Who’s inside your Inner Circle?
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received about successfully launching your book – and yourself, for that matter – is to marshal the forces you already have at your disposal. Take a long, hard look at your virtual Rolodex and identify the members of your inner circle. Could be 25 people, 50 people, even 100. The point is, these are the people who are loyal to you, who love what you do, who support you, who will go out of their way for you, who’ve been with you for the long haul, and who – when you need them most – will give you honest answers to difficult questions and help you launch your book, product, or business.
Think of these folks as a team of ambassadors or raving fans. Some may already consider themselves a part of your team. Some may be flattered when you officially invite them to join your insiders’ club. Some may thank you and decline, as they prefer to offer their support on their own terms and/or may be busy running businesses and lives of their own.
So what are the most important traits you want the members of your insiders’ club to possess?
- Be sure they are individuals you trust and respect, who conduct themselves with character and integrity.
- Try for a group with a variety of skills, talents, and personalities (e.g., a good mix of introverts and extroverts).
- Look for the people who’ve already proven they are willing to stay the course with you – the ones who’ve seen you through the most amazing successes and have also stood by you through life’s inevitable downturns.
- You may want some strong team players, as well as a few lone wolves.
- Surround yourself with people who share your vision and enthusiasm for your goals.
- Of course you want those who are competent and have proven track records in their own areas of expertise.
- And, perhaps most importantly, ally yourself with influencers – just remember that someone needn’t be the gregarious life of the party to hold lots of sway with the audience you are trying to reach.
Next, figure out exactly what you want these folks to do for you. Perhaps it’s helping you with your crowdfunding campaign. Maybe it’s sending out announcements about your book launch. It could be retweeting your hashtags or sharing your Facebook and LinkedIn posts. Perhaps it’s much more subtle, in that they simply mention you in conversation to the influencers in their own circles.
In exchange for their advice and support, you can find great ways to reward your inner circle. Ideas include:
- Giving them the chance to read and comment on your rough drafts
- Providing advance reader copies (ARCs) and asking them for blurbs
- Sending them autographed copies of the printed book in advance of your actual launch date
- Hosting a private VIP event for them
- Naming characters after them or using their stories as case studies in your next book
Lastly, find a great name to call these insiders. Laura’s Lemmings and Marcie’s Mascots are probably not the best ideas. Some call them insiders’ clubs or VIP clubs. Put on your SBM* thinking cap and come up with a great name that resonates with your book(s), your brand, and your specific group of insiders.
Here’s to identifying your inner tribe!
Laura*Savvy Book Marketer
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