A Guest Post: Missed Marketing Opportunities—Word of Mouth
September 28, 2012 | Written by Chip MacGregor
Today’s post is by guest JP Jones, author of Market Yourself: A Beginner’s Guide to Social Media and 31 Days of Marketing, which will release on October 20, 2012.
Marketing is one of the industry terms that often leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Seth Godin sums up our feelings about marketers in his book, “All Marketers Are Liars” (a great read by the way), but if you truly want to promote your work and yourself as a writer it’s important to come to terms with the dreaded marketing monster.
What you probably don’t realize is that there are marketing opportunities around you everyday. Marketing does NOT mean boasting, bragging and generally being obnoxious about your work or your successes. What it DOES mean however, is being ever ready to put your brand in front of others and seizing the opportunities for promotion that would otherwise be overlooked. Granted, that definition won’t be found in Webster’s, but it’s a good rule of thumb for you to keep in mind as you work to increase your marketing platform.
Let’s look at one of the top word-of-mouth marketing opportunities that we accidentally overlook.
Friends and Family
You might be thinking, Well of course I don’t overlook them. They know all about my writing endeavors. But think for a moment. Do they really? Have you provided your friends and family with the tools to really help you spread the word about your book or availability as a writer? To this date, word of mouth marketing still results in more sales than any other marketing venue. Why? Because we innately trust what a friend or colleague recommends to us over that of what we see on advertisements or other traditional channels of marketing. It’s the basic principle of six degrees of separation. As you pass along your book to your immediate circle, they pass it to their circle etc. Before long, you have readers looking for your book that heard about it from a friend of a friend.
So what tools can you supply to friends and family to ‘assist’ them in becoming an army of marketers for you?
Books—Ask them to read and review. And ASK for their feedback, get them invested in your work by taking their suggestions and even possibly letting them see an advanced copy or asking for help naming a character etc. Get them included in your process. If they are excited by your work, then they will naturally promote you without you having to ask or beat around the promotional bush with them.
Cards—Be sure to stock your immediate circle with a few cards to stick in a purse or wallet to have on hand should they run into someone that might enjoy your work. Business card sized advertisements work perfect for book promotion.
Discounts—Talk with your publisher and find out if you can offer a discount coupon for direct sales that your friends/family members can share with their clubs, church groups or work colleagues. This is a great way to quickly spread the word about your book and entice readers to purchase at the same time. Everyone loves a good deal.
Discussion—As the author, it’s also up to you to nudge your marketing tribe in the right direction. Talk with your circle about your marketing ideas. Again, getting feedback and starting discussion about the process with them, will get their wheels turning as well and they might come up with a group or marketing opportunity that you would have overlooked otherwise. Be sure to also feed them talking points about your work that they can in turn share with others. What is the focal point of your book? What do you hope readers walk away with?
In short, we all have our own circles that can really help us get a word of mouth marketing campaign off to a strong start. Make sure that you are utilizing yours to the fullest. Let me clarify this is not about USING your friends and family, it’s about allowing them to share in your struggle and triumph as you start up the ladder of marketing success!
If you are ready to take the next steps in marketing your books, be sure to check out an upcoming online event called, Life After Publishing. I am one of the hosts for the event and we will be holding 5 marketing-packed sessions designed to help authors regardless of the stage they are in on their marketing journey. You can find out more about the event at www.lifeafterpublishing.com.
About the Author
JP Jones is the author of Market Yourself: A Beginner’s Guide to Social Media and 31 Days of Marketing, to be released October 20, 2012. She is also one of the hosts of Life After Publishing, an event created to help authors learn how to market themselves—and get the recognition they deserve.