As we face a new year, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with resolutions and the desire to improve upon last year’s success or the lack thereof. But, sometimes the hardest part is placing proper focus on the right priorities. With a plethora of choices to market your message, it’s easy to fall into analysis-paralysis. So, here’s thirteen marketing “do’s and don’ts” to help maximize your growth in 2013:
1. Do Enhance Your Brand
There are so many voices competing for America’s attention that it’s imperative to be seen as an object of interest. If you have no brand or a bland brand, make 2013 the year that you fix the problem. See Chapter 3 in my book, Sell Your Book Like Wildfire, for detailed assistance.
2. Don’t Follow the Herd on Social Media
90% of all social media chatter is idiotic drivel. Don’t waste time following a bunch of people or contributing to inane discussions. Do swim against the tide and stand out in the crowd by providing value. Use social media to give away your expertise and content. Offer free content, articles, discounts, samples, resources, etc. Don’t worry about piracy. Do worry about obscurity.
3. Do Say “No” More Often
Don’t be a “jack of all trades – master of none.” Do make a conscious effort to turn down projects that don’t fit your brand or expertise. Shut the door on selfish people trying to use you, products or books that aren’t profitable, negative people who drain your energy, etc. With the time and energy you gain, you’ll be positioned to capitalize on new opportunities you encounter.
4. Don’t Listen to Marketing Hucksters
Eschew those who advocate buying your way onto the New York Times bestseller list or giving away a bunch of contrived bonuses to make people purchase your book all in one week. Those promotional tactics smack of a low self-esteem and a desperate need for attention.
5. Do Launch New Products
For every good book, product, or service, there are usually three or more spin-off opportunities you could offer. For instance, turn a printed book into an e-book, audio book, or video curriculum with study guides. Turn a novel into a theatrical play, movie script, or broader series of stories. Take one of your top-selling products and offer it in larger or smaller sizes. By doing so, you can penetrate your audience deeper or entice a new section of your target market.
6. Do Grow Your Newsletter
My most successful clients all have large e-newsletter lists that people voluntarily joined (5,000 – 10,000+ subscribers). If you don’t have a newsletter, start one today. If you do, maintain consistency and focus on growing your database. Encourage signups by offering an exclusive resource to new subscribers. Set a goal to add at least 100 new subscribers per month.
7. Don’t Shy Away From Generating Referrals
Last year, 60% of my revenue came via referrals. Obtaining referrals is the most efficient and cost-effective way to increase your business. Generating referrals is simply asking people, “Whom do you know who needs my value?” In my case, who do you know who needs marketing expertise to grow their business, non-profit, or book sales? Do tell them to call WildFire Marketing.
8. Do Raise Your Fees
When was the last time you raised the prices on your products or services? Inflation is always going up, and if your fees don’t rise with it, you’ll fall behind. If your fees have stayed the same for the past two years, then your products or expertise is getting stagnant. You and your organization should be smarter than a year ago, so you should be worth more. Raise your fees.
9. Do Attend a Major Conference in Your Field
Where do influential leaders gather? At major conferences and events. If you want to meet them, you’ve got be in the same room rubbing shoulders together. Pick at least one new conference and put it in your 2013 budget to attend. Social media will never replace the ability of face-to-face interactions to build relationships and market your message.
10. Don’t Burn Yourself Out
Authors, business owners, and non-profit directors usually work long, hard schedules. Thus, vacations and rest periods tend to get pushed to the backburner. This leads to burnout, stress, and lowered creativity. Do plan vacations first, and make your business schedule work around it. You’ll feel more relaxed knowing a vacation is already established.
11. Do Pursue Bulk Sales
Bulk sales provide more revenue with less effort. For example, if you speak at conferences, encourage the director to buy your book for every attendee. Provide volume discounts as the quantity goes up. You can also garner bulk sales by creating a special version of your product that is unique to the customer, such as custom covers, exclusive content, bonuses, etc.
12. Do Create a Media Calendar
Increase your ability to land interviews by creating a media calendar. Examine January through December, and list any holidays or seasonal periods when your expertise is particularly desired. In addition, create a list of headline topics that fit your expertise if those issues hit the newswire. It’s easier to get more media coverage when you plan ahead beforehand.
13. Don’t Skip Investing in Your Professional Growth
Don’t view professional development or hiring outside expertise as an expense. View it as spending money now to make more money tomorrow. And, only take advice from someone who has succeeded achieving your goal and track record of helping others. If you want to increase book sales, donations, or product revenue, then you’ve got to increase your skills.
I hope these 13 marketing do’s and don’ts gave you several points to consider. Pick one or two issues and start working on them this week. Don’t let this advice to waste. Do have a happy 2013!
FYI – I’ll be speaking at the Tools of Change – Author (R)evolution Day in New York on February 12th. Join me at this exciting event.