Influencer Marketing. What is it and How Do You Use it for Book Publicity and Sales?


According to Wikipedia, Influencer marketing, (also Influence Marketing) is a form of marketing that has emerged from a variety of recent practices and studies, in which focus is placed on specific key individuals (or types of individual) rather than the target market as a whole. It identifies the individuals that have influence over potential buyers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers.


In other words, who has a network of people that would be interested in what you have to offer? Become friends.  This is pretty basic, but as I’ve always said, the fundamentals are fundamental for a reason.


Influencer marketing is a fabulous way to generate visibility, drive online conversions (convert people to be your fans and/or get them to buy what you’re offering) and increase sales, plus it’s very cost effective. Basically, you’re building and managing relationships.

Here are 5 tips to help you get better results with influencer marketing:


1. What do you want?
It’s not enough to think this is a good idea, you need to be clear about what your goal is so that you don’t go off on some kind of tangent, or slip into the dreaded “overwhelm.” Before you start reaching out to influencers, decide if your goal is to build awareness, promote your book, drive people to Amazon or other online book retailers, increase your followers, grow your email list or something else. Getting the best return on your investment from this marketing channel requires that you know what you want and have a very clear goal in mind.


2. Remember: This is a marathon; not a sprint
When it comes to building long-term relationships, time is your best friend. Yes, we all want to do everything quickly, but when you’re too intense, it can come off as desperate and needy, 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 a long-term relationship with them.
Key point: Begin this long before your book actually comes out. Again, time is your friend. 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.


3. Start with One Platform
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the different options for collaborating with influencers, so start with one platform. Facebook is a popular choice; so is Instagram. There are also tons of bloggers out there that can have a big impact on your influencer marketing efforts…From mommy bloggers, to health and fitness Instagram influencers, there’s an endless world of bloggers and social media influencers that you can collaborate with to promote your book. Research and find the influencers that would be the best fit to reach your target audience.
Everyone loves a gift, so send influencers an email and ask if they would be interested in receiving a complimentary review copy of your book. Remember, they get inundated with requests, so they might say, “No, thank you.” In which case, you need to figure out the next step to building that relationship.
If they say yes, mail it that day. Be sure to follow up and ask if they be interested in posting  about it on their social networking platforms. If it’s a blogger, you could offer to provide a guest blog post.
4. Don’t get hung up on the numbers
The most significant mistake authors make with this type of marketing is only looking at people with big follower counts. It’s much better to evaluate potential influencers on how much engagement they create and whether they reach your target audience. That can help you identify “micro-influencers.” These influencers are highly engaged with their smaller audiences.
Don’t be surprised if they ask for payment. Marketing is different from publicity in this way and many influencers do charge money, although some will promote your book simply because they like it and won’t charge you anything.


Some prominent influencers may charge more than you are willing to spend. Do the math. Calculate how many books you would need to sell – and base that on what you are willing to spend for influencer marketing. Also, keep in mind you may grow your audience so while they may not buy your book initially, they may later on as they get to know you better. You need to figure out what you are comfortable with and may want to start with smaller influencers and go from there.


5. Offer suggestions and be open to their ideas
When working with influencers, it’s much like working with media. (In fact, an argument can be made that they are media too.) They are gatekeepers, that’s for sure. Offer ideas on what you can do to add value to their audience, but be open to their feedback and ideas as well. Influencers understand their audiences better than anyone else, so give them the freedom to choose how they share your product with their followers.


Bottom line: Influencer marketing can be a potent channel for gaining visibility for you and your book, and converting them to sales. Begin by knowing what you want, commit to building long-term relationships, start on one platform to get your feet wet and to stay focused, look beyond the numbers, and offer suggestions. This is how you grow your followers and sales through influencer marketing successfully.


To your success!


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