July 21, 2022

How to Best Market and Sell Your Book on Social Media - BM328

How to Best Market and Sell Your Book on Social Media - BM328

Do you feel like you're spinning your wheels when it comes to marketing your book? 
If you're tired of taking ineffective actions that don't lead to results, this episode is for you. 
You'll learn how to create a social media marketing plan that is tailored to your target audience so you have better opportunities to sell your book.

Do you feel like you're spinning your wheels when it comes to marketing your book? 

If you're tired of taking ineffective actions that don't lead to results, this episode is for you. 

You'll learn how to create a social media marketing plan that is tailored to your target audience so you have better opportunities to sell your book.

In this episode you will learn: 

  • The importance of understanding who your target market is, so you can better determine the best social media platform(s) to use for marketing purposes.
  • The importance of having a plan for social media marketing, so you can be more effective and efficient with your time and resources.
  • The importance of advertising on social media to build brand awareness and generate leads.

And much, much more...

Here's how to contact Candy:
(910) 723-3899


Today, my special guest is digital marketing expert, Candy Sugarman. Candy has over 14 years experience in the world of social media marketing. With over 800 hours of training and teaching business owners, candy has focused on the strategy, purpose, and execution of online marketing and has helped her clients reach success. She's the owner and founder of Play Big Online Marketing, where she and her team provide comprehensive SEO, social media marketing, and digital marketing solution for businesses who are ready to begin their journey of lead generation and business growth. Candy, what an absolute pleasure it is to welcome you to the show and thank you for being this week's guest, expert, and mentor.

Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be here. Well, I'm excited to talk about social media marketing because it's big, yet it's overwhelming. Let's see if we can get very granular and make it much more easy and palatable for our listeners. So I always like to start at the beginning and say, hey, where do we start?

I think the best place to start would be with who your audience is. I have done so much with so many different clients and the ones that are most successful, they're able to say, this is my audience, and be very granular about it in terms of the demographics as well as the psychographics, who are these people? Because once you know who they are, then you can figure out what social networks they belong to and how they interact on those networks. Now, when you work with clients, is that something that you would help them with or would they need that information before they come to you? I can absolutely help them with that information.

The ones that come to me who already have it, usually have a measure of success. We're able to take that measure of success and really expound on it. Those who don't have it are usually the ones who are struggling a little bit with their social media. And just that point of who is your target market? Okay, this is where they exist.

Let's focus on what will help them. Now, there are so many platforms out there, and probably there's a new one coming out every week, every month. Where should we go? Should we do all of them? Should we focus on one or two?

What would you recommend? Well, usually when I have someone who asked me that, I'm like, well, do you have a Coca-Cola budget? If they say, yes, I've got millions of dollars. And I'm like, yeah, let's hit all of the social networks. For those of them who are like, no, I have a budget.

Then we go first to who is your market? Where are they online? And then start to decide which of those networks are going to be the best for them. And I think networks, but also, I don't want to forget about things like newsletters ads. There's a lot there.

So first, where are they? Where is your audience? What's your budget? And then we can start figuring out which of the social networks and marketing will best serve them. When you look at a social media marketing plan, what might that look like?

A very basic one. One of the things I do is take in consideration my client and how involved they want to be in their marketing. If they want to be involved, then it's a lot easier to go, okay, YouTube is a great one, right? If they are, hey, I'm great on video. I enjoy doing that.

I'll be able to communicate with you. Then we put that into the plan. We also figure out how many times a week should we be posting, and what kind of content we should be posting. Again, how willing is the client to provide information? I've had clients who said to me, I don't want to be involved at all.

Just do what you do. Don't ask me questions and just deal with it. And then I have the others who are, I'll get you this video. I'll take this photo for you. I'll provide this information.

We can work with the entire spectrum, but that is a big part of the plan as well. It doesn't really matter whether they want to or don't want to be involved. You could work with them one way or the other, correct? Absolutely. I always work with where people are, and so many are fearful of social media.

They don't want to be out in front, which I understand, and then I get those who are very tentative, once they understand the rules, what they need to do, and what they need to avoid, they get much more involved in their marketing. Yeah. I can't say that I'm a lover of social media because I don't know that I fully understand it. You'd think that by this time I would, but I think it's the commitment to doing it on this either daily, weekly, or hourly basis. It's like, oh my goodness, how much time?

I often think of it as a time suck, because it does seems to take so much time. You start on a platform, and then it's like you're going to read the posts, and then this leads you down a rabbit hole somewhere. Oh, gosh. It's a full-time commitment, which is why people hire other people to be a team for them, because one person trying to do it all, it's near impossible. Yeah, I'm finding that out.

A couple of things that you mentioned I'd love to address, and those are two things. One is newsletters and the other is advertising. I had a gentleman, Michael Cat, who specializes in working with clients on newsletters. So we did a whole podcast on newsletters, but I'd love to hear a little bit about that aspect, how you work with clients with that, and then let's talk about advertising. Absolutely.

So depends on where they are. Most clients have some sort of newsletter. You can't do enough work on newsletters. Those that don't have it, I encourage them to do those that have it, and I encourage them to make sure that we're putting out quality content on a regular basis. And again, it's similar somewhat to social media marketing.

Who is your market? And in this case, it's who is on your newsletter? Who would you like to get more of? What do they care about? What do they want from you?

We want to make sure we're always, regardless of the platform, that we're giving people what they want. Otherwise, they tune out, they have no interest, and then they go away. We want to keep them happy and we want them to go, oh, this newsletter is coming. I want to see what's going on, or if somebody posted on this channel. I want to see it.

We work with a client, and we figure out again who's on their newsletter, who they want on there, and what assets we have. Are we sharing good advice? Are we sharing pages from a book? Are we sharing? What is it that we're doing?

And then we craft the strategy behind that. Create the content. For those who don't have a newsletter, we will create your template for you. Those that have one, we'll optimize it if it needs to be. We'll create the content and then we will begin producing the newsletter and pushing those out for you.

For some clients, they want once a month, others twice a month. And again, just like with social media, they have the I don't want to be involved, you figure it out to the, here, let me create everything and you make it look pretty, you make it make sense and take care of it from there. Now, that newsletter would go out to your list, would that be correct? That is correct in your list. And part of the marketing initiative is, how do we grow that list?

So many people rely heavily on social media and they don't build a list. And I always tell them, do you own Facebook? Do you own Twitter? And if the answer is no, then those platforms can and will delete everything that you've ever done. And then your marketing is gone.

So what do you have to rely on? And that's your list always understand that you can own a list, but you're only borrowing your presence on social networks. And I'm pleased to stress that because many authors come to me and I talk about doing some marketing, and they want to sell hundreds and thousands of books. And I'm like, okay, do you have a list? Well, I have thousands of followers on Facebook or thousands on LinkedIn or Instagram.

And I'm like, yeah, but what happens if those platforms go away? Or even worse? So I've been on Facebook since 2008, and I had one particular company that I was working with, and we used to get 10,000 reach, like when they started showing reach, 10,000 reach, no problem. And then one day I came back and looked, and all of a sudden I had a reach of ten on all my posts. And I was like, oh, okay.

Facebook changed the algorithm. They changed the organic reach. And I worked really hard to do a lot of great quality posts where there was interaction and interest, and I was able to get that up to 500. The next day I came back and it was down to ten. You can imagine if you're saying, well, I've got 100,000 followers, that's amazing.

But if Facebook only gives you a 1% reach without ads, and this, of course, goes to our discussion on ads, then you don't really have anything. You have a potential pool that you could reach as long as you're willing to spend a lot of money. But that's all you have is a potential reach. That's a great segue into talking about ads and advertising on these different platforms. I know this is a huge subject, so I'll let you take in whichever direction you'd like to go with it in terms of obviously cost and commitment what are you advertising and how are you doing this?

So, yes, I'll do my best. Again, it depends on what kind of platform. One, I would say don't do it alone. Don't think that, oh, it's very easy. Let me do it alone because you're missing the entire back end.

It's very complex. And Facebook first came out with the idea of a boosted post. People loved it, and Facebook loved it because everybody went, oh, $5 is not a big deal. $10 is not a big deal. And they would hit this button, and they would push out content as an ad that had no business being an ad.

Like, happy Monday, that's one of my favorites. I had a client who came to me, and they're like, oh, Facebook ads don't work. And yes they do. And they're like, no. I'm like, what's your experience?

And they were like, well, I boosted this post. I spent $40 and nothing happened. And it was, I have a Happy Monday post that they boosted. For those of you who don't know, boosting is the quickest way to do an ad. It requires no thought.

It's a button push. And I said, well, what is it that you wanted people to do? When they saw this Happy Monday post, they said, I don't know. There you go. So whatever ads you're doing, know that there is a very complex algorithm.

Platforms might want it to seem simple because that's an easy way for you to spend money, but it doesn't always translate into, well, money back return on your investment. When you hire someone to do the ads, then the first thing that they should do is what is it that we want this ad to do? Brand recognition. People know, oh, there's a book out there. Do we want people to interact?

Do we want people to sign up for your newsletter? Don't forget that's a great way to get actual people to sign up for a newsletter. Do you want people to know that you're speaking somewhere? What is it that we want that app to do? And then we go forth to design it.

We don't design and then figure out I think that's probably the quickest, easiest way to describe and the importance of understanding ads. When you're doing an ad, it's not necessarily to sell something directly, but rather to build the list which as you rightly say, through some kind of lead magnet, some kind of giveaway that they can get. But the idea is potentially to direct them to a sign-in form which would put them on a list. Would that be the most effective use of these ads? All of it would be effective.

So just to get people to know you can sell obviously people use ads to sell. That is a great way to use it. But again, there are ways to use ads to build your list. Use ads to make people go, oh wait, there's an author. Hey, somebody wrote about that.

That's really important as well. I always tell people, to look at Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola could stop all of its advertising as of today and people would still know what Coca-Cola is and would potentially still buy it. But they spend millions upon tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising just for people to go, oh yeah, Coca-Cola, you as a small business, you're speaking, you're bookselling that's your business can do the same thing, which is put out content there. So people go, oh, I didn't realize somebody wrote a book about that.

Oh, there's a book that I can read. Somebody speaking about that. Oh, who is that person? That is a viable part of using ads as well. Not just to build your list, which is of course a great thing, but also what I call brand awareness.

What about the cost of advertising or the investment? Because obviously, you want to return. What kind of figures should we even consider? When it comes to thinking about ads. The first thing to consider is the person that you're going to hire.

And they can charge pretty much anything. I've worked with companies who charge two thousand dollars to five thousand dollars to create ad campaigns. And what they do is they create 40, 50, 60, 70 different types of ads, and they'll test a video ad, and they'll do all this. And it's worth it for those of you who are clutching your pearls, as they say. When I mentioned that amount, there are people who charge a lot less.

So you have to understand the cost of the person that you're hiring, as well as the amount that you're going to pay for the platform to get out of there. I always say that you should be willing to spend equal to what someone's charging to do it. So say I charge $800 to do Facebook and Instagram ads. Your budget should be at least $800. Now, the harder part is, what is it that you want to get?

When you're talking about brand awareness, there's not really a big return on investment. You don't necessarily see, oh, somebody liked my post, or somebody asked me a question that brought me money because it might take someone a while to go home. I want to read a little bit more. I want to follow this person. Everyone here has seen an advertisement.

I think I speak for the entirety of the world. It's very rare that we see an advertisement on something and go, oh my gosh, I got to buy that, and I got to buy that. Now we generally go, oh, that's interesting, I didn't know they sold that. Oh, okay. And then you see it again.

Then you do a little research. You ask your friends right there's all of that same kind of thing on this kind of advertising. It's not a direct correlation for return on investment. Now, with a newsletter, you can say, okay, well, I spent $100. I have someone on the newsletter.

My newsletter goes out once a month. That costs me something. But this also leads to a book sale. This leads me to a speaking engagement. What are those things worth for me?

And then you're able to understand what you're spending money for. Does that make sense? It certainly does. I was in PR for many years, and we've talked about the difference between advertising and public relations. I heard, and I don't know if this statistic still applies, that you've got to see an ad at least seven times before it takes any effect.

What are the figures these days? About nine to twelve times before people will and it's not even take effect. It's nine to twelve times before people even remember seeing the ad. That's a lot. But think wherever you're sitting, I'm sure, and this goes for everybody who's listing wherever you're sitting, look around and then notice how many pieces of advertisement are in front of you right now.

I know that my computer screen says, you Sonic in there. I have a credit card on my desk. I have a chapstick in my hand, I've got my Zurtex over here. Everything is screaming. It's all an advertisement.

Well, it's even just the brand name of it. And then imagine going online and thinking about people who are looking at their phones and they've got the TV on, right? I mean, even then you're always constantly bombarded. So yes, you're going to need to get to do something. They call it interruption marketing because it interrupts what you're doing to make people go, wait, what?

When you're online, you might see something that waits, what was that video? Wait, what happened? What was that statistic? You're trying to get in front of someone and make them notice you. It's the online equivalent of, hey, I'm over here.

Yeah, look at me, look at me, choosing me. I'm sure there are trends out there with regard to social media marketing and those are probably changing pretty rapidly, maybe as we're speaking. Now, let's talk about what is trending currently and what you see on the horizon. I don't think anybody can talk about trends without speaking about TikTok, which for those of you who don't know, it's these very quick videos, 1530, 62nd videos. Now those are popular primarily with nine, I hate saying that, nine to 18-year-olds.

It's a Chinese company, right? Now, FCC, just so that everybody knows, the FCC is actually trying to figure out how to stop having TikTok on the phone because it's mining American data. Security risk. Yada, yada. But that's very big.

In these quick videos, our attention used to be seven minutes, and then it fell to five minutes. And now you have an upcoming generation who can pay attention for 15 to 60 seconds. That being said, all the other networks went, oh hey, people are really interested. So Facebook came up with its own version of it. Instagram, is owned by the parent company of Facebook.

Meta has it as well. YouTube has it as well. It's one of those things can you give information in a very quick or visual format within 15 to 60 seconds if the answer is yes? Ding, ding ding. You've got content, you have a way to get in front of people.

Yes, I've heard that and I really hope TikTok does go away sooner rather than later. That's my own personal bias. But yes, I know that people are big into it and you're having to make all these videos how many times a day, and blows my mind. What blows my mind even more and I find so scary is the attention span that we have, the attention span of a flea and it's being indoctrinated into the young people now. Yeah, weaponized, if you will.

Let's make sure that they have to take lots and lots of drugs in order to be able to pay attention to just normal things because they've constantly glued the bone and they only want information in seven to 15 2nd increments. Scary, really scary. Let's talk about mistakes. Candy, what are the biggest mistakes that you see people making on social media? Gosh, there's so many.

I'll say this one is political when what they have is non-political. Unless you're a politician, unless you're doing a book about politics, stay out of it. There was a spice company and I'm not going to give them any advertising. Let me be clear. They sell like Oregano and Nutmeg and they did a post where they said some pretty awful things about a political party.

Just awful things. Jaw-dropping things to sell spices. Why would a spice company do that? They lost 110 people off of their newsletter because of that one post that they did. People were offended, as right they should.

It was not only that it was political, but they said some pretty nasty things. They made a blanket statement about people who were in a particular political party and how horrible they were and it was unnecessary. Then they doubled down and did it again, so we don't even care. And they did another one that was worse than the first one. This is called suicide, right?

And then because they lost so much money, because even people who were in the other political party, I'll say A and B, people in the A political party said, that's not right. Why would you do something like that? Why would you make a blanket statement like that? And they decided to jump off the bandwagon for that particular spice company. And then the CEO basically had to come out and ask people to buy gift cards because they lost so much money.

So my first one biggest mistake, don't be political unless it has something directly to do with your business. Whether it's your book or your business, leave it alone. Leave politics for politics or for your own personal discussion. I don't know if that's exactly what you are looking for, but that one came to mind. Well, that's pretty hot and heavy.

But it's true. It's like politics, religion, and sex. Those are the three topics unless, as you rightly say, it's part of your business. Stay totally clear of it because it's so controversial. However, being controversial on certain topics as it relates to your business can be very attractive.

People love controversy. They really do. Yeah. Interruption, marketing that we were yeah, be controversial. What else is something that we should be aware of?

Especially first-timers. You're going to need a lot of consistent content over time. What happens? And no one can see me, but I'm kind of doing my finger up in a bell curve and then it goes down. That whole roller coaster ride is that newbies have a tendency to go, oh, I need content.

And they create all this great content and they post it out and then a week, a month, two months later, they're exhausted that they've done all of this and then they stop and it's really kind of a betrayal because people will follow. You will, like, you will interact with your content, we'll ask questions, we'll share it, and then all of a sudden, you go radio silent. It's bad in relationships, it's bad in social media. And then all of a sudden, all the business that you had starts to dry up, and you go, oh, I've got to start posting again. And then you create content and you start posting it.

Well, now the algorithms on all the social networks, well, they don't like it when you're not consistent, right? They want people to spend time on their networks because if they do, people's eyeballs are on ads, and if their eyeballs are on ads, they're making money. That's one of the hardest things, is that consistency. I mean, I know it in podcasting. People do ten episodes, twelve episodes, maybe six months' worth of episodes, and then they feel they're not getting anything, and they're like, they stop when they run out of juice or it's no longer interesting.

It didn't do what they thought it would do, which I'm not quite sure if they wanted to get famous overnight. I don't know. Yeah. So being consistent is also understanding that it's not going to happen overnight. In fact, I just had a client who we've worked with for two and a half months.

We were getting absolutely amazing traffic for his base for the fact that we didn't have any ads. He had a business that you wouldn't normally be able to do ads because of laws and all that kind of stuff. And he said, Well, I don't want to do this anymore. It's not getting me anything. It's been two and a half months.

I don't know what you expected. It's not magic. It's a marathon. It takes time and consistency. I mean, if I could put it into terms that most people know, it's like business networking.

You don't go into a business network, shake a whole bunch of hands and go, okay, well, I'm going to go home and sit back and just assume that the phone calls are going to come in and I'm going to be rolling in the money. People need to know like and trust you before they can buy. And that is what the magic of social media really is, establishing that. No like and trust, so that people will buy from you will be interested, it will follow, you will want to be in your sphere. Oh, no like and trust.

Yes. I think that appears all the time in sales and marketing and advertising. Podcasting, it's the same thing. I'm totally with you. Oh, Candy, this is amazing.

We could go on a lot longer. How could our listeners find out more about your services and what you guys do and how they can take advantage of what you do? Absolutely. So they can obviously go to my website, which is Playbigonlinemarketing.com. I know that's a mouthful for some.

The good news is I'm the only candy sugarman in North Carolina. So if you can't find my website, if you Google me, Candy Sugarman, North Carolina, you will find me. You will find so much information about me and that is the way for them to get in touch. Of course, they can call me directly and we can set something up. And I didn't know if it's appropriate for me to give my number here.

I can well, I also can put it in the show notes. Excellent. And I do offer all the social media marketing services, newsletter, blog, writing, and I also do one on one training. I have a number of clients, who want social media marketing. Their budget doesn't quite allow for them to hire someone to do it, but they obviously need to do it.

I do one on one training for that, so that is available as well. That's wonderful to know. You and I might be talking very soon. Okay, Candy, if you were to leave our listeners with a golden nugget, what would that be? Be yourself on social media.

It's so important to be authentic and who you are, because with all the information available to everyone, if you're not, they're going to find out. So just don't even bother. Just be who you are and understand that there are going to be people out there who are going to be unkind. Don't let them rule your world. Yeah.

You just take no notice. They're very unhappy people. And unfortunately, yes, you don't want to feel that they take the wind out of your sales. So, yes, I love that. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us and thank you all for taking time out of your precious day to listen to this interview and I sincerely hope that it sparked some ideas you can use to sell more books.

Here's wishing you much book and author marketing success.

Here's how to contact Candy:
(910) 723-3899