Relationship Marketing for Nonfiction Authors

Relationship marketing is used by many businesses. It focuses on customer retention and satisfaction. How can relationship marketing be used by nonfiction authors? First, let’s break down three aspects of relationship marketing.relationship marketing

  1. Customer retention

Businesses use relationship marketing to retain customers. As a nonfiction author, you want to retain your readers. We’ll discuss this in further detail in a bit.

  1. Customer satisfaction

Your customer is your reader. You want them to be satisfied with your product – your book – so they will tell others about it.

  1. Long-term customer

Keep them coming back for more – whether it’s for your next book or another service you offer.

Now we’ll discuss what those three aspects of relationship marketing mean to an author.

  1. Reader retention

How do you keep your readers coming back for more? As a nonfiction author, there are several ways you can do this. First, of course, is to be sure you’ve written something of real value. Then write another book, and another, and another is possible. Other ways you can keep them coming back is to create other products or services around your book. Perhaps you can create workbook around your book, host a webinar course, create a workshop. Put on your creativity cap and brainstorm ideas with a friend.

  1. Reader satisfaction

Those 5-star ratings at Amazon are a great indication of reader satisfaction. Encourage readers to leave reviews by mentioning at the end of your book. When you sell books in-person or mail a book out, include a sheet with tips on how to leave a review on Amazon. Don’t be afraid of negative feedback. It will happen. Don’t dwell on it; move on. Think like your reader and find out what they need so you can make the next book even better.

  1. Long-term customer, or reader

You don’t just want a reader to buy your book once and never come back. The goal is for them to become a long-term customer, or reader. They should want to buy future books, purchase more books as gifts for friends, or purchase another service you offer.

How can you build relationship marketing into your marketing plan? There are three steps:

  1. Make connections

LinkedIn is a great place to start making connections. First step, upload your contacts from your computer and start connecting. Search for and join groups related to your book’s topic. Connect with members of those groups. This is also a great place to connect with influencers in your industry, media persons, and others you may want to collaborate with.

  1. Build on those relationships

Don’t just connect; deepen those relationships. Invite your new connections to connect by phone and get to know one another. Listen to them, find out what their needs are, who their ideal client is. In turn they will do the same. I’ve done this consistently for a few years now and have made some great connections where we now refer prospects to one another.

  1. Collaborate with others

Once you’ve built those relationships, you’ll be in a much better position to collaborate with them. You may find another author whose book complements your own. Perhaps you can do a workshop together, or a virtual event (webinar), or refer to one another. Building relationships and collaborating encourages word of mouth – the best referral you could get.

Relationship marketing takes time and effort. It’s well worth it. It results in more readers because the readers you have will come back for more and tell others about you, your book, and your services.

For more great marketing tips from some of the world’s best marketers, check out this article at Insane Growth, particularly the social media marketing tip from Neal Schaffer.

Paint-by-Numbers: Instagram

Part of a series

Hubspot’s research on social media usage patterns reveals that people generally use Instagram for bonding.

What does that mean in an author’s marketing environment?

Bonding

Instagram users post images and videos that reflect how they see themselves, and who they want to be. It’s emotional content, warm and fuzzy, often humorous, designed to make them closer to their friends, family, and other followers.

They follow others not only to bond but to discover new trends.

What to Do

  • Create visual content that reflects your personality as an author
  • Ensure that your posts are emotion-based
  • Use appropriate humor
  • Respond to your followers’ posts with likes and the occasional comment

What NOT to Do

  • Don’t get deeply informational
  • Don’t be unnecessarily negative; keep it warm and fuzzy
  • Don’t pitch, push, or sell; this is not the place

How the Instagram Feed Algorithm Works in 2019

The Instagram algorithm is like a Rubik’s cube. There are a near infinite number of possible combinations, and if you don’t have specific instructions you’re going to waste a lot of time trying to solve it.

Now, no one completely understands how it works other than Instagram, but from what Instagram and other experts in the field have told us, we put together a quick instruction manual you can use to get the best possible results out of the Instagram algorithm in 2019.

Here’s a no-nonsense breakdown of how the Instagram feed algorithm works in 2019:

Screenshot_20190212-150441-1-576x1024

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

… more … “How the Instagram Feed Algorithm Works in 2019”

Taming the Ever-Evolving Monster of Social Media Marketing

mathew-schwartz-418954-unsplashWhen I talk to clients about social media I call it an ever-evolving monster. It’s always changing. For many authors, it feels like they are battling a dragon. They have a difficult time trying to figure out what to do on social media and how to do it. If they do get it figured out, then it changes. The rules change, a new platform comes out, different image sizes are required. What worked best last year doesn’t work this year. There’s a myriad of information on what to do and it can be overwhelming.

Is it possible to slay this ever-evolving monster? How? In my experience the monster constantly rears its ugly head. You can’t control each social media platform and the changes they make. Though you can’t slay the monster, you can tame it. It just takes understanding some basics.

Social media will change. Be prepared for it.

Once you accept that change will occur, it will be easier to accept it and do whatever needs to be done to change with it. Prepare by crafting messages with ongoing value – evergreen content. Know that you may have to create images of various sizes if you want them to appear their best on each platform.

Feel free to experiment. What another author does successfully may work for you – or it may not. Try various strategies and see what works best for you. You don’t have to be active everywhere. It’s much better to focus on one platform and get it down than to start by trying to do it all everywhere. Social media marketing is a case where being sharply pointed is far better than being well rounded.

To be effective at taming the ever-evolving monster of social media marketing, you might consider hiring someone to do it WITH you. Notice I did not say hire someone to do the marketing FOR you. No one can market your book for you as effectively as you can. You know your topic, your point of view, better than anyone else. However, you can work WITH someone to help you disseminate your message and to provide social media guidance and advice.

If you’d like assistance establishing and dialing in your social media, we can help you get it ready to manage it yourself. Check out our 4 Week Social Media Head Start program.

Which Platform Works Best for You?

With all the social media platforms available, authors often ask which one is the best platform for them. My answer: it depends on where your audience is and which one you feel you’d be most comfortable spending time using. Here are four popular ones and my thoughts on each one. Then you decide which one is best for you. (I recommend you set up a profile at each one and then focus on one. More on that in a future post.)

Twitter is a Music Festival

It’s easy to set up a Twitter account and start following people you hope will follow you back. The trap to avoid is following everyone. Follow people who are relevant in some way. Perhaps they’ve tweeted about your topic or have a hashtag in their bio that indicates interest in your topic. Create lists so you can categorize those you follow – other authors, book marketers, publicists, and others.

Because you can tweet often, you drive more traffic to your website from Twitter than other social media platforms. That means your tweets need to have valuable information with a link that readers want to click to learn more.

Yes, it’s easy for your tweets to ‘get lost’ in the huge Twitterverse. However you can make good connections and start conversations that may result in taking the conversation into email. Over the years I’ve made really good connections with people in my industry in this manner, and have even gotten clients through Twitter.

Twitter is like a music festival with many different bands all playing at once on different stages of a huge venue. Thousands of people are attending. It will get noisy, even confusing at times. You might feel lost, that your message isn’t being heard. But those who want to hear what you have to say will find you and listen, just like at a huge music festival. Maybe you went to listen to one or two bands. You’ll seek them out and listen to them. Your audience will seek you out on Twitter and listen to you too – as long as you’ve set up your account and tweet in such a way that they can find you.

Facebook is a Tribe

On Facebook you want to be sure to set up an Author page. Read my previous post on 13 Ways to Utilize Your Facebook Author Page. Be sure to link to the page from your website and invite friends and readers to connect with you on this page. This is where your ‘tribe’ can come backstage with you. You won’t have as many followers on Facebook as you have connections elsewhere. That’s okay. This is where people who are already your readers will come to learn more about you and even connect with other readers.

Think of Facebook as a place where your tribe comes to hang out. They may have first connected with you on Twitter and now want more. Use Facebook to share more about who you are, what you write, links to other information your audience will find value. And of course have fun! Facebook followers tend to be people who like to have fun. :)

LinkedIn is a Professional Networking Connector

LinkedIn is a more professional setting, perfect for nonfiction authors. In addition to connecting with other professionals, you can join and participate in groups, and publish articles related to your topic. I use LinkedIn to deepen connections. I invite strategic connections to a free 15-minute phone call so we can learn more about each other.

Groups are a wonderful tool you can use to start or join in conversations and share your expertise. Writing articles also strengthens your position as an expert in your field.

Instagram is a Snapshot of Life

This social media platform is primarily about visuals – posting photos or images along with text and hashtags. You may want a separate business account for your book. Instagrammers want to know more about your life as an author. They want to see photos of your writing space, perhaps a book store you visited, your cat. Of course you can post about your book too. Just remember that the audience here is more interested in your life – not your book.

If you need some ideas for visuals to post on Instagram, check out this post.

So, which platform works best for you right now?

This may change at a later date so you want to revisit this annually.

  • Are you interested in a music festival and reaching a lot of people? Twitter’s your thing.
  • Do you want your tribe to connect more personally with you and other readers? Use Facebook
  • Is your goal to connect with other professionals and deepen those relationships? LinkedIn is the place.
  • Would you like to connect with readers interested in a more personal look into your life as an author? Dive into Instagram

I’d love to connect with you on any of those social media platforms and hear your comments on this topic. Share a comment below and links to your platforms so I can follow you.