Building Flawless Author Foundations
As we continue the series on building flawless author foundations, let’s take a closer look at how you can apply the basic principles of author marketing.
What is author marketing?
This isn’t a new concept, but it is a pretty simple one. Author marketing is relational as opposed to book marketing, which is transactional.
How does that relate to my marketing?
A transaction, in your case, is the action of reaching a consumer who will ultimately purchase your book. Here’s my book, buy my book. The end. When someone I don’t really know sends me a private message on LinkedIn telling me that I would love their book and I should buy it, that’s transactional marketing. And a severed LinkedIn connection. Can you imagine what that would look like in person? I just met you at a business networking event. You don’t know me. You’re carrying stacks of your book. You thrust your book into my hand and say, “I just know you’re going to love it. That’ll be $19.99.”
Eww! You would never do that in real life. Why do it on the Internet?
Relational marketing has a different feel. It’s sharing information of interest to your followers, memes, blog posts, and sometimes book reviews and links to buy your book. It’s engaging with followers by liking their content and sincerely commenting or sharing. It’s helping out when there is nothing to gain, because you’re building a relationship. In real life, that looks very different too. Looking at the same example at that business networking event. You introduce yourself to someone new. his new associate asks you about your work. You explain, using your very concise book elevator pitch. At that point, they may or may not express interest but that’s okay because you’ve just met. It’s the beginning of a new relationship. You connect with the sincerely purpose of creating a relationship because, who knows?
Growing with the Internet.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been active on the Internet since it came in a disk in the mail, and you had to disconnect your landline to connect to hear you had mail. I still have an active Hotmail account I set up in 1995. I don’t use it for much but junk mail anymore because I’m savvy to marketing trends. Just like you and your readers.
Why would we continue to attempt to market like we used to? Your tactics must evolve just like the Internet has. Today, that means giving more.
Social media is made for relational marketing.
Social media is built on the idea of making “friends” on the Internet. We “like”, “friend”, “follow”, and “share” all day long across every platform. You’ve reconnected with friends from high school or old jobs as well as new friends with common interests who you met in a social media group or from seeing each other interact repeatedly on a platform. It’s kind of strange when you think about it, but it’s a brilliant concept for sales.
What can you do?
Stop talking about yourself all day long and start helping.
If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ve probably heard my suggestion that you should watch to see what best-selling authors in your genre do. Don’t copy! Cannot stress that enough, but watch. They have such a confidence in their efforts that they don’t have to sell. More on that below.
Be more deliberate, more confident.
Don’t rely on giving all your work away as a means to build relationships. I know some authors who give book away because their purpose for writing was to get their message into as many hands as possible. But that isn’t the case for everyone and it can look desperate. Yes, give a chapter away. Giving a free chapter on your website is still a great way to build your email list. Giving an entire book away can devalue you. “Friends” who just want what you have for free, are not really friends. Again, look at best-selling authors in your genre. They don’t discount or give books away. Go confidently into your marketing the same way your favorite author does/
Start listening to what other people have to say.
Take time every day to engage with your followers. Really engage. If you see something funny, say so! If you see something beautiful, say so. If you have 1k followers, you’re considered a micro-influencer. Don’t abuse it but use your influence responsibly by building up and encouraging other people. I promise, it will get their attention if you are sincere.
If you’re struggling to balance your daily marketing tasks, I create a free PDF download as a daily playbook for authors. It’s not magic, it’s just consistency. You can get it here when you opt-in to my weekly email, which is also a great resource of marketing tactics to help grow your platform and increase visibility.
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment box below. If you’re feeling stuck and need a little help, click here to schedule a time to get “unstuck” in a free, 30-minute consultation with me. I’ll do my best to help you get unstuck.