July 10, 2015

Top Thoughts on Effective Self-Promotion

Top Thoughts on Effective Self-Promotion

Lately, I have taken part in many discussions on sales. The most annoying marketing technique can be defined as constant, direct, aggressive advertisements in any medium that seem to metaphorically scream “Buy my product now!” or “Buy my service now!”

Sometimes, these initiatives are successful; otherwise, people wouldn’t keep doing them. More often than not, these campaigns result in the target audience getting annoyed, angry, or mentally tuning out.

The unnamed city pictured above is a good example. Seriously, who is going to read all of those signs? I wouldn’t pay attention to a single one. You can make them as big as a football field; I wouldn’t care. They’re a turn off. I’m not going to waste my precious time looking at them, especially in the middle of that crowd.

 I would bet that at least 90% of those pedestrians wouldn’t even be able to recall one of those signs. Why? They’re too used to it. They tuned out ages ago.

The signs are also more than slightly offensive. What they really say to the viewer is “Stop what you’re doing right now to read me. Your time is unimportant.” Another unintentional message could be stated as: “Our company doesn’t care about you as a person. We just want you to invest in our product/service.”

You can superimpose these street signs onto telemarketers, door-to-door sales associates, 15-minute TV infomercials, and so forth. However, for our purposes, let’s identify it with…

Social Media

Switch the neon signs of the city with gazillions of Twitter posts essentially screaming “Buy my product/service”.  How useful a technique is such mindless saturation?

I submit that it may backfire in many cases. It is certainly not the way to begin a successful marketing campaign. A winning strategy involves, well, strategy. It’s not about a continual, hit-and-miss, sales blitz.

Eeva Lancaster

I have featured this remarkable lady before.  Her website, The Book Khaleesi (banner on my sidebar) is a one-stop shop for everything related to self-publishing. Please see her main website/blog here.

Eeva certainly knows how to use social media for marketing purposes. Her wise thoughts on efficient promotion include the following:

There’s such a thing as over marketing on Twitter and it’s not in the number of posts. It’s how you plug your books. For example, I follow someone and I get a DM asking me to go to Amazon and buy the book. That’s being a mosquito, irritating and tasteless. I think I wrote an article about this.

Where is the line between effective marketing and aggressive and offensive marketing? Authors with no sales background will tend to go overboard on marketing or try to market halfheartedly.

Successful Marketing

According to some definitions, sales/advertising is different from marketing. Marketing is a long-term strategy for the sale of a product or service. It requires planning and research. It should involve an analysis of the target audience as well as a genuine connection with them.

Eeva knows that online self-promotion involves many elements, not just bare advertisement. She emphasizes presentation and the mutual support of other authors.  Continuing her words…

One point is that you cannot tweet the same stuff over and over again. You gotta put some variety else your marketing effort will have no effect in time. There’s such a thing as advertising blindness. RTing is good just so you don’t become Author B in my article, but how you advertise makes a difference too. Copywriting is another point to learn. How you use words to sell your book.

Marketing is not as simple as it seems and truth is many in the industry suck at it. Marketing is not about your book. It’s about you.

My Conclusion

Your audience are not merely potential customers. They are people, too. They will be more likely to invest in what you have to offer if you don’t metaphorically run at them saying “Hi! What’s your name again? Nevermind.  I really don’t care. I just have a minute. I only wanted to tell you that I’ve finally published my book. You can buy it at….Thanks! Bye!” while you leap forward to your next prospective customer. (You may laugh, but I’ve run across quite a few people like that.)

How do you connect with your audience?

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