Influencer Marketing for Books and Authors: It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

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As a refresher, I recently wrote a blog post called 5 Tips to Help You Get Better Results with Influencer Marketing, which summaries pretty well how to get the results you want. You can read it here if you haven’t seen it yet. Last week we explored Tip #1.

This week we’re taking a look at Tip #2.

Remember: It’s a marathon, not a sprint

Book marketing, publicity and platform building all require time and effort and a portion of that can be done alone in front of a screen, but a good deal more of that requires relationships with others. In fact, pretty much everything we want to do in life requires relationships. We want others to collaborate with us, affiliate with us,  write about us, cover us, follow us, or post our messages. We need others, and that means we need relationships.

Heck, we even need to have healthy, long-term relationships with ourselves.

Think about it. If you want to lose weight, for example, you have to create a relationship with yourself that says you’re going to go after this goal. If you’re unified, you can do it, but if you’re not, your energy will be divided and it’s impossible to reach your desired outcome when you have a tug-of-war going on inside. “I want to lose 5 pounds, but I want to eat this whole cake!” That’s not being unified.

Many of the things we want require help from other people, but you don’t want to be one of those people asking huge favors from those who barely know you, or worse, asking for favors from friends that you haven’t communicated with for quite some time, only to have them think the only time you reach out is when you want something. Yuck. You don’t want to be that person.

Having the mindset of building long-term relationships and then feeding that relationship is the best strategy. Not primarily to get something in return, although that’s part of it, but because you want to help others create their dreams too. Not only is your chance of more people saying yes to you increased, but you can feel good about the way you went about it. The good news is that when building long-term relationships, time is your best friend.

But I want it now!
I know, I know. There is a quote I remember from a movie that says, “The problem with instant gratification is that it isn’t quick enough!!”
We all want to do everything as quickly as possible, including building an audience and a platform. I want to do it fast too, but the truth is, part of the journey is in the building of those relationships. This is where the marathon attitude and mindset come into place. It’s not fast, but it’s steady and continuous. There’s an old saying that applies here: Remember, it’s not just reaching your destination, but it’s enjoying the journey along the way.
Even if you don’t have a book yet, now is the time to identify the influencers that make sense and begin the process of building relationships with them. Just as it takes time to create a garden, have a baby, or graduate from school, creating a supportive, helpful network takes time. “The best time to build a relationship is before you need it,” says workplace expert, Lois Frankel. She’s right.
The problem with trying to do build relationships quickly is that others can feel it. That intensity comes off as desperation and neediness, and who wants to be around that? Don’t be guilty of it. Invest time in finding the right influencers for your book, and once you pinpoint them, it’s worth building  long-term relationships with them.
Key point: Begin this process long before your book actually comes out. Again, time is your friend so the sooner the better. However, if your book has already published, it’s never too late to begin. Finding multiple opportunities to collaborate, whether it’s providing a guest post, or doing a webinar or other event together, you will be able to maximize the amount of value you give and get from their audience.

Here are some important keys to building long-term relationships with potential influencers.

Learn to enjoy the process

Rather than always looking to the end result, such as, “This influencer is going to share my book with their millions of fans and everyone is going to buy my book,” enjoy the moment when there is a connection between the two of you. Enjoy preparing a response to their blog post that brings in new information or a new perspective. Relish the moment when they respond to you and a connection has been made. Don’t be in such a hurry. Enjoy.

Create a great first impression

Mom was right! First impressions matter so make sure their first experience with you is a good one. Here are a few of the many ways to do that:


  • “Like” what they post (If you really do like it, of course. We want to keep it honest and real.)


  • Add a comment to their blog post or article if there is an option to do so. But rather than just say, “Hey, great piece,” ask yourself if there is something more you can add to the conversation, then do it. You will immediately be on their radar screen, and your name may be remember for later.


  • Retweet or share what they’re written. Nothing like sharing an influencer’s message to help get you noticed as a giver.


  • Send them something you know they’d like to see. Perhaps you’ve run across an article or some other piece of information you know they’d appreciate. Send it to them. Tweet a link to it. They may or may not respond, but they’ve noticed.


  • Create a list of 50 people you want to actively stay in touch with. Influencers you believe will be helpful to you (and you to them) and stay in touch. Not in a stalking kind of way, but in an easy, relaxed manner such as once per month, for example. Consistency is key.


Having a plan always makes things easier and one thing you can count on no matter what you’re trying to create is you’ll need other people to help you do it. Begin creating those relationships now, and firing up any relationships that have gone cold. It’s time to get them fired up as well.


Remember, a great place to begin is to help them. This is NOT the time to ask for a favor. What are their goals and see if you can help them to reach them. This is being a giver, and when you’re a giver, others love to help you in return. Don’t be the person who reaches out cold expecting big things. It simply doesn’t happen that way. I’ve seen it. You’ve seen it. Let’s make sure you are someone others would love to help.


To your success!



P.S. I am the one who helps authors create their own Media Rooms, and I’ve finally put together one of my own. Just for fun. It’s a work in progress, but take a peek here if you’d like.


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