An outstanding post from Luke this week to inspire you on marketing yourself, your scripts, films and/or books online – number 4 is genius! Thanks, Luke! Enjoy …
‘I just wanna write, man.’
‘I don’t wanna sell my soul.’
‘I’m an artist dammit!’
^^ Words I’ve probably said at some point. I used to believe that marketing was an evil little lump on the shoulder of creativity. I just wanted to sit in my bedroom (laboratory) and create unique works of art. I’d tell myself that if the work is good enough, it will find its audience, but I have to say … that was bullshit.
‘Once you’ve finished your book, you’re 10% of the way there,’ some smart person said.
It’s only when I started to look into marketing that I realised it’s an art form in itself. There’s hundreds of unique routes to take with it and you can be as creative with your marketing plan as you can be with your writing.
Plus, if you believe in your writing, and what it is your selling, then marketing isn’t a necessary evil at all, but a privilege.
1) Make A Plan
What do you want? Be specific. Do you want quick and dirty sales. Or do you want to create lifelong fan base who will follow you in your endeavours and evangelise your work?
Maybe you want Twitter followers, Facebook likes, E-mail subscribers. Whatever it is, you need to create a metric you can measure. 100 followers? 100 likes? 100 subscribers? etc. It will give you valuable feedback for what’s working and what isn’t. MORE: 5 Career Strategies For Writers
2) Who’s Your Target Audience?
Kevin Kelly once wrote that all you need is 1000 true fans. These people will buy all of your work. They will retweet your tweets. They will tell their friends about you. They will spread the word.
What do your true fans look like? How old are they? What do they do? What websites do they frequent? Write all of those details down and create your avatar.
Once you’ve done that you can focus on reaching those people. If they’re middle aged sci-fi fans then maybe you should be looking at getting guest blog posts on websites that operate in that field. Maybe you should get yourself on a Sci-Fi weekly podcast or maybe you should start your own. MORE: Who Is Your Work FOR?
3) Make Something Amazing
It goes without saying. If you want to have something that sells. Make something good. No, make something amazing. It’s the only way to create genuine word of mouth.
I know it sounds obvious, but it also feeds into the marketing. If you’ve created a book you’re only kinda happy with, you’re not going to have the necessary drive to put 110% into the marketing.
Create something remarkable. Something you’re willing to shout from the rooftops. Or in a supermarket. In fact, video yourself in a crowded supermarket shouting and raving about your book, put that on youtube. MORE: 4 Reasons Your Concept Counts Above All Else
4) Use Your Birthday!
What day of the year do you get the most activity on your Facebook page? That’s right … your birthday.
On my 26th birthday I posted on my wall that I’d just released a short story on the kindle store. When everyone went to my profile to leave a birthday wish, they saw what I was up to, and within a couple of days, my story was downloaded 300 times, enough to get it into the Top 5 Amazon Kindle Short Stories.
Another way to get people on your profile page is to change your relationship status. This always gets people taiking. Before doing this, please consult your other half. MORE: 6 Ways To Build An Audience by Dave Turner
Dropbox used the referral method to perfection. Invite your friend, get extra storage space. Harrys used a referral system to gain 100,000 new e-mail subscribers in a week, check it out.
A referral system could be as simple as placing a Call To Action at the end of your book – ‘if you enjoyed this please tell your friends’ etc.
Or it could be a little more interesting. What if you were to say to your readers that if they e-mail 25 of their friends about your book, whilst CC’ing you in, that you would offer them some other form of value – free consultation, free bonus behind-the-scenes PDF, whatever you can think of. The more the spread the word, the more value you offer in return. MORE: 10 Tips For Authors Promoting Their Books Online
This is something that I see Lucy doing well with her Decision book series. She’s working on creating a community around that work. She’s making herself part of the discussion.
John Green, the author of The Fault In Our Stars has a successful youtube channel with his brother. They have nearly 8 million subscribers. Long before the book (and the film) became an international phenomenon they were creating a community around themselves. When John released his book, he had 8 million people already willing to listen. So: