Interview, Marketer & Poet, Ryan A. Knipe

The last time that I really thought about Marketing was in grade 11.  I remember this one assignment where we had to design our own box of cereal and sell it to the class. At the time my brother worked for a company where I could get my hands-on sample sheets of self adhesive vinyl from last seasons colour palette to create my box of cereal. Incidentally, I remember I would have gotten an A had I not handed it in late. We are all bi products of ourselves and that includes how we market who we are.  Being a self-published Poet means that you must learn to market yourself – which means essentially – how do I make my presentation look appealing in order to not only gain more followers but patrons as well. Which trust me I comprehend how difficult it is. That is why I thought it was important that I interview Marketer and Poet Ryan A. Knipe.  We talk about SEO, optimization and marketing jargon that even
you will comprehend by the time this interview is over. I asked Ryan for this interview because I know personally if I struggle with marketing myself there are many of us that have no idea what we are doing on a marketing level. Please follow Ryan on social media via Instagram

RMMW: I just realised recently that I've been writing poetry for 30 years... How long have you been writing poetry?

R.A.K: The first time I had ever written anything was 3 years ago.  Prior to then there was never any ambition or thoughts to write.  I am not formally trained in any way.  I write for me.  I never follow any traditional writing or poetry styles.  And I don’t see the point to follow them.  “We are the dreamers of dreams”, Willy Wonka.

RMMW: Indeed, “we are the dreamers of dreams” ... I love Willy Wonka I wonder how he'd feel about social media... Which social media channels do you recommend for poets/writers? And why?

R.A.K: That is a great question.  And one I currently battle.  I started out on Instagram and my following quickly grew.  I have found with IG it was easier to reach an audience for my words.  Instagram gives many ways to reach an audience without using a single dollar.  We as writers need every advantage we can get. 

RMMW: Yes. Many poets for some reason love the IG platform. The algorithm however not so much... What do you think is the main challenge facing writers today with regards to social media?

R.A.K: I believe the biggest challenge for any writer is the exposure of our craft.  It is so important to have a reach online.  If no one sees our writing, we might as well just write our thoughts in a journal and hide it in a shoe box under our beds. 

RMMW: Exposure certainly does help... How do you feel is the best way for contemporary writers to showcase themselves best via social media?

R.A.K: Outside of the right platform a writer should focus on the writing.  I learned early on in my writing that people will engage when the writing is relatable.  Make them feel and they will follow.  With that said, I also say write for you.  When you truly touch that part of yourself and the emotion comes out in your words, everyone will feel it.  Leave the Hallmark writing to Hallmark.  Make it real.  Make it raw.

RMMW: Keeping it raw always keeps things more organic.   What catches your eye when you read a poem on social media the way it is presented or its words?

R.A.K: The words always get me.  I am a lover of words and the beautiful combinations they make.  Because I’m not technically “educated” in poetry or the history of, it gives me freedom.  What I write connects with people.  And with that it gives me a chance to see raw words without any prejudice.  I never judge an account by it's follower count.  There are so many talented writers.  Never judge a book by the cover.

RMMW: Ah you are a philogist of sorts at heart... Are you a classically trained Marketer or one who has learned through the school of hard knocks?

R.A.K: The school of hard knocks was my teacher.  I crave knowledge.  When I was a kid I always wanted to go into commercial advertising.  Little by little I moved closer and closer to my goal.  I taught myself how to use Photoshop, I got Google certified for analytics and then started designing websites to earn extra income.  At first it was just a design thing for me.  The creation and layout.  As I went deeper into the design of websites it became ever more important to understand the importance of how a person uses a website.  This grew into more self education.  I could write a book or two on this, so I’ll stop there.  Haha.  In short, I am always educating myself to make marketing better.

RMMW: I find school of hard knocks to be a very realistic teacher, considering you have to work harder then those who  are classically trained as everything you learn is on your own.. Tell us about SEO and its relationship with social media.

R.A.K: Search engine optimization is absolutely vital for long term online success.  Social media plays an integral role.  Search engines like Google use SEO to show users the best possible results after they enter a search term.  As a writer posts on social media, on blogs and websites, Google looks at this for relevancy to a users search.  The more engagement you have on social media, the greater your opportunity to show in a users search.  For anyone reading this, that does not mean if you post a hundred times a day it will increase your chances.  Google still has a very complex algorithm to decipher relevance and give users the best possible experience.  And it is always changing.  There are other important factors within SEO like keywords, keyword phrases and long tail search terms that can be included with social media posts to help boost opportunities as well.

RMMW: So, SEO helps with the longevity of our on line imprint... What kind of marketing tools do you use to showcase your clients in the best light?

R.A.K: Email and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) are two essentials with online marketing.  Neither is free by any means but both will give you tremendous exposure.

RMMW: I’ve heard email lists are a genuine asset to have... How do you deal with negative comments or a brand reputation crisis?

R.A.K: Hands down the best way to deal with negative comments is to respond to them.  People online are somewhat forgiving and know not every business is perfect.  By responding to the negative comments you accomplish two things.  You show you pay attention to your brand and have the opportunity to rectify with the commenter which can turn into a win.

RMMW: Yes, that is smart,  responding right away would help with any forthcoming issues... How do you check and stay on top of the latest updates, innovations, and new platforms in social media?

R.A.K: I am part of many groups within the marketing world.  Like Google and LinkedIn.  Each offer forums and trainings I can attend throughout the year at no cost.

RMMW: Its good to keep updated... We all have an inner critic – how do you contend with yours?

R.A.K: I literally kick my own ass.  And at the same time, I am a huge risk taker.  So, at times I will throw the inner critic out the door and say screw it all.  Fuck it.  Not sure if anyone else does this too.  I might be crazy.

RMMW: I don't think you are crazy but practical and honest. Do you ever get creatively blocked? If yes, how do you get yourself out of it?

R.A.K: It happens for sure.  Music is always my go to.  I’m a music junkie.  Most times I like to listen to Indie music for the best writing muse.  Other times the woman in my life will bring about words even I have never used before.  This changes everything.

RMMW: Awe having a muse is always nice... If you had a super power what would it be?

R.A.K: It would be the ability to read minds.  I am very intrigued by the mind.  When the mind is open anything is possible.  And think about the fun one could have.  I would be a billionaire.  A plethora of information available at any given moment.  I’d be like the internet without WIFI.  Haha

RMMW: Well, That's it folks! Ryan, thank you so much for the informative chat! 

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