Outreach: The Attitude


Sell Your First 1000 Books


Lesson Info

Outreach: The Attitude

So you know, we've talked a lot about the connection system and we've talked a lot about permission and content at this point and I really want to dive into now is outreach and um outreach to me is one of the hardest things to do um it seems to be the biggest roadblock to a lot of people it seems to be the most unclear of what exactly I should be doing and how to go about it and so I want to spend a good amount of time talking about it I'm going to talk about it this afternoon I'm going to pick it up in the morning as well and talk about how we actually move people from not knowing we exist in knowing we exist um because we can you know, build a website that has an email list sign up that has a great compelling message and we're even using a pop up and we're giving away a great content we're putting content out there but if there's nobody paying attention to it, you're just lonely with it right? And I think we've all experienced that we're putting stuff out we feel like people just are...

n't paying attention to what we're doing and so I want to spend a good chunk of time I'm talking about outreach talking about how you can introduce yourself to new groups of people and new people and bring them into your platform and build that connection with them that long lasting connection that we're trying to build and so both here and also in the chat room I want you to be thinking about questions you want answered because I've left some time in both of these sessions to answer questions and make sure we cover stuff because to me this is a one of the hardest things and this is where I see a lot of problems this is where I see a lot of authors really fall down and I kind of split them into two camps you know if we're going to stereotype them there either the ones that are yelling really loud by my book by my book and they're really annoying and or they're just not not doing anything right there just I don't know what to do so I'm going to publish my book and just kind of sit back and hope people find and what we're trying to do is find that middle ground of how can we create connections with people that naturally lied to them buying our books and so I just want to ask a view right now like what have you seen out there? What have you seen in the author world good things that have have work but also things that just haven't worked that have grated you? We talked about a couple earlier but I'd like to just stop here too and talk about it so I think the one I've seen work really well for a lot of people is doing guess block posts on blocks with some of their audiences yeah, yeah we're gonna talk about that some to you in a minute anything else I've seen a whole lot of by my book my book my book my book did you buy a bucket because you should buy my book yeah, I have a book out d'oh yeah, and a lot of times I feel like that's the default because we don't know what else to say you know we have a book I want you to buy it go but I'm a book you know what else are we supposed to say about it? And so we really want to look at you know, how can we do this in a natural way? How can we do this in a way we're doing outreach where people want to connect with this where they don't feel beat over the head with it they're actually we're engaging them in a way where we attract them and so I want to start by talking about some of the mechanics behind it, right? So we've talked a lot about content how do we actually put that content out into the world like what are the actual technical stuff behind it? And what I'm talking about of course is a website right? So I want to look at websites and I want to look at what goes into a good author website and how we can deliver that content we've been created actually putting it out so that people can engage with it because we've talked about um putting content out freely and widely well how do we do that? You know, I joked with tom about you know, twenty years ago he would have had a like print out copies of them and hand out and that can only go so far and now we can use this great thing held a website and but a lot of times this falls into that same category of like every author has have a website you got to get website up you know, just what what do I put on it? I don't know just you need an author website and I goto websites for authors and you can't really find anything on him, right? I um I got called into one project one time because it was an author that is a well known writer and had a big book coming out it was won the publishers big books of the year and you went to the website and you could not even tell there was a book for sale like there was no cover of the book, there was no image of the book and the the amazon and barnes and noble leaks were like way down on the right side and on dh so you go to the website you don't even know there's, a book for sale, but this is supposed to be a book website, right? So I want to just walk through some of the tenants that I found again, we've built a lot of websites, we've worked with a lot of authors, and I'm going to show you the basics of what I think goes into a good author website. Now I got to go have a quick one from the beginning. I know someone, and I forget what was earlier is a website and necessary can you just send somebody to your amazon link or whatever it is for your for your things when you write your emails, for instance, do you need to have somewhere to send them? Right now? The answer is yes, I want to be very careful and and saying that because, again, you know a web sites just a tool in the toolbox that you pull out news when when it's the most useful thing, but the truth is you do in most cases need a place to send them of like this is where you can find what I do, and if you send them straight to your amazon page, how are you going to get permission to talk to them? You know, to me, that's one of the biggest problems with it is there's no way to engage with that, and again, you're building something on something somebody else owns, right? Amazon any time could change the way they're doing things, and things could fall apart. So I really liked the idea of an author having their own website because it could be this central place that you can cost still we send people and that you can engage with them. You have full control over their experience once I get there, and you should use tools like your amazon author page and make sure that's filled out. But that's a secondary tool, the real hub should be your website cause you have control, and I want to stop here and say, also, in most cases, I default to the author, having a site that is about them is an author that is based on their name s o most you know, you don't want I one time on author called me and he's like, so I have this problem. I've come out with six books and I have seven websites now, because for each of these books I came up with a new website, and now what do I do with all these websites? Or just like hanging out there in space? And a lot of times, you'll create this website about a book and you go out and do all of this publicity and pointing to this website that six months after the book's done, you're kind of done with that you're moving on. And so the one thing that won't change is you. Your name is not going to change, and so building something around you is an author is where I default. There are times that I go outside of that, um, if there's co authors involved, sometimes we have to do something different. If you have a specific idea like michelle's possibility box, she has this whole idea of not only this book she's going to write, but a whole thing that she wants to build the platform around, and it makes sense to build it around the central idea. But in most cases I default to if you don't know what to do, build it around your name because your ideas may change what you write about may change what your books are about may change, but what's not going to change is you. You're the one that's writing and so when we are looking at website, I want to start by just talking about what should be on the website. And again, this is a framework to get you started and no way am I saying this is the only way a website's gonna be built. This is the only stuff that could go on a web site. I could point to you examples that we built in my own firm that go outside of this, but this is where I start. This is the default things I start with, and I'm going to talk about why, as we go through them, so you need a home page, right? You gotta have a home page, the main thing that people go on and we're going to go through each of these and talk about what should be on one, but this is the top navigation. So when you go do an author website, I think this is the basic stuff that should be at the top in about paige and about you, paige, there should be something where people can find out about who you are is an author, a book's page, a place where people can see all of your books in one place and easily by them. You would be surprised how many author websites I've been to, and you can't even find what books leave written, so une easy place to see all the books that you've written even if it's just one even if it's just an upcoming project if you built a website and you have one book that you're working on that's not out yet you need to have a book page for that so people know what you're working on some sort of events paige this is going to very widely depending on the type of author you are if you are like tom that was here and he does a lot of speaking it would be great to have a place on the website where you can see where he's speaking if you're doing a book tour this is a great place to do it there's when author we worked with is dana really and he actually feeds his entire google calendar into his website so you can see where he's at at all times I was like you know so even when he like goes home to visit his family that's on the website like why are you doing that he's like that way if somebody wants to have coffee with me you know they can email me and I could meet him for coffee, right? So it's a really great way to let you know if you're already showing up live somewhere let people know so they can actually meet you in person we're going to talk about mohr about meeting in person as well some sort of resource is section and again, this is going to very widely, depending on the type of author. But you know all of this content. We're talking about creating whether it's backstory of characters in your book, whether a short stories that you've created in some way, you know, you know, on hugh how his website he has not only the books that he's written but short stories that are just available for free. If you click on it. Some sort of resource is where all of the content that you're creating lives in one place, and people can see everything that you have available and again, it's not buried on a blogging, that sort of stuff and then, of course, a contact page. If somebody needs to get in contact with you, how do they do that? So these are the six pages that I think every author should start with when their thinking about what's going to be on my website. And the reason that I have these six pages is it solves a lot of specific problem. You know, when people come to a website, there have questions, you know, what is this? Why am I here? Is, um I in the right place, you know, every time we google something, click on it, we're asking ourselves, um, I in the right place, and so we're trying to solve that all of those problems with your website. If somebody's thinking I would really like to see this author in real time, I'd like to see them speak somewhere, you know, are they coming anywhere near my city? And I come to the web site, the first place I'm gonna look is the navigation and if there's an events or speaking pays there, that's what I'm going to click on, you know, if I'm coming, you know, if I just read a book by an author and I googled them and I want to look at all their other books, I need a place where, like books, click there. Now I can see all the books, you know, a lot of times I see authors where in the navigation and each of the tabs, they'll have the title of their book, but the problem is nobody knows what your books are nobody knows the titles of all your books and so it's not very clear and a lot of times we have this curse of knowledge were like we're so close to the work that we think well everybody knows the tiles of my book why would they be at my website? But people are coming to your website for all kinds of different reasons and hopefully very soon as we go throughout reese they're going to lots of people are going to be coming so we want to make sure it's very clear in a way to do this that's very simple is to just find somebody in your life you know it's basic they call it usability testing despite somebody in your life that doesn't know everything that you're doing show them your website and say, what does that do and what does that do? And if they can't tell you need a tow we get a little bit right all of these air very clear you know, if I want to download something you've written or I heard about this pdf where am I going to go? I'm going to get a resource is if I want to email you I'm going to go to the contact paige keep it very clear and straightforward so let's talk about each of these and what should go on each to the pages so on the home page the number one thing that you should have on the home page you should all be able to tell me if nothing else is on your home page what should be on there? Email sign up yes start with your e mail sign up you should have if nothing else an email sign up so that people can sign up for your email list I also recommend having your picture that would be the second thing I'd say um a lot of times altars don't put their pictures on there and I don't really understand why I've actually seen authors put pictures of their character like where they are supposed to be and I'm like trying to figure out it's kind of like when people put pictures of their kids on facebook as they're like profile picture it's like who are those people you know? And so you want to just have your picture on there so people know you know they're coming to your website so they can connect with you in some way so have the picture on there so they can see who you are. You wanna have your latest book on your home page? Sometimes you can put all your books sometimes you could put a couple of your books that again varies very differently, but I say at least a picture of your latest book this solves a couple different problems, so first of all people might want to buy that book, so we want to make sure they know what your latest book are, but again, if you're doing a lot of promotion around a book and people find their place on your website, they're going toe no the copy on the cover of that book because they saw it somewhere else so it's going to answer that question? Um I in the right place because a lot of times you know, were googling something and we land on a website were like, is this the right person? Am I in the right place? And so by having that image there that maybe they saw on another blogger post or they saw on amazon, they're going to know they're in the right place because they have they've seen that latest book, so it's almost kind of like having your picture there is they're going to start mapping that to your brand and knowing that they're in the right place and it tells that continuous story you want to have some sort of content on the site, some sort of inviting them deeper into the content that you have available. So whether it's your blawg whether it's that you know some of your resource is that you promote on that home page something where you show that you're a deeper you know, I look at the home page of your site as a portal you know you don't want to put everything on the home page, but you want to kind of give a glance of everything that's available and let people click to go deeper. And so I recommend having some sort of content again whether it's a blogger, post or elite to your latest pdf you've put up or linked to a free short story you know something where people can engage with your content and then a way to connect with you if you are using social media, if you're wanting people to connect with you in other ways, if you're wanting people to email you make it very clear that can connect with you on the home page. So the home page of the website that's what we have there any any questions on that? Any any feedback? Quick one what about video on the front page? Yeah, that would be a form of content. So okay, working on a site now that that's kind of the main things she wants to do a lot of videos so that's the main piece of content we have on the website and we have the latest video there and then you can click to see all of them. And what about I see a lot of sites, especially writer sites where the bloggers in the front it's kind of like there's a picture of themselves and then they have there you know, they're blog's post on the front page. Well, that could also be the content that's on the front page. I highly recommend in most cases the blog's, not the main content on the home page. It causes several problems if you think about the typical blawg layout. Right, let's, draw a quick picture of it, right. So if we look at a website, you have, like a header here, right? So, like, some kind of logo here. And you have the navigation here and then there's a sidebar, right with all kinds of content. And then you have a blocked purse here, right? You have, like, all these block post running down. The problem is that, you know, it's a blawg. But not everybody coming to the site understands what blog's are totally understand that this is a blogger. So they think this is the most important content on the web site. And it might be, you know, my kids threw up on me while I was, you know, whatever you put upon your blog's latest is probably not the most important thing you will, even if you're trying to block and keep it. You know keep it central to what you're doing whatever is your latest block post two people coming to the site for the first time they think that's going to be your most important content because it's top left right that's where they look think about how you engage with pages you know we as you know english speaking americans tend to read top down left to right so the top down left to right this is the most important content and so how we normally do things well that is a horrible square uhm is we will take the top half of the site and well again have logo and navigation you know there are standards that you want to keep I see some people that try to get fancy and they'll run like navigation down the side you want to keep it simple this is not about showing your creativity and get letting people get lost in your web site it's about letting people quickly access what they're looking for a lot of times we'll take this top content we split it in half and we put our most important things in those two boxes so it might be your book and it might be your email sign up right those might be the two most important things then if you want a blawg the block starts here so these are your most important things and this is your less important stuff and a lot of times actually if I was to put these in order on the screen I would probably flip these two email sign up latest book picture content connect that would be the order that I would put it in because you want to make sure that you're promoting the most important thing on your website if the top blogger post is the thing you want people to know about you sure put it there but in most cases it's not yeah steve you know if her for those of us who were nonfiction writers or business writers uh commerce is one by my head here and the other courses speaking yeah so so if you're trying to build um you're speaking page well actually going to talk about them individually but yes so if you're running a consulting firm you need to have a higher me or work with me or work with us part of the website of course it's that kind of stuff we're talking mainly about author specific websites but a lot of all their specific websites they also want you to hire him so it's like if you have workshops that you do on a regular basis workshops might be a top navigation item as well I'm talking with these kind of six pages the home page in the five sub pages I'm talking about this specific stuff that pretty much every author should have on their website and then of course you're going toe I have stuff their specific to you, what I'm really trying to do here is if you're starting with I don't know what to do with my website. Where do I start? This is what you start with. So that's the home page on the about paige, you need to have a short bio paragraph five sentences that tells a little bit about who you are if people are if you're going to be on a podcast or you're going to write a guest post somewhere a lot of times, the first thing that people do to get your bio is they go to your website, they click about and the copy and paste the top paragraph, so you need to have a short bio that says who I am, what I do and here's what I write right? So people can immediately get it. The other thing is, I think you should have a long bio I really like long bios and not I don't want to hear about where you went to high school or like your stuffed animals when you're a kid. What I want to hear about is your story of becoming a writer. Where did that start? Tell me about, you know, if I write science fiction and fantasy, do I write that because when I was six years old, I was exposed to that kind of writing right? So start with so put in your long bio and talk about both professionally and personally how you write and what you write about have your picture on there he didn't make it personal I also highly recommend and I'm telling you I'm breaking this rule right now I highly recommend having the same picture on everything, so use the same picture for facebook for twitter, for your website, for everything and please don't look at my stuff because I'm breaking that rule right now um but uh but that is what I recommend so when you change your headshot changing everywhere because this is your branding just like, you know, the ups logo when you see it on the side of a truck you see that same logo on a box and it it reminds you, if you just see the logo, you're thinking things you're thinking shipping your thinking brown, you have all these things attached to it and your pictures part of your branding so you want people to know who you are from place to place and again it answers that question of am I in the right place? So you want to have your picture and again, you want to have your email sign up and, um, you know, make it really easy for people to sign up for your email list, and I said that enough um your book's page so I recommend that you have all of your books on a central page if you have multiple books on dh then they click into single books right so if you have one book they click on book they see your one book if they if you have multiple books they click they see all your books and they can click on one of the books to read more so on a book page what we want to see I recommend a three d book cover um again this answers the question what is this thing not everybody that sees a square image is going to know that's a book cover and again we want to make this very simple that people immediately know they're in the right place and so you can get these three d book where people can take your cover and turn it into these you know we've all seen the three d book where you can see it it's a little technical if you know how to use photo shop there's this really great tool called cover action pro that's relatively cheap and you can make images of books but I guarantee you if you look on elance dot com or odessa dot com you could get a three d book cover made for probably three and a half dollars um so I recommend having a three d book cover again answering them a very clear question this is a book have the title and subtitle on the site you want to have a short excerpt of the book um, again focusing on the most compelling parts of the book, giving them really good reasons why they should buy and what they're going to get out of it have blurbs on the book reviews of the book this is really important, right? We go out, we worked really hard to get blurbs for the book, and then we don't put him anywhere on the web site. Um, so if you have blurbs for the book and you can use amazon reviews for this to, um, you know, some of the amazon reviews that have come in from my book have been very good, so I've started using them to promote the book as well. Um, so make sure, you know, this is, you know, what's called social proof, you know, a lot of times we are looking for proof from our peers that something is worth paying attention to that's what amazon reviews therefore, right, we go in there and we look, and if something has average rating of two and a half stars after a hundred, reviews were probably going to shy away from it because we're trusting the society around us to tell us so the reason we get blurbs. The reason we get other authors or other people to talk about our book is so that people will trust that by the book, so if you've worked hard to get those blowers, make sure they're on and I can't believe I even have to put this on the page, but please put by buttons next to your book make it very clear how they could buy the book. I also recommend using some sort of button has the logo of whatever so if you have amazon put amazons logo on that, if you have barnes and noble put barnes and noble on that button, um and make it very clear like this is where you click to buy my book. I don't know how many websites I've been to where it's like there's a book and I've actually been where it's like click here to buy my book I click there takes me to the book page click here for retailers that sell my book I click there and then they finally have a list of retailers and I click on this retailers and I can go by the book four kliks later I'm buying but make it very easy to buy your book if someone is ready to buy, let him click and buy one of the questions I get a lot is what um what button should I have on my site? You know, um and a lot of times when you're traditionally published you get a lot of pressure to put lots of buttons on your site promoting all these different book sellers so here's what I'm going to tell you amazon sells at least ninety percent of books that are sold online numbers range even higher than that that I've heard but I know it's at least ninety percent so that means barnes and noble indy bound um any of the border of another gone books a million you know any of these other book sellers? They're all google books the the eye bookstore they're all kind of fighting for the scraps, okay? They're fighting for that last ten percent and I also know that the more options you give people, the less likely they are to do anything right? And so I have a great example of this last year when we were promoting damn pinks book the very first time we put it out in an email on and he likes to write these really long email so they're really long and they'll have like thirty leaks to all of this random stuff like tools he uses books he's reading all this kind of stuff and we're saying hey, for the first time here's my new book and we put amazon barnes and noble on any about okay, so those were three of like thirty links in this email the number one click link in that email was amazon the last two of all the thirty links in that email or barnes and noble on any bound people don't buy books from them they just don't and so if you're getting from if you're getting pressure from your, um publisher to put them on there, I would say fight them for his fewest possible now barnes and noble has been known that if they go to the author's website and they do not see a barnes and noble leak, they will pull your book off of their shelves and off of their online present. So that's, why and the publishers you've got to remember that their customer is not the reader there customer is the book seller their customers barnes and noble and they're very worried about that relationship because they're pretty much the last one standing as faras a physical book store so you you've got to be careful, but I want time had a client that their their publisher was asking them to put links to amazon barnes and noble this is when borders was in so borders books a million powell's, which is an indie bookstore in portland, another bookstore and then also the publisher's website okay, how many people have ever bought a book from the publisher's website for full retail price, where you get to also pay shipping on top of it nobody right? But they wanted that link on there and so I refused to do it so I recommend this few as possible because you want to make it very clear people were buying books um you know, they're people do buy books from barnes and noble on line people dubai book sometimes from indy bound but people are buying books from amazon if you're going to make it really easy to buy your book, make sure that they see the amazon link and they can click on it um and then of course you know people should be able to sign up for your email list on pretty much every pays your website so are there any questions around that? Is there anything I am very curious I think is really gonna put our audience on the spot here never they can maybe answers how many you have websites and how many of you have all of these, um protocols in place? Oh everybody that's impressive way will be checking out the o t my just ed one point again and I'm just speaking from my own perspective is this writer eight hundred ceo read yes, I left him out so eight hundred ceo reed is a great book store for business books and they do a couple things really well that nobody else does, so if you are a business book writer, I recommend working with a hundred cia read because one thing they do really, really well is bulk orders and so if you were doing speaking up speaking, getting somewhere and ah lot of times you know if you're speaking somewhere that order fifty copies of your book well, I have seen lots of examples of an order going into a publisher in those books never actually arriving but eight hundred ceo reed has the best customer service I've sent lots and lots of authors to them and I always get good feedback so if you are a business book author and you want a partner to help you with those bulk orders to make sure things get shipped to do interesting things like, you know, insert book played in there that you've signed and make sure they get it to the right people, I highly recommend a hundred cia read books can yes, which is nice I mean a fifty fifty book order on eight hundred ceo read shows up his fifty books of fifty book order I don't even know you could do a fifty book order on amazon you do it twenty it shows up is one right? Yeah so and what he's referring to his books can is the, um the place that they track book sales and they say they track about seventy five percent of book sales because they don't track like wal mart and target and some other places but and they also so what he's talking about his books can tracks books and that's what publisher cia's faras book sales that's also what bestseller list? See his book sales and so if somebody goes to amazon and buys twenty copies of your book over and over to end up buying a hundred copies that does not show up on books can as a hundred sales and there's a reason for that because if I was rich and I want to make my book a bestseller, I could just go on and by twenty thousand copies in my own book and wham, I'm a bestseller, right? And so they tried to mitigate some of that and there's all kinds of stuff happening behind the scenes to make this happen. But that is a good thing about eight hundred ceo reed is that if somebody doesn't bulk buy from a hundred see ovary that gets reported to book skin, which does effect it directly affects wall street journal bestseller list and it does affect new york times best seller list as well. Go ahead have inspired a few questions about this subject you want to go dance revel okay, perfect let's see mikki taylor tim you are mentioning sending people to amazon for sales do you try to sell on your own on your own site without going to amazon or do you recommend doing it through a third party so this depends on what your goals are so um if your goals are any kind of bestseller status, you cannot sell them yourself they will not get counted so that's one but you know, for somebody like me, I'm not I wasn't trying to make my book a best seller um, you know, I I could try, but it wasn't gonna happen I'm not going to hit the new york times list of wall street journalists. I'm less concerned about something like books can, but I've personally I'm concerned about things like you know, I'm a I'm a gn amazon prime member, right? So the steps for me to buy a book on amazon is go to amazon and click one button they have all of my credit card information, they have all of my shipping information all of that set up and I know that people buy books on amazon. If I wanted to sell the books through my sight, they have to enter in their shipping address and they're in their billing address enter in their credit card information into a site that they don't necessarily trust because they don't know me they know amazon, but they don't know me now I have seen authors sell books on their own website and there's some advantages to it if somebody buys my book from amazon, I don't have their name, I don't have their nation I don't have their email address, so I kind of hope that they come back to my website. We're going to talk about some of that so there's there's ins and outs, but I tend to focus on what's gonna be the easiest for them what's going to be the most likely to get them to buy my book and make it easy on them and almost all the time. It's angela, how many people in here buy books on amazon? Dot com? Raise your hand every single person in the room buys books on amazon dot com that's why I recommend you point people to amazon dot com because that's, where they're buying books, and again, this whole business about sending people to all of these other book sellers, like putting them on the same status of amazon has nothing to do with the reader. It has everything to do with the system behind the scenes that's broken already, and so there are there are times that you need to do that, but in general, what is the best for the reader? My people are buying books on amazon, why am I going to confuse them? Why am I going to send them to all these other places? You know I'm going to send them to the place where they're going to click one button and buy my book. You know so there are reasons to do different places but you've got to think through it from the from the reader's standpoint you want to make it the easiest for the reader we've got plenty more questions that we can go in with rabbi can one person by multiple kindle copies the way they can physical books I don't believe they can um and you know we're going talk some about this tomorrow with you how because you can actually go to his website and buy the files drom free and okay yes o d r m for those that don't know is called digital rights management and it's basically um lots of people have it itunes has it when you buy music from them kindle has it when you buy from them look has it when you buy from barnes and noble and it's basically trying to make sure you can't steal the content right so I can't buy a book on kindle and then just give it to steve and he can read it too and then there are options to sell the files directly but how many people in here own a kindle and know how to side loaded dot movie file okay one person two people the two tech people in the crowd okay so that's kind of hard to do so you can't buy multiple copies but you can't give copies so like if I wanted teo give russ a copy of my by russell copy of you how his latest but I could go and buy a copy and send you and you'll get the link and I'll show up on your kindle so you can't do that um but you can't just go on and buy ten copies of candle because there's no way to deliver it currently yes, that seems to people most people are saying this thing is actually you rent them rather than you actually buy yeah I don't want to turn this into because there's all kinds of like opinions around d r a m and we're going to talk a little bit about that tomorrow and get into pirating and what happens with that when we talk to hugh but it's a whole different thing I'm or talking about what is I want to talk about reality right? The reality is people buy books on amazon common about if you forget your own writer site is tim thing we should ever put social media buttons on the author cite some say you never want to leave your sight I do I do put them on there because if people are looking to connect with you in these different places uh you want to make it easy for them so I do put him on there I just don't make him the main call to action a lot of the sites we build will have the little twitter logo the little facebook chlo go and that's it so you know what those are if you're on facebook, click me find me on facebook but it's not you know you know I'm talking about having a giant email sign up I don't have a giant twitter button and follow me on twitter you know so and kind of along the same lines actually, jose says when it be nicer to keep every potential reader on the author's site eyes they're away to embed distributor services such as amazon through your own website branding issues aside so you could get creative with some of that technically but I don't really worry too much about that you know we want people to be fans of you and if they want to go buy your book and actually spend hours of their life interacting with your content just let him do it make it really easy to do it because if they like it they're going to find their way back to you so yes, a lot of times on site unless I'm doing a book launch I actually make the main called to action the email list in the book the secondary called action because I know if they're on my email list I'm not only going to sell them this book I'm going to sell them every other book I come out with and actually we've been talking a lot about ra meet you can't he sells a lot of um a lot of information products, you can't go to his website by them, you have to be on his list and then he will offer them and open them up at different times. And so because he knows if you're on his email list, he won't just say this product will sell you all these others. And so, um, yes, so, you know, I think that question actually goes a little bit back more to thomas, I don't want to be a control freak about this. I want my website to be a place where people can find out who I am, interact with what I have to offer and then do what they will, knowing that if I'm being relentlessly helpful, if I'm trying to create long lasting connections, it's gonna work, so go ahead and for us, did you have another one? No, I think that's fantastic, so let's jump to the events and again, this is going this page more than any other is really going to be specific to the author, so if you do speaking, you need to make it very clear on your website that you do speaking, so let people know that you can be hired to do speaking, and if you're doing a book tour, make it very clear where you're going, what cities you're gonna be at that sort of thing if you do speaking it's really great to have a video of you doing speaking so you know it's so people that are planning events that are thinking about having coming soon we can actually see what you look like and how you present um make it very clear how you can be contacted because a lot of times um if you speak a lot you'll have a speakersbureau that actually handled all of that for you and if you have that that's going to be different contact information then like here's how to email me so you want to make it very clear here's how to hire me to speak you know here's where to find me have all of your events on one page um resource is two very simple things you know in most cases is going to be split up between things they can download things they can interact with videos they can watch, you know resource is and then an email sign up and then a contact page. You know, this stuff is very basic at this point, make sure people can email you if you feel comfortable. Put your phone on there. Um if you want people to call you, I have your address on there, um I highly recommend in a lot of cases getting a p o box or something if you don't I have like an office that you go to that you feel comfortable lending out there, I put appeal box because actually when you sign up for male champ, they're going to rick choir that you have an address that's one of the can spam laws is you have to have an address at the bottom of of every email, and so I recommend just getting a p o box and putting that on there and if you are looking for people, you know, sometimes people want to mail you stuff and off my authors or like, just put my address on there so they'll stop asking me for my android again. Social media. This is where people are looking to connect with you on facebook him connect with you on facebook, levin connect with you on twitter if you're active there and we're going to talk more about that so I want to talk about a particular subject that is coming up mohr and mohr um and that's the idea of should I be blogging? So we talked a little bit about when blogging came onto the scene. It was this awesome thing because for the first time we could communicate online, we could write online without need to know html code and mark up and all of this kind of stuff it has gotten more and more sophisticated right? It's gotten easier to embed images about videos and create all of this stuff, but the same time I've seen blogging start to grow up a little bit, you know, it's no longer good enough to just be throwing out random stuff on your blawg and hoping that it connects with people. And so actually one of the big changes that we made recently for dane pink sight is we killed his block if you get six months ago if he went there, there was a blogger there's no longer block and we were running into the same thing where he's like, you know, I'm creating all this great content that's getting buried in my blawg and like I off the top of my head couldn't name like six or eight things that he had come out with that you couldn't even find on the side anymore, and it was just getting buried, and he was kind of having this thing of like, look, I'm putting all of the like, new stuff I'm learning up on twitter and I'm taking stuff that I think matters there and turning it into other stuff, and so we killed the block and turn it into a straight resource is section because resource is don't age blog's age and so a blawg is, um, is a tool in the toolbox just like anything else of how am I going to put content out into the world you know, derek halpern, he teaches a whole class about blowing he absolutely doesn't think blogging is obsolete and I don't think it's obsolete, I think it's different now, it's, no longer something where you're putting up pictures of your lunch, right? You know, that was neat back in the day, but now blogging is growing up. We have sites like lifehacker in techcrunch that have entire teams writing that release stuff multiple times a day, well, as a blogger, that's my competition, so I need to make sure that if I'm putting stuff on my block, I have a plan for what I'm going to do with that content and what I'm inviting people in. And so just like anything else, there are so few things where I say every author should do x I pretty much say every author should have an email list, right? A tte this point, I think every author should have a website, but apart from that it's what we're work for you and what do you try and accomplish? What works with your riding style? I see authors. Hugh how he is a great example will talk about tomorrow he has a block he should absolutely have a blawg because that is how he communicates everything that's going on with his writing that is what people are connected to, it gets shared, he does videos he post stuff on an ongoing basis and it's automatically a part of what he does he should have a block but for other people it's more of a burden than anything and so we want to make sure that we don't have this default of should I blogger should I not? So looking at your website we want to have a home page and about page books, page events, contact, you know, makes me a resource is paige and make sure that you're putting this stuff out. So when people come to your website, this stuff they're looking for is there if you're a consultant that you can be hired, make sure you have that available if you're doing you know, on hugh site he has a whole fan portal to a site because there's lots of fan fiction he promotes um fans of, like, done artwork around his work and so he put that up well, that's not gonna work for every author, but for him it makes sense and people were coming to the site and they're looking for that kind of stuff so think about when people come to your sight and that's why I came up with that list is think about when people were coming to this site what questions were they asking what are they looking for what do you think they're trying to find and make it really really easy for them to find that kind of stuff and so with everything we want to see what we're tracking what are the analytics what we actually paying attention to make sure what we're doing is working so the first thing is you want to pay attention to visit how many people are actually coming to your website and this number should be going up right if we're putting out great content and we're linking back to our website the number of visits should be going up look at page views so when you look at google analytics and we're going to talk about google analytics and just second um you're going to see a couple numbers you're going to see the number of visits you're going to see the number of page views and you're going to see page views per visit and basically what that means is when somebody comes to your website whether they visit one page or twenty pages they visited your website one time but then every time they click to go to a new page on your web site the racking up page views so if somebody comes to your home page and then they immediately leave they were one visit with one page view if they come to yours your home page and then they click on your about paige and then click on your books page there now one visit with three page views doesn't make sense so you obviously want page used to be high if you're if you're bringing people into your sight and your wanting them to to click on stuff you want pays used to b be higher but that normally that page view to visit ratio a lot of time stays pretty much the same and so as you get more visits your page views will go up as well so that's it you know you can control that to a certain extent and um and you obviously want to be just keeping track of how many people are coming to the site and making sure that number's going up and trying to do things to make that number go up but we want to pay attention to popular pages on the site and you know tom talked some about this of looking at what content is hitting on your web site and a lot of times you have no idea teo till it's out in the world and if you're not paying attention to your analytics, you don't always know which pages or the most popular and so you want to pay attention to what are your most popular pages and that gives starts giving you accuse of what should I be writing about what our people interested in reading? I wrote this block post a long time ago called the six types of social media, and it is still my most popular page on the website, and I get lots and lots of people signing up for my email list because they're searching and they find that page. So knowing that has helped me go back and modify that paige a little bit and pay attention and the kind of stuff I'm putting on the website, the other thing that's really important that a lot of people miss is refers, we want to look at who is sending us traffic, who is linked to our site and a lot of times we don't know unless we're paying attention to our analytics. And so one thing that you get as part of buying this course is I put together this little spreadsheet it's, a spreadsheet that I used that I use for my clients that tracks all of these analytics and it's really easy to keep track of and one of the things that we look at his refers, who is sending us traffic, those people that we connect with, and I'm going to talk about that as we continue into outreach. But we want to keep track of who was sending us traffic who's actually linking to our stuff, you know, where is traffic coming from? Is it coming from social media? Is that coming from our email list? Is it coming from this blogger over here, there's been lots of times I've been able to create relationships with people because I'm keeping an eye on my analytics. I see that they linked to me, I find their website and I can create a relationship that I can continue to cultivate that long term relationship into the future, so that to me is actually the most important thing you want to keep an eye on your website is who's sending you traffic and looking at it the other side to, um, if you've been doing a lot of outreach like we're going to talk about and say you write something on three different blog's, which one of those sent you the most traffic? You know, it's good to know that kind of stuff. Where is your stuff hitting? You know, if you're going to be really surprised that really small site sometimes can send you a ton of traffic and start building your email list and you're getting book sales off of it, but you won't know unless you're paying attention. And so I want to talk real quick about just some technology stuff that I recommend I recommend you build your sight onward press it's been around a long time it has a very stable environment it's very robust in the community around it we build all of our sites on the word press and I like to say you know that way if we walk out in the street and get hit by a bus, you're going to find other developers because it's, wordpress and there's thousands of developers out there that can help you with that there's, you can go toe wordpress dot com and sign up for a free site and haven't running in no time or you can download wordpress and run it on your own host, but I recommend if you're trying to build a website, start onward press it's a stable platform it's a platform that you can get lots of themes for lots of plug ins for and really make it is easy as it is to make a website really make it your own and it's on a platform you know, just celebrate its ten year anniversary and it's really come ahead is uh the platform it runs a huge part of the internet you would be some surprises some of the sights that run a wordpress if you do want to host your own website, I recommend site five they make it really easy to set up your own wordpress sight I think they have one click install they have really great support it's who we use and recommend on google analytics is who I recommend for analytics toe actually keep track of everything on your website so you know for us beyond those basic analects do you have any experience with crazy egg visual analytics and maybe testing that's from rich unlike me? Yes so a b testing is this idea of basically showing two different things like random people come into your sight and you show one group of people one thing and you show one group of people another and you're basically split testing them to see which gets the most engagement so so for instance they were abie testing or split testing a new email sign up and so we have ok im going toe compete my book excerpt verse eleven ways to do x and with tools like optimize lee tools like um there's there's a couple up their optimizer he's the first one that comes to mind it's built into google analytics although it's harder to using google analytics you can do this stuff pretty easily and what it means is you put two different versions up and then the next thousand people that come to your site they randomly show them one of those versions and you can see which one works the best um even the easiest to them are kind of technical sometimes so I do I highly recommend if you feel comfortable with that doing that kind of testing but the other way to me the cheap and dirty way to do is put something up there for a week see what happens put something new up there for a week see what happens put something new that split testing it just takes a little longer right on dh what I found is that is the eighty percent of work that gets you the twenty percent of results right? So in most cases most of this stuff is missing from authors and so if you just do what I'm talking about that's gonna be the twenty percent of work they get you that eighty percent of results it's going to get you the biggest bang for your buck once you're doing everything I'm talking about, I free you up to get lost in the weeds of um maybe testing and split testing and crazy a has this this visual representation of where people are clicking on the site and it's really neat but you have to understand a lot of times and this happens with google analytics if you go into google analytics and look, there are thousands of pieces of data and most of them if there's a thousand pieces of that a nine hundred ninety five pieces of those data are not that useful to you right you know, our people looking at your site and fire fox chrome or internet explorer most of it's still care like we're just happy they're at the website, right? And so you can safely ignore that and again, I'm focusing on like, I want to give you the tools that I know if you do these, they will work and yes, if everything is working to a teen it's humming along and you want to start messing with that kind of stuff, absolutely split testing can make a difference, but what I'm saying is, if you don't even have an email sign up on your site, you should not be split testing anything if you've only got fifty people a month coming to your website, you should not be split testing anything. You should be getting more people to your website, right? And a lot of times we get stuck in this tough and it's because of fear we're afraid to actually put ourselves out there and do stuff that scary that actually will get results. So we kind of put our head down and focus on tinkering with the eighty percent that only gets his twenty percent of results and so in most cases you have better uses of your time, you know, when you were getting thousands and thousands and thousands of visitors and you have a whole system to bring them into your tribe onto your email list and sell them books and products. Once you have all of that in place, I completely free you up to start tweaking it to make it perfect. We inside of my firm, we have developed several plug ins that make a lot of stuff with wordpress sites very easy on dh. We mainly did it because we kept running into the same annoying things over and over, and so we put together three plug ins and we're making them free to anybody that buys the course. The first one is a book's plug in, it makes it really easy to put books on your website, right? So you just have to upload an image and automatically puts the image in every place it's supposed to go on the site, all you have to do is copy and paste her amazon link, and the button automatically shows up on your site, right? So there's a lot of really neat stuff. We have a review's plug in a cz well, a lot of times it's hard to, like put blurbs in the places on the website where they need to go. So we have that built and we also have an events management thing, so if you're going a lot of places and you want to make it really easy? A lot of these event management things we wrote this because we're running into have you ever gone to a sight to see where somebody's going to be? And it shows them an entire calendar view, right? Like the whole upcoming month, no matter how busy you are, it looks like you have nothing going on like even if you have something every day, most of its white space, so this makes it really easy to just go in, put in your events the day they are the name of the event, it shows up on the website and in the order of chronological order and like, once the day passes automatically rolls off the web site for you so you don't have to go and constantly edit you drop it in and you you can forget it. So those air three plug ins that we made available, we use them all the time, and the other thing is we set up a system so that you'll get all the ongoing updates. So if we add a great new feature to one of these plug ins in the future, you'll get those updates as well um in perpetuity, thank you very much that is very generous and we really appreciate it susan doodle actually wants to make a note wordpress dot com does not allow selling on the site a tiny bit of selling might be affiliate selling might be possible but they don't explain the definition of tiny whereas wordpress dot orgel as much selling is you want so if you are going to be selling directly on your website I think that's something toe consider yeah, but it's one of those things that like I found in practice they don't enforce it very much if you're like really going overboard you're going to get report or whatever but if you're blogging as an author and you're like, hey I have books for sale they're not going to make a big deal about it so um it's one of those like you know I asked for um as for forgiveness instead of permission like we emailed them they probably say don't do it but they're not exactly tracking it in most cases so yeah so that's that's that so that was a very, very quick overview of a lot of the technology behind the website and what I want to recommend the people because it probably I felt very overwhelming on guy want to swing back to what tom and I talked about in the q and a and the last thing of do whatever gets you moving okay, this is not about waiting till I have enough money to hire the perfect developer this is not waiting until everything is perfect there's so many tools out there that are available, and again, you can set a wordpress dot com or it's really easy to set up your own website with wordpress and something like site five and then, you know, watch some videos and you could be adding pages within probably a half hour, and it is better to get something up and get started than it is to wait into you think you can do it perfectly, and so the reason why I showed you all this I didn't want to overwhelm you with all this stuff, but what I want did want to show is, like, you know, get a home page up, you know, install some plug ins, get your books up there, put it about paige up their upload a picture yourself out of contact page, you've got a website start going out in the world and putting content out there, you know? And what I found is if you can get a lot of this stuff up and running really easily now, you don't have to be super technology savvy on there so many tools out there to do it, and I can't go over all the tools in this time, but you know, there's, lots of stuff out there, and I want it to be an encouragement that it's not that complicated, you can get a website up pretty quickly, you can do it pretty cheaply and really get started and start putting content out there because all your website is it is a tool to deliver content that is all I for a long time before I ran a business, I ran a web development business for three years without a website, right? Because it was just a tool. I didn't need it this time, okay, so but when I when I needed a website, I created a one page website that said, here is what I do here's, how you can contact me and that's all I needed at the time, right? When tom started, he started with a simple email list that said, you can sign up here and I'll singer cartoon he didn't have anything fancy, trust me, I saw the original version, it was not fancy and but it worked for him, right allowed him to get his content out into the world and that's all the website is it is a delivery. It is a delivery device for content it's a delivery. Device for where I'm going to be in the world for how to contact me, for where you can buy my books for what I have available that's all it is and don't make it bigger than that do not make it bigger than that. So now that we've talked about how we can actually take that content and created in a way that it could be delivered out into the world and let people start interacting with it, I want to talk about how to actually start stepping out into the world and start putting yourself out so that people can get to know who you are and learn that you exist when they didn't know you existed before. So we're really going to delve into this outreach stuff, and I want to start and what I think is the most important place, and that is attitude. This is where I see most authors fall down is they don't have the right attitude when it comes to doing outreach. They're thinking of it all wrong there, thinking about themselves, they're thinking about I need to get out into the world so that I can sell a lot of books. And so we really want to focus on what is your attitude as a writer what do you bring to the table? What is your view on the world when it comes to doing any kind of quote, self promotion or doing any kind of outreach? What is the attitude that you're bringing to the table and I think it all really just starts with empathy putting yourself in other people's shoes if you were trying to get somebody to promote you on their website what can you do to put yourself in their shoes? What do they want out of life? What keeps them up at night? What would make their life easier what can you do to make their life easier? And this is where it starts it doesn't start with the fact that I got something to sell it starts with they have stuff that they're trying to accomplish and how can I help them get what they want on world? Right? Because we're creating long lasting connections here long lasting connections don't get created by somebody selling me an overpriced van right long lasting connections happen when I'm trying to help people get what they want out of the world and a great quote is bi the late zig ziglar you can get everything you want in life if you just help other people get what they want help enough other people get what they want and let me tell you when I first heard this I thought it was complete crap okay, this is not how I how I used to think this is not what my normal bit is to just put good stuff out there and get stuff comes back you know but what I found as I started trying this is that he's right if I help enough people get what they want out of life I get what out what I want out of life and a great example is when I started doing this author thing you know, it was a big leap for me at the time I had three author clients not enough to actually run a business on and I needed to get a lot of authors to know who I am so I did made a decision I would spend at least one hour with anybody on the phone giving them all the advice I possibly could whether they were a potential client or not and since that time I have talked to hundreds of authors I've spent hundreds and hundreds of hours on the phone talking to authors most of them I have never hired me and I leave it all open just like this course you know I'm open anything I'm not holding anything back you have any questions I'll tell you anything I do the same thing for an hour I'll talk to you and I'll give you all the advice we possibly can and what I found is the fact that I've done that long enough, I have so much work coming in because I've helped so many people, and I get so many referrals from people that never even hired me, but they will refer people to me because I gave first and so this kind of thinking goes into all kinds of outreach is how can I help people get what they want out of life so that I can eventually get what I want but it's about them and that's? Why, if we're talking about launching books, if you start thinking outreach when it's time to launch a book, it's too late because you want something. Now the best time to start your outreach is when you don't have a book to sell yet because you can just go out and help lots of people were going to talk about how to do that. We're gonna talk about very specific ways to do that that I work, but you've got to change your mindset if your mindset when it goes into out it is, how can I get them to give me what I want, what I want, you're going to fall down it's not gonna work, and it becomes you know, what are you doing? Are you playing a long game? Are you playing a short game are you want do you want to be some way that wrote a book once or do you want to be a writer? What what kind of game are you playing? And if you're playing a long game if you want to be in this for the long haul you want to be a writer that's changing people's lives you've got to start with empathy, you've got to start with the fact that when you're doing outreach to people you're trying to help them get what they want out of life more than you getting what you want out of life and a lot of times there's overlap and we're going to look at ways that those can overlap but you've got to start there and it really comes down to a lot of assumptions we got to change our assumptions about what's going on we've got to assume the other people are busier than me just got assuming that other people are busier than I am no matter how busy I am and if I look at my life I home school my child, I run a business I do writing I work in my community, I'm married, I have two kids I have all kinds of stuff going on, but when I email somebody and I'm trying to get something I want eventually I'm thinking they're busier than me I also think that everyone's default behavior is to protect his or her time and workload and that's ok if they're busier than me they probably have more to do to me and if what I'm asking for doesn't fit into what they're doing, they're going to say no and that's okay and that's the next thing assume that if they say no it's for a very good legitimate reason it's not because they're jerks not because they're an asshole it's not because they think what you're doing is stupid either it's just they're busy they got stuff to do if they say no because they have a good reason for it and that's okay and if they ignore you that is for a very good legitimate reason because most of time you're getting nord you won't even get a response and that's okay, you know when I was trying tio really try to build my name in the author community I reached out to dan heath and I said, hey, you know here's some ways I'd love to help you you know, kind of the same pitch I would give a lot of different authors and it was giving it was like I have a few ideas that I think could help you I'll do for free um just you know so I can help you out and so we can establish a dialogue he turned me down three years later he called me and we had we had coffee and I just ran their entire book launch campaign for their latest book that put him at number two on the new york times bestseller and we're still working together because I went out and I reached out and I put that seed in and he said no and I was fine with it I really did not mind at all three years later came back right and that's how this works we've got assume that other people are more important than us that they have more going on that us that what remember that what's going on in their life is the most important thing in their life and that's okay that's the way it's supposed to be and we have to assume that if they do say yes to us that we've got one shot to make it right and that we've got to follow through on what we said we would do and it really comes down to this idea that we have to revoke our right to be offended when you're an outreach mood when you are trying to get other people to pay attention to what you're doing you have to revoke your right to be offended and it's really, really hard because a lot of times we get offended you know I was taught that anger comes from two places it comes from the fact that expectations were met and it comes from fear right, and a lot of times we get offended, which is basically saying we get angry, right? We get angry because we get we think, well, they think what I'm doing a stupid or they think what I'm doing is not important, and so we get offended and and we don't like that, and you've got to revoke that, right? If somebody says no, you've got assume it's for a good reason, even if they're kind of rude about it, you've just gotta let it go and move on with your life, because when you're an outreach mood, when you're trying to get people to pay attention to you, especially when you're getting started, you're going to get more nose than yeses, but we've gotto go out into the world and keep trying and remember that if you keep this in mind that you are truly trying to help other people more than you're helping yourself that is going to speak volumes, people will know it, they will sense it, they will know that what you're doing, what you're doing is important. I reached out to an author one time, and I did what I thought was natural. I just looked at his website and said here's, a few things you could be doing different I'd love to help you with, and he e mailed back and was like, I have been pitched by dozens of people that want to help me, and not one of them actually went to my website and gave me specific things that they could do, and I'm like, well, yeah, I actually want to help you. I don't just have this form letter I'm sending out to people, right? And so it's, this idea that I'm looking out for their best interest and people can sense it a mile away, it has to be true, so you need to go in a room somewhere. You need to spend some time in solitude and think about this before you really get started, because if you do this with this sense that they have to pay attention to me or I am the most important thing, or if they don't pay attention to my book there in jackass, they're going to sense it, and they're going to push back, and you're never get anywhere. But if you go into it with this idea of empathizing, of trying to help people get what they want out of the world and you're just here to help them do that, it's going to come back and it's gonna work. And so a lot of this, we're going to really get into the nitty of ready first thing in the morning, and a lot of this sounds like, how is this going to sell? I was going to sell my book I'm doing is helping other people, right? And I really wanted you to think about the fact that this will come back because we're in the business of creating long term connections with people and being religious. Leslie helpful, and we've talked a lot about how we do that with the people that we want to buy our books, right? We've talked about how to do that, but when it comes to people that are going toe promote our stuff to other people, nothing changes, we're creating long lasting connections, and we're trying to be relentlessly helpful, it's the exact same attitude, and with all of this, our goal is permission. We want permission more than anything else, and again, we're going to talk about the specifics first thing in the morning, but I want to leave it here because I feel like this is a really important things you think about because we cannot. This can not be just about us. This cannot be just about what we want out of the world, it's about creating a long lasting connections and being relentlessly helpful, empathizing with people looking for ways we could help other people get what they want out of the world, knowing that that's going to come back.

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.


Sonja Dewing

Loved it! A lot of great tips on what needs to be on your author page, even some helpful plugins for WordPress! Love the extras. Well worth it.