Aug. 31, 2022

How to Best Improve Your Book Marketing - BM333

How to Best Improve Your Book Marketing - BM333

Do you want to know how to best improve your book marketing even if you lack marketing and sales expertise? 
Listen as Susan Friedmann, the Author Marketing Mentor & Influencer, shares sage advice to increase money-making opportunities with your book.


Do you want to know how to best improve your book marketing even if you lack marketing and sales expertise? 

Listen as Susan Friedmann, the Author Marketing Mentor & Influencer, shares sage advice to increase money-making opportunities with your book.

In this week's powerful podcast episode "How to Best Improve Your Book Marketing" you will discover...

  • Commonsense information to make your book and author promotional journey easier 
  • Why your mindset matters when it comes to marketing even if you think you're a writer and not a marketer
  • How to really understand marketing and sales, once and for all, and its related activities
  • The 4 key elements that comprise marketing whether you sell live or online
  • And a whole lot more…

Here's how to book your complimentary 20-minute brainstorming session with Susan BrainStormWithSusan.com

Transcript

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been discussing excuses authors make for not marketing their books. So far, I’ve covered the “lack of money” and the “lack of time” excuses.

 Today, I’m going to talk about the third stumbling block and that is the “lack of marketing and sales” expertise.

 A justification I hear time and time again is that authors see themselves as writers and not marketers. If this is what you’re thinking, no worries, I’ve got you covered, 

My aim is to always share down-to-earth, commonsense information to help make your book and author promotional journey easier, and quicker.

 Growing Your Baby

Let’s go back to the image we’ve been using of imagining your book as your baby. 

Any parent listening to this knows that when that little bundle of joy appears on the scene, you want to nurture, feed it, and look after it as best you can. 

 You want to show it off to friends and family. 

And you, and your partner talk endlessly about the right way to raise your offspring. 

You may not necessarily both agree, but that’s a whole different story.

 The important lesson here is that you want to look after it, and give it the best you possibly can, based in part on your financial situation.

 I doubt that few of you gave birth just wanting to hand your baby over to someone else to raise. As the kid grows older perhaps that notion does cross your mind, but that again is a separate issue. Anyone with teenagers knows exactly what I’m talking about.

 Your focus during those early days, weeks, and months, is to dedicate yourself to developing the right habits and routines. Do you tell yourself, and others that you don’t have time to look after your sweet, innocent little bambino? 

I doubt you’d want to admit that thought to anyone. Then moms who breastfeed have an internal clock with a buzzer that goes off every few hours to remind them it’s time for a feed.

Now relate this caring, to the sweet, innocent book you created and breathed life into. 

Whether you realize it or not, but telling people about your baby, because you want them to admire it, is you’re using some basic marketing and promotional tactics.

What this means you’ve got the first lesson in Marketing 101 taken care of.

Does this sound easy?  Because if it does, why would you want to relegate your baby to a shelf in your office, just to collect dust, because you selfishly can’t find time to market and promote it? 

Of course, only you can answer that question!

Your Mindset

Your “Mindset Matters.” It all starts when you make up your mind that marketing is important enough to carve out time to devote to it.

Your whole approach to your book and author marketing will expose your mindset, not only to yourself but to the rest of the world. 

No pressure!

Let’s now address the question…

What is Marketing?

At the core of all marketing activity, is a two-party system. There’s a seller and a buyer. 

The role of the seller is that he or she wants to exchange tangible goods or intangible services, for some form of payment from the buyer. 

This transaction could be a barter – that is exchanging goods or services for other goods or services without using money. 

However, I think that most of us would prefer money which of course, can be cash, checks, credit cards, or now people are also trading in cryptocurrency.

Marketing is the umbrella under which every activity falls to get your product/service into the hands of the buyer. 

Those activities include promotion, publicity, advertising, and sales. 

There’s often a misunderstanding about the terms sales and marketing. 
Let’s unravel this.

Sales fall under the marketing umbrella which means that market activities should eventually lead to sales. 

In simple terms, if you promote your book on your website, you hope that it will lead to sales. 

Traditional marketing consists of four key elements, better known as the “4 P’s of Marketing.” That is the product, the price, the promotion, and the placement.

Let’s take a quick look at each of these and what they represent.

First there’s the Product:
Quite literally, this is what you sell, whether it’s your book, a training course, your coaching services, or anything else you want someone to buy. However, a critical component is that whatever you’re selling, has to meet the customer’s needs. The foundation of all marketing comprises supply and demand. In other words, someone has to want or need (demand) what you have to offer (supply), because otherwise, you get saddled with a boatload of unsold stuff.

Embarrassingly, I have unsold books, videos, and courses in my garage, because over the years, I’ve created products that I thought people needed. Problem was they might need them, but they didn’t necessarily want them enough to pay for them. I’ll let you know that I’m now blushing sharing this secret with you.

 Next is the Pricing: 

This is when you want the buyer to pay for your product or service. 

That is, the price you charge for this exchange to take place. It’s one thing to have a great-looking book, top-notch training or coaching program, but getting people to part with money to pay for it, is something quite different. 

Understanding the value of what you offer, and the price tag you attach to that value is something that requires a thorough understanding of what people are willing to invest.

When I started out in the training industry over 30 years ago, I thought that if I charged significantly less than my competition, a whopping 75 percent less, I’d naturally entice prospects to buy. 

That was a big mistake!

As it turns out, this isn’t a recommended strategy in the training industry. 

Why? 

Because potential buyers for training, often equate cheap with not as good, so I quickly learned that raising my price to match or slightly undercut competitors was a far better strategy. 

It did mean that I had to raise my price tag several hundred dollars more which at first made me feel super uncomfortable. 

I had to practice saying the amount when asked so that it rolled off my tongue as if it was the most natural thing in the world. 

And each time I decided to raise my fees, I had to practice this all over again.

Pricing for services is often where many authors have a challenge. They invariably underprice their value in the marketplace.

I often get asked what to charge for a speaking engagement. 

My answer: “it depends.” 

Factors to consider are often based on…

The client’s budget – this, of course, will vary from one client to another

What they paid previous speakers – again this is a variable.

But most important, what do you feel your time and value are worth?

Whatever that figure is, make sure it’s a number you can say without any hesitation.

As an aside, if you’re asked to speak for free, make sure of a few things:

Make sure you’re speaking to your target audience 

Make sure you get something in exchange, such as having an article placed in the company or association’s newsletter or other publication they send out to clients or members.

Definitely, get them to pay your travel and accommodation expenses. 

That should be non-negotiable.

Many years ago, when I started my training company, I wanted to attend a significant industry event in Washington DC. I wanted the opportunity to mix and mingle and rub shoulders with potential clients. 

Only one problem, I lived in Cincinnati and didn’t have the funds to buy an airline ticket and pay for several nights' stay at nearby a hotel.

 What did I do?

I thought about who could potentially supply an airline ticket and naturally came up with the obvious, an airline company. So, I started calling around offering to do customer service training in exchange for a round-trip ticket from Cincinnati to Washington DC. 

After several failed attempts, I lucked out and found someone in the training department at American Airlines who agreed to the exchange. 

Remember we talked about bartering earlier? 

That’s exactly what this was. 

Then I tried the same technique with different hotels that were within walking distance of the convention center. 

And, again lucked out. The Holiday Inn around the corner from the event offered me 3 nights in exchange for some staff training.

Just like Cinderella, my wishes were granted but instead of going to the ball, I went to the convention instead. 

I had to pinch myself when I was there to make sure this was real and not a dream. 

As per the exchange agreement, I conducted a couple of training sessions for the hotel staff, but I’m still waiting to do the training for the airline. 

 And no, I didn’t get to dance with the prince, but then I wasn’t looking to either.

Our third marketing element is Promotion: 

This is the message, promise, or story you use to tell your target audience about your product or service. 

As you’re probably aware, there are a variety of different promotional tactics, ranging from advertising to sales promotion, public relations to community engagement, and many more cool techniques thanks to the magical power of technology. 

Personally, my favorite is publicity. I used this to my advantage when I wanted to get exposure in the trade show industry. This was my target audience when I first started my training company. I wrote articles in every single publication around the world that focused on this industry. 

And, whenever I could, I negotiated with the publication to write a regular column. 

Some of the publications paid a small stipend for this, but most of the time I did it for the great exposure to my target audience. 

And, all the material I used was all taken from my books. 

I loved it when people would tell me that they saw me everywhere. Of course, that was merely a perception, but I never argued with them because I wanted them to think that I was everywhere.

Over the years this strategy paid off and I went from being an “unknown” in the industry to being a “go-to recognized expert.” 

Hardly a week went by without a journalist contacted me for tips for an article they were writing on an upcoming industry tradeshow. 

 My all-time favorite was "The Quarter Horse" magazine.

Now, I know enough about horses to know what one looks like. And, yes, they are magnificent animals, I’ve also ridden a couple, but that’s it. 

However, I know tradeshows and that’s the expertise the journalist was looking for.

The final marketing element is Placement: 

This is all about where your target audience can find and buy your products and/or services 

For example, can they find them online, in a store, or in a catalog? 

Wherever you choose to sell your goods and services, the trick is to make the transaction as simple, and easy as possible. 

Why?

Because the harder you make it for your target audience to buy, the fewer sales you’re likely to make, however wonderful your offerings are.

Most authors are selling their books, courses, and services online.     
Your own website is the best place to lead people to, so they can contact you to buy. 

When prospects come to your website, you want a way to capture their name and email address. This will allow you to build your own list to market to. 

In a future episode, I’ll talk about lead magnets and building your own list.

Now you have the four key marketing components, product, price, promotion, and placement.

I’ve covered a boatload of information in this episode, so I definitely recommend taking the time to listen to it again. 

The next step is putting all the key elements together into a simple, but useable strategy or plan. 

This too will be the focus of a future episode.

However, if you’re chomping at the bit to put your own plan together, let’s chat.

You can get a complimentary 20-minute session with me to discuss some powerful ideas that could work for you.

To schedule time with me go to BrainStormWithSusan.com 

In our next episode, I’ll discuss the 4th book and author marketing stumbling block “lack of confidence.”

Until next time, here’s wishing you much book and author marketing success.

Here's how to book your complimentary 20-minute brainstorming session with Susan BrainStormWithSusan.com