Sunday, September 19, 2021

Marketing for Beginners by Elizabeth Alsobrooks

Even a beginner can use some basic marketing strategies to drive more traffic to their website or individual products. If you self-publish or write a blog about your work, it starts from choosing some effective keywords to help drive traffic to your work via search engines. This is where you can target your audience from broad to more narrow subjects or themes of interest.

In keeping with this keyword use is the need to establish a brand. What can consumers expect from you? What is it you have to offer and why should they want to buy it? What is it similar to? What else might they like if they would like your work? What’s unique about your work? These are questions you must be able to answer about your work. It’s your story in a nutshell, your underlying theme or the universe you have created.

Next will come simple and inexpensive or even free ads on facebook, google, twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Triberr or other social media platforms and amplifiers. Think about what you’re doing. Seek out publishers, authors or readers who write, read or publish the sort of work you want to sell. Follow them and some of their followers, begin to build a group of people who share similar interests. Some people will follow you back right away, and you want to be sure to give them some reason to keep following you and to gain even more like-minded folks by providing interesting and informative interactions. Like their posts, retweet, make comments. Interact. Don’t spam.

It can’t be overemphasized that developing good relationships with potential customers by first reaching out to them as fellow humans goes a long way toward growing your followers, fans, friends, and fellow enthusiasts who are then much more interested in becoming customers. 

Also, just because you feel you need to reach out to people who share an interest in what it is you’re selling, don’t become too limited in your outlook. People all have more than one particular interest and making a connection on one level doesn’t restrict you to just one subject. For example, some foodies also like to read (which is why some authors add juicy details about food to their stories); some art enthusiasts like sports; some gamers like watching movies; and some thrill seekers enjoy down time to relax and unwind.

If you’re a writer, you enjoy reading and you also want to sell the books you write. After your book is published, you want it reviewed, because reviews are a great way to advertise the merits of your work. There are several ways to get reviews, from giving away free copies to reviewers, either through prolific, netgalley or some other means of reaching reviewers, going on a blog tour sponsored by a review company, or becoming a reviewer. Writers are avid readers, and taking the time to write up a review after reading a book not only gains you more readers (even if they only read your review or blog), but it also exposes you to some new potential reviewers. Many writers join online writers or readers fb groups or blog sites that encourage exchanged reviews or book discussions. Goodreads is a good place to join such a group.

There are many other inexpensive things you can do such as writing a press release, newsletter, blog or article, sponsoring contests (people love to win free stuff) or entering contests (what book doesn’t look better with award seals on the cover?), holding a podcast or fb party, or some other ‘live’ event, making or buying a book trailer video, catchy graphics, bookmarks, or even having a sale. 

These are just some of the many ways you can begin to market your work. It is by far the most time consuming work that many authors hate, but some of the most successful ones have become very good at it. After all, writing for money is a profession. If you want to sell, you have to market.

I hope you gained some tidbits from this. Below, I have posted my own brand that I developed for my Illuminati series.


Nancy Gideon said...

Great list of advice and steps to take, Elizabeth!!

Maureen said...

Thanks for the tips!

Diane Burton said...

Very informative. Thanks.

Denise Covey said...

Lots of good promo ideas for a newbie author. Getting reviews is the most difficult part.