That’s the thing with marketing–sometimes figuring out what to do takes more time than actually doing it! So here are a four QUICK things you can do to give your marketing strategy some oomph:
1. Social Media Idea Blitz
We all know a good little marketer posts regularly on social media. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, insert your platform of choice…also, who do I talk to about STOPPING the creation of any more platforms to keep up with?!) But the majority of people are sick of updates in the form of sales pitches, endless links, overused memes and food pics. So what are we supposed to post? Keeping our social media accounts active with engaging (i.e. non-boring) content can feel overwhelming.
To help myself out, I recently sat down with a piece of paper, a pen and the timer on my phone. I gave myself ten minutes to list as many ideas as possible for future Facebook posts. Now I’ve got a pool of random but hopefully fun ideas to pull from. If you’re a blogger, consider doing the same thing for post ideas.
2. What three things do you want readers to feel?
Brand. Taglines. Two words you’ll hear thrown around often when it comes to author marketing. I’m not convinced anyone needs a tagline (seriously, try to think of one New York Times Bestseller that actually has a well-known tagline!) but we all need a brand. Problem is, brand can feel very “out there,” hard to define and difficult to put into action in an actual, strategic marketing plan.
Consider starting here: what three things do you want readers to feel when they finish your book, visit your website, read your blog, interact with you online? That’s where smart marketing begin…with feelings. If you can evoke a consistent, recognizable feeling across all your marketing efforts, you’re well on your way to establishing your brand and you’ve got a jumping-off point for the rest of your strategy.
So take five minutes and ask yourself, what do I want people to feel?
3. Take a tour.
Of Europe! Just kidding. Sorry, my mind’s on travel lately. 🙂
By “take a tour” I mean, give yourself ten or fifteen minutes sometime to check out what other authors are doing. Not to compare yourself and feel badly…but to see what’s working for others, what you might be able to try out yourself.
To really make this worth your while, pick out three authors who are very similar to you. Maybe they write in the same genre or to the same audience. Maybe they’re a similar age or you share a publisher. But pick the three closest in likeness to you and check out what they’re doing on their website, their social media platforms, what events they’re hosting and attending. I promise you’ll come away with ideas.
This is one of the simplest and best things you can do for your marketing. If you’re a published author, take three minutes to write a note to the publicist at your publisher and simply ask what they think of your marketing efforts, what suggestions they might have, whether they’d be willing to chat about ideas. I actually did this recently and ended up on the phone with my agent, and both the fiction publicist and the marketing VP at my publisher. We had such a great call and came up with ideas I’m super excited about. Ask your peers too!
If you’re not published, then ask some writer friends who might be a little further down the road. Ask questions like: “What kind of marketing activities did you do before you were published? What was the most helpful thing you did? What was the most unhelpful? Do you have any advice for me?”
Most authors will be quick to answer and happy to help. If they’re not, then they’re probably simply under deadline. 🙂