I did some MARKETING: Did It WORK?
If you do some marketing and you have a noticeable jump in sales, you can conclude that what you did worked.
That rarely happens, though. If that was the one-to-one correlation, marketing would be easy. It’s not. At the amateur level, there’s a lot of guesswork in marketing.
Guessing wrong can be expensive if you are buying ads, but networking with friend can be free. It can also produce no results, because your friends don’t have any bigger of a fan base than you have – as in none when you are all starting out. But, misery loves company and so does marketing, and often marketing is misery, and so… well, I don’t know where I was going with that.
Except to say, when you market with friends, you are never alone.
That sounds prescient…
In the movie “Bottle Shock” they had a saying: “When one of us wins, we all win.” It was a group of winemakers in California in the 1970’s who were trying to put themselves on the map. That sounds like a given today; everybody knows California wines are among the best in the world – but at the time they were all struggling because nobody thought California wines were any good. (They were good, but nobody knew. Because marketing.) One California wine goes on to win a blind tasting against European wines, and that opened the doors for the whole area. They never looked back.
This is your mindset, your approach, with your friends. Help each other. Get each other noticed. When one of you wins, you all win.
Okay, so what do you do and how do you do it?
I’ll show you.
(Let me run through this, you take notes, and I’ll summarize at the bottom.)
I recently ran an interview I did with an author friend. It was fun, engaging, showed off her personality, discussed her book. It had some pictures of her and her book cover, and honestly it looked like magazine article.
I tweeted about it, promoting and marketing it as we have discussed HERE
Blowing your own horn = nothing much happens
Blowing you horn for somebody else = nice to do and may produce a trackable result
As in, a one-to-one correlation.
What do I mean? I blogged and tweeted about the author and her book and SHE saw a noticeable increase in her blog traffic. A spike on that day.
Now, that was no accident. I listed her blog link in the article RIGHT WHEN WE WERE TALKING ABOUT HOW FUNNY HER BLOG IS. That was smart, I guess. I also included a picture from one of the funny posts, and a screen shot of the blog’s landing page. So in that interview about her book, her blog got a lot of mentions.
(See my VERY brief rule about Social Media HERE)
The interview was also smart-ass and relaxed because we’re pals. We goofed off a lot in it. And it was looooooooooooong. (A cardinal rule is to have shorter blogs, but in an interview, that’s not always going to happen. Especially if I’m talking.)
By coincidence, she had another author with a blog featuring her blog on the same day. He reposted her thoughts on writing about feelings. (They’d set it up a while ago and the two features, his and mine, weren’t coordinated.)
Like I said, she had a big one day jump in blog traffic.
Nice, but we need SALES! Right, well, your blog is a platform, and it will create loyal fans for your various works, but it doesn’t immediately create sales. A blog is a longer term format. But if you are going to blog, do it right.
Looking at her blog stats again, we screwed up – and here’s what we do next time. Whatshisname and I drove traffic to her blog. There’s proof. Well, good. I guess I should have been smart enough to anticipate that.
What we should have done was HAVE SOMETHING THERE for OUR readers ON HER BLOG once they got there.
Like what? It’s a blog. There’s stuff there already…
A sample chapter, posted that day, so when they clicked over, THERE IT WAS. No digging or searching.
Hey, you can do that.
Yes. Yes, you can.
Now, don’t just post the chapter as a bunch of plain old words. SELL IT – but do it nicely. Dress it up. Put a friendly greeting on top and let new visitors know here’s a sample chapter of my book for you – and have the sample immediately follow, no additional clicks.
Also, include some sort of enticement to get them to buy the book. Place a smattering of ads for your book throughout the sample chapter. Arrange the sample chapter with interruptions every so often, like a magazine article does: don’t go too long without a link or a picture. And instead of pictures, insert copies of the “ads” you made. Use ones that feature your good reviews.
Have a look at what we did in the interview, HERE
Don’t have ads? Make them, ask a friend to make you some.
Don’t forget a big ol’ picture of you and the book cover at the top of the sample chapter. Remember, Amazon shoppers can see a sample of your book anyway, so you aren’t giving anything away by having a sample chapter here.
Maybe even post a little “Hi, thanks for checking me out/checking out my blog – here’s a sample chapter just for you.” Maybe add this: “Special price on my book this weekend for readers of XYZ’s blog” and drop the price a little for a few days?
We have basically irrefutable data showing it worked (I don’t know how much Whatshisname tweeted etc., or what else he did.) BTW, follow up with your friends who do this for you – you should thank them for the increase in traffic AND ASK what all they did (tweets, FB, etc.) so you know. If they were lame, you need to know that too. One tweet doesn’t cut it.
Imagine if you did this, but you had FOUR or FIVE friends’ blogs all featuring you, all on the same day, all creatively tweeting throughout the day about it and you had YOUR blog with a sample chapter or two posted and a buy link at the bottom.
You’d get sales.
Then you’d repay the favor down the road. It would work. And you’d have what you’ve always needed: a marketing network. A small one, but you’d have it. Gotta start somewhere.
- Write a good book and have a blog, a social media presence, etc.
- Convince a few friends to interview you or repost one of your more helpful/interesting blog posts. Interviews are fun; try that.
- Coordinate those blogs up to run on the same day
- They Tweet like mad and post on FB about the interview, how great you are rising star, etc. It’s the Hollywood treatment. I call it (The Schwarzenegger Treatment.) It works.
- Have a sample chapter with ads and buy links set up on your blog for that day
- Track EVERYTHING – this is harder than it sounds, but do it.
- A few weeks later, YOU have to do it for THEM
If something works, we want to be able to do it again. That means tracking the results. Measuring results. That’s a pain in the ass, and requires you to follow up with people and stuff. It’s not as much fun as writing. And it may not even pay off in the short run!
But you knew that.
Because marketing is misery. But increased traffic and sales are AWESOME!
Want me to critique the first chapter of your story? SEND IT. Hit the Contact Me button and, you know, contact me. I’ll see what I can do.
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