to him by way of something he took to heart on using social media that brought a meaningful connection. (I know a lot of folks don’t believe that is possible)

Please stop by his blog and Twitter feeds to say hello. I’m sure also Marc is cooking up something fresh for us all to read sometime soon.