“It isn’t there. I looked,” I told my mother so many times I lost count.
I also lost count of how many times she looked in the same place I did and said to me, with frustration in her voice, “Shelley, it’s right here!”
Ugh. I hated when that happened. I felt stupid, embarrassed, and defective.
Why could SHE see it, but I couldn’t?
It took a few years, but finally, by the time I was 10 or 11 years old, I learned to instead say, whenever I couldn’t find whatever she said to look for or retrieve for her, “I don’t see it.” I’m 40 years old now, and I still use those same words in that situation.
What does this have to do with marketing? I’m certainly no expert in this field, but I have learned this: just because folks don’t see our books, products, services, or goods, it doesn’t mean they aren’t there. It also doesn’t mean they don’t have value. It just means that sometimes people need help to see the good stuff right in front of them.
So, how do we do this in an already saturated market where everyone (and sometimes their pets!) are on social media, have a blog, and publish their work? (I kid you not about pets, either.)
I asked around, and want to share with you what other authors shared with me. I am confident these tips will help you (and me!) in the challenging world of marketing our writing in addition to creating the content we’re trying to market.
- Pay attention to social media: Don’t discount the value of sharing some freebies with folks right where they are. Find out where your audience hangs out most on social media and focus the majority of your social media time and attention there. For example, my readers tend to be on Facebook more than Twitter, so while I am in both places, I don’t kill myself in the Twitterverse when more engagement happens on Facebook (and increasingly on Instagram and Pinterest).
Remember, as you engage in today’s world of technology, these words from Marketing guru Rob Eagar:
“In a fast-paced world where Facebook, Twitter, and the 24/7 news media allow everyone to have a voice, it’s more important than ever to cut through all the noise. Use power-bites to punch through the cacophony, gain people’s attention, and spread your message like wildfire.” – See more good stuff from Rob here!
And this, from marketing expert Lori Twichell:
“The key to good marketing is making a connection with your audience. It’s got to be genuine. People can see through selfish motives. If you are only there to promote your book or product, people can sense that.” The more you get to know your audience and really make that honest contact, the more you’ll end up with a loyal audience that will follow not just this book, but future endeavors as well. That’s a key part of social media that is lacking in so many. We all love making new friends and connections, but no one wants to be spammed!
- Newsletters: Emailing your subscribers is the best way to get content in front of your readers on a consistent basis. When they subscribe or give you their contact info, they’ve invited you to connect with them. Make sure to add value to your subscribers’ lives, inviting them to open, read, and engage—be aware of what can feel “spammy” to your subscribers. In other words, don’t just send emails to send emails. And make sure you give more than you request.
Here’s another tip from Lori Twichell: “Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the best days to send newsletters. On Fridays people are eager to go home and clean out their inbox more quickly and on Mondays, they’re buried in the weekend’s email pile up.” (Connect with Lori for more good stuff at http://www.beyondthebuzzmarketing.com)
- Giveaways: Take advantage of what God has made available to you. What message has He entrusted to you to share with others? Offer some freebies along the way that build your credibility as one to listen and learn from in this over-saturated market.
As writers, we long to have readers find value in what we have to say, right? It can be so difficult to balance the discipline of learning and expressing with the necessity to also market what we write. Ultimately God is our greatest promoter. If we can remember that our social media numbers, our book sales, and our greatest accomplishments do not come close to God’s power to promote us in due season, we’ll remain at peace and loving life on the way to where we’re going.
Have you discovered a marketing to-do or not to-do?
2 Replies to “Marketing: To Do and Not To Do”
Interesting post, Shelley. I’ve noticed posts about my books are best received when they are related to an event or milestone. For instance, when I am teaching one of my Bible studies somewhere, speaking at an event, or when something notable happens related to my books. Then I am sharing good news or inviting participation and it doesn’t feel like spam.
You’re right on, Mindy! I couldn’t agree more.
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