Want some fairy dust? Here’s some:
“I’m going to write my book and just put it out there. I can’t wait to see it take off like a rocket!”
I’d like to suggest a new approach which harmonizes with a meta-trend in today’s marketplace. This is a mega shift. If we align with trends, we position ourselves to experience success.
First though, consider how noisy and congested everything is today. It’s folly to think we are just going to release our book and people are going to pay attention to it—a unicorn is not going to show up at your door! As never before, attention has to be earned.
Now here’s a meta-trend: people are weary of traditional advertising. Even if you purchase ads on Facebook and other online platforms, it’s largely blinked away by viewers.
On a weekly basis, thousands of impressions are made upon us through dozens and dozens of channels. We’re numb. And we’ve largely learned to ignore it.
There’s a smart way to move forward with your project
You’ve heard about content marketing. There’s a reason it has been making such an impact …
Think of it as drawing attention to you and your book project. You’re earning the attention of the customer with valuable content. Your growing audience learns about you and begins to know, like and trust you.
By providing valuable content for free, you can attract and grow your audience. This content can include blog posts, PDF reports, e-books, audio clips, videos, infographics, and more. You’re basically providing thought leadership and truly benefiting others.
Use the types of content marketing which resonate with you at this time. As you move forward, you’ll most likely use more types of content.
Think audience first, then book
An ‘audience first’ mentality is that we gather and nurture an audience before the product or book is released. A perfect time to do this is while we’re writing our book, or even before. In today’s reality, it’s something we should now be doing consistently, even between book projects.
One of the ways your growing audience can help you is to provide invaluable “market research.” As you engage your audience, you will get a sense of where they are at. Your audience can help you fine-tune your message.
You can listen to your audience through comments on blog posts and social media, surveys, monitoring social media posts, and more.
Another way your audience helps you is that you are building a base of customers for your book. Because they value and appreciate the content you’ve been providing, they are your perfect customers.
Even more, they can become advocates for your book by letting others know through email, social media, and perhaps their own blogging or other online activity. We all know that word of mouth “advertising” is a powerful influence. People trust social proof from people they know and respect.
Your audience is a valuable long-term asset
Take it beyond just one book project … the ongoing building of your audience is a tremendous asset for your writing over the longer term.
As new audience members come into the fold, they will look at your back list and see you’ve written other books.
Beyond this (and you may not be thinking of this now), you very may well develop other resources as an author, including audio and video products, or even online courses. There is a way to develop a successful business around books.
But even more than the business advantages that come with building an audience, it is going to change you personally and professionally. You’re not writing and creating products in a secret closet somewhere. You’re engaging with a part of the market which is designed for you, and it is going to transform you. It’s an accelerator on several levels, including your personal and professional development.
So are you growing your audience? Have you started?
Start small. Learn everything you can about content marketing. Here’s a simple way to begin learning about content marketing: go to Copyblogger and begin reading just about everything they put on their blog. They have a stable of great podcasts too. Begin to read recommended books. Listen to some quality podcasts.
Today, the ‘audience first’ mindset is a key part of positioning yourself for success. And it’s fun. Because as writers, we enjoy content creation.