Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘think like a marketer’

Planning to sell books during the holidays? Better start thinking like a sales superstar!

Yes, we often talk about this concept here at the Marcie Brock blog. The reason is that for quite a few authors – and holiday booksother professionals and business owners – marketing is the most difficult part of doing business. My friend Connie Kadansky is an international sales coach and trainer. I recently asked her to come speak to the Phoenix Publishing and Book Promotion Meetup, which I organize. The topic I asked her to speak on? How to Ask for What You Want and Get It.

There are two people in my life who get what they want just about every time an idea comes to them: Connie, and my 22-year-old niece, Samantha. What makes them so special? Do they know some secret? Do they have magic powers? Would you believe me if I told you that the answer to both questions is YES!

Both Connie and Samantha have an uncanny ability to get very, very clear about what they want. Then, they visualize the end result they are trying to achieve as already complete. And the last magic steps are accepting that it’s done and being grateful for the outcome. After that, they just sit back and watch the Universe conspire to support them in achieving their goals – whatever they may be. Whether it’s traveling around the world or landing a coveted speaking gig at a rock-star event, both Connie and Sam ask for what they want and get it nearly every time. I am personally getting much, much better at this, but I’ve got a way to go before I become the master of manifestation that they are.

So what does this have to do with sales? Absolutely everything, because your success as a salesperson is directly related to your mindset. You’ve got to see yourself achieving the results you want before you even pick up the phone, walk into that bookstore, send that email, or begin that conversation with someone at a book signing. And the only way you can see yourself as successful at sales is if you admit that you’re actually in sales.

It was a relatively small group that Connie spoke to for the Publishing Meetup, but it should surprise no one to hear that at least half of those in attendance were incredibly resistant to her message. Why? They don’t see themselves as salespeople. They are authors and writers (and perhaps other professions, too), but they are most definitely not in sales. Is it any wonder, then, that they struggle with selling books?

Connie shared a great story with us. A recent survey of plastic surgeons found that those who are willing to embrace sales PSP-Magazine2and marketing have 6-month waiting lists. On the other hand, those who insist that they are Board Certified Doctors who wouldn’t dare to stoop to the indignity of becoming salespeople are closing their second offices and working only three days a week. Of all the medical disciplines, plastic surgery is the one most reliant on marketing, because it is largely an elective procedure. People don’t generally flip through Physicians Monthly making note of cardiologists or oncologists, in case they should ever have a need. But if plastic surgeons are unwilling to do what it takes to get in front of prospective patients, common sense tells us that those prospective patients are going to use the doctors who are willing to market their services.

It’s a mindset thing. Are you a lead generation specialist first, or are you an author first? Seems to come back to that chicken-and-egg question from our last post, doesn’t it? Except that the answer is clear. If selling our books is important to us – that is, if we wrote them with the intention of finding readers for them – we have to embrace the sales and marketing side, adjusting our mindsets and making time for it.

There are just 115 days till Christmas. What are your sales outlook and marketing plans for those 3-1/2 months? If you don’t have any, sit down right now and sketch it out. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. In fact, the simpler, the better. Just make sure you do have a plan. And that you take action every day to implement it.

Want help creating a holiday marketing plan? Email me at holidaymarketing@writemarketdesign.com to book your complimentary half-hour consultation.

Wishing you great success in mastering your sales mindset!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below."Practical Philanthropy" book cover

__________________

Check out Laura’s newest book, Practical Philanthropy: How ‘Giving Back’ Helps You, Your Business, and the World Around You. A percentage of all book sales is donated to Art4TheHomeless.org and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Best advice to new authors: Learn to think like a MARKETER!

For the next 8 days, we’ll be taking a little detour from the traditional marketing posts you’ve come to know and love on the Marcie Brock blog as I lead by example and follow my own writing prompts for the Author Blog Challenge.

______________________

Day 21 writing prompt:

What is the single best piece of advice you’ve ever received about the publishing process and/or would advice would you offer to a first-time author?

About 9 years ago, I met a man to whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude for the success I’ve had in my business. I don’t even recall how we met, but he took an interest in me and took me under his eccentric wing to teach me everything he knew about marketing – which was considerable. He’d made a name for himself in the tech industry, building and selling a few companies from his base in Cincinnati, Ohio.

When he and his then-fiancée decided to move to Phoenix, he did his research. He jumped online and began exploring all the science, technology, and marketing groups and organizations in the Valley. He was looking, specifically, at their officers and boards of directors, paying particular note to the names that reappeared across multiple organizations. Those, he figured, were the people he’d most like to get to know once he moved here. So he called them up and set up meetings with them the week he arrived. Guess what? Instant network! Sure, he still had to do the happy hours and rubber-chicken lunches, too – but he arrived already “knowing” a few key players in his field. Smart guy? You bet.

And when it came to marketing, he was equally sharp. I used to tell people this guy could take a blank sheet of paper and see 27 marketing opportunities in it, where all I saw was a blank sheet of paper. The thing is, he had trained himself to think like a marketer. Eventually, after hanging out with him for a while, spending 3 days a week with my rock-star personal trainer, and joining a business development group called Shared Vision Network, I began to learn to think like a marketer, too.

I even borrowed a tagline to that effect from James Malinchak, a prolific (and profitable) speaker on the college circuit. When people ask for my USP or what makes me different from all the other editors and self-publishing consultants out there, I tell them that I specialize in teaching my authors to think like marketers.

And that’s the best advice I can offer any author – either a newbie or one who’s been around for a while but is not selling as many books as they’d like.

LEARN TO THINK LIKE A MARKETER.

When I started this blog, I did a number of pieces about mindset – because if we’re to succeed at any venture, the most important thing is having a success mindset. So first we’ve got to give ourselves permission to market our books! Then, we have to embrace marketing and study it like a scientist in a lab.

That means watching the TV ads instead of flipping past them. It means engaging the phone solicitors and door-to-door folks who still go around the neighborhoods. It means noticing Internet ads and listening to radio ads and reading the ads in magazines and newspapers. It means tuning in to the marketing messages that surround us daily, instead of tuning them out.

The reason for this is very simple: you will only become good at marketing when you become well-versed at it and know what works and what doesn’t work.

Ask my husband what a critic I am of TV commercials. But I’m an equal-opportunity critic: I will cheer a great ad as quickly as I boo a bad one. I saw a great print ad in a magazine during my accidental computer hiatus a couple weeks ago and made him stop what he was doing to listen while I read it to him. “So do you want me to go get you some mayonnaise now?” he asked at the end of it.

The good and bad news is that once you learn to think like a marketer, your marketer’s brain is always going. Sometimes you’ve got remind yourself to simply be in a situation, without sizing up the marketing potential for your community theatre group or the PTA at your kids’ school.

How good are you at thinking like a marketer?

Do you see the natural product or industry tie-ins for your book? Are you making a list of the groups and organizations that might be a natural fit? How about the holidays – are you paying attention to which seasons or specific holidays might lend themselves to special book promotions or contests?

Please understand, however, that thinking like a marketer does not give you carte-blanche to be that guy or that gal who does the Business Card Shuffle at networking events or tries to ply their book at every turn. If the opportunity arises, certainly you will mention your book. But you won’t go out of your way to create artificial (i.e., obnoxious) reasons to bring it up in every conversation.

Learn to think like a marketer. If you’re not there yet, have no fear. Go back and read Marcie’s blog from the beginning (OK, skip the ones that just aren’t for you … but I guarantee that it’s all quite scintillating material)! And begin paying attention. Notice when ads speak to you. What about them catches your attention? Pay attention to the products you purchase. Do you know why you buy the things you buy at the grocery store or why you purchase a particular brand of gasoline (petrol for you UK types) or clothing? Which blog headlines grab you? What do they have that others don’t? Which websites do you visit? Look for product placement in TV shows and movies. Ask yourselves how those products got there and let your mind wander to the ways you could create tie-ins for your book.

For instance, 1,001 Real-Life Questions for Women has nearly 100 questions that deal in some way with the topic of sex, love, and/or romance. I think a book isolating those questions is a natural giveaway or promotion for a company like Passion Parties. (BTW, did you know there’s a blog called Christian Nymphos? Tagline: Married Sex: Spicy, the way God intended it to be!)

Book marketing is not rocket science. It requires creativity, patience, and a willingness to dive in. What are you waiting for?

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

In honor of our 1-year anniversary (May 2, 2012), we’re hosting the Author Blog Challenge! It starts June 2 and is open to published authors, authors-in-progress, and would-be authors. Come check us out!

Read Full Post »

Please  A book marketing haiku

As you may recall, I’m not much of a poet. I hated poetry in college but now wish I’d listened to my advisor and taken more of it. In response to a reader comment, I did a post with several ideas for how to market your poetry. Then I came across this quote by Seth Godin, which is a nice reminder that most poets and bloggers are in it for the love of their craft:

“Just as we don’t spend a lot of time worrying about how
all those poets out there are going to monetize their poetry,
the same is true for most bloggers.”
— Seth Godin

I am tackling poetry again in today’s blog as a part of the 2012 Word Count Blogathon. Today’s is Day 21 in the 31-day blog challenge. The theme for today is haiku, which means … you guessed it. I’ve written one.

For those unfamiliar with this style of poetry, a haiku is a very short form of Japanese poetry that typically possesses three qualities:

  • The essence of haiku is cutting, which often is represented by the nearby positioning of two images or ideas with a “cutting” word between them that serves as a sort of verbal punctuation mark signaling the break separating them.
  • A haiku consists of 17 syllables or sounds: 5, 7 and 5 respectively.
  • Haiku traditionally contain a seasonal reference.

According to WikiHow, “a haiku is meant to be a meditation of sorts that conveys an image or a feeling.” In reading many haiku (there is no plural word for haiku), you will notice they either present one idea for the first two lines and then switch quickly to something else, or they reference one thought with the first and last line, and another thought with the middle line. “Haiku has been called an “unfinished” poem because each one requires the reader to finish it in his or her heart,” the WikiHow article continues.

Like any writing or forms of art, haiku takes practice. I am not practiced at it. One of Marcie’s subscribers, however, is quite practiced: read Five Reflections’ daily haiku here.

OK – without any further delay, the unveiling…

To sell books I work

Branding and marketing them

Won’t you buy one, please?

Though there is no seasonal reference, I do think it hits the idea of conveying a feeling, a somewhat plaintive pleading to make all my efforts worthwhile. See, I can even tie in book marketing to a poetry challenge – and I’ll bet you can, too!

The idea is to learn to think like a marketer. Not that the first words out of your mouth when you meet someone new are: “Hi. I wrote a book. Do you want to buy a copy?” But that you keep marketing at a low simmer on the back burner, so that when an opportunity or idea you can leverage into an opportunity does show up, you will recognize it and be ready and able to act on it.

If you’d like to take a break from your own book marketing and try your hand at haiku, definitely read the WikiHow piece on writing a haiku.

Happy haiku!

MARCIE

SOURCES

http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Haiku-Poem

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haiku

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

In honor of our 1-year anniversary (May 2, 2012), we’re hosting the Author Blog Challenge! It starts June 2 and is open to published authors, authors-in-progress, and would-be authors. Come check us out and register today!

__________________

PREVIOUS POSTS

Monday, May 7 Blog tour tips from A to Z

Read Full Post »

Sunday Creativity Reboot

No matter what we do for a living, if we have any sort of balance in our lives, we cannot be that person 100 percent of the time, living around the clock in whatever role we’ve adopted. Sure, we probably perform certain roles like wife and mother 24/7, but I’m talking more about professional roles, like banker, personal shopper, chef. This includes the role of Book Marketing Maven.

A large percentage of marketing success hinges on creativity. As I see it, creativity has three components:

  • Creativity is making, inventing, or designing something – or seeing the old in a new way.
  • Creativity requires openness and the ability to tune into your intuition. It requires that you let go of pre-conceived ideas.
  • Creativity must be infused with joy, delight, bliss, happiness – emotions that happen naturally as a result of our well-being, success, or good fortune.

Creativity is about viewing world through a prism of possibilities. Sometimes, though, even the most creative among us just need some down time to rest, relax, and reboot. Or perhaps we’ve never perceived ourselves as particularly creative.

Years ago, I taught a workshop called “If You Have a Brain, You ARE a Creative Person!” One of the biggest challenges with some participants was getting them to move past their own gremlins that told them they weren’t creative. Perhaps you have just such a creature running amok among your gray matter, telling you things like, “Oh, sure, you wrote a book, but you’re not clever enough to think of interesting ways to market it.”

First, thank your gremlin – for the only way to silence the gremlin is to acknowledge it. Then in no uncertain terms, tell it that just for today you’re going to approach things a little differently.

Once you’ve sated the gremlin – however temporarily – take a look at the list of suggestions below for ways to reboot your dormant or fatigued creative neurons. Try any or all of them. Use them as a jumping off point for your own list of ways to rekindle the childlike creativity that was once so readily accessible.

  1. Personalize your work space, making it colorful and fun. Use plants, pictures, your kids’ drawings, vacation souvenirs, etc.
  2. Take a different route home from work tomorrow.
  3. Meditate.
  4. Lie down on the grass and look for shapes in the clouds.
  5. Go browse in a toy store – without the kids.
  6. Visit a museum you’ve never been to before.
  7. Watch TV with the volume off and make up your own dialogue.
  8. Read a book or watch a movie from a genre you usually avoid.
  9. Go shopping for cute socks, new earrings, a bright new tie.
  10. Test drive a car just for the fun/experience of it.
  11. Go to a playground and listen to the sound of children’s laughter.
  12. Plant sunflowers in your front yard.
  13. Get some crayons and color in a coloring book.
  14. Visit a thrift store or yard sale and, spending no more than $2, buy the first object that inspires you.
  15. Hit the bargain rack at a record store and test out a new kind of music.
  16. Take a walk in your neighborhood and observe something you’ve never noticed before.
  17. Sing in the shower.
  18. Rearrange the furniture in one room of your house.
  19. Visit a costume shop and try on something outrageous. Bonus points if you rent it and wear it out.
  20. Journal.
  21. Go to your favorite restaurant and order something you’ve never ordered before.
  22. Write a letter to yourself using your nondominant hand.
  23. Buy a sketch pad and carry it with you wherever you go. Use it – even if you think you can’t draw.
  24. Learn a new language. There are great CDs and programs available at the library.
  25. Buy or build a bird feeder and hang it in your yard. Watch the birds congregate around it.

What do any of these things have to do with marketing your book? Nothing, necessarily. But if they coax a sleepy brain cell or two into stretching enough to consider a new idea, they’ve done their job. Whatever you do, realize that all of life is a choice. You have a brain, so you are a creative person – and an SBM*, if only a fledgling one.

Enjoy your Sunday creativity reboot. And come Monday, get out there and start thinking like a marketer!

Laura

* Savvy Book Marketer
__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

In honor of our 1-year anniversary (May 2, 2012), we’re hosting the Author Blog Challenge! It starts June 2 and is open to published authors, authors-in-progress, and would-be authors. Come check us out and register today!

Read Full Post »

Authors, if you want to sell books, you must embrace your marketer within

Years ago, I met a gal at a networking group I belonged to who, when asked about her BHAG (big, hairy audacious goal), publicly declared that she intended to be the first Mary Kay distributor to build a million-dollar business. Later in the same meeting, she publicly stated that she fast-forwarded through commercials, had signed up for the Do Not Call List, and pretty much eschewed any attempt by anyone to market to her.

I haven’t seen her since then, but I don’t have to guess whether she ever reached her goal.

Interestingly, many people – authors chief among them – are horrifically averse to the moniker “salesperson.” This in spite of the fact that, as marketing master Adam Urbanski says, “All business owners are in two businesses: the business they’re in and selling and marketing the business they’re in.”

My friend Connie is an international sales trainer who specializes in helping clients overcome Sales Call Reluctance®, which is defined as the emotional hesitation to prospect or self-promote. There are 12 identified forms of Call Reluctance, including one called “Role Rejection.” According to Connie’s website, people with this form of Call Reluctance “are secretly ashamed of any kind of selling. They deflect any association with being a salesperson and tend to believe that society dislikes salespeople, and they themselves get irritated and annoyed when salespeople solicit them.”

If you’re an author who hopes to sell books, it might be a worthwhile exercise to take a personal inventory of your attitude toward salespeople. If you deliberately skip commercials, hate telemarketers with a venom, and reject all attempts to sell or market to you, you may be experiencing Role Rejection – and inadvertently jeopardizing your book sales success.

This is not, however, meant to be an indictment – just an opportunity to reframe your thoughts about sales and marketing. I’ll admit that some marketers are devious, and not all salespeople are scrupulous, but no one is suggesting that you ally with those types of folks. I am suggesting that you consider your sales goals for your book and look for ways to see marketing as a positive – perhaps even fun – enterprise. Trust me, if you view it as a chore you hate, you’ll be a lot less successful at it.

One thing I enjoy is watching and critiquing TV commercials. Some of them are absolutely fantastic; in other cases, I wonder whether the creative departments at certain ad agencies even watched their commercials before airing them. In either event, though, I am honing my marketing skills by noticing what works, what attracts me, and what makes me cringe.

You can do this too, whether it’s with TV ads, radio commercials, banner ads on the Web, or calls from telemarketers. One man Connie recently interviewed for the book she’s writing told her, “Those calls certainly don’t irritate me, because, at the end of the day, I’m a conversationalist. … So if someone wants to call me and open the door to a conversation, I’m willing to have that conversation with them.” What a refreshing way to view a phenomenon most of us see as an irritating intrusion.

We spoke a long time ago about learning to think like a marketer. In order to do that, it might just be time to retire your inner Role Rejecter and instead embrace your marketer within.

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

Visit the Write | Market | Design Facebook page to meet other authors and aspiring authors who have a sincere interest in writing, publishing, and selling the best books they can. And if you need a self-publishing consultant in your corner for anything from advice on structure to developing a marketing strategy, drop us a note at MarcieBrock@WriteMarketDesign.com or give us a call at 602.518.5376!

Read Full Post »

Give yourself PERMISSION to market your books.

(Please click on image to enlarge.)

I know, I know – the title on this post sounds somewhat ridiculous. Why would authors have to give themselves permission to market their own books? The books are THEIR books, aren’t they? Who’s going to stop them from marketing those books? Aha – now we’re getting somewhere. Who IS going to stop you, the author, from marketing your own book? Would you believe me if I told you that YOU are the most likely culprit?

It’s all about a little thing my good friend Therese Skelly likes to call mindset. And if you mean to become an SBM* and get really good at marketing your books, you must first master your mindset. This means embracing the role of marketer and salesperson, confident that you have an excellent product (your book) to sell to your very hungry market (your potential readers).

In all my years participating in the Phoenix networking and business development circle, one thing that still amazes me is how difficult it is for many people to promote themselves and their businesses. They just have a huge hesitation to say, “Here’s what I do, and you should hire/buy from me because I’m pretty good at it.” Unfortunately, many authors struggle from the same challenges.

What’s behind this fear of self-promotion? Lots of things, most likely – but the biggest one appears to be a hugely emotional fear of rejection. “What if they don’t like my book?” Last post, I encouraged you to develop a thick skin. Now I’m STRONGLY encouraging you to give yourself permission to promote your book. Take a page out of Debbie Allen‘s playbook and become a shameless self-promoter.

If it’s a good book that can help people, you owe it to them to let them know about it. If it’s a fictional work that will truly move your readers, don’t you think they want the opportunity to read it? Get over your fear, false humility, or whatever is holding you back and get out there to toot your own horn! Because here’s the deal – it will be difficult to impossible to get anyone else to promote your book for you or with you if you don’t take the lead by passionately promoting it yourself.

See you Thursday!

MARCIE

*Savvy Book Marketer

__________________

We’d love it if you’d take a few minutes to give us some feedback via SurveyMonkey about an upcoming Author Sales Training Webinar series we’ve got in the works. Anyone who completes the survey and provides a viable e-mail address will be eligible to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

__________________

PREVIOUS POSTS

Thursday, June 2 – You’ve got to develop a thick skin if you’re going to get SERIOUS about SELLING your books

Monday, May 30 – If you REALLY want to sell books, you’ve got to learn to start thinking like a marketer

Thursday, May 26 You must know why YOU are writing this book – and be able to talk about it

Read Full Post »

You’ve got to develop a thick skin if you’re going to get SERIOUS about SELLING books.

You've got to develop a THICK SKIN if you're going to take this SELLING thing seriously(Please click on image to enlarge.)

OK, so you’ve been listening and paying attention to our little blog. You’re even starting to enjoy wearing your SBM Hat*. Unfortunately, I’ve got to throw just a little cold water on you right now, before we take another step forward. I’ve got some news that may hurt, so I want you to hear it from me first: Not everybody is going to like your book. I’m sorry to be the bearer of such dastardly news – but that’s just a fact.

HOWEVER, the point I want you to take from this is that it’s best to get used to that idea NOW, and move on, rather than have it punch you in the gut later.

This situation reminds me of a conversation I once had with a friend who was startled because someone in her office did not get along with her. “But everybody likes me,” she wailed. It seemed strange for a woman in her late 20s to be coming to the realization that, in fact, everyone did NOT like her. The same is true for your writing. The cold, hard fact is that no matter how good your book is, there will be someone who doesn’t like it. It may truly be the World’s Best Book, but still there will be people out there who simply do not care for it.

Writing is an art, a passion, a devotion – and to do it well, the writer exposes a piece of her soul. She puts her thoughts, ideas, creations into words and onto paper … and if she means it to have impact beyond her own personal catharsis, she will release her creation for the world to see. And comment upon. Putting your writing out there exposes you to the reaction of your readers, both positive, and not so positive.

If you’re going to sell this book, though, you’ve got to put aside the detractors, find the people who love and support your work, and cultivate them. Avoid getting hung up on the one reviewer who didn’t like your book, focusing instead on building your platform with readers who are clamoring for more.

See you Monday!

MARCIE

*Savvy Book Marketer

__________________

Visit Write | Market | Design to download your Marketing Skills Evaluation. This will help you determine how close you are to SBM status, and where you may need a little extra boost.

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

__________________

PREVIOUS POSTS

Monday, May 30 – If you REALLY want to sell books, you’ve got to learn to start thinking like a marketer

Thursday, May 26 You must know why YOU are writing this book – and be able to talk about it

Monday, May 23 – You can’t build your platform if you don’t KNOW your reader

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: