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How to Build Relationships with Readers


Sell Your First 1000 Books


Lesson Info

How to Build Relationships with Readers

So we started in the first session kind of looking at everything around how to sell your first thousand books and how we're going to build this platform so you can connect with readers and sell more books, and so we're basing all of this on the connection system so the system that we're going to use to connect with readers in a way that we're naturally sell books. And so this is made up of four pieces, and I went through each of those permission content, outreach and selling, and so this session we're going to talk about permission, and we're going to talk about how permission works and why it's integral to everything that you do it's the foundation of everything you do. And so back a few years ago, I worked with her meets a t on the launch of his very first book, I will teach you to be rich, and I worked with him for the whole year leading up to the book. It was the first time I had ever worked with an author all the way through a book launch first time I'd ever done this, and what wa...

s amazing is that first of all, very little of this success had to do with me, but when he launched it, it became an immediate bestseller wall street journal new york times and what was so interesting to me is, you know, when I went into this, I used you know, I kind of had this idea of, like, new york times best selling author is there on the today show, and they're in all the magazines and, like, everybody hears about him through this way and that's how they sell off their books, but he didn't have a publicist, he didn't do a lot of publicity, he wasn't on tv shows, he wasn't doing any of this stuff hey did it completely threw his own platform, he sold all the books to make him that instant bestseller through his platform, and I really wanted to know how he did this, and it was because he had permission to speak directly to his readers. And so what I found when I look at what authors are doing and how they're doing things and how they're promoting themselves and all of the traditional publicity that goes into this stuff, is I found that most authors have a very particular problem. They have a holy bucket problem, okay? And not wholly isn't like, set apart and holy butt like holes in the bottom of the bucket, right? And so what happens is what we're talking about, this is how marketing goes as we come out with a book, and then we run around and talk about a lot and like hire publicists and pay him fifty grand to go out and do a bunch of stuff and then maybe we sell a few copies of the book and then in two years we have to come out with another book pay more money for less results because everything's changing in media and we go through the whole thing again and what we find is we do all of this work we do pay all of this money and run around do all of this stuff to get people to know that we exist and we have no way to actually connect with them and so we have to do it all over again right? So that means in two years we have to go find those same people who are no longer watching the same shows or no longer listening to the same radio stations and in fact more and more they're figuring out how not to have advertising in their life and we have to figure out how to talk to him again and so what happens is we do all this work to put people in a bucket and they just fall right out the bottom and one of my clients when I was explaining this to me say tim, I don't have holes in the book bottom of the bucket I just don't have a bottom like I have no way to talk to people and I was I was actually talking tio a guy he's like he runs like a very famous magazine, he travels all over the world speaking lots of people know he exists, but he has no way to talk to them. He has no way to communicate with them outside of travelling around the world and hoping they show up to a conference or a meeting again. And so what we want to do in this session is talk about how we're going to plug that whole right. So this is why I talk about it this way is I start with permission because if you do outreach and you move people from not knowing you exist to knowing you exist, but you have no way to connect with them, it just falls right out the bottom, and you have no way to keep going. And so we want to figure out how you can connect with people, so when they hear about you, you catch them and you get that connection so you can communicate with them long term, and you can communicate with them in a way that actually drives action. And so what I'm saying with that, you know, I keep saying, you know, communicate with them so it can drive action what I'm saying is so when you say where you please buy my book, they actually go by the book right when you say check out this new article I wrote they actually go check it out when you say hey, fill out this survey or you say hey replied to my email they actually do that right? So when you communicate with them and say, hey, can you do this? They actually do it and it drives action in a way and so the tool that we use for this so of all of our tools in our toolbox like we talked about, of all the tools in their tool that we use for this is email okay? And this is the question I get from people a lot of times really email now today emails old right? We have social media, we have twitter, we have facebook, we have a way that we can talk to billions of people write on these on these platforms and the thing that I've seen and really when would I got started on this? I felt the same way I thought emails old email is the way in a net marking used to do and now we have all these new tools that are gonna be way, way better and then I actually started getting into the real world and actually testing these ideas out, and what I've seen is that over and over and over email is the most direct connection to people when it comes to online marketing right? So we're talking about connecting with people in a desert away where you can communicate with it digitally email is the way to do it, and you see this show up over and over and there's lots of reasons for and we're going to talk a little bit about social media, but I'm going to tell you what social media is really for and so email gives you two specific things, so the first one is it gives you direct access and direct access is really important. It gives you direct access to where they're already showing up. So, steve, how many times a day do you check your email? I checked my email in real time, right? Sell all day long I'm on email all day in my pocket at my desk it's I'm always checking email dan, how many times a day you check your email and twenty plus martin, how many times you check your e mail? It's random, but probably fifteen times okay, so if I sent an email, I'm showing up where your attention already exists, right? We're all in our inboxes constantly, no matter how much those productivity gurus tell us tow only check your e mail twice a day, we still check it in real time, right? I don't know how mean times, I promise I'm shutting email down I turn it off and I don't even I don't even realize it I just look and it's back open on my computer, and I'm reading my emails, you know, right? So so we have direct access to where people already you're showing up multiple times a day, and the other thing that's really important is you actually own it. So say you build a facebook page and you work really, really hard to get lots of people who like that, paige and they're paying attention to that page. Can you download all of those people and take them somewhere else with you? Now, what if, like, back was it last year, when they change everything and they move from the way facebook pages used to be two a timeline vue and actually it from a marketing perspective, they basically made it really, really, really hard to do marketing through your facebook page, right? So you can't do anything about it because you're stuck on somebody else's platform, but when you have email addresses, you own that connection. If I don't like the way this company that I'm using to send emails is working, I download my list and I go somewhere else I own that connection to the their inbox I am not advocating that connection to somebody else, because just like we talked about how authors forever have basically abdicated the connection with the reader to barnes and noble into bookstores and two publishers and now we're trying to get that direct connection don't make the same mistake again and on ly have your connection with readers live in a place where if they change something or decide to change something or sell something or something changes you know, I believe my facebook is here to stay is going to be around a long time, but people were saying the same thing about my space and took justin timberlake buying myspace and now it's weird and for a while is like if you're a band or a pedophile, youre on myspace and so like esso, we're looking so facebook, you know, is a place that a lot of people are being, but you don't own that connection same thing with twitter same thing with all these places you can't just download it and take it with you, so email gives you direct access and you own it and those are very important things, and a lot of times social media goes people try to put it in the permission bucket, and what I want you to do is take it out of the permission bucket and we're actually going to move it up to the outreach bucket, so if we actually draw like a traditional like marketing funnel, all right, so um right. A lot of times, you know, the goal is at the bottom. We're trying to move people into the funnel down the funnel into the bottom where we have connection. A lot of times, people try to put social media right here, right? They're following me. I have a connection to them right there. They're like my facebook page. I have a connection to them. I can drive action that's, not the case. It actually goes up here. You're actually moving people from not knowing you exist to knowing you exist, and then you try to get permission. You tried to get them on their email lists, so I'm gonna hammer this home just a little bit. So, um, at the end of last year, I was working on dan pinks book launch for two cells human, and he had a twitter following at the time. He still has a big twitter phone, but he has a twitter following that most authors would, like, literally bring somebody's neck for like they would kill for he had at the time, two hundred thousand twitter followers right in at the time, and he put this in his email list, too. He had about fifty thousand emails, subscribers over fifty thousand subscribers, so about a fourth right, twenty five percent, and I wanted to see how we're going to actually sell books so I tracked it when we promoted through twitter I tracked that separately from when we promoted through his email list and for every one book we sold to those two hundred thousand people we sold six to his email list six so to those two hundred thousand people he supposedly connected to on twitter we only sold one book for six that we could sell to a twenty five percent of the people and I see this over and over pam slim again we did our online product launch it wasn't a book but it was a different type of product and she has a very, very engaged social media following on facebook and twitter and we promoted the product we decide we're going to promote the product for a week and on the first day we sent one email to her list then for the next week she promoted heavily on social media and then on the final day we set one email so we sent two e mails to her list and she promoted heavily for a week on social media and then it was just one to twelve right? So for everyone product we sold to her social media we sold twelve to her email list and because email list is that direct connection and if you think about how social media works you lt's you'll start to see it so who's on twitter pretty heavily here okay, um, how many people are you following on twitter about ballpark? Forty, five hundred forty, five hundred of those forty, five hundred people of all of their updates, they put in a twenty four hour period. How many do you at least read percentage wise? Oh, gosh, I don't know. I mean, I really only track I think about one hundred people. Ok, so so but that one percent? Yeah, far less. Alright, steve, your you said you're on twitter. Yeah, uh, actually, I just set up a separate column for the people that I actually listened to, all right, so out of everybody, even out of them what's the percentage of all their tweets that that you pay attention. You know, if I check email, you know, one hundred times a day, I checked twitter twice, right? So and if you look at how facebook works a lot times this same way like, you know, you you check in you have your news feed, you scroll down a little bit, you stop and facebook's even different where they like, I don't know exactly how it works, but they definitely tried to guess at what you're going to be interested in. And even if you've liked a page that doesn't mean it's going to show up in your newsfeed right? How many of us have followed somebody or friended somebody or followed a page and it's not even showing up fact one of my friends she was like why don't you post something on facebook like I did she's like oh, I actually need to go like your stuff so we don't actually start showing up in my feet right? They like coals it out and so when you try to use these ways these these tools to actually communicate with people you're either working with a system where they're actively trying to keep stuff away from people that they're not interested in or they don't think they'll be interested in or they're drinking from such a fire hose that they're lucky to check one out of one hundred messages where again how many emails come into your inbox that you at least look at right like pretty much one hundred percent right and so email is the way that you get in front of people where you know there are at least probably see your message and make a decision on it as opposed to social media where you're just going and in fact I tracked this one time had one of my clients I had a really big twitter following start using leak so we could track how many people were clicking on it and it was point zero two percent of people that were following him were actually clicking on the links that he was putting out any by any marketing standard that is a failure point zero two percent and you're not even ask him to buy something just click on something and so what we're looking at is that email is the way that we're staying in contact with people that's the way that you actually have permission in a way that drives action that's away that you're showing up where they're already paying attention to one hundred times a day and when you show up they're actually going to see it so I want to stop there and any questions on that because I know that's go ahead question from dream life who was actually with us before the breakers well they're asking can we ignore twitter facebook, etcetera just focus on the email list can you yes yeah I mean I would say it's definitely not something you have to do uh there's uh mme there are way and we're going when we get to outreach because remember its outreach and my beautiful drawing here it goes in the top not the bottom we'll talk about different ways to use social media and we'll talk about how it's integral to your life but yeah it's definitely an optional tool as opposed to email list which by the end of this you're gonna be tired of hearing me talk about it so yeah, well I found for me I used twitter to connect with a lot of people that I would probably not run into so if I typed a search for fitness trainers it opens up a lot of spaces like many their own little, many web aside and so I can access their information quickly so I'm not wasting a lot of time looking at their website but now I can do that and then a sow is more for an introduction for me the email definitely is I'm serious about what they do and I'll listen to what they're very you know it's a small number of all the people I fall into it are very small but I found him also on twitter too so twitter's a great for me is a great way to connect with people I would've never known because to the friending and through the way it's structured I can find people that I like and see with who the people they're following and it does help at least at that level yeah and what you find is it's the introduction right it's that first part and that's the thing is that a lot of times that's where you could be introduced to people for a first time and I found that that is a way sometimes to break through like a lot of times lots of you know important people have lots of gates gatekeepers between them and they I have, like, email gatekeepers and stuff, and a lot of times you can cut through that with twitter. But again you're using in a way that people don't often see it. They see it is something else, they see it as since I have x number of followers, I'm going to have these connections with people. When I put something out, people are going to pay attention and the way you're describing it is using it differently. And I'm so glad you talked about that because that's what I'm talking about when it comes to a tool, not using a tool for something, it was not built to be right if I need to hammer and nail, I do not reach for my screwdriver, and if I do, I'll become very frustrated and that's, what I was talking about in the first session, right, is sometimes people reach in and they grabbed twitter and they start using, they get frustrated cause they're using it for something it's not intended to be. And so what email is intended to be, is that direct connection is that emailing and showing up? And when I subscribed to something, I want that in my in box because I'm saying, hey, I'm interested in what you have to say, I want you to show up in my inbox. That makes sense. Any other questions online? We do? We've got questions from kind of d I y color craig seymour, karen h on sort of the similar topic, which is how do we get facebook people onto our email list? How do we convert twitter followers? Teo email uh, and karen h, do you not need twitter and facebook to build the email list it so we talked about how outreaches, anything that's moving people from not knowing you exist to knowing you exist. So it is a way to get people on your e mail. Listen, gretchen rubin talks about this when we were I was talking with her about facebook one time, and I was like, well, how do you use it? She has a big now following on her facebook page, she's, the author of the happiness project and happier home, both new york times best selling books and she's and she said, you know, I I did it couching it anything I really didn't try to sway her one way or another, I just said, how do you use facebook and she's? Like I use it as a way to introduce people to what I'm doing, share little tidbits and invite them to go deeper. So yeah, facebook, you can use facebook to introduce people, but its outreach is moving people from not knowing you exist to knowing you exist and always inviting them deeper into what you're doing give them other ways to connect with you that is more reliable than facebook, so and all of this that I'm doing, I really want to talk about the underlying principles of what we're trying to do and again, looking at the plan of like, this is what we're trying to build, this is what we need and that we've reached a toolbox it and pull it out. And so what I'm saying is, um, what I'm saying is, if you want a connection with somebody that when you send them a message, it will get to a place that they're paying attention to, and it is more likely than anything else to get them to take action. It is email more than anything else. Shall you have a question? What are the most effective ways that you have seen? You know, for somebody who has an email subscriber list that mainly consists of friends, family and acquaintance, this is what and you know, it doesn't have a huge email subscriber list are already existing, what are the most effective ways that you've seen to kind of drive that the people to sign up for on dh subscribed teo to your email newsletters we're about to talk about that, okay, glad you s so so that that takes two things in tow consideration. So one is, how do you expose people to your offer and a lot of times it's outright each right? So that's getting people to pay attention enough to sew show that you haven't offered, and then other ways to give a good offer that actually catches their attention, and we're going to talk about both of those things. Um, so let me keep going here, so when we're looking at email marketing there's lots of different tools out there, in fact, I was talking with one author last year and how he built his email list was he had wrote in this he was a programmer, so he wrote this little program that connected to the little e mail box, and when somebody put their email in it, added it to the end of this long text file of all of his emails and just added another line to it. So he opened up this text violent it's just a bunch of emails he would copy and paste all of those e mails in tow outlook and just bcc everybody and then write an email and don't do that, okay, that's a bad way to do things first of all, you're probably breaking the law. Um the can spam laws out there about all the different things and if you want to know what the can spam laws are just google can spam act but what I'm about to show you you won't even have to worry about it so what we want is an email tool that actually is built for marketing right? Your outlook your gmail that is not built for email marking that's for me to email one or a few people about a certain thing when you start doing mass e mails when you're emailing a bunch of people you don't actually use a tool that's built for the job so do not just copy and paste you first of all, people probably won't get the emails because that will bounce back a span by most filters um also you don't get any kind of tracking of anything that's going on and so we want is again what's the best tool for the job so when we're looking at email we want to look at for a few specific things when we pick a tool so one is useful features right? If you have an email tool, you should be able to send the email with it right? All right, that was a joke so uh s so we want useful features so you need to be able to send emails it needs to be have things like templates it needs to make it easy on dh that's the next thing you want, something that's easy to use now with all of these things, if you're not technology savvy, they're going to be kind of hard and frustrating at times and so we really you know there are some tools out there that make it easier, so we want to look for useful features we wanted look for ease of use also nowadays you should be able to get it for either free or very cheap. It should be just a few dollars to get your get your email list started another one that's really important is ongoing innovation you want somebody that is constantly pushing the edges of what you can do with email and constantly looking for new ways to dio to do things with email marketing and providing new tools to do it andi course, who wants something that has great support somebody where if you run into a problem, they have to things they have lots of resource is online so you can learn how to use the tool and if you've run into a problem, they actually have support staff that knows what they're talking about. And so right now, if you don't know what to use, the one that I recommend is male chimp two I use its who most of my clients use, they have fantastic features, they have great templates, they have great ways to send email and there are also constantly innovating, they just completely redid the back end of everything and made it so much better. And so you s oh, male chip, if you're just going start, another great thing is that, um, you can get the first two thousand subscribers and email them on a regular basis for absolutely free forever. And so that's, really great if you're an author starting out, and you just, you know, most of my clients, it starts with me in them, on the email list, so to people and so it's free, you can get started until you're actually growing the list. You don't have to pay for it so highly recommend male chimp way may have some questions about that. Has anybody else used anything else and have any comments on anything else out there? Somebody mentioned constant contact with the room. Yeah, I hate constant contact, almost everything in my being that when I talk about ongoing innovation, um, they're ones that I feel like they were early to the game, and they kind of built their name, and then they decided we can stop here and just buy advertising, and I like very simple things that should be very simple nowadays, with email platforms, they make extremely hard, and this is where like, like I said, I went to school to be a computer nerd like I've been heavily trained to be a computer nerd, and when I try to do something and can't figure it out, I feel so bad for people that don't actually use computers like I do so don't use constant contact somebody's here is saying it has a text capability, so they're asking, does melt him have text capability? You know, I know that they have texted phones, I know that there's a third party services that worked with male chimp that way, um, and I've done a little bit with that kind of stuff, but I'm focusing mainly on email here, and so no male chimp has a third party that does that I'm not really sure what it's called, but I don't think they have a built in asking about span. You touched on it very briefly the same. What happens if it goes into the spam box? But I suppose we just need a little bit of clarification of that, that surely you're building a list of accepted recipients. Yeah, so with, um when you do email, sign up and male chimp, I believe, requires this when you use all of their forms is it's called double opt in and it's basically where when people put in their email address they get an email saying, are you sure you want to sign up for this? And they click a button so they have to put in their email address and then click a button to be on your list. And a lot of times, people worry about that because it's like, well, less people will sign. And we really want to make sure we're not focusing just on numbers that we're focusing on quality. It's better to have a thousand people paying attention to what you're doing than ten thousand people that are paying attention, right? And so by doing it that way, by building a double opt in list where people have to for sure, sign up, and we're going to talk about next. How to get those people to sign up. You're building a list that's not going to mark you as spam, like if you're building it the right way, where you're inviting them into something genuine and again, this goes back to what we were talking about. The first thing like I would not come up to michelle. And tried to talk her into doing something that once she did it like I like went around the back and like did something wrong you know, like you're not trying to get people to sign up for something so that you could just, like, shove a book in their face, right? This doesn't it doesn't work and people will mark you as spam, but if you're treating people like people and you're trying to be relentlessly helpful and you're sending out great content, you're not going to get too many spam reports will you get some spam report? Absolutely the last one I sent out to my list I got to spain reports, but you know, I've thousands people on the list I still don't understand because I can this is where I get into my own and securities where I go and I'm like that person signed up on october fourteen on this page of my website I know where they signed up this is not spam, ok? It's all right? Yeah, deep cleansing breaths. So so yeah, but if you build a list of right way with the way that we're about to talk about, you're not going to have to worry about spam and um and what's nice about male chimp and other tools like this is they have all kinds of things built in when you send out an email everything in they're going to have everything on that email to make sure your abiding by the scan the can spam max so you don't have to worry about it if people want to unsubscribe they can just click that unsubscribe button and they're gone you don't have to worry about that either so by using these tools this goes back to those systems that we talked about right now once you have male chimps set up and you have your list there and people are signing up for your list all you have to do is go and create an email and hit the send button and it goes out to everybody in fact this morning I wanted to make sure everybody on my list you knew that I was going to be live today and so this morning at like five o'clock in the morning because I'm on east coast time I was up down and lobbying the hotel and I all I had to do was logging the male chimp click create email type the email out make sure it was right and hit schedule and it went out today right before the classes do you have to worry about it so I don't have to do anything technical I don't have to write any code I have this great system in place where all I have to do is write email hit the schedule button and I know it's going to go out right so you know, I don't want to go too deep into how to actually use the tool because if you use something like male chimp, they have lots of great videos about here's how to use a template here's how to set up an e mail, but when I'm referring, the male champ when I'm referring, descending an email, I'm just talking about how you now have this list of people that have asked to be on your list they've given you permission to communicate with them and I'm going to send them emails and when I send them an email is going to go out to everybody, right? So when I sent an email to my list today, I sent it this morning at eight forty five a m everybody that had signed up for the list before eight forty five a m got that email everybody that has signed up since did not get that email so it's just like when I send an email to steve, he gets that email in real time and that's hope works, and so this is just a tool to automate, sending one email to a lot of people at the same time and it works the same. Whether you have twenty people on your list or you have twenty thousand people on your list, it just costs a little bit more when you have twenty thousand people on your list

Class Description

Self-publishing has turned authors and photographers into business owners. In this new era of publishing, you are your own startup and your book is your product. In this workshop, self-published author and book marketing expert Tim Grahl will teach you how to help your book find its audience.

Book sales depend not only on the quality of your work, but also on the strength of your marketing. You will learn how to develop a strategic outreach plan to engage your current audience and introduce yourself to the right new communities. Tim will also show you how to develop a reliable email list, use content to drive sales, and negotiate with publishers.

Whether you’re publishing a novel or a coffee table book of lush images, Tim will give you the marketing playbook your talent deserves.