There’s been a lot of hooha on the internet lately about the real value in marketing online for authors. Some people believe that from the amount of time you spend, the rewards are almost non-existent. I believe this all stems from over complicating such a simple concept and hence, not understanding.
What is marketing?
Basically, it’s about helping you look better than your competitor.
How can you do this?
Create an online conversation that people want to hear. It should be easy right? You are a writer after all. But what you may not understand is that a conversation works two ways. You have to listen to your audience, and provide valuable content for them to listen to in return. Show them that you are an expert in your field, whatever that is.
Understanding the sales funnel
Connecting all the marketing you do with actual sales can be easy to miss when you don’t have a report directly linking the two together. But if you consistently post relevant, valuable, content then when the reader is ready to purchase, you will be in the forefront of their mind. Check out the image or visit the wikipedia page to learn more about the sales funnel.
Golden Rules to Follow for Stress Free Marketing
The 80/20 rule
Only talk about sales for 20% of the time, the rest should be the part where you are giving your listeners something worth listening to. The best way to do this is to imagine what you would like to hear, and then talk about that.
The WIIFM rule
‘What’s in it for me?’ That’s what it all boils down to isn’t it?
I hate to say it, but nobody wants to pay for something they can get for free somewhere else, so – give it for free. Free advice, free passages from your book, free anything that isn’t going to burn a hole through your pocket by giving away. Don’t be afraid that you are giving away all that is good about yourself, in the words of Dr Seuss, ‘There is no one alive who is youer than you.’ The best way to share yourself is to be open and honest.
The KISS rule
Keep-it-simple-stupid. Just like editing and ‘kill your darlings’, you should cut back the fluff as much as you can. Reduce flowery language, be clear, be succinct and if you simply can’t do all of the social media platforms, then don’t. Focus on one thing and do it well.
The show don’t tell rule
We all know this makes for good fiction, but it also applies to marketing. Show your customers why your product is better, don’t tell them. I think the key here is not to push your product on people. Nobody likes to be told what to do, but if they happen to stumble across the idea themselves, then great! How can you do this? One way is to let your product speak for itself.
- Show great visuals: book covers, websites, blog graphics etc
- Show great reviews: please don’t mistake this by pushing your reviews on people, they will find the reviews when they are looking. Get honest reviews by giving your book for free at places like Story Cartel and Netgalley, forums in your genre, local bookclubs etc
- Show that you are a genuine, kind and positive person: you don’t like negative friends that sap your energy in real life, so why would you go anywhere near someone like that on the internet?
People don’t want a book. They want an experience. People don’t want to follow a robot, they want to follow a person. Show them that you are a human on the other end of the interwebs. Post photos, chat to people, laugh, joke, whatever you do, just be consistent.
Do you have any great tips on marketing your work? Please share in the comments.