If You Want Word of Mouth to Work You Have to Teach Your Fans How

Word of mouth is the best marketing you can get—if, like free, it’s done right.

What are you doing to help your fans share your books? Do you teach them what to say, so they’re doing real marketing? If they’re just saying “This is a good book” that’s not marketing, it’s just talk. They need your guidance.

Craft a message simple enough for them to say repeat; something like my fans would say about my first mystery: “Joel’s book is like meeting someone you love for a laugh and a pint at the pub.” Folks hear that, and they’re hooked (or repelled, which is also fine.)

My fans won’t know to say that if I don’t teach them.

And they won’t say it if I don’t constantly remind them (staying well this side of pushy.)

Maybe you’re already giving your fans lots of information. Are you giving them one single sentence they can say? Less is better.

Hand someone a marketing sheet and a handful of business cards and they’ll take them to be polite, but don’t think they’ll really do anything with it. How much time do you spend handing out other people’s business cards for them?

Word of mouth works like this: we develop trust over time. You like my book, and you like me enough to talk about my book. I repeat the same phrase or sentence so often that it’s what comes to your mind when you talk about my book. I remind you once in a while that when you talk about my book, it’s the best thing possible for my life as an author.

If you’re not building trust first, then repeating that one sentence so your fans will memorize it simply by osmosis, you’re not generating word of mouth.

You’re simply trying to hire a free sales team.

This article was originally published at SomedayBox.com and reprinted here with permission. https://somedaybox.com/if-you-want-word-of-mouth-to-work-you-have-to-teach-your-fans-how/

Free Book Marketing Ideas

You don’t have to spend money for all your book marketing efforts. There are free ways to market your book. Here are just a few.

  • Interview an industry influencer who has read your book and write a blog post about what they found most useful in the book—or ask the influencer if they would be willing to write a guest post about your book.
  • Create a group from your Facebook author page. Share tips from your book and ask questions, encouraging engagement. Be sure to share information related to your topic from other sources as well.
  • Pitch to the media—podcasters, radio shows, etc. What is a current topic that you can tie in with your book’s topic? Create a pitch and reach out to the media.
  • Send a digital (Kindle or PDF) copy of your book as a gift to five people who are interested in your topic and ask them to consider reviewing it. Don’t say you’ll send a free copy if they’ll leave a positive review of your book. Just send the book and ask them to consider leaving an honest review.
    What other free book marketing ideas do you have? Please share them in the comments.

Making the Reasonable Ask

Marketing your book is going to involve asking people for things. Whether it’s cover blurbs, a foreword, testimonials, or reviews, it’s far more practical to ask than to wait for volunteers.

How you ask makes a world of difference. My goal in this article is to help you do your homework so you have the best chance of getting a meaningful response. Note I didn’t say a positive response; ‘yes’ isn’t always the right answer, much as we’d like it to be. You can’t be too timid to even ask, but it doesn’t work to be so confident you come off as a jerk.

… more … “Making the Reasonable Ask”

If Your Goal is to Sell Books . . .

. . . change it.

As a nonfiction author, your goal is to build your business using your book as an elegant, even extravagant, $5 business card to give to prospects.

Selling books is an outcome, if it happens at all.

… more … “If Your Goal is to Sell Books . . .”

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Let us show you how—take advantage of our free 30-minute coaching session. Bring your biggest business challenge, and we’ll show you how the commonsense principles of the book can help you overcome it.

(By the way, when we say ‘free’, we mean free. No obligation, no pitch—no kidding. If you’d like to talk to other VAs who’ve taken us up on the free offer, just ask and we’ll put you in touch with some.)