Thursdays with Amanda: What to DO with your Street Team
August 22, 2013 | Written by Amanda Luedeke
Amanda Luedeke is a literary agent with MacGregor Literary. Every Thursday, she posts about growing your author platform. You can follow her on Twitter @amandaluedeke or join her Facebook group to stay current with her wheelings and dealings as an agent. Her author marketing book, The Extroverted Writer, is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
But putting them to work…that’s another matter entirely.
The more I write these posts on building an author platform, the more I get questions that are basically nothing more than requests for me to provide a step-by-step guide to x, y, or z, complete with screenshot examples and graphs. I get requests for me to share EXACTLY what to do (printouts would be handy!). To leave nothing up for chance.
There are a number of things wrong with this. The main one being not everyone’s audience will respond to the same strategies. Everyone is different. Every reader group prefers certain approaches over others. That’s how it works! So if I told you to launch an Instagram campaign when in fact your readers are middle-aged nerds, it’s going to be a complete miss. Why? Because middle-aged nerds aren’t on Instagram as much as they’re on message boards and forums.
So, let me be clear (and please forgive me for yelling):
THE ONLY WAY TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN ANY PROMOTIONAL ENDEAVOR IS TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE TARGETING AND HOW TO REACH THEM
Because of this, only you can really come up with those million-dollar ideas that will garner the buzz you need. ONLY YOU can do this.
Now, I know you’re probably shaking your head, thinking “I’m not a marketer! I’m not a salesperson! I’m not wired to think like this!”
To which I reply “YES YOU ARE. You’re creative, aren’t you? You have a creative mind that can come up with entire stories and characters and worlds. Surely, you can brainstorm a few piddly marketing ideas.”
And therein lies the secret…
Brainstorming should be somewhat familiar to any writer. Basically, you take thirty minutes during which you sit down with a pencil and paper (or in front of a blank Word doc) and you write down every single idea that comes to mind. Stupid, expensive, impossibly difficult, boring, been-done-before–they ALL get written down.
But the beauty of brainstorming is that the list isn’t static. It can be changed! So after your thirty minutes are up, you walk away. When you’re ready to revisit the list, you can start crossing out the ideas that won’t work to allow you to focus on the ideas that could work. Then, you brainstorm again! It’s all about creating a living, breathing list of possibility.
Next week, I’m going to perform this very exercise on the blog. I’m going to give myself an imaginary book that I’m plugging and a set amount of time, and you’ll see exactly what kind of bad and horrible and slightly good ideas come out. Then, we’ll talk about them.
In the meantime, try it for yourself. Try brainstorming ideas for your Street Team. Give the activity 20-30 minutes. And LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU COME UP WITH! Post your best or worst ideas below.
*Love my marketing advice? Check out my $5 ebook, The Extroverted Writer.
Here’s what readers are saying: ”I have started to see results with my Twitter account in just a few weeks and with very little effort.” - Les ey, Amazon review