The White Mountain came to town in the shape of Dan Szczesny’s winter book tour. I’ve seen many different attempts at doing business on Facebook and we’ve all seen those noxious notes that “others have boosted ads like this” and heard the many negative comments ranging from naivety to manipulation when it comes to Facebook. Who hasn’t seen those awkward desperate pitches trying to grow followers. Well, imagine instead, building a community of real connections and not spending money “boosting ads.” How about not even creating or spending money on ads? This is not about instant success but rather allowing the right audience to build and follow your every activity that is relevant to your project. With Dan, this has been a multi-year build up, from the concept, to the writing, to the launch phase of his book. What started out as “365 days of Mischief & Adventure on Mt. Washington with author @danjszczesny” turned into “The White Mountain: Rediscovering Mount Washington’s Hidden Culture” by Dan Szczesny published by Hobblebush Books.
“Over the course of one calendar year, journalist Dan Szczesny explored the history and mystique of New England’s tallest mountain and found” … a whole lot more than just a 6,288 foot tall rock pile; With video and daily missives he built a team of cheerleaders & advocates for his book, making all of us part of the fabric of this story. What started out as an exploration of a mountain quickly became a focus on the people and stories connected to the mountain. In connecting via Facebook and in real life, Dan created champions across a widely dispersed geographic area. The book tour had all of us cheering him on no matter where in the world you resided and Facebook was the platform he used to maintain his human to human connection.
For Dan, the power of Facebook was the power of a few to share the message of stories in the making with a few more people, ultimately linking many friends of friends who chose to follow and sometimes guide Dan to another part of this adventure. His ability to practice his writing craft daily as he shared snippets of his life as husband, father and author/explorer, as a person and not as a page, has been central to his success. His influence as a writer and storyteller grew as one real connection after another joined in. The amazing part of all of this was the rather easy opportunities to meet some of the real live characters whose stories appeared in the book. They appeared in person at talks and book signings along the way. Dan shared thoughts, short stories and musings during his work in progress and the stories and opportunities for more stories continued to grow.
In 2016, I signed on to be a sponsor and cheerleader for Dan’s as yet unnamed new work; a book about Mount Washington. The first edition was released at a launch party at Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord New Hampshire in June 2018. The book is now in its third printing which would be unheard of for relatively new author and a small label using just traditional publishing practices. Dan’s experience as a journalist with his good eye and ear for special moments allowed him to become a participant or supporter himself within each intimate story in real time. Weaving history, legacy and current events, he created The White Mountain and continues to help us all rediscover the hidden culture surrounding Mount Washington.
How to win business at Facebook:
- Make your posts interesting to your readers (it’s not all about you)
- Be consistent; in your style, in your storytelling, in your frequency of posting
- Think like Ted Rubin – it’s all about people – Return on Relationship (#RonR)
- Be human – being a brand doesn’t cut it – you need a face – and not necessarily your own
- Interact with your audience- and yes – we are an audience looking for entertainment
- Get out there and meet folks In Real Life – Facebook isn’t real – it’s just a tool.