Marketing Strategies LOL!
Does the very idea of using marketing strategies or self-promotion make you want to lie down in a darkened room for a week?
You may be launching your own book, course, or new product or even sending out a resumé or job application.
Having recently launched my own book, I've realised that, very often, the whole subject needs to be approached on more than one level. Both inner and outer work is required.
I have to start by saying that I have always had great resistance to marketing strategies and self-promotion. My 2 CDs featuring my violin and guitar duo, the Laurus Freestyle Duo, (there I go self-promoting!), lovingly recorded and beautifully designed, were pretty much left to fend for themselves. My Mum has been my best salesperson where they were concerned!!
And despite being on both Facebook and Twitter I have always had a love-hate relationship with social media. They have often felt too time-consuming, jealousy-provoking, guilt-inducing and fear-generating.
So when I received an email from a dear friend a few days ago asking me for the name of my ‘business marketing consultant’ I had to laugh…I knew the reality behind my smooth, professional-looking book launch campaign.
The last minute panics, the things left undone or done very reluctantly and all the underlying fears and doubts which I have had to work through…
Just as I did in my book, I have realized that marketing and self-promotion, or rather, being able to market and self-promote, has to be addressed on two levels. There are the outer actions to take (coming right up), but even more importantly (IMHO) the inner work to be done – which allows and enables those actions.
So depending on where you are at, you are welcome to skim, scan, skip or study…and with any luck this information will be of some value to you.
The 'Outer' Work:
My 4 marketing strategies for ‘The Music Inside’ have been:
- My Launch Team
- Promo Sites and Strategies
- New Author Website
My Launch Team
This consists of 148 people, and they have provided me with a lot of support, joy and great feedback, and an ever-increasing sense of gratitude and wonder for my fellow human beings.
How on earth did I come up with so many people (you may be wondering)?
Well, first of all I joined a self-publishing school, when I realized that I would never get my book written and published all on my own. Through their community I met many fellow authors in the couple of months previous to setting up my team – reading other self-published books was extremely encouraging and an unexpected bonus of this whole process.
Then others from EFT groups. EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique or ‘Tapping’, is my ‘energy healing modality’ of choice (click to read my article 'EFT, The Whats, Whens and Hows') and I have worked for the last 5 years with a wonderful EFT expert Brad Yates (it’s all in the book!) – and through him have met an assortment of amazing people who shared their interest in the book even before it was published.
A few fellow musicians, when they heard I was writing a book called ‘The Music Inside’, and who are also into the whole self-help aspect of my book, got in touch with me too which was great.
In these different groups I posted asking for feedback about my title, subtitle and also showing off my beautiful book cover. The comments I received didn’t necessarily change my mind but all the suggestions have been put to good use on my new website and in the book descriptions I wrote on Amazon and for Promo Sites.
So a varied and very interesting cast of characters.
In order to contact all these people and keep them informed of progress, I set up (and this is where my book buddy, website designer and general advisor, Claudia Svartefoss, came in), Mailchimp and a Facebook group for my launch team.
Mailchimp is a way of sending multiple emails to multiple recipients without being frowned upon by the Internet gods. It is free to set up and for this level of interaction works perfectly. And you get a monkey high-five every time you send a ‘campaign’ (email to the uninitiated!). What more can you ask?!
I’ve sent 10 emails to my team, including in each my name and the title of my book and a link to the PDF (set up Dropbox.com, again for free), and pertinent information about the launch date, the book (how, when, what, where etc) and about a marketing campaign called Thunderclap.
My Facebook Book Launch group has been a wonderful way of finding out more about my team members as well as keeping them up to date about how it is all going. Even though it’s not mandatory (and, of course, none of this is) I would really encourage you to go this extra mile as it creates so much good will and makes this a very special process.
Just the name sets me shivering and shaking with fear, bringing up all the ‘Who am I to…?’ and ‘What will they want with lil’ ole me?’ inner voices and all my horrors of being ignored. I was very lucky to have Brad Yates already on my side and he wrote me the most beautiful Foreword for the book. And if your book already mentions other people they are the obvious place to start.
In my emails to them I used sentences such as:
‘I believe it could be very valuable for your fans, as an example of someone who used your…etc’,‘
I have included a reference to your book/ course _________ and the following link:__________. Please let me know if there are any other links that would be helpful to include.’
‘It would be an enormous honour and mean the world to me personally to have your involvement in this on any level. I know you're incredibly busy, so I've attached the PDF manuscript of my book so you can choose which chapters you'd like to read. The __________is where I talk about (you), where I discovered and implemented the ideas in your book.’
And a big boost to my self-confidence. You know what they say: if you want to become rich and famous you need to start mixing with rich and famous people…
My idea is to contact more influencers now that my book has become an Amazon #1 bestseller – and to keep on putting it out there.
Promo Sites and Social Media
For me these were a piece of cake (once I actually cleared my resistance and got round to them!) as I find it much easier to pay for marketing services rather than ask people for ‘favors’.
At the end of the article you will see details of the book marketing services I used, how much I paid for each one and the number of downloads/sales I achieved on each day of my free and paid promotional periods.
New Author Website
This is more about beginning the business of making some money from your book. The book royalties are nice, but not yet enough to keep body and soul together!
So the work here is all about setting up a website - as you are putting the final touches to your book - offering coaching, courses, a blog with new articles, audios, videos, another book etc. etc. I created this website with Claudia Svartefoss of ImpactBee.
With your website, an important step is to set up an email subscriber list.
Why, exactly? So that when you produce new stuff you know you will be sending it out to people who are already interested in this kind of thing. So, a great advantage for you and much less tiresome for them.
And here is where your book can be very useful. Offer giveaways, if possible at the end of every chapter. Mine range from an Audio of the complete book (which I made hoping to sell, before I discovered that you can only do so if you are resident in the US or the UK. Go figure…), a video explaining EFT, audios of my music and PDFs to complement the written exercises in the book.
But don’t just hand them out willy nilly! Nope, the point of your giveaways is to offer extra things to people who are interested in going that much further. Right now I have 97 subscribers (and I started at zero) and the list is growing daily. I am using ActiveCampaign for the subscriber email list as the free Mailchimp version doesn’t cover what I need (setting up ‘automations’ (which automatically send out the freebies, the next email etc)).
The 'Inner' Work:
I have discovered that marketing strategies and self-promoting, just like playing the violin, are either easy or impossible!
I received a comment from a friend, a novelist in her own right (though still unpublished!), saying: ‘It’s easy for me to think, this is OK for Jenny, not for me.’
And I now see, with delight, that it is indeed ‘OK for Jenny’ when before it just wasn’t.
My 4 pillars of inner work around marketing have been:
- Clearing fears, self-doubts and blocks with EFT
- Meditation and guided imagery
- Letting go
Clearing Fears, Self-doubts and Blocks using EFT
I have done a lot of recognizing and clearing of fears, using EFT, my favorite energy healing tool, either with my Life Coach or on my own. (Click here to read my article about EFT.)
Fears such as ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I’m not a writer’ (actually that one helped in a way because it provided me with a let out!), ‘What if my book is completely ignored?’ (that was a mega-wobbly just two days before the launch), ‘Allowing help’ (that’s going to be the subject of a whole other article!) and the biggie ‘What if it is a success and bring lots of changes that I won’t be able to handle?’.
I have also moved very much into the mindset of creativity rather than competition, which allows me to celebrate, rather than be intimidated by, other books in my same categories and other people doing this successfully too.
I have also used what I call ‘intentioning’. Back in October 2015 I wrote: ‘I intend to have a really good experience publishing this book, surround myself with friendly, supportive, straightforward, kind people. I intend to reciprocate and help them just as they are helping me.’ That has come true in spades!! (Click here to read my article about 'Intentioning'.)
Meditation and Guided Imagery
I meditate for about 15 minutes every morning. I Imagine myself ‘Safe, strong and protected’ and beam good wishes (‘May I be happy, may I be free from suffering , may I feel connected within and without’) both to myself, to the people around me and even to the whole planet.
And finally, I have learnt to - and advise you to - ‘Let go and let God' (the Universe, quantum physics etc, whatever works for you.) Take the steps, set intentions and then leave the rest up to a Higher Power and trust in the results.
About a week before launch I was panicking somewhat about the amount of stuff that I still had to do to get everything set up in time.
A friend of mine sent me this message: ‘You are fretting and worrying about the book and this negative worry energy is actually hindering all the good the universe wants to bring to you with the book SO LET GO.’
I was still having a hard time with this. Until a good friend of mine, Berta Bauer, herself a wonderful coach and author, sent the following advice:
‘When I had a portrait studio and brides and grooms came in to look at our wedding pictures I would tell them something like this: No matter who you choose as a photographer, I have advice for you. Something will not go as planned. Something will be forgotten. Someone will not do their part. Someone will get stressed out, or something will just not turn out exactly as you’ve envisioned. My advice to you is to accept that as a fact, and remember that the most important thing is you are in love and marrying the love of your life. So you can choose to let these things bother you, or you can choose to enjoy your day.'
And she added: ‘So as you are very busy right now planning for ‘The Music Inside’ launch, remember to enjoy it and celebrate your very wonderful accomplishment. Know that something will not go as planned, but almost everything will The Universe has your back, so bask in the joyful ride.'
And then I was able to let go and enjoy the rest of the launch - which has resulted in #1 bestseller in three Amazon free categories, followed by #1 bestseller in three Amazon paid categories....and the start of a whole new area in my life!
And you can too!
As Winston Churchill once wisely said: 'Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.'
- Marketing strategies and self-promotion are either easy or totally impossible!
- 'Outer' work can include; setting up a launch team, contacting Influencers, using promotional services and other strategies and having a website and subscriber email list.
- 'Inner' work can include; clearing fears with EFT, using intentioning, meditation and guided imagery and, finally, letting go.
- Write down all your data so you see what worked (and what not so much!) and learn from it - and pat yourself on the back for a good job well done!
The nitty-gritty of my Book Marketing Strategies - free and paid promotions and my downloads/sales:
Day 1 of the paid promo (my book priced at 99c) heard my classic conversation with Claudia. ‘So what promos have you set up for the next few days?’ ‘Uh, that’ll be NONE then.’ Followed by a flurried frenzy of contacting more sites. Yikes.
The ultimate in last minute support gathering was my Thunderclap campaign. It's easy and free to set up but it does require work on your part – messaging and emailing and posting to receive your minimum number of participants (100) and so ensure that it runs.
Here’s a summary, with the downloads/sales of each day too:
Price of 'The Music Inside'
Promos (what I paid)
Downloads/ Sales (Data provided by Amazon Kindle)
Sunday 7th Feb, 2016
Launch Day - Free
James Mayfield ($22) His secondary service includes other free sites/services.
Reading Deals ($15)
Buck Books ($32)
Bargain Booksy ($25)
No data yet...