Priorities & Planning

Goal Setting

Last week we took some time to reflect on 2019 and some steps for reverse engineering in preparation for  2020, which you can read about here if you missed it.

And, of course, there is the present. Right now. We still have time to take advantage of the holiday spirit many people are experiencing, so consider doing the following when it comes to your book marketing and publicity.

Create social posts with a holiday theme

The majority of people love the feeling they get around the holidays, so tie into this using your book and its message on social media.

Create “stories” on Instagram and Facebook

Yes, each post only lasts 24 hours and then disappears — unless you take steps to actually save it, and then only you can see it — but it’s an opportunity to play with one of the latest features on these platforms. And it’s fun. Watch what others are creating to come up with your ideas — or to discover what NOT  to do.

Create social images with a holiday theme

Change up your social media banners and your profile picture to highlight the holiday season and subtly remind people your book makes a great gift.

Share your own holiday memories

Ask your followers to share theirs too, including photos, beautiful scenes, gift recommendations, holiday traditions, etc. There are lots of options for engaging with those who follow you, and engaged fans are more likely to support your future endeavors.

We have another week before the Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa all begin, so if you think of any last-minute ideas, hit reply and send them to me. I’ll credit you (and your book!) in an upcoming Savvy Sunday News!

Priorities & Planning

Those who are becoming more successful with publicizing and marketing their books embrace tools that provide opportunities to build their own audience. Even if you have some expert marketing and publicity help, which can create a tsunami of results for you, you still have to do something with those results. You have to be involved and engage with those who are interested in you.

You, personally, may well understand this, but part of the inspiration for this week’s post is that I’ve talked to several people over the last month who have a fairly decent sized email list, yet they rarely, if ever, send them anything. “Too busy,” is the reason usually expressed.

This is an example of where priorities need to be examined. Sending a newsletter to your email list may not give you the same immediate feeling that you get from a feature in a coveted media outlet, but long-term, these are relationships that may pan out in ways you can’t even dream of right now. Remember that an engaged audience buys, and if they love you, they’ll follow you through all your book and product launches.

When it comes to priorities and planning, consider those things you may be putting off because they don’t have an immediate payoff. Like any relationship, they are built over time, not instantaneously.

Okay, okay. But how do I make that a higher priority?

Start with fostering more vision

I got this visual from my friend, Andrea Lee: compare your platform to your home. People can come in through the front door, such as your website, but there are many other ways inside too, such as the back door, the various windows, the balcony or deck, etc.

These different entrances into your “home,” or to knowing you, are also known as Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other platforms. People can find you in many different ways, so welcome them all in! If someone finds you through a guest blog post you did, there needs to be a link back to your website, or your “home.” Everything you do needs a way for others to find their way back to you if they want to know more.

This sounds obvious, but it’s amazing how many dead ends I run into when researching some authors. If this applies to you, it’s time to fill in the gaps. As I mentioned earlier in today’s Savvy Sunday News, there is no one person who can do this for you. It’s a little like dieting. You can get the best chef and the best fitness trainer, but if you yourself don’t cut down on the calories and increase the exercise, nothing is going to happen.

So many people are waiting for a magic pill to create all those fans and make all that visibility happen. I get it. I really do. Me too! Haven’t found it, but promise to pass it along if I ever do. For now, we continue working at it.

Some like to start this priorities and planning process on New Year’s eve, but personally, it’s a lot like writing an article, blog post, or thesis. You’re never going to do your best work at the last moment. Good things usually take time, and when it comes to planning, it’s good to really give it some thought starting now.

We are in the middle of December as I write this. Here are a few last-minute suggestions:

  • If you currently have a book out, you may have been doing some marketing and publicity this month, so good for you. Pay attention to what’s working and be sure to collect all that data following the season so you can use it for next year.
  • Really put some thought into filling in those gaps in your platform. If someone finds you on LinkedIn, can they easily go from there to your website?
  • Engage with your fans, or at least put a calendar together on when and how often you’re going to reach out to them.
  • Resist the temptation to say you’re too busy. You are laying the groundwork for your future. Rather than being tossed about by things that seem urgent in the moment, remember the importance of planning.
  • Whether you’re promoting this season or not, there is always next year, and right now is a good time to pay attention to what others are doing. Who is being successful? What are they doing? As you look over their emails, social media, events they’re doing and what have you, what seems to be working? Is there anything you can learn from and apply to next year?

And lastly, when you feel like there isn’t enough time, you’re too busy, it’s overwhelming, or whatever words describe how you feel, go do something else. Take a run, a walk, a nap, run some errands. Let your brain, heart, and soul take a break.

The good news is that none of this is rocket science, and things get easier as we go along. Have you noticed that technology improves with time? I remember when it was a big deal to get a video posted and you needed a pro to help you. Now you turn on your phone’s camera.

Best of all, most of us have a little time off coming to celebrate the holidays. May you and yours have a wonderfully bright and warm season. We’ll get ‘em next year!

To your success!

P.S. The countdown is on for the website upgrade and reboot I’m doing. I’m excited to unveil it to you at the beginning of the New Year!

#lastminutetips | #holidaysocialmediatips | #priorities&planning | #bookpublicity | #bookmarketing

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