Ugh. The big, bad “M” word. It’s not one of my favorites and truly, if there were fewer letters in it, I’d be labeling it a four letter word.
In fact, just so I feel better, let’s go ahead and label that “M” word something not-quite-so-delightful. Imagine it as a dart board and we’ll send flaming arrows into it…
As a writer, you can never get away from marketing. You will always have to market yourself, because only if you become Richard Castle, Dan Brown, or Janet Evanovich will you never have to market yourself again. And I’m pretty sure those writers all got to be who they are because of good marketing.
Publishers don’t have as many dollars and the ones they do have are being stretched thinner and thinner.
So how do you authentically market yourself without burning out and turning everyone away from your product? Here are a few things I’ve learned and have proven helpful in my journey to market myself.
- Let Twitter/Facebook fan pages be your mouth piece for promotional work. Personal facebook pages (different than public fan pages) are viewed more as a way to connect with friends and family—not to market your product. Once in a while is fine. More than that and people start to ignore you.
- Get on social media now. Not later. Not when you have a book contract. Not when you finally have an agent or finish that book. Get on it now. You’ll have less pressure to get out there and learn it all at once and instead can take in small bites.
- Mix personal with professional. Everyone likes to know a bit about a person, beyond just the fact that you want them to buy your book. Be relatable, but learn the balance between oversharing/posting and posting what people are going to be interested in.
- When in doubt, don’t post it. If you’re unsure if you’re oversharing, posting too many times in a day, don’t post. It’s better to post once in a while with something witty and fun to read than every hour with a long, drawn out diatribe.
- People are visual, so find images that market your brand and share them in your status updates, tweets, etc.
- Realize you are becoming a public figure. People will start to recognize you at conferences. They will read your content and have a connection with what you are saying. No matter if you are doing this because you like to blog—and people really like what you have to say—or you are doing this because you are trying to build an impressive audience, you are becoming someone people will notice. Don’t be noticed because you’re annoying; be noticed because you’re authentic. Think about a door-to-door salesman or the salesman at the local car dealership, the cashier at your favorite grocery store—do they make you want to have repeat encounters with them? Why or why not?
- Be personable. Be unique. Be authentic. I can’t stress that last word enough. It’s the only way to stand out in social media and on the marketing platform.
Nothing in marketing is a fast process. It’s a slow growing yeast, mixed in a little bit at a time until you look back and see that an audience has been built with you just being…you. Take time to get to know and invest in other people’s interests and promote them. Show unabashed support for your fellow writers. You’re in this together and together you’re a mighty force to reach readers.
What are your best marketing tips?
5 Replies to “Authentic Marketing”
Great post, Casey. Yes, we need to promote others. That’s key. The golden rule of marketing. Good succinct points, but I’d like to camp on the one about being personable, unique, and authentic. I’ve always appreciated that in others and considered it worth emulating. To have lots of friends in your tribe, you need to be real and friendly. Real friendly. Unique, yes. Sometimes that just happens. In other words, if you’re a snorter like me when you laugh, don’t hold it in. At least that’s what my husband says. Be you. Stir up the joy. The love. “He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” It’s in the Bible. Somewhere (snort!). = )
Hello Cheryl! I have so many friends who have promoted other writers like you said–being themselves and terribly authentic and genuine. It’s a huge platform for me to talk on as well. I love just being…me online. I don’t have to worry about anything by being me and shouting from the rooftops when my friends succeed. 🙂
Great post, Casey. I just edited a book about to be released on the topic of social media and marketing, and that expert’s advice would agree with what you wrote here!
Thank you, Paula! I love to guide people into being authentic and genuine online–I’ve seen the benefits of slow moving marketing and taking your time to build an audience–a tribe–that loves you and wants to see you succeed. But it all goes back to being authentic. 🙂
These are some great tips. Thank you for sharing. I’m still trying to find that balance in social media, but it has been fun!
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