There is one magic trick for marketing your books (or blog or brand or self)…
What’s that you protest? Everyone else tells you “there’s no magic trick to successful marketing?” Yep, I’ve heard that too. Don’t believe them, they’re wrong.
There is one magic trick to marketing and it is this…
Don’t spread yourself too thinly.
Right, off you trot and get on with it.
Actually, woah, hang on… before you go, allow me to explain a little further.
You Don’t Eat An Elephant In One Sitting
You’ve taken all this time to write a book, you’ve sweated blood drafting and revising and honing and polishing and ensuring every single word is just as good as it could possibly be. So, quite naturally, you want to shout out to the whole world about your amazing achievement and have them all (hopefully) clamour to read it and (even more hopefully) shell out a few shiny coins for the privilege.
The problem is, you simply can’t reach everyone all at once. And if you try, you will dissolve into a rather messy-looking puddle of frustration, irritation, exasperation, desperation and a whole bundle of other -ations which I’ll let you dream up for yourselves.
No. The simple truth is, if you try and do everything at once, you’ll fail. Guaranteed.
Facebook, Twitter, blog, LinkedIn, Goodreads, Google+, Wattpad, the list goes on and on and on seemingly endlessly, much like Big Brother.
Take it from a grizzled, campaign-hardened (campaign, it’s a pun, geddit??) marketing veteran – you choose your battles and fight them one at a time. The order in which you tackle your battlefields is largely irrelevant and completely of your choosing.
If you attempt to develop an audience and grow your following across multiple platforms at once, you will go utterly out of your mind and give up probably within a month. And that’s if you’re dedicated. Most last a couple of weeks.
Know What You Like And Like What You Know
Find the platform you are most drawn to and start there. Some like Twitter for its brevity: fine. Others prefer the chatty loquaciousness afforded by Facebook: equally fine. If you find yourself drawn to the Communities of Google+: fine as well.
Just pick the one you like and focus on getting to understand that really really well. Know the types of users, experiment with different post types, use pictures, words, links, whatever you fancy. But don’t try and run before you can walk.
I’ve been blogging for a couple of years now and I’m a big fan of G+ and Twitter, but don’t do so well on LinkedIn. I’ll experiment with it again at some point, but right now I’m developing my audience on my blog and my favoured channels. And it’s working.
In time, you’ll find the audience you develop on your Number One Platform will keep ticking over when you wander off to test out another for a bit. It’s like spinning plates.
So, if the sheer effort and commitment involved in marketing your books seems daunting – overwhelming even – take a breath and a step back (watch out for that coffee table…) and set your sights on one particular target.
Then launch yourself headlong at it.
So tell me, which platforms work best for you and why?