This is a topic many authors, especially self-published like myself, don’t like to talk about. If you’re like me, when you became a writer with dreams of publishing your books, you thought about the actual writing, the storytelling, the outlining, the editing, possibly about social media, but that’s it. That’s why I have a Bachelor’s Degree in English instead of Marketing. I thought it was the most important part of being an author, but in reality it’s only a part of the puzzle. Since learning this, I have gone back to school for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with a Concentration on Marketing. I’m hoping to apply what I learn there to my books sales, both the ones I write and for my bookstore.
I wanted to give you authors out there some little nuggets that I’ve learned so far. I just completed my Contemporary Business class and it was the most useful so far. Even though it was a general course, there were some good tips about marketing in there that I found useful and I think you will too!
The first question is what is a brand? And how do you establish one?
A brand is what customers think of when they hear the name of a product or service. In this case, when they hear your name what comes to their mind? What would you like to come to their mind? Whatever you decide, that’s your brand and you need to stick with it! You can build a brand with a logo, like the popular athletics wear company Nike and their swoosh mark. Why is brand so important? It’s simple; a strong brand that connects with customers drives sales. But it doesn’t stop with creating your brand and throwing it out there. There are steps you need to take to ensure you present it the everyone out there. It’s called the Sales Funnel! Sounds fun, doesn’t it?
You have to explain what your brand is and why people should spend money on your product, in this case buy your books! Here’s the steps explained:
Awareness: It’s just what it says. You have to get the word out there and make your potential customers aware of your product.
Interest: This is done through lead-generation, but they have to be quality leads. Quality over quantity. It might be cool to have 10k followers on Twitter, but are those people engaging with you about your book? The point here is to focus on the customers who might actually be interested in your book.
Action: This is the best part! It’s where customers buy your book! You’ve put your brand out there, gained high-quality leads who might be interested in your book, now it’s time to convince them to buy it. This is the part most authors, including myself, have trouble with. I don’t know about you, but I can be shy about singing my own praises. But there’s something to help with that…creating a sales pitch! Uhg, I know. But it’s necessary.
Tune in for the next blog post (Monday 3/19/18) to learn more.