This past week I was invited to speak to the APSS (The Association of Publishers for Special Sales) Virtual Book Selling University on the subject of How to Get Media Attention When No One Knows Who the He** You Are. I had a great time sharing with other authors tips and pointers that I thought would help them in their publicity efforts. In fact, I’m happy to say that many of the participants felt compelled to receive our weekly Savvy Sunday News, so a big shout out to them. Happy to have you here! (If you want to receive Savvy Sunday News, see below.)
For the presentation, I created a list of some of the biggest mistakes I see authors make and how they could turn things around by offering solutions for each of those mistakes. This will be a bit of a repeat for our new members since they heard me share this last Thursday, but perhaps having it in written form will be helpful when it comes time to implement the ideas. If you’re new here, you might enjoy this piece on soundbites, which is also extremely helpful for authors looking to promote their books.
I discussed a total of nine of the most common mistakes, and today I’m going to share two of them with you. I will save the others for another time. Here we go.
Common Mistakes Authors Make and Their Solutions
Mistake #1: Dead ends.
Imagine for a moment that your platform is like a mansion. The front door is the gateway into your home and it is represented by your website, but there are other ways to enter, such as windows, a back door, a chimney, etc. Media and your potential customers may–and often will–learn of you in ways other than via your website, such as through an article, a blog post, social media channels, or something else altogether.
Once they come onto your platform, you want them to explore as much as possible, so make it easy for them by eliminating any dead ends. Surprisingly, for example, a common dead end is a website that doesn’t include any social media widgets to the author’s various accounts, or a forwarded newsletter that doesn’t include a blog or podcast link (depending on what you have created for your platform) or links to social channels.
Do an audit of your entire platform to discover if you have any dead ends. If you do, then fix them so visitors can easily navigate from channel to channel. You might consider having someone do that audit for you since it is sometimes difficult to spot our own problems, particularly when we’re just learning that it’s even an issue.
Mistake #2: Not showing your successes.
Some people go overboard and are obnoxious when tooting their own horns. We’ve all seen them, and we may become extra careful not to come across that way. In fact, some react by going in the opposite direction and don’t say much if anything at all about their own successes. They figure people will just somehow automatically know about them. Um, no. You really do have to tell people.
There are elegant ways to toot your own horn without sounding like a carnival barker. If you need help with this, take some time to learn communication strategies that will help you. Once you know “how” to do it, here are a few ways to share your successes with others:
Create a media room or newsroom on your website. Not only does this give media what they need for doing a story, such as photos, bios, etc., but seeing the coverage you’ve already gotten boosts your credibility and may impress anyone coming to your website. Make sure the logos are live links to the coverage you’ve received. It isn’t enough to have the logos. You need the links, too. Remember, no dead ends.
Take the top tier media logos and put them on your home page or on a landing page in addition to your media page. Don’t cheat and use logos you haven’t actually earned. It is so easy to check and make sure that you really got that coverage. You don’t want to be labeled a liar, or less than truthful.
Share the links to the coverage on all the platforms you’re active on, at least a handful of times — either a few days apart or a few weeks apart. No one is watching you all the time, so you want to provide numerous opportunities for others to see what you’re up to.
Include the links in your newsletter and your auto-responder series when people opt in to your mailing list.
Facebook ads. You can use the video clip as content.
Use your existing media coverage in your pitch to secure new media. Social proof. Producers and editors need it too. And, in the case of on camera and on audio, they want to know you will look and sound great. Just be sure you don’t send links from a competing media outlet. They tend to frown on that, and producers are like elephants. They never forget.
Use your clips for speaking gigs, both virtual and on the ground opportunities when the world opens up again.
Sometimes the best ways to help your publicity efforts aimed at getting known by media are to simply clean things up and to share your successes with others.
To your success!
P.S. I’ve got an online experience that will be scheduled soon during which we spend a couple of hours discussing other ways to enhance your reach. Be watching for details on that and feel free to let me know you’re interested. Meanwhile, we all need a little motivation sometimes. You can do it!
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