Build a Tribe to Last
A tribe is a group of solid and dedicated fans that supports your work and helps your message spread. Understanding tribes will help you as an author to overcome many of your fears with marketing and self-promotion. With a tribe, your influence and message will travel abroad, and more and more people will magnify your efforts.
Three things are needed to make a Tribe:
Think about “being of service” to the idea you are promulgating so that when you think about promoting your book using your tribe, you will not feel that you are self-promoting. I am sure that you don’t want hawking people to buy your book, as it is demoralizing on your part.
When you have the right people advocating for a mutual idea, all you do really is to educate them, and you- as the leader of this tribe- has something to satisfy their need..
How does being the tribe leader of poets sound to you? Or early childhood education champion? Or empowered women entrepreneurs?
You see, these ideas already exist; your job is to build a solid, dedicated tribe surrounding these ideas. We have great examples of tribe leaders in various industries today such as Elon Musk, Seth Godin, Russell Brunson, Nas Daily, Project Nightfall, Peng Joon, and many more..
Think about the niche you have chosen when you started writing your book. What is your book positioning statement? Having clearly established the main message and your book’s target audience will make it easier for you to build your own tribe.
Nurturing and Building your TribeYour tribe will create the funnel you need to connect with new readers and build your author platform. Here are six simple steps to build it.
Your potential fans are already congregating together in different places. How do you now gather them? You will need to connect with other influencers and collaborate. Hold webinars and physical conferences when possible and offer valuable inputs through sharing. In other words, start networking. Let people know who you are what you are doing. Slowly but surely, and with consistency, you will attract these people to your message, and they would want more from you. Consequently, they will follow you.
It’s now the perfect time to start a blog through your website. Set up even a simple website and populate it with relevant content. This is your home base and everyone who finds you online will inevitably land here. Remember to always announce your website each time you are invited to speak in other people’s platform. Use your website to expound on your ideas and teach what you are learning. Position yourself as the expert.
A lot of authors squander their precious time on social media, hoping to get a lot of followers. What you want to build is a tribe of solid followers. Having this goal in mind, you should realize that your email list is your most important asset because it is yours to manipulate. Conversely, social media platforms are highly regulated, and these companies will limit your marketing activities because they want you to pay to get promoted. With email marketing, you talk directly to your fans and they have given their consent to be contacted when they subscribed to your email listing.
You do not have to do everything alone. When you have like-minded people on your side, it is easier to convert them to do more than being passive fans. Use the power of leverage: you can achieve more with people. Teach your fans that you expect them to be involved in your work. This is key and the thing people often overlook. Start small with things like participating in your market research or live interviews. Look at Demi Bernice on Facebook and discover how she involves her tribe in promoting freelancing. In just one year, she was able to sign up more than 4,000 students to her course.
Over time, you will see who among your fan base will step up to be among your fiercest warriors. Do not be afraid when your fans step up and build their own tribes. I have always been a believer of the Law of Reciprocity and I see collaborations with the mindset of abundance than scarcity. Instead of fearing to lose your subjects, empower them to use their own voice to magnify your influence. These emerging tribe leaders will have the biggest impact on growing your fan base, so long as you cultivate good relationships with them. Remember that the true measure of a good leader is when he creates more leaders, instead of followers.
The quickest way to disengage your tribe is to stagnate them. Give them opportunities to interact with one another. There is a sense of invincibility in numbers; hence, why do you think content creators are in much need of becoming viral? But once the hype is gone, loyalty wanes. Do not feed your tribe with junk food, give them proper sustenance through worthwhile involvement with the “idea” that all of you have started in the first place.
Are you an Authorpreneur?
An entrepreneur is defined as someone who assumes risks, a problem solver, and does not shy away from pursuing unconventional ideas or businesses. If you are an authorpreneur, you imbibe an entrepreneurial mindset to start thinking about the bigger picture than merely creating your books.
You are an author first and foremost. You start from a place of creating and sharing content you are inspired to create. After that, connecting readers with your content is now your utmost priority. Sadly, this is where I see many authors are failing to do. They are not proactive in promoting themselves.
Successful independent authors must closely resemble entrepreneurs in their approach to promoting and selling their book. An entrepreneurial mindset is a direction you need to take if you want to succeed. And most of the time, you need to stand alone if you're going to stand out among the crowd.
This shift in thinking results from the change in publishing trends toward independent self-publishing and away from traditional publishing. If you pitch your book to an agent and land on a contract with a traditional publisher, you are still expected to act as a salesperson for your book, but others will drive the strategy. As an authorpreneur, you will drive these strategies. You become your brand's ambassador. You become the brand you carry.
I hope this does not scare you because the rewards of self-promotion are satisfying.
Improving your skills as an authorpreneur is not an overnight task. Your journey as an authorpreneur is continuously evolving and changing. You may be doing today can be very different from what you will be doing in the next couple of years.
Here are some of the ways you can develop an authorpreneur mindset so you will thrive amid the changes and competition out there.
Build a diverse, marketable set of skills. Once a diverse skill set is built, it gives an authorpreneur a toolkit that he can rely on when he is faced with the certainty of challenging situations. Copywriting is one example of a lucrative skill to learn nowadays. Bestselling author and marketing consultant Allan Dib stress the importance of appealing to emotions when writing our content. He said, "Copywriting is salesmanship in print." Therefore, I encourage you to learn as many skills as you can relate to building your author brand.
Consume valuable content across channels. Sources of content include podcasts, YouTube tutorials, webinars, blogs, etc. An authorpreneur should stay abreast with the latest publishing industry changes to maintain a fresh perspective and flexibility. Keep a watch as well of the best practices of the highly successful authors in your niches, and as they say, "copy the greats."
Target the pain and offer solutions. Always remember that people buy with emotions first and then justify with logic afterward. Your goal is to be a problem solver. Create value for your audience. If you feel as if you heard them and create books that matter to them, you also ensure they know that you'll be successful. Targeting the existing pain of your readers will result in much higher conversion and customer satisfaction. Only through adding value to a specific problem or pain point does an authorpreneur become successful.
Ignite that passion. I always love to be reminded of Oprah's words: "Follow your passion, it will lead you to your purpose." People often ask me where I get the energy and joie de vi-vre on a day-to-day grind in my writing and publishing pursuits. My answer is simple: I love what I do, even if it causes me pain. My co-author James Fantone has enlightened me on the true meaning of passion. Passion is not all about fun; it is more about sacrifice.
Be ready to get your hands dirty. To get your hands dirty means to get involved in the aspects of your job. When starting, it is essential to handle sales and other customer interactions whenever possible, personally. Direct client contact is the most explicit path to obtaining honest feedback about what your readers like and what you could be doing better. Not only does this make customers feel empowered, but happier readers are more likely to recommend your books to others.
Cultivate an authorpreneur mindset. Do something every day that will add value to your brand. The marketing side of being a self-published author is the toughest part, and it behooves authorpreneurs to be notoriously strategic. After all, going through the entire process of conceptualizing, writing, designing covers, etc., employ strategic thinking. That kind of mindset is definitively entrepreneurial and necessary for succeeding at business and at selling your book. If you have not figured this out yet, being a successful author is a business.
Are you struggling with getting more sales from your books?
Whether you are a newbie author or otherwise, this post is for you. Here are five strategies you can use to boost your backlist and enjoy more profits from your books.
5 Ways to Skyrocket Your Book Backlist Sales
Here is a fact: Most writers do not sell many copies of their first few books. But do not despair because if you consistently build your brand and become proficient marketers, you will see your sales skyrocketing – and your former books rise the charts. And the more exciting thing happens: launching your new books will become a secondary priority, far behind stoking the fires of the backlist.
In the long run, successful and experienced authors discover that having 15 or more backlist titles selling consistently can dwarf the sales spike of a single book launch over time. If you have been writing and releasing your books for a long time, I am sure that you are serious about making this career work. I am not timid in saying that one of the reasons I write books is to build multiple passive income streams. How about you?
Okay, let’s get started.
Powerful Content Marketing
Last year, I took an introductory social media marketing certificate course at Brigham Young University. I am glad that I made this decision because having applied the concepts I learned there in my book marketing has tremendously improved the way I market my books.
The first thing I want to tell you is that not all marketing methods cost money. Some, like content marketing, only require time and effort. For example, you can build a simple website for free and start blogging there. You can also maximize your presence on your Facebook Page, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube channel without shelling a single penny. Personally, I enjoy doing live Facebook interviews with international authors and prominent personalities.
Also, never underestimate the power of building your own tribe (a community of your raving fans). In marketing, having brand evangelists or people who advertise you for free is very rewarding. Think about the success of Instagram micro influencers who have solid 50,000 followers and who are also their brand evangelists. They far outplay the ones with a million followers but are not actively engaged in promoting them. Consequently, they are paid to become brand ambassadors of different companies. This strategy works for authors as well.
When people see the value you are consistently giving to meet their needs, you will be deemed as the authority in that niche.
Now if you have money to spare, you can also do Facebook and Amazon ads. These strategies can be fantastic at driving sales, but both require constant tweaking. How? If you leave them for too long, your profit margins shrink. Likewise, if you stop adding new keywords or targets you hit a sales plateau.
My best advice is for you to keep producing valuable and relevant content to your target market. The law of compounding interest works not only in money, but also in our efforts as authors. The best way to proactively build your online brand is by making deliberate postings that position you the way you want to be seen- an expert in your niche.
Release New Formats and Sets
Statistics suggest that not all who encounters your books will buy a copy. And your chances of converting every browser into a reader lowers further if you only release your work in ebook format. There are still a huge number of people who prefer a paperback or hardcopy over an ebook reading experience. And some prefer an audiobook to listen to.
The audiobook market is thriving. The Guardian website on August 2020 highlights the report on the phenomenal rise of audiobook. According to Deloitte, global sales have been growing at 25-30% per annum for the past three years and will hit $3.5bn in 2020, driven by the US and China, which each make up around a third of the market (for comparison, global print book sales are a whopping $145bn per annum). Other leading players includes Britain, which comes in fourth, accounting for a mere 2% of the global market.
In summary, by releasing your books in multiple formats over time, you expand their potential audience and nurture more opportunities for word-of-mouth virality. You may want to hold off releasing a paperback or audiobook on your initial launch then you can do it later. The goal is to renew the interest of your readers who have previously patronized your other formats.
Permafree First in Series
This might sound counterintuitive at first but giving your book permafree is a wise marketing move. If you’re not familiar with this term, it simply means giving your book permanently free. An author drops the price of one book to zero dollars on all non-Amazon platforms then emails Amazon to ask them to price-match so that it’s also free there.
Did you know that 60 percent of surveyed readers say they always read the discounted books they have discovered? What’s more? These surveyed readers said that after they downloaded an author’s free book, they later purchased another book by that author. According to many successful authors, their free books tend to get downloaded far more frequently than paid ones, therefore, driving traffic and attention to everything written by the same author.
So, how does one make their book permanently free? You should sign up for a service like Draft2Digital or Smashwords.
If you have not done it, now is the time to try this strategy. Permafree titles are proven to lure readers into buying paid sequels. But please ensure that you have good read-through and a large enough backlist to make this a viable strategy.
If I haven’t convinced you of giving your book permafree, then cycling temporary promotions is your next best option. Cycling through backlist titles is a common strategy for high-earning authors. This can come in the form of a limited-time giveaway or just heavy discounts on your ebooks or audiobooks, which typically entails dropping a full-price book to between $0.99 and $2.99- the major price points. Running a limited promo for a few days can supercharge the traffic to a book, in turn influencing readers to check out your other books in the process. My books have repeatedly clinched the Amazon bestseller from my ebook promotions. If you have chosen the Amazon’s platform which is KDP, you can start a Kindly Countdown or a Free Book Promotion. However, you must enroll your ebook first in Kindle Unlimited to make it eligible for promotion.
Learn Online Skills
I always tell the authors I coach that writing the book is just half the battle. Marketing it is the other half.
There are a couple of online skills you need to learn right way to improve your author branding. One is copywriting. According to the bestselling author of The 1-Page Marketing Plan Allan Dib, “ Almost no other skill will reward you as richly as being able to write compelling words. Being able to clearly articulate why a prospect should buy from you rather than your competitors, in a way that creates emotion and motivates them to action is the master skill of marketing.”
Furthermore, you need to be visible to dominate the market. Use social media to your greatest advantage. By becoming proficient in the most prominent social networks, you will keep yourself ahead of the curve.
The last item I want to raise here is learning how to do simple graphics for your marketing activities. I especially enjoy using Canva because it hosts a plethora of templates I can just use and tweak to suit my design purposes.
Overall, you must consciously and continuously build your own personal brand. Having a large social media presence and following will add a lot of value to your career as an author. Think of your social media activities as assets that you will be building on throughout. Consequently, nurture and use your networks wisely now, and they will pay you big dividends later.
Dominate this 2021!
Let me end this article by quoting one of my favorite management gurus who is Stephen R. Covey. He said, “To achieve goals you haven’t achieved before, you need to start doing things you have never done before.”
You may want to look at my Ink Your Legacy writing course outline. It is still discounted until January 9. If this is something you need, you can go ahead with the enrollment and I will see you on January 11 for our class orientation.
Go to this link:
Seven Strategies to Market your Book the "Celebrity" Way
Do you want your books to earn? Do you secretly wish to build not just one but multiple passive income streams through your books? Do you want to be a better endorser of your books?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, then I invite you to read the rest of this piece; otherwise, you can carry on with whatever task you're on right now because I do not want to waste your time.
When an author becomes a bestseller, he or she becomes an instant celebrity. But one does not need to become a bestseller before they start to enjoy the rewards of being a celebrated author. With the right strategies, you can cross the realm of being invisible to becoming visible to people. When you are "seen," you increase the likelihood of being famous; and the more you are famous, the more people will buy your books.
While money is a renewable resource, time is not. As authors, time and timing are crucial components to everything we do for ourselves as authors and the books we write.
I met a lot of newbie and old-time authors who find marketing a heavy burden to carry. They feel awkward to talk about their books for fear of being branded as cheap salesmen when they do it.
When you beg people to buy your books, that's unethical marketing. When you spam people's inboxes, that's illegal marketing. When you bribe people to buy your books, that's desperate marketing.
Certainly, I do not recommend that you resort to these kinds of low marketing strategies. You simply cannot drop your book's link to other people's social media accounts and pretend it's acceptable behavior. This manner is off-putting and damaging to your reputation.
However, doing nothing at all to market your books is counterproductive. Even if you sign with traditional publishers, you cannot hope to promote you far and wide, especially if you are just starting in this industry. The crux of this work lies on you. Let that sink in now.
Imagine all the efforts, time and money you put into creating your books only to be disheartened that there are not too many interested people to buy them.
This should NOT be your story. If your books are currently collecting cobwebs in the vast shelves of Amazon and other outlets, now is the time to revamp things!
What's more? You can actually enjoy the entire process of marketing and launch each of your books the celebrity way!
Here are my top seven strategies for marketing my book the "celebrity" way.
Work with celebrities, endorsers, and micro influencers.
This advice might seem too obvious, but this is exactly what I have been doing in the last three years since I started self-publishing my books. I have successfully collaborated with artists, politicians, literary greats, Pablo Neruda Centennial awardees, YouTube sensations, Instagram influencers, TV personalities, and many more who endorse my books for free. If you are the introvert type, I expect that you will readily turn down this advice. However, regardless of your personality, you can still offer a win-win situation where people can see the value of what you have to offer.
The first rule is to build the relationship first before you ASK. Collaboration is both a skill and an art. Learn the ropes of human interaction and be genuine. At the heart and core of successful collaboration is mutual respect. Never pester people with your tall order of demands without anything valuable to offer.
I have a book entitled Collab is Fab, which is available to all my course students. In this book, I have shared principles and proven strategies to winning people to work with you and for you without hurting your pocket.
Create a Beautiful Trailer
Many people prefer short videos over lengthy blogs. A well-planned trailer can create curiosity and ignite interest among your potential readers. iMovie app allows you to use pre-made trailers and replace the script, audio and images in the templates. My simple rule in the creation process is to be original. Look for the best trailers out there and do something different. For example, instead of using stock photos and videos, why not use your very own assets? There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the length of the trailer. You can keep it to two to three minutes only. Or fifteen seconds. So long as you can achieve the desired buzz and mystery around your books, feel free to explore.
This recent book trailer I made for my upcoming poetry book, Chiaroscuro, has been viewed over a thousand times in just the first hour since it was released. You may view it through this link: https://www.inkyourlegacy.com/
Harness the Power of the Social Media
Do not rely on one single source of media to funnel people to your website. Now is the time to create your Author and Business accounts on social media. I highly recommend opening an account with Goodreads, Bookbub and Amazon Author Central. However, do not be ubiquitous or you will drown in the ceaseless cycle of having to engage with the wrong audiences. Choose only two or three social media to launch your direct response marketing and consequently drive traffic to your website.
These are some of the simple and clever way to use social media to promote your books:
Write a Compelling Press Release
If you are a newbie author, there is a slim chance to get noticed by giant TV networks or posh magazines. Right? Wrong! I used to think that way, but I discovered ways to champion people from the media to promote me because of my ambition to succeed.
What is my secret? I write compelling press releases.
Each time I release a book, I contact various media outlets. Why? Because the media will give you the mileage that you cannot achieve doing things just by yourself.
During the launch of my debut poetry book Bards from the Far East in 2018, three TV stations, two radio announcers, and a couple of vloggers covered the event. A week after, I was offered to host a paid hosting gig on a local television show. Since then, I found myself guesting in local and international podcasts and interviews. My book was also featured last November on CNN News Philippines and Rico Hizon guested me on The Final Word show. Rico Hizon is the first Filipino to enter BBC and CNBC as a news anchor. He is now one of my co-authors, Chooseday for Entrepreneurs.
Watch the full interview here
Hold a Grand Virtual Book Launch
I love the many things we can do because of our technology. Today you no longer must spend so much to launch a book, and your reach is global. So, why will you limit your exposure when you can be seen elsewhere? Go LIVE on Facebook or YouTube and you will be delighted at the tremendous results as far as engagement goes. My FB Page called GMGA Publishing now has over 1,000 followers since I created it during the second half of 2020.
I am growing all my social media channels organically, thanks to my live interviews.
Translate your Books
Get your book translated into one of the widely spoken languages like Spanish, Italian, French, or German to increase your sales reach. One of my book clients is a consistent Amazon bestseller whose poetry books clinch the Hot New Releases each time she publishes. What is her secret? She makes her book available in different languages.
My new poetry book is translated into Italian, French, and Spanish. The writer of my book's Foreword is an award-winning writer from Romania. Also, the writer of my book's Preface is a Nobel Prize nominee from Pakistan. I have invited ten authors of different nationalities to write pre-reviews. Isn't it exciting to see your writings translated into other languages? Try it and attract more readers. It works!
Build your Brand
Marketing does not happen on the day you launch your book. The best time to start marketing was yesterday, and the second-best time is today. As authors, we write books as solutions to our reader's problems.
We need to develop that skill to enter the ongoing conversation taking place in our readers' minds and position ourselves as the experts who can provide the right solutions to their problems.
The painful truth is that nobody cares about you or your book; they only care about what you and your book can do for them. Therefore, your book should answer the question that people are already asking, and your Author brand should show the reader why you're the right person to trust for the answer. Your expertise is the heart of your Author brand.
Whether you like it or not, your likeability as a person plays a critical component to your success as an author. In today's trifecta, people will root for the authors they like more than the authors who do not appeal to them, even if they are the best writers on the planet.
It takes effort. It takes skill. It takes personality. But everything can be learned and deliberately practiced.
Be a celebrity author. Look the part. Act the part. And build an empire.
For more of this, email firstname.lastname@example.org