This month’s short tip to help your grow your nonfiction author business is: Schedule a get-to-know your chat with someone you’re connected with on LinkedIn. Take this opportunity to see how you can help them in their business. You may find your own business grows in unexpected ways.
At a recent meetup for local authors we met Ernest Sears Jr. who had written a book about the benefits of culling destructive relationships from our lives.
Ernest wasn’t happy with his book’s cover. The book was ready, Ernest was ready, but the cover wasn’t what he wanted: it looked like a book about juicing, which it’s not. (That’s it on the right.)
We no longer provide cover design services, but we know people who do. After referring Ernest to Lewis Agrell, they worked together to give the book a new cover. It’s more dynamic, and does a better job of conveying the book’s self-help content.
Ernest Was Not a Client
This wasn’t a business transaction, it was a gift. We met someone who had a need, and we knew someone who could fill it.
Business isn’t only about transactions, it’s about people, generosity, fulfillment, even joy. We love what we do, we really like authors and the publishing world, and we’re always glad to help any way we can—even if someone isn’t paying us money.
What has your social media consultant done for you today?
How does the 80/20 principle apply in social media marketing? In short, it means that about 20% of your messages are self-promotion, ‘buy-my-book’ messages and 80% of your messages are generous, sharing what your audience finds valuable and informative.
This is important for authors trying to promote their books. If your audience sees the majority of your messages are self-promotion, they will quickly lose interest. Turn that around. Make the majority of your messages generous, information sharing.
Ask yourself: what does my reader want? What does my reader need? Then share! What you share can be tips from your book. That will encourage your audience to buy your book whether or not you specifically promote it. Also share links to other helpful information provided from other sources.
The 80/20 numbers are not carved in stone. It’s not a rule. It’s a principle. The important thing is to remember this principle in all your social media marketing.
Share more than you promote.
Note from Joel
While this is not really an application of the Pareto Principle wherein most of our results come from a small portion of our effort, it’s convenient to reuse the numbers 80 and 20 partly because they’ll be easy to remember. But hey, perhaps we’ll write another post about applying the Pareto Principle in your marketing efforts, because it definitely applies.
This year Sue has been using an old-fashioned method to expand her social network. Because she’s doing it right, it has not only delivered results but it’s been fun.
Any time she comes across the social media profile of someone interesting (from a professional perspective) she spends a little time learning more about them, then invites them to have a 15-minute phone call to get to know each other. She calls them Getting to Know You calls. (I’m the writer in the family but since she pays my bills I’ll stay out of her business.)
Yes, that’s right, it’s the old “Can I buy you a cup of coffee?” ploy, ruined by professional networkers a decade ago.
Here’s how Sue does it right:
She spent the time to develop a reputation for sincerity and generosity.
She takes the time to get to know something about the other person, even interacting at their blog or other social media accounts, before she raises the idea of chatting on the phone.
When she approaches them, she expresses a specific interest in something they do or offer.
Wait, before that, she actually feels a genuine interest in something they do or offer. That’s the whole point: they’re professionally interesting.
She uses a simple free tool called Calendly to allow them to schedule their call anytime she’s free and which is convenient for them. No phone tag or endless scheduling emails.
During the conversation, she actually listens to them, treats them with dignity and respect, and only shares what Ausoma does as something that might support their business. No sales pitch. Ever. (Did we get that part? That’s what killed the “cup of coffee” gag, remember?)
She keeps in touch, and when she finds something of value to them she shares it.
The theme there is generosity. People can tell when you’re “having a chat” but it’s all about you.
They can also tell, from a mile away, when you’re a sincere and generous person who believes that the more you help others, the better your own business and life are.
Our last post was about making sure your newsletter is relevant, and before that, the effect of ensuring it’s anticipated. The final post in this short series is about how being personal trumps them both.
When a stranger interrupts, it’s offensive, annoying.
When a close friend interrupts, it’s probably just conversation. We do it all the time. Sure, in some settings we’re careful to be more formal, to listen politely until the other person is done speaking, to use active listening and all those cool techniques for really connecting.
But if you and I are chatting about music and you start raving about Eric Clapton and I butt in with “Clapton has gotten boring; have you heard Steve Winwood play guitar lately?” that’s just conversation — friends talk over each other and interrupt and generally treat conversation like a rugby scrum.