“How can I sell more books? How can I become an influencer? How can I build my audience? How can I make more money? How can I get on the big, national shows? How can I get my message onto the large media platforms so more people see it?”
These are questions I receive on a regular basis from authors and business owners who have big visions. I had an associate come to be a few months ago on behalf of the client she is managing with some of these very questions. After doing an audit, I could see she had a small social media following, a rather small social footprint, but she was killing it in several other arenas – mainly speaking. She also has several books published by a good-sized publisher, and was able to share her important message in a compelling, impactful way.
We spent some time crafting her key messages, defining and targeting her audience, figuring out the best way to capture them, and then went out to land some big visibility. And land it we did as she has been featured in several big business magazines with more lined up and ready to go. In fact, she was interviewed for Forbes and it will soon be published on their large platform. It’s exhilarating for all of us.
With regard to Forbes, her situation is a big deal. First of all, she didn’t have to pay for it, which many people have to do, by the way, to be on the platform. She didn’t write the piece herself, which many others have to do. No shame in that, but to be interviewed for a major business magazine by a journalist or staff writer is huge and challenging to get. I can’t even begin to convey that.
It can happen, and it can happen to you. I’ve experienced many people reaching that level so put yourself in that story, because it can happen for you, too.
But even before you get to actually pitching the media you’re interested in landing, I highly recommend you plan for it and by that I mean plan out your year.
Have you ever been stuck on a problem and finally took a break from it by cleaning out a closet or your office? Or maybe you created some kind of organization from the chaos around you? Did you notice what a difference it makes in your energy? Did you find that when you came back to the “problem” that you felt fresher and more capable of resolving it? I know I do, and I’m guessing this little trick goes way beyond my experience.
Planning for your success helps to attract it. Rather than thinking about all the things that could go wrong, or all the things you’ve tried in the past that did go wrong, how about seeing some of your desires working out? How about seeing your own success? See your book selling. See yourself speaking, networking, or whatever it is that you want to do. See yourself doing the steps along the way successfully.
Here we are at the beginning of the New Year. Everything is all fresh and full of possibilities. This is the time to plan your book’s promotional events, media, speaking, and social media strategies for 2022 and beyond. In case you missed it, here are some productivity tools and resources mentioned recently which may be helpful.
Your plan doesn’t have to be perfect. You didn’t have to have it all figured out at the end of December or on January 1 in order for it to work. You can start today, and the idea that it needs to be perfect is something to let go of and drop completely. What is “perfect” anyway?
As a good friend of mine likes to say, “Getting it done is getting it perfect.” He’s absolutely right, you know. Just get it done. You can change it. Think of it as a free-flowing plan for your book’s promotion, as if you’re using your own GPS device. You may plan to go a certain way, and change your mind mid-stream. Your GPS device doesn’t yell at you (although sometimes she does sound a little testy). You can recalibrate at any point on the journey…but you do have to start.
The very first step toward getting this done is to get your ideas out of your head and down onto paper or a digital file. You can organize them later, but you need them out of your head and written down in order to make room for all the other brilliant ideas ready to come through. I’m not kidding.
Remember, your brain is not for remembering to pick up cat food or other mundane items. Your brain is for brilliance and you have to keep the ideas flowing. To keep the ideas flowing, you have to write down what’s there so other ideas can rise to the surface. It’s simple, yet amazing how many refuse to do this – but that’s a different story for another day. Create a list via Alexa or your own notepad and take it off your mind.
Writer’s block or some forms of procrastination come into being because you’re NOT doing this. Your brain doesn’t want you to forget so it keeps repeating, “Buy cat food. Buy cat food” “Buy cat food,” until you either buy it or write it down so your mind knows it’s been recorded. It will then stop. It really is that simple. So what do you want to happen in 2022 for your book, business, and brand?
Let’s start making some magic
Review the prior year. How did 2021 go for you and your book? It was an unusual year due to the pandemic, but on the other hand it was perfect for working on projects that may have been put aside, such as writing your next book. 2021 may not have been what you had hoped it would be, but you can use that as fuel to make 2022 even better.
List what you wish you had gotten done. Are those things still alive for 2022? Make a note of them. Were there any strategies or tactics you used last year that clearly failed? Learn what there is to learn from those mistakes, and then let them go. Did some of your strategies work? If appropriate, bring them forward into 2022.
Jot down what you’d like to do. Do you want to do more speaking? Do you want paid speaking gigs over speaking engagements that are more for marketing yourself and your business? Do you want to do book events and signings? Classes? Workshops? Do you want to stay at home and do virtual presentations and book groups? What is it? Just let yourself go and write it down.
Transport yourself out into the future. Pretend it is now December 31, 2022, and you’re reviewing the year. What have you done? What have you accomplished? What are you most proud of when it comes to your book and your work? What makes you smile from ear to ear?
Take pleasure in that. Really imagine it so you can feel it. Notice how good it feels when you meet your goals and objectives. Hey, this is your imagination, after all. The sky’s the limit so let yourself go big. (And if you’re having trouble doing that, then that exercise may be something to get better at in the year to come.)
Then, be sure and step outside these visions and see yourself in the pictures or movie in front of you. This is essential so your brain knows you want to move toward these things. Otherwise, it will think you’ve already accomplished them, and while you’ll feel good, you won’t take action on the things that you want.
Then we begin the “reverse-engineering or back-engineering process. Take each of your goals and directions and break them down into small manageable steps that are fairly easy to tackle. Back it up one month to November 30, 2022. In order to reach your goals, what do you need to be doing throughout the month of December?
It may seem fuzzy, or on the other hand, some very distinct pictures may come to mind of what you need to do. Whatever it is, jot it down. Then back up another month to October 31. What should you be doing throughout November? Then back to September 30, and so on and so on.
You create a plan of these bite-sized steps and then start taking action on them. Little baby steps seem so much more doable than when you’re looking at the final, big project.
Deciding what you want, making a plan, and chunking it down into bite-sized actionable items is how we manifest anything. Your target market needs what you have, so this is no time to withhold it. It’s time to find your way to making that happen at the scale you desire. And remember to have some fun doing it, too!
To your success!
P.S. I want it that way.
P.P.S. There is an easy way to figure out those compelling key messages. Schedule some time with me and let’s make it happen.
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