Welcome to Marketing Monday here with The ILEAD Company LLC®, where we help authors leverage marketing their written knowledge and stories to grow their influence, impact and income.
In order to grow a strong business as an author, marketing is essential. After publishing over 5 books, I have come to learn starting and growing a tribe (audience) is essential to obtaining book sales. Let’s discuss how to build an audience today.
How to Build a Thriving Audience For Your Book
These tips will help you go from seed to harvest as you grow your group.
1. Start with who you know.
Most of us have some form of list already, either in your email system’s address book or your basic holiday card list that you use once a year. It may be as small as 10-25 or as big as 200-400. Start out by sending a general email letting the people on your list know that you’re getting organized and planning to send out regular notes, newsletters, whatever you plan to send. Give them the opportunity to opt out if they’re not interested. Most will probably stay on since your family and friends are interested in hearing about what you’re up to.
2. Whenever you meet new people, get permission to add them to your list.
At this point in your writing career, it’s essential that you’re out meeting people at least once a month. You can go to networking events, take classes or (and this is the best) do speaking engagements. Non-fiction authors especially should be speaking regularly because you want to establish your expertise in your topic or topics. You can collect business cards when you network or take classes and get people to sign in with their contact information at your event. Make sure you GET PERMISSION and let people know they will be hearing from you via newsletter, etc. It is truly poor form to put people on your mailing list without their knowledge. It’s also called spamming.
3. Find a list service to maintain your list.
You’ll quickly learn, as your list grows, that your email account may not allow you to send mass messages to groups larger than 50-80. Also, it’s not a good idea to only have your list on your computer, you’ll want it backed up elsewhere. The solution: sign on for a list service. You’ll have your database expertly maintained, plus most list services will give you templates and allow you to send out really good looking HTML email messages to your list. You can also get code and links that allow people to sign themselves onto your list from your website. There are many you can try. I use iContact. If you’re not selling products or services, you may not need a shopping cart.
4. Communicate to your list regularly.
You want to keep in touch with the people on your list so they don’t forget about you. The way you do it is up to you. A colleague of mine sends daily inspirational quotes. I’m a big fan of email newsletters because you can provide news on your activities and useful content for your readers. When you provide content, such as tips for real estate investors, marketing ideas, or even cookbook recipes, you are establishing your expertise. You’re also giving people a good reason to stay on your list–they’re getting good stuff out of it. In the past, I have offered discounts on my services, gift certificates for people to give out over the holidays and articles with career counseling and goal-achieving tips.
5. Generate excitement and anticipation with your list.
When your book is nearing publication, you’ll want to start letting your audience know that it’s coming. You can generate pre-sale orders, alert your list of book reviews as they come out and let your audience know where you’ll be appearing when you start speaking and doing book signings.
Have you enjoyed these tips? Be sure to implement one or all of them to see your audience grow daily.