Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Building & Brainstorming Your Marketing Machine

Post 2 of Creating Your Marketing Machine by Tamela Buhrke

Raise your hand if you’d love to have a team of people who would actively promote your book. Raise the other hand if you’d love it even better if they did it for free!

Who wouldn’t love to have a team of people who love our book as much as we do and who make a point of going out and telling the world about it? So today, we will start to build that team.

The first step is to build a list of writers who are similar to you. This will take a bit of brainstorming. Consider the people in your critique groups, on your twitter feed or on your blog readers. Evaluate whether these authors and writers would be good candidates for your marketing machine. You will be writing those people down on your list. In order to be successful, the people on your list should meet specific requirements.

Requirements for Your List

+ Add Same Genre Writers - Find authors who are in your genre and read their books. If someone who writes like you, and you respect their writing, then put them on your list.

+ Add Similar Writers - Add to the list people whose writing is in a similar genre but may not be in exactly the same genre as yours. Be sure that they attract a similar type of reader (for example, if you write adult mystery, then YA mystery writers would not attract the same audience of readers, instead try adult thrillers). They must be someone who’s writing you enjoy and respect. If they wow you, put them on the list.

- Subtract Those Not On A Publishing Track - Some people are wonderful writers, but they have no urge to publish. You will want people on your list who have books—or plan to have books—on the market. They can be self-published or traditionally published, but they can't just be bloggers or short story writers. You want your marketing machine to be populated with people who relate to your experience, know the processes and difficulties of publishing and have a fire to get books to market.

- Subtract Non-Marketers - Pay attention to the actions of the authors on your list. Are they on Facebook? Twitter? Do they blog consistently? Do you see them promoting themselves appropriately? They don’t have to do all these things, but they must do one or two of them with consistency. Take anyone off the list who doesn’t put effort into promoting their own books (because if they don’t promote their own, why would they promote yours).

It may take you awhile to build a list of people for consideration. Don't worry. Take your time and build it right. You want approximately twenty-five candidates, to start. Also, in this initial step don't tell the people that they are on your list and don't approach them about marketing each other. Instead, take time to get to know them. Connect with them on their blog or on the social network they use most often. Talk about their books. See how they respond. You want to make sure that these are people you can work with and that they can work with you.

If you find that some people just don’t mesh with you, take them off the list. This doesn't mean that you don't like their writing, or you don't want to keep following their blog or their twitter posts. You just don't want them on your marketing team. This list is not a friendship list; it's a marketing machine list. Keep up this filtering process until you have a list of about ten quality people who will be active, positive marketing members.

In the next few weeks, we’ll talk about what to do with these candidates. Some will become a part of your Blogging Crew and others will be your Social Media Allies. You’ll learn how to approach them and get them excited about promoting each other’s work.

Next week: Create a Blogging Crew


Patricia Stoltey said...

The marketing team concept makes a lot of sense to me. It's so hard to get a buzz going on any book when you're going it alone.

Tamela Buhrke said...

Thanks Pat! The hard part is finding the right team. Be selective and find people who are enthusiastic about marketing with you.

Joanne Kennedy said...

Tamela, this is a great series! There is so much marketing advice out there that doesn't take time limitations into account. This seems like a practical, efficient and effective approach, and your step-by-step approach makes it sound do-able. Thanks!!