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The Marketing Focus


July 17, 2017

The rule of seven touches

I have created a rule that I try to go by when getting to know people on social media. The rule is this: As much as possible, I try to have seven touches before asking someone for anything. I feel that it is important to get to know people by reaching out to them as individuals. One reason I feel this way is that I learned that getting to know people, builds trust. A second reason is that I enjoy getting to know people this creates a genuineness that others appreciate and respond to.

Twitter

I consider Twitter my marketing Fishing hole. It is so easy to make initial connections on Twitter. When I started out, I followed about twenty people per day. For a while I used a automatic posting software, but I recently decided to go to a more personal approach and go on twitter in real time. For every post that I make that is mine, I post several of other people’s posts, retweet at least one from people that I am following, like one, and reply to at least one. I try to do this four times per day, but on those days that I can’t, I post at least two times.

My Main Profile Facebook Page

On my main profile Facebook page, I tend to talk with people more on a personal level. Most of the people that I friend with on FB are people that I know or that I have gotten to know from other places. I never accept just anyone.

My Facebook Pages

I have several different Facebook pages related to various aspects of writing. I have my Author page, my Locket Saga page and other pages. Because I have different interests, I have tried to divide my Facebook friends by their interests.

Related Facebook Groups

I have also joined other Facebook groups. These groups allow me to connect with other like-minded people about very specific topics. I also have joined groups where I can post my books when they are free or for sale. Most of the time I am disappointed from the results of this type of sites.

LinkedIn

On LinkedIn, I connect with other professionals who have connections with the writing profession. On LinkedIn, I can show what I have done and what I would like help with. The groups on LinkedIn are great places to ask questions from other professionals, seek advice, and ask for other types of help. Because it is a give and take world, I also have to share my expertise with others.

Pinterest

This is a form of social media that I had not thought much about until I had been to a workshop conducted by Tierney James and she suggested building social media via Pinterest. Because of her recommendation, I have created a board specifically for the Locket Saga. In addition, I am in the process of creating a board for each of my books including the Locket Saga and each of my nonfiction books.

Google+

I haven’t done much with this form of social media. With its hangouts and all, it seems as though it would be a good way to promote fiction, probably better than Facebook pages.

 

There are probably as many different combinations of social media that a person could use. You might also consider using Instagram or Snapchat. Use whatever works for you and whatever you do, learn to do it consistently. The important thing to understand about social media is that if you’re using social media for promotion activities, it is important to start using ones that you use consistently.

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July 10, 2017

When a person hires a public relations representative to promote their books, this is the one thing that PR people do. They contact the traditional media representatives via the news services. That’s about it. The rest of it is up to you to make happen. This is one of the reasons that I have decided to do it myself as an Independent Author. What they do is not as mysterious as public relations people want you to think.

 

I don’t have to do all of the press releases all either. Sometimes I enlist help. Tomorrow I am going to be at the Marionville and Mount Vernon Libraries in Lawrence County, Missouri, but the library put out the press release to the local papers and radio stations. Here’s a link to the

 

A Local Approach to sending out Press Releases

First thing that they do is write a press release for you. Writing press releases are not that difficult. I have written and sent out several over the past several years and for the most part, the media that used the press release that I wrote word for word.

 

I have learned from my process is that I am more likely to get into a publication if I can find a local edge. One thing that I did was that I sent a press release of every new book when I put out it out to my local newspaper. In addition, I sent press releases to my hometown in Pennsylvania. The hometown approach was the local angle that I used.

 

Here is another angle I am using to get my latest book into a local newspaper. I am getting ready to send a book to one of my readers Heather who lives in Louisville, Kentucky. I intend to write a press release about the fact that she won the book during my “choose the cover contest”. I put the name of everyone who responded into a hat and I drew her name. The prize is the book.

 

How to Find Specific Media Representatives

Using Louisville as my example, in order to reach a local representative, the first thing I do is look up the areas local newspaper on google.

To find a specific media representative in any location is not difficult. The first thing to do is to find the newspapers that are in Louisville. To find any newspaper, radio station, television station or even colleges in any state in the United States, go to http://www.usnpl.com/

 

At this site, you’ll find the link to the state of Kentucky. From there, you can then go to the city of choice and in this case I then go to the Courier-Journal.  I can then click on the A with circle around it to indicate that I want to see the address. On the address page I can then either send the newspaper an email or I can investigate further. Because I want to know as much as possible about who is I should specifically send the information, I click on the staff page link. From this page I am able to see exactly who is most likely to handle this type of news.

 

If I still couldn’t tell exactly who to contact, I would call the main phone number and ask the gatekeeper exactly who that person is and from there I can then contact that individual.

 

How to Contact a Media Representative

When it comes to actually contacting this individual, I would start by sending this person an email, introducing myself and what I am doing. I would not attach the press release but would include it in the body of the email. By contacting this individual directly with a specific plan, I am more likeqly to get coverage through that media outlet.

 

When approaching your media representative, think of the journalist as your customer. Recognize that the way to get this person to promote your book is to give the journalist what he or she wants, and what a journalist wants is a story that will please his or her customers—the periodicals or newspaper’s readers. This is why local slants work well with journalists.

 

Well written press releases, directed toward specific journalists and directing a specific slant to that journalist’s readers, although it won’t guarantee coverage, exponentially increases your chances for media coverage.

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Building Traffic for Author Blog

June 26, 2017

Get to Know Other Authors Online

 

Reach Out to Other Authors

Have you ever heard the story of the man who had this dream that he went to a place where people were sitting in a banquet hall and their arms were tied so that they could not reach their own mouths with their forks. In the one room they were all sad and looked thin because they were starving to death. Then he saw another scenario where the people were sitting in the same room and instead of trying to feed themselves, they were using their forks to feed the person next to them. These people were laughing and joking and they were healthy and well fed. The first one, the man was told was a picture of the selfish people in hell and the second represented the giving nature of the individuals in Heaven.

 

The same idea can apply to authors. There are those who try to market their books alone. They are like the starving people of hell. However, the authors who do better are those who help other authors. These authors are like the people in Heaven.  Not only does this help the other offer, but it benefits the author who doing the helping as well and creating a win-win situation.

 

If you’re an online author, you want to get to know other authors. It benefits you and it benefits them. You introduce your readers to this other author and this other author introduces their audience to your following. So, how can you build this kind of synergy?

 

 

Find out about each author’s online presence. Talk to the author on direct messages. Connect with them on social media sites other than where you met them. Find out what you have in common in addition to the fact that both write books.

 

 

Offer to Do a Guest Blog on the other Author’s Blog

 

Once you get to know another writer, its time to find a way to help the other author. One thing you can do is to do a guest post on the other author’s blog. This gives the other author’s readers a change of pace and a slightly different perspective.

 

Start by offering to do a guest blog for authors who already do guest blogging. Suggest a topic that relates to that author’s blog, but allow the other author to make the final decision about what you will write about on the blog.

 

Write the best post possible. Turn it in well before the blog is to be posted so that the other author can look it over and suggest changes if needed. Be sure that you include links back to your blog on this author’s blog.

 

Once you have one guest post under your belt, move onto your next. If you continue writing good content on your blog, readers of the other blog will check out your blog too.

 

Offer to Allow Another Author to Be a Guest Blogger on Your Blog

Another thing that you can do is to ask the other author to do a guest post on your blog. In this case, it gives your readers a change of pace and a slightly different perspective.

 

Once you have done a few guest blog posts, ask other authors that you know to write guest posts for your blog. Alternate your own blog posts with posts of other authors.  You might consider having one guest blogger write for you per month if you have been posting weekly.

 

Do a Blog Tour

If you have just launched a book, doing an online book tour is an awesome way to introduce your books to numerous other authors’ followers.

A blog tour is basically numerous blogs done in a succession where you call it a blog tour. There are numerous things you can do to make the blog tour fun.

Again, be sure that you are willing to do the same for other authors in your circle of author friends. Always make sure the fork goes both ways or you’ll end up starving yourself.

I will talk more about blog tours at a later date.

 

Where Do You Find Other Authors to associate with?

I have numerous contacts who are also authors, so finding these authors on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter is something that I have already done. I have a pretty good network to work with.

However, if I was just getting started, I would go to Amazon Author Central and look up authors in my book’s genre. If the author has a blog posted there, I would go to that website and comment on a few posts over a couple of weeks and then I would find out as much as I could about that author.

After a couple of weeks, I would send an email to the author telling him/her about how much I enjoy his/her blog and what I enjoyed most about his/her work. Tell him/her about yourself, but don’t ask for anything. Make it a point to reach out seven times both in comments and email before asking the other author for anything even offering to guest post.

 

There are of course other ways to draw followers to your blog, but exchanging blog posts is definitely a very productive start toward building your blog audience.

If you are an author interested in doing a guest blog or having me guest blog for you, please contact me at cygnetbrown@gmail.com

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June 19, 2017

June is Entrepreneurs “Do It Yourself” Marketing Month! As a self-publishing author, I enjoy taking responsible for my own marketing success. This month I am focusing a lot of my energy and time on self-publishing marketing projects. It is all part of my goals in building my publishing business during the next ninety days.

The Trouble With Traditional Advertising

I have seen a lot of articles lately regarding advertising to sell books. People think that the easiest way to get results from marketing is to create an ad campaign and wait for the results. What people don’t realize is that taking out ads is one of the least effective ways of getting results from marketing. The cost per book sale is more costly than The best way is and has always been through word of mouth and referrals.

Word of mouth can come in many different ways. One way for me to get word of mouth is for friends and family to get the word around about my books. Another is to attend live events like fairs and festivals and introduce myself to others in person. Still another way is to let people get to know me by speaking at meetings or conferences. I can also create live events of my own. On July eleventh, I am going to be attending an event that was created for me at the libraries in Mount Vernon and Marionville, Missouri.

Although I enjoy the live events and\ would love to be able to have more of them, they are costly and offer an even lower return on investment than the advertisements do for book marketing success. So what are good ways to market my book that has a better return on investment?

Free Online Marketing Techniques I Will Use During the Next 90 Days

1, Building blog and newsletter traffic-by joining with other authors through guest blogging.

Building blog and newsletter traffic is easy when I join other authors through guest blogging. It is a win-win for both of us because both my audience and the other author’s audiences benefit from the same post. Both authors also benefit.

2. Getting Reviews

One easy way to get rviews is to offer free pdf copies of Living Today, I to anyone who will agree to do a review of the bookMedia Coverage-By sending press releases to targeted media contacts.

3. Media Coverage-By sending press releases to targeted media contacts.

I can takp resposibility for my own media coveragp by sending press releases to targeted media contactsSocial Media

4.Social Media

I can increase my social media coverage through Tweets on Twitter and Posts on Facebook and by friending more targetted people on these sites.

Over the next four weeks I am going more in depth and explain how I plan to utilize each of these in my own 90 day marketing campaign. I will then use these strategies as the basic principles of book marketing I will use over the next ninety days.

For more information about books by Cygnet Brown, for Kinde books go to

For Kinde books go to https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007SM23IK

For Print Books Go to http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cygnetbrown

 

 

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June 12, 2017

Tierney James- The author of action/adventure novels is a former world geography teacher and Solar System Ambassador for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab.

Over the weekend I attended the Got Marketing Workshop put out by Tierney James, http://www.tierneyjames.com/ It was fun to get out and go to a workshop and I learned so much from this one. I have a lot of take away information that I know I am able to use to increase my marketing prowess.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I learned At the Workshop

I have been going over my notes and here are a number of things that I have taken away from the workshop.

  1. First one of course was to write this blog about it and to let Tierney know that I have mentioned her in my blog post. Thank you so much Tierney for all of your insights into book marketing!
  2. Contact other authors that I met at the workshop. I made certain that at the workshop I took plenty of cards to share with the other authors that I knew I would meet there. I handed out twelve and got seven in return. I have already connected with Tierney, now just six more to go!
  3. Start a Marketing Notebook-All of my work has been in online documents scattered throughout my files. Today I went to the store and picked up the few things that I needed so that I could get started on this project.
  4. Every 90 days offer each of my books in this way on Amazon: 2 day free promotion, one day 99 cent promotion, two day $1.99 promotion and during the two free days, hit the free book websites. I can find these free book promotion sites by googling “free book promotions.
  5. Get a Street Team- Find people who are willing to help me promote my books on social media and do it in a structured way.
  6. Make memes that promote my books (without sounding salesy) and post them on social media. Have various themes so they don’t become “invisible”.
  7. Probably, the most exciting way that she showed me how to market is by using Pinterest. I plan to create these boards:
  • A board for all the books by Cygnet Brown
  • A board for the actors who I think should play my book characters when my book becomes a movie
  • A board telling the story (without spoilers) for each book in the Locket Saga
  • Boards about Specific historical events in the Locket Saga.
  • Simply Vegetable Gardening Tips Board
  • Help from Kelp Tips Board
  • Diatomaceous Earth Tips Board

Followup, More Important than Learning

Although it is true that I learned a lot from this workshop, what’s more important than the learning is the fact that I need to implement what I have learned and have chosen to do with what I learned.

Well, now that I have written this blog post, I can cross that first one off the list! Of course, there are a lot more tips that she offered, but the items on this list, along with what I am already doing, should keep me busy at least for the next ninety days.

So what do you think? Which of these tips sounds most interesting you?

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Spring Cleaning My Website

 

Monday, May twenty-second was the last day of school for my daughter and I have just another seven days left at the school before my school year is over as well.

Time sure is flying by  I have three books coming out in the next three months so I figured that it was time to give my website a facelift.

Therefore, I am now taking the time to reflect what I want to accomplish in my writing business. I have been looking at ways to increase the effectiveness of my book marketing online and have decided to start by cleaning out my website.

Even though anyone can click on the home tab on the navigation pane to go back to the homepage, the first thing I did to upgrade my website was to add a return to the home page on every subsequent page on the website. I put a connection at the top of the page and at the bottom of the page, making it super easy for anyone to navigate the website to look around at any of the pages.

 

Spruced up the Home Page

 

Next, I cleaned out the home page of the website. I have started to realize that the home page of my website is like the reception area of a large corporation. Imagine for a moment how a corporation with files and supplies littering the lobby would be perceived. It wouldn’t be considered a professional establishment, would it? Well, neither is a website cluttered with text. To clean it up I took most of the text portion of the webpage and moved it behind the navigation tabs and onto other pages.

I wish I could show you what mine looked like before I cleaned it up. Take my word for it, it looks much better now. In addition to moving most of the content onto other pages, I put the photos of all of my books onto slide shows and put links to the descriptions on other pages. Just click on a book and there’s the description.  Again, I wish I had a before photo to show you, but take a look at what it looks like now. Click here.

 

Made Book Pages More Uniform

 

After I got the home page spring cleaned, I moved onto the subsequent book pages. Before, I had designed each of the pages at different times and used different design structures. They needed to be set up in a more uniform manner and gave them all a facelift and formatted them the same.

What I am currently working on is that I am turning the book descriptions into slideshows so that the pages had movement. It isn’t video, and I may upgrade to that at a future date, but it’s a start and should the overall performance of the site.

 

What’s Left?–Beyond This Clean Up-How I Plan to Keep a Website Updated

 

No website is ever completely done. Every website should be updated from time to time. In order to make certain that I make changes on the website from time to time, I plan to do a few things that will guarantee continuous tweaks and additions. .

 

One of the ways that I intend to make continual changes on my website is that I intend to add a lead-in to each of my weekly blog posts. This is where I will write a short tie in to my blog and then add a link to the full post on my blog site.

 

In addition, besides adding weekly blog posts, the possibility that I will eventually replace the slide shows with video, there are other things that I will do to further improve the website. In the not too distant future, I need to create a signup meme for the newsletter and have the newsletter meme on every page of the website.

 

In addition, I am going to further develop the media kit by adding future press releases for In the Shadow of the Mill Pond which was just released as well as my next books Living Today, the Power of Now and Write a Book to Ignite your Business.

 

Scheduled Time to Review Website Again

In addition to making planned additions to the website, I will need to make additional reviews of the website in the future to make certain that the website doesn’t get cluttered. The important thing that I have learned about keeping up with all of this, especially if I want to do it right, is to schedule time to make it all happen. I intend to make this happen again in three months in the week of August 20-26.

 

Your Turn

 

How about you? Do you have a website? Have you made navigation around your site easy? Does your home page look like a lobby or a warehouse? Are your other pages uniform? Do you have a media kit so that others can know more about you and your books and most importantly how to contact you? Are you adding elements beyond photos and text to make your website more interesting? Do you schedule maintenance time to update your website? I would love to hear your thoughts. Please comment below.

 

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