The work I do in the world focuses on authors and their book publicity and marketing. Every single business day (and sometimes on the weekends), I spend my time and energy on generating media interest for authors. Because that is my focus, I occasionally assume everyone knows certain foundational pieces of information, and then I’m abruptly made a aware that this is not always the case. This is how today’s topic came about. I was talking with a couple of authors this week who are focused on media, but not what to do once you get it. The two go hand-in-hand.
I wrote extensively about the various tactics you can take here, so you might want to read that over. Today, I’m focusing on just one aspect of what to do when you get the attention you want.
Having an email list is a must. But not only that, you need to be using it. While some actively work with theirs, others don’t, or they know they should be but aren’t, and still others really don’t know about this strategy yet.
Here’s why having and continuing to build your email list is important.
When your potential readers discover and are intrigued by you, they want to get to know you better. In the “old days,” the way to get to know an author was to buy and read his or her books. With the ease of evolving technology and communication, however, people want to get to know you better before they decide to buy your book and other products and services you offer.
It’s the flip side of media coverage
Some authors are still not making the connection between getting media coverage and then communicating with those who respond to it. Some potential customers will buy based on consuming the media coverage you get, but more often it will move people to opt in and get to know you better — first. They need more convincing.
You have to embrace it
Many authors know they should have an email list, or worse, they have an email list but they aren’t communicating with the very people who have opted in to receive more information from them. And then they wonder why they aren’t selling more books, getting more speaking gigs, or whatever the objective is for the outreach. They aren’t fully using the strategy and are clearly leaving money and opportunity on the table. It’s time to do something about this.
Pick the low-hanging fruit
When designing campaigns, one of the first places to start is with the low-hanging fruit. Those are the people on your email list. They opted in. They want to hear from you. Why aren’t you connecting with them? If you make them wait too long to hear from you, they may unsubscribe when they finally do. In a busy world, it’s easy for people to forget what they signed up for, all because you neglected the relationship.
Neglected relationships die
Think about it. Whenever you neglect relationships, they wither and die. It’s very sad, and it doesn’t have to happen. If you haven’t connected with your list in awhile, maybe now is the time to do so.
What else? When I ask authors why they are not speaking regularly with their tribe or community, these are the most common answers I hear:
“I have too much to do. I can’t do that, too.”
“I don’t know what to say.”
Regarding the first response, you really can’t afford not to if you want the success you say you want to have. Why wouldn’t you want to talk with the very people who have said they want to hear from you?
As for what to say, the list is endless. How about telling them what you’ve been up to lately? Or maybe what you have coming up in the near future that they might be interested in knowing about? Do you have any media interview links you can share with them? Are you working on another book? Tell them. What are you discovering as you do your book marketing and publicity? Are there new studies or new information on your topic that these folks might be interested in hearing about?
There are countless things you could share with them, and share you must. You are letting these opportunities go to waste. This is how you build relationships and continue to market to people.
I do this all the time in my own work. I don’t hit people over the head with all kinds of sales opportunities (Yuck. We all hate that.), but I do let people know what I’m thinking about. I share tips and strategies and techniques for successful book publicity and marketing, exactly what my weekly email letter Savvy Sunday News is all about. I also share what I’m offering, but in an elegant, non-salesy way — at least I hope that’s how it comes across. A lot of people respond to offers by asking for a Media Strategy Session, media training, or to be a part of group or one-on-one work with me.
In fact, I have a new offering coming up for people who aren’t ready to do their own publicity yet, but they need help figuring out their key messages, or where to find the appropriate media, and where and how to connect with them. I will have another group for this soon, but for now I am doing this one-on-one so authors get my full attention and it is all about THEM. As it should be. (If you’re interested, simply hit reply and tell me.)
You see? It’s pretty easy to do this with your community as well.
The point is that you, too, want to embrace this strategy and share valuable information that your readers are interested in, and then let them know how you can help them further. Maybe that would be by offering your book at a special price. Or maybe offering others an opportunity to be a part of your online community. Whatever it is, it’s up to you to let people know about it.
You may fully understand this strategy, and therefore this post is just a reminder. Based on recent conversations, however, many people do not know the importance of this yet, or have not embraced it, and it really is time to do so. It is the other side of the equation with regard to media. — Remember Algebra? You had to make both sides of the equation balance. Well, the Algebra you learned in eighth grade really does have real-life application! 🙂
Next obvious question
How do you get people to sign up for your email list?
Make them an incredible offer they can’t refuse. It’s really quite simple. What do your readers need? What is their pain point? How can you solve it for them? Yes, reading your book is a good way, but I have not seen it be effective for quite some time now. Your gift needs to be more compelling and speak directly to them. A chapter just says, “Hey, I’m going to give you a little taste of my book, but that’s all. You have to buy the whole thing to really get the information.” The first chapter is really an introduction to sell them on the rest of the book, but that’s about it. Not really very intriguing, but test it if you want to. How many new people are you getting on your email list as a result of giving away the first chapter? That is the true litmus test.
The future: There may be a day when email is not the way to reach people. Actually, in some ways that’s already true. Very little of my initial media outreach is via email anymore. That’s something that has changed over the last year or so, and this may extend to most people at some point in time. We’re not there yet, and email marketing works, so if people sign up to hear from you, then talk to them.
We already mentioned not using the first chapter of your book as your opt in. Here are three more ways NOT to get people to get on your list:
“Sign up for my newsletter”
“Register for news and updates”
These are all good ways to repel people completely. I mean, do you feel moved and motivated at the thought of being added to someone’s list? Don’t use them.
What does work? Again, what is valuable to your particular readers? What do they want? If you already have an email list, you could actually ask them. “What is it you would most like to receive from me? What would you find helpful?
It’s time to stop leaving money on the table. It’s time you let the media you secured really work for you by attracting new people, and inviting them to be a part of your community. Give them what they want, continue to market to them and sell more books, classes, trainings, and consultations. You can also get more speaking engagements and other business opportunities.
The time is now. Let’s get to it!
To your success!
P.S. As I mentioned before, for one-on-one time with me to discuss your book, its message, getting media, and media training, check it out here. We can do this!
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