Outreach: The How-to
So let's dive in into outreach today and really start looking at the house too so we talked a lot about the attitude yesterday and what goes into it and how kind of what we should bring into it and how we should have that empathy that comes along with it and so how does it actually look in the real world? Because a lot of times you know it's easy to say that and then when you actually start trying to do it in practice it's it's kind of hard to actually make happen and so I've had a lot of experience doing this, so I've done a lot of promotion in my own stuff before I was, um before I was doing this whole book thing, I was uh I started a whole block network and the cycling industry and so I had to actually get people to pay attention to what I was doing so I could sell advertising against it. I've worked with lots of different companies helping them with their online marketing and then over the last four years I've worked with over a hundred different authors and so I've gotten to try t...
his stuff and lots of different ways and lots of different context with lots of different books I've got tio do it for all kinds of different authors and I've really bold it down to the things that worked really, really well and that's what I'm going to share with you today and we always have that goal though of getting permission that's the main thing that we're always trying to get again whether we're talking to people that are going to help promote the book we're talking to people that are going by the book we really want that permission to continue that conversation um a lot of times I don't even focus so much on getting the book sale as much as I focused on getting that permission because I know if I have permission to talk with them I'm providing great content of being relentlessly helpful they're not only gonna buy my current book they're going to buy everything else I do so before we move on I do want to kind of split everybody into two groups when it comes to outreach and we're looking at fans and influencers and we're going to interact with these people in diff for ways and so the way that I look at this is fans is some fans of people that will buy your book they're the ones that actually will buy and read the book influencers of people that will get other people to buy your book and a lot of times we get stuck on this idea of influencers sometimes when I talk to people that have, you know been in traditional publishing a long time they immediately think ok tv and radio and when I talk to other people they're like okay, I got to get bloggers get bloggers and really you have to remember that influencers air everywhere in a in a wide variety of places and so when we're looking to connect with people that were gonna partner with to sell the book we're looking for people that haven't influence over a large number of people to sell books and that can show up anywhere I was working with a new author anymore fi paul and she's working on this book called brilliant and it's the science behind learning so it's based on all the new neuroscience and she has a fantastic news letter she sends out on a weekly basis and so she's writing this book and we're talking about different places that she could sell her book and we're talking about some of the traditional places on like you know there's a huge community of round home schooling and just like a few cursory ghouls around I found some places online word lots and lots of home school parents are on these giant newsletter list and they are interested in helping their kids learn and so you can find these niches where like nobody would know that there's like a giant email list full of home school parents that she could promote a book too it's not like the traditional way we think about promoting a book but whoever runs that email list is an influencer there is somebody that if they recommend a product the product is going to sell a lot of sell a lot of units and so we want to get out of our head any kind of box that we normally put in like book promotion and start looking at where were influence or showing up and how can I connect with them and what can I do to connect with them? And so this goes back to you know, some of what we're talking about yesterday of we're looking at what other people want out of life and then what we want out of life and we're trying to find where that overlaps and I'm really surprised at how easy it is to find this a lot of times a lot of times you promoting your book actually ends up helping people get what they want and so a really simple example is um bloggers like or major websites have lots and lots of content ah lot of times like they are tasked with putting tons of content online and they're constantly under stress of finding where they're going to find him this content and get this content from and so if you come and offer content to help you're going actually end up helping them but that content if it's about your book is going to sell your book is well and if you think about it you know just think about two different types of pitches, right? So say there's, this blogger that you would really like to do a review of your book or have something on his blogged about your book and you think that would really sell a lot of copies? The typical author will go and say, hey, I have this book, I would love to send you a copy so you could do a review on your block, but think about what you're asking you're asking for them to read your book, which is going to be time consuming, you know, depending on how long it is if it's short an hour, if it's longer maybe three or four hours at least and now they have to read that book think through everything that they want to say about the book and then write a review and then there's a lot of stress on there too, because if they were a friend of yours or you know they don't want to write a bad review and so there's a there could be stresses on there, but you're at least asking for five hours of their time when if you come to them and say, look, I have some great content it's going to be perfect for your audience for these reasons, and I'll write something up for you that you could post in your audience is gonna love it now you're saving them time right, so you go from asking for their time to say, I'm going to send you content and it's a block post, you don't have to write, you just have to post it now you're saving people time, right? So that's where what they want out of life, which is content that's perfect for their audience and what you want out of your life is getting in front of those people it's now overlapping does that make sense? So I want to talk about social media, and as I get into this as I talk about social media, and as I go through some different other outreach mechanisms, I want you to be thinking of questions. Um, online, teo, I'm really looking for questions on this because this gets very murky and scary and overwhelming really, really quickly, and so I'm going to share some of my best practices and what I've done, but I really want to answer specific questions, so if you have any specific questions to be thinking about those and we'll start pulling them in soon, but I do want to touch on social media because, as I said in the permission, ah section yesterday, it's not a permission asset, it's not something where it reliably communicates with people and gets them to take action. It's a way that you can introduce yourself to people it's a way that you can show where people are and before I really dig into it I want to touch on something that's really important here we're here to talk about book marketing right? This is why we're in this room so when I'm talking about social media and I'm maybe not saying so nice things about how it helps with marketing it's because I'm talking about it from a marketing standpoint I like social media I'm on facebook I like you know, keeping up with my nieces that live on the other side of the country I like seeing friends I haven't seen for a long time you know I like keeping up with it but what I try to do is split it between my doing this for fun or am I doing this for work and a lot of times what we tell ourselves is over marketing we're on facebook we're putting on stuff on facebook were and we put that in the marketing box and it's not because it's not actually doing anything we talked about how you should be able to track stuff right and if you're putting stuff on social media that you're calling marketing and it's not doing anything it's not creating long lasting connections it's not selling any books it's not marketing anymore you're just kind of doing it for fun and so I want to make sure that we split that in our mind we're not telling ourselves a story about what we're doing that's not true, which is I'm spending hours and hours and hours on facebook marketing, and when I put something up, you know, I get, like eighty people that like it that's pretty good, but if you think about eighty people and that how that actually translate the book sales, which will probably be one or two and how much time you're spending, getting those one or two people to take action, it's probably not a good mix of your time in most cases, and so and the other thing that I saw that was great. Is it's really hard to pay your mortgage with? Likes with facebook likes they don't spend very well, and so we have to make sure we have good litmus test for this, too. Just because a lot of people liked something, click the like button on facebook does not mean it's actually turning into anything that's valuable from a marketing standpoint, is it building connections? Is it getting permission? Is it driving people to your email list? Those are the questions that we're thinking about, so as I go through how to use social media. I'm thinking of it from a marketing standpoint, so if you like social media, if you're on there you like sharing pictures? I do two absolutely use it for that, but make sure you're being truthful with yourself about what you're doing with it. Are you doing it for marketing or you're doing it for fun? Both are fine just make sure you're telling the truth about it. So let's look at social media. One of my favorite things to use social media foreign mark brought this up yesterday is to connect with influencers. I have found that through social media, especially through twitter seems to work really well people that are hard to get ahold of otherwise, like you couldn't find their phone number online if you email them it might go toe like you know it's going to contact at right it's not actually going to their inbox a lot of times you can connect with them over social media before you can connect with them other places, and this is actually how I really connected with guy kawasaki who's, an author of several best selling books ape was one. If you're interested in self publishing, I highly recommend his book ape, which stands for him I remember yeah author, publisher, entrepreneur that's right on dh the one before that was enchantment also good book, but I originally connected with him I tried to email him hadn't heard back I tried to do a couple of things didn't hear back, so I reached out to him on twitter he responded to me we exchanged a couple of things the next time I emailed and he responded right? So it made it made a difference being able to cut through some of those gatekeepers and so I found that a lot of times I'll do social media for that specific thing it was funny somebody in the chat room said how my my twitter feed is a ghost town and it's absolutely a ghost out like I get on there for very few reasons and one of them is there's somebody I need to get ahold of and I can do it through twitter and that's the only thing I use it for and so um so I have found that if you want to connect with somebody you've tried some other means social media's is sometimes a good way to actually connect with them and get their attention then of course, though it's not just staying on social media, I'm pulling it into a different avenue right? And we weren't thinking about fans and influencers the thing that I like to think about his fans you usually communicate one too many right, so we use email list we use social media, we do webinars, we do that kind of stuff where we're putting we're doing a communication out to several people one time and of course as you do this more you'll get more and more e mails from fans and you want to respond to those in those kind of things but in general when you start communication it's one too many with influencers you always want to keep it one toe one in some way phone calls, emails meeting for coffee when you're in town those sorts of things give them that one on one communication because they're the ones that are going to put you in front of their audience so you want to make sure you're connecting with them one on one another thing that's really great with social media is leveraging other people's connections so think about it this way is it easier to get ten people with a thousand twitter followers each to share something or is it easier to get your own following of ten thousand people in most cases it's easier to get ten people with a thousand followers each arm or toe help you spread something and what I found is it's much more effective to wait and then when you have something we're sharing inviting people to share it and when they share you reach way more people than if you spend months and months and months working and working and working to get this following yourself right and again I'm looking at what's the highest leverage activities that you can be doing and in most cases and I'm keep saying in most cases because of course there's outliers, there's people that are doing twitter that, like tom said yesterday, they're really working hard on twitter and apparently it's coming back, although I see very few cases where that happened, what I'm saying is, with all the authors I worked with, trying to build this platform on a social media platform doesn't work well, but building a connection with people where they will help you share things when the time comes makes a really big difference, and that happened with me with my book, I think I put something on social media once when my book came out, but I just sent everything out through my email list, but I encouraged people if they want to share it, to put it on social media and sure enough, lots of people shared it, and it went out to thousands more people that I could have done on my own, and I didn't have to build those connections myself because I don't have time. I was focusing on my email list, so I highly recommend if you're that's when to use social media is encouraging other people to share because when we're going to talk about book launches, we're going to talk about howto let you help your fans share your stuff because they want to share a lot of times and the main way that most of the people that are connected to you as fans are going to share his social media like that's the way that's natural to them so let them share it make it easy the other thing is to share smaller tidbits and um if you want to look at somebody that does this really well look up gretchen rubin's facebook page I mentioned her yesterday in this but she doesn't really good job of using it to kind of fill in the gaps write something that doesn't fit as a full blawg poster doesn't fit is an email out to her list fits really well to drop in the facebook and again if it's in our life too right? So we all have our iphones and smartphones and we have the facebook app and we're able to quickly take pictures and drop in thoughts, right? So a lot of times it makes it easy to share little tidbit. So if you're using facebook if you're building a facebook page, you're building a twitter following or building a pinterest following you know, sharing these little tidbits as you go is a way to connect with people but then constantly be looking for ways to draw them in deeper right constantly give them you know you have that really compelling reason they're supposed to sign up for your email list, so remind them on a regular basis I have this really compelling reason to sign up for my email list and always remember that went just because somebody is like your page just because somebody's leaving comments on your facebook page doesn't you don't have that permission yet that's just the top of the funnel you're just getting to know them, you always want to be using your content to draw them deeper. So um, any questions there as we start looking at how to use social media does have a couple other thoughts on it, but I want to start taking questions because I'm sure there's lots of them yeah, we'll definitely start having questions coming we have let's see jim one one, three, four, eight has an interesting question that that was fun. Is there any real value to having a facebook page for a major character in your siri's like if you're writing fiction, create any fictional character page so my default might. My first answer is, do you really have time for that? And if you have time for that because how many times you going to do this? How long are you going to keep the character going? But at the same time I haven't seen many people do this I saw somebody I saw an author, one time do twitter feeds, and we've seen this right like television shows like the characters have their own twitter feeds and that kind of thing, but most of the time, I see it fall flat, like it just doesn't work the way it kind of is that ghost town where it's like, okay, we've got to use facebook, what are we going to put on it? I don't know let's do it with a character, but it might work, and so this is where, you know, hugh and I are going to talk a lot about this when we're together, but, you know, it comes back to experimenting, it might be something worth experimenting with and giving it a try, but what I would do is keep track of it, how much time are you spending on it? Um, is it getting results? Are people connecting with it? Um, is it leading to permission? You know, that goal is always permission, so you know, it's hard to answer one way or another, but again, in most cases, with new things, I'm not going to know, right? Even though I've done this a long time, just because I've done a long time doesn't mean I always know the answers. But I do know there should be a litmus test you should have. I'm going to try for this long, I'm looking for these kind of results, and if it doesn't get these kind of results, I'm going to move on and try something else. I think you know, the thing about his experimenting mean, although we accept social media in our lives now twitter, facebook, they've become part of everything that we do, they're still fairly new, so it's great to just experiment to see what things work. Do you have an opinion, tim about pinterest, science guys asking about he says that all she says they probably use it. Is it a good after advertising platform for books? It can be, and I know that there was just a whole thing about pinterest marketing with creative life, right? And so I am far from an expert on how to do marketing on pinterest. Oh, what I have seen some authors doing really well is if you have a naturally visual topic, so I've seen cookbook people that are doing lots of cookbooks or diet books or talking about nutrition, they use pinterest a lot because that's, a naturally visual thing and actually the next thing I'm talking about is to choose carefully what social media platform you're using and think about who's showing up where if your audience is somebody that's going to be on pinterest start on pinterest and give it a try and I've seen lots of web sites there traffic from pinterest is going up, but the thing is teo again, try it and track it and see if it works because pinterest is hot right now, it may not be in a few years they'll probably be something new and so everything I'm going to start sounding like a broken record here it's like if you think it'll work, give it a try. When we did a book launch last year, we we were sending out lots of images to people to share on dh we actually sent early copies tio this group of people that were on to help launch the book and they started taking pictures of their favorite pages and putting them on pinterest and we started seeing a spike in traffic and we started seeing traffic coming from pinterest and book sales as a result and so I do think it could be useful, but try it haven't haven't expectation of what it should be doing try it for long enough to see if it's working and if it's working, keep doing it and keep trying new stuff, any other questions on social media? Anyone here in the room? Okay? So last night at the dinner table, my husband said but and she asked him what the easiest and fastest way tohave a book be wildly successful is and my seven year old my seven year old son said, how about write a great book? Yes and so my question is, you know, we're all talking what comes first? Is it the platform? Is that the book what's more important and what do you see? How do you see that working for people are just starting out a zealous people who already have books published yeah, you know, with what I do um I almost have to be agnostic about the book, right? So, um, I try to really work with authors I believe in there's lot people that contact me that I don't work with and, you know, as my business is growing, I've gotten to be a little more choosy about how who I work with and but what I kind of have to do when I'm giving advice like this is I have to assume you're writing a good book, you're doing your best the best you can to write a good book and put something good out into the world and I'm going to show you how you can get that in front of a lot of people, but yeah, if you, um right if you don't write a good book no matter what you do, it's not it's not going to make people buy don't make a certain number of people buy, but it won't spread because it's not a good butt, right? And we've all read books that we wish we had not spent the time reading, and we tell people about it or we don't tell people about it, which is actually worse. So yes, I think your seven year old yeah, I think your seven year old to hit the nail on the head. Yeah, yeah, you have to start with writing a good book, and but what I'm assuming is that you are writing a good book and I know I've known you for a while, I know you're writing a good butt, right? And so, um, says that, you know, I start with that and now it's inviting people in and so and then the quickest way we're going talk about launching a book in the last session, but, um, and we'll go over what I think is the quickest way to do about mark. So, you know, I look a tte social media in the spread factor of social media, and I'm fascinated by how things spread so quickly. What about a little bit yesterday, but so do most of the spreading occur from the authors or is it spread from someone who reads the book and then spreads it through their group? I mean, where do you find how much of this where the author's actually created it and how much is that we're someone who read the book or heard about them and like, what they're doing and then spread it through their thing where they didn't do anything but they weren't even involved in twitter? I mean, there are some people who involved twitter all of a sudden they're getting hit by a bunch of people on twitter and data showed up one day and got either on the news or god, you know, on tv, but they didn't spend any time, and all of a sudden they have a ten thousand twitter followers, for example, yeah, you know, um, what we're trying to build with trying to build a platform and connections with readers is basically a launchpad, right? So if we think about I forgot what the number keeps shifting when I read it, but let's say we're all connected to about two hundred fifty people, and so and that's actually the number that most books sell, whether traditionally publisher self published, the average book sells about two hundred fifty, copies, which if you think about that, and if you think the average author makes two dollars a book the year or two or eight that went into writing a book, and you make five hundred dollars at the end, right? And so that's, actually, why we named the course how to sell your first thousand books and why I named my book your first thousand copies? Um uh, um, that's, why I named it that because when you hit a thousand copies, you've done something special, you've moved past your sphere of influence, and you've been able to get a thousand people about seven hundred fifty of which you don't personally know to actually take action and that's meaningful, because that means if you feared out how to make that jump, the jump to two thousand five thousand is a whole lot easier than that first thousand. So what we're trying to do with the platform is give you that first jump, because if you can get a thousand people to that, our fans that you're already connected with to buy your book, and they're connected each to another two hundred fifty people. Now you have something that's really going to blast your book off, and when you start talking about amazon and the fact that once you sell, if you sell a certain enough copies, nobody knows what the number is because their algorithms constantly changing, but if you sell a bunch of copies in his small enough window they're going to start recommending your book to other people you know, with just eighteen hundred people in my email list I sold over a thousand copies in two weeks that's like huge right? I mean any kind of marketing would be happy with that and the only thing I marked it through was my email list because I want to test it I didn't want to try anything else I didn't do any outreach I didn't know podcast interviews, guest posting anything onda couple people that were on my listed did blows about it, but I didn't know about that until after um and that was because other people shared it because I had a bunch of people I could had eighteen hundred people I could get my book of in front of said they bought it, they did block post, they put it on twitter, they put it on facebook, it started spreading that sold more copies, which got me into amazon system tio this day. So now we're a little over two months past when my book came out and I've sold twenty, five hundred copies and that's because I'm an amazon system and they continue to recommend my book and I'm continued to do outreach over a long period of time because this is a long game for me, right? We talked about short first long game I'm not interested in selling I mean I wouldn't fight against it but I'm more interested in selling twenty thousand copies over the next year or two then I am of like having a huge spike because I did a bunch of pr in publicity and then everything this falls off and I'm left to go do something else and so when it comes to social media I think it's the same way is you want that connection with people so that you can have something to boost and the average person you know if I think about my friends back home like they don't have email list and blog's like they're you know they're not into marketing but they're all on social media and so by by letting them know about what you're working on if they want to share it that's going to be there avenue so that's how you use social media is you let other people share it there because they're there anyway and it it's a lot easier to do that kind of stuff than try to build a giant following of your own steve tim quick question every time we talk about social media we talked about twitter and facebook and what's what's starting teo bubble up in the back of my mind is linked in in particular for a business audience uh I'm just curious to get your top of mind thought you know they've made these great strides to sort of become kind of twitter ish and then with this with all of the updates and all the thought leadership you know frankly they've kind of forced on us um what do your experiences there? Do you think it's working do you go to linked in for all your latest news are your latest updates is that we goto linked in when you go go linked unnecessarily to see that stream of consciousness on topics that air particularly eleven to be me but that's me? Well, I know I'm asking, so what do you got to lengthen for? Purely it's, my online professional rolla, dex, right? Exactly. And yet people were connecting with me every day who have never met were the only people who are obviously I mean, the only way they would probably be finding me is because they picked up a copy of my book and hopefully they liked it enough to say I should lincoln with this because I did make a point in the book to say you could you know, this is where I am was where I am on linked in yeah, some curious as that as that platform sort of moves into this next phase of being much more social on dh not just being what guys like me use it for yeah, you know, I think that it's still from what I've seen it's still used as basically a business roll index and that's where I see the most value in it for the typical person that's where I get the most value out of it they are doing mohr like streaming of content coming in a twitter type style thing, but I'm not exactly seeing a lot of people are hearing a lot of people that are paying that close of attention to it they are doing mohr of this linked in influencer thing where they're bringing people into d block post but again that's a different thing they're basically just generating conta and that will bring people into into the platform um so I haven't seen it do a whole lot I know there's linked in groups um and this kind of stuff but again, I've I've dabbled with that I've looked at it, I've talked to people that have tried to use it and it's more on a smaller scale so like I've seen authors use it teo as they're riding their book they want to bounce ideas off of people so they'll bring a group together but that's basically just using it as a tool to bring a small group together, right? So I could use facebook groups for that or something else so so yeah, I think that it's mostly still a business roll index and it can be useful in that way if you're again if I go back to with social media a lot of times, it's a way to cut directly to somebody, and I've used it for that several times if you get the premium account, you khun directly do the lincoln in mail, and I found people that that didn't that didn't respond to a typically male will respond through lincoln, so I've used it for that. But again, it's cutting through the gatekeepers straight into somebody's involves the same experience, exactly both twitter and linked and finding people who can't be found. Yes, yes, something something worth testing. I'd be a series of people online have had experience, you know, whenever we're talking to them. If there's former teacher here and is in a child roman, he says that he deleted my lincoln account permanently last week don't miss it at all, but, uh, okay, writer writer makes a very good point. The moral of the story is find what works for you and reaches your you know, just a couple weeks ago, there's, a certain major author that I really wanted to do some work with, um and it was like, like top top author, and so I started, I looked at whose publisher was I found I will start searching linked in for anybody that worked at that publisher I found the marketing executive at that publisher and lo and behold, one of my past authors was a direct connection to him so I asked that author to do an introduction I got a phone call with him and we're not talking about what I can do for them and their authors but again it wasn't about spreading the message it was about laser pointing one person and it works really really well for that that's what I mean by I'm not picking up a hammer and trying to hit a screw I'm picking up a hammer and trying to hit a nail and that's what it's for that's how you use those kind of tools effectively so um so choose carefully and like we've talked about with a lot of questions test in track make sure that you know if you you know typical thing that you were taught in school about how experiments work, you come up with a theory of how it should work of how you think it should work. You test that theory and you look at the results and you tweak and try again and that goes for everything that we're doing. But again, we kind of lose sight of that for some reason I do it to for some reason we just go dumb when it comes to social media and I think it is because it has that overlap of fun and business right when we're blogging we know why we're blogging we're not we're blogging to build a platform when we're telling people to sign up for email this we know why we're doing that when we're on facebook all the sonnets marquis right all of a sudden I'm looking at pictures of friends I'm posting pictures of the race I did last weekend and oh I've got this book available right and it's all kind of through the same stream so we just got to keep track of what we're doing in what we're spending time on and why we're spending the time that we're spending the time any other questions online before we're about to move on from social media so that's one that you touched on very briefly tim I don't think this would apply to you because you're more in the textbook robert books our asses asking have you ever considered having your follows finish your book with a pole on what they think it should end sometimes like they do in the movies that might apply to fiction but I don't know about you know I love that kind of stuff I've seen you know I've had I've had authors that bring together a group of people and help them write the book I know I know I've seen fiction writers do polls to let people named characters you know and there's books coming out you know we talked we touched on this briefly but you know what is even a book is becoming a little more fluid, right? So on author cj west, he did it. He took one of his more popular books and turned it into a choose your own adventure like computer game on the website where he would, like, give you a page of the book, you'd read it and you decide what the character would do next and, you know, and that's a lot of fun, so I love that kind of stuff if you're comfortable doing that there's, you know, there's a continue on that, too of, like, some authors air like don't touch my work, and some authors air want everybody involved in it and there's a continuing their whatever you're comfortable with. If you're bringing people on, you're creating and fostering those long lasting connections, which that will absolutely do, I think, go for it and see what happens trying test and just one final kind of I thought on the linked in aussie writers says I've found lincoln has brought me much business as a digital publishing consultant. The power of lincoln is in the groups, so if you're forming groups specifically around your book, then that might be a way to do it. But think of the numbers, though, like it's a, you know, with selling books, it's, a numbers game and a lot of times consultants, anybody coming from a consultant or business background and they're now writing a book. They're having trouble making this switch, then this switch is I'm going from I need a small group of people to give me a lot of money each every year. That's how I stay in business that's how I stay in business I have a small group of clients that pay me good sum of money that's how I stay in business when you switch to selling books it's a totally different mindset you need a whole lot of people to give you a little bit of money each and a lot of times when you're a consultant, when you're somebody that's moving that you forget that that's a totally different type of thing, so if you can get one hundred people in a linked in group and they all buy ten copies of your book, the twenty thousand copies, of course we're talking about a thousand copies and that would be great, but in most cases, you know you've got to remember, like, what are you trying to do and just getting again back to the facebook likes getting eighty people toe like something on facebook? How is that going to translate to book sales and what does that mean for, you know, paying your way is a writer, so always keep that in mind, too