The Cheater’s Guide to Building Your Author Platform – Part 3

Building Your Author Platform

To be a successful author, you need to think differently. Within your gut, an uncontainable passion burns. Your passion is to change the world.

Steve Jobs was a person who changed the world by promoting Apple products. I am typing this blog on my Mac with my I-phone 6 by my side. Watch this marketing video clip where Steve Jobs challenged a company to think differently:

Marketing is about values. In this noisy world, your message is a clarion call of what you stand for. Be clear about who you are and what you are about. Where do you fit in the world? More specifically, where do you fit in your niche?

Rejection is Your Friend

One of our main marketing mistakes is to try to be too general. We fail to touch anyone’s life because we are trying to touch everyone’s life. We “like to be liked.” We don’t want to be rejected.

There is already a beat of the drum that your soul marches to. There are other’s who feel the same way you do. They are your “tribe” and you all march to the beat of a different drum. Before you find your tribe, you will likely find rejection from people who don’t hear what you are hearing or see what you are seeing.

A friend of mine, Tracey Mitchell wrote Downside Up (page 15). She wrote this about rejection:

1. Rejection acts as a personal conductor, carefully arranging who and what qualifies for your future.

2. Rejection is a friend who witholds no secrets, exposes all enemies, and closes every wrong door.

3. Rejection is a golden opportunity to better understand God’s love, human relationships, and gifts of encouragement that lie within you.

Think differently about rejection. The closed door of rejection to your message prevents you from wasting your precious time with people who “don’t get you.” Smile at rejection as your friend.

I had a friendly conversation with a woman representing a publisher at the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB). I shared with her that my background was pastoral ministry. She then asked what my denomination was. When I said “The Foursquare Church” she quickly said, “I won’t be able to publish your future books.”

I sincerely thanked her for her honesty and then asked, “Why?” She then said, “Our constituents do not believe in women pastors and they are closed to Pentecostal Denominations.”

I was so thankful for her blunt honesty. I knew that this was not a publishing house that I would publish any of my future books with.

Fearless Marketing: Take the Risk and Get the Word Out

Fearlessly market to your tribe. Instead of spending time trying to get people that you already know to be interested in what you are doing, throw your net on the other side of the boat and find those who identify with your voice. Here are a few specific tactics to build your tribe and market your message.

Click the Picture for Instant Access to Free Ebook

1. Free Give Away Write a simple ebook and put it on the front of your website or at the end of your blog. You give it away for “free” when they type in their email address. The secret of the email address is that this person who is on your site may be a tribe member. Follow up with them with future blogs and products. Don’t worry about the perfection of your ebook. Click the picture for an example of one of my free ebooks.

2. Building Partnerships Are you spending time building relationships with others who are influencers? I had the privilege of sharing a meal with Dan Miller and his wife Joanne at a conference. As we built a relationship, Dan asked me to speak at the 48 Days Cruise that he is leading in February 2015. Michael Hyatt and his wife Gail are also speaking as well as other influencers.

Click Picture to Find out More about The Influence Cruise.

You never now where one relationship will lead you. Be intentional about networking. Invest in conferences and events where you will meet and learn from people who are impacting others. In fact, I want to invite you to sail to the Caribbean with me on The Influence Cruise. (Click the picture above to find out more information).The relationships that you build on these type of events can become joint-venture partners in the future.

3.Getting the Message Out Get outside of the box of being a traditional author who waits to be discovered. You have a message, so develop your message in such a way that you have additional products to offer your tribe. If they already love what you stand for, chances are they will appreciate other teaching and resources that you provide.

marketing building your platform

Click to view “Exploring Ephesians” Course

 

Here is an example of an online course that I have developed called “Exploring Ephesians.” As a course set up on Kajabi Next, it continues to be a source of encouragement to everyone who takes it. Sign up today to see the example of what I have done, then develop your own course. I’m sure you can do an even better job!

A Final Opportunity We are all learners. When God first spoke to my heart “to engage” in building a platform for the books He was calling me to write, I needed to take baby steps. Wherever you are on your journey as an author, let’s connect.

Let me know if I can help you in any way. Leave a comment below, or find me on social media. Let’s make Jesus famous as we share His message which will change the world.

 

 

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Marketing: To Do and Not To Do

Light a Fire with Your Marketing Plan

“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?

Does Free Really Help Sell Books?

As I’ve been working on the launch of my new book, I’m struggling with how much to give away for free. I’ve read conflicting reports on offering your book without cost.

Some say you’ll gain so much word of mouth that we all should do it. Others say you devalue your content and make those who have paid for it feel cheated.

What is an author to do?Melissa K. Norris new book Pioneering Today-Faith and Home the Old Fashioned Way

My new book, Pioneering Today: Faith and Home the Old Fashioned Way, launches today.

I decided to give something away for free and a bonus gift. But I put a time limit on it. If I know I’ve got a limited time frame it makes me get to it first. I’m thinking I can’t be the only one who thinks this way.

I’m offering up my first chapter for free. Now that’s nothing new, you say. Authors do this all over the place.

But not all authors use this great free application called “Pay with a Tweet.” In order to read my first chapter, people can choose to pay with a Tweet or Facebook share. It represents word of mouth marketing for me and also gives the reader something for free. Want to see it in action? Go to my book page here. 

That’s not my only freebie. For every reader who purchases my book on Amazon and forwards me the copy of their proof of purchase, email, and mailing address, I’m going to mail them a secret recipe and the link to a full length bonus chapter, but only through October 31, 2012.

I’m hoping this will help people to purchase now, before it falls onto their to-do-list and is forgotten. I also feel that these items provide real value and content to the readers of my book.

Because that’s what great marketing boils down to. The reader asking what’s in it for me?

Have you ever bought something from an author because you enjoyed their free content? Do you think free is better or do you believe you get what you pay for? Have you seen a jump in sales from giving away free copies?