Firsthand: The joys of Twitter by Maggy Pigott
Updated: Jul 9
Firsthand experiences of creative people marketing their work - because we learn more through sharing and collaboration.
I’m opening up the Anna Caig Communications blog to writers and other creative people to share their experiences of DIY marketing. These are posts by the people who’ve been there, done that, rolled up their sleeves and cracked on with finding audiences and promoting their work. Get in touch if you'd like to write a Firsthand post.
This post is by Maggy Pigott, whose book How to Age Joyfully provides an inspiring and practical blueprint for how to make a good life as we get older. Maggy's journey with Twitter was different from most authors, in that she built a following and developed her ideas on social media before she wrote her book. There are some useful lessons here about how Twitter can be used to build networks, and find readers and collaborators well in advance of a book launch - not to mention well after too.
The Joys of Twitter
I highly recommend Twitter, although you reap what you sow and it does need regular sowing!
Once I’d settled into my 60s, perhaps unsurprisingly, I developed an interest in discovering what makes for a healthier, happier and longer life. I also wanted to share the positives of growing older and redress some of the negativity about ageing which sadly exists. What better medium than Twitter?
So, I started Age Joyfully @Ageing Better. A more accurate, evidence-based view about getting older was obviously popular; my followers grew rapidly, from individuals to health, wellbeing and ageing-related organisations worldwide. Rather to my amazement my followers now number well over 8,000! Do join them.
Some asked if I had written a book. I never had. When I also realised that there was a whole world of older people who disliked/distrusted/ feared Twitter, I decided to give it a go. Having learned a huge amount from the many experts amongst my band of followers, I was able to draw on their knowledge for the book. Incredibly, at the age of 68, How to Age Joyfully: Eight Steps to a Happier, Fuller Life appeared, beautifully produced by my first-choice publishers!
It was fortunate that I had a relatively large number of followers by the time How to Age Joyfully was born. Since publication, Twitter continues to be my key social media medium for connecting with those interested in ageing well and it enables me to build on the information and messages in my book. There’s always the temptation to tweet about the book or quote bits from it, and I do from time to time. But generally, I use my tweets, retweets, and quote tweets to communicate about this important subject, just as I did before the book was conceived. It’s a bonus to be able to get feedback from readers and hear about their experiences.
Hopefully my Twitter account is encouraging and motivating some to age better - and perhaps buy the book to help them. But that can take a while. For example, over a year ago someone strongly disagreed with my positive view of ageing. Having exchanged a few tweets, I suggested she might feel better if she read my book. Our exchanges ceased. But recently - after more than 12 months - she sent me a tweet saying 'OK. I’ve bought your book.' It’s never too late!
I love Twitter. It’s a brilliant and effective way to engage with others who share your passion and to build a community, exchange views, learn from each other and be inspired. I highly recommend it, although you reap what you sow and it does need regular sowing! If that does not appeal, it’s probably not for you.
And Twitter can also be a great marketing tool for authors; it keeps my book alive and current. It has undoubtedly generated sales and is probably responsible for the book’s continuing success over the past three years. Twitter has also led to my receiving invitations to speak, record podcasts, be interviewed, and write blogs, which also helps to promote the book.
I’m thrilled that (with Twitter’s help) I’m doing my bit to raise awareness of how we can all live happier, healthier and longer lives - as well as alerting a growing number of people to a little book that just might help achieve that.
Maggy Pigott CBE FRSA
Following a career as a lawyer in the civil service, Maggy is now volunteering, dancing and enjoying life with family and friends. She's also writing another book, this one about dance; perhaps her second Twitter account @MaggyPigott will help market it one day.
‘How to Age Joyfully: Eight Steps to a Happier, Fuller Life’ (Foreword by Dame Judi Dench). Summersdale Publishers Ltd. Available in bookshops and from Amazon and other online sellers. Hardback, Kindle, Audiobook.
LinkedIn: Maggy Pigott CBE FRSA
About the Firsthand blog series
The Firsthand series is hosted by Anna Caig and open to any creative person who’d like to reflect on an element of marketing and promoting their own work - from the success stories to what we learn from those tumbleweed moments (don’t worry, they happen to the best of us!) You don't have to have worked with Anna and if you have, you don't have to refer to it in your post - this is about sharing and collaboration, not testimonials.
Contact Anna for a brief if you’ve got a Firsthand experience you'd like to to share.
These posts are based on subjective experience and are the view of the individual writer.