Many authors expect people to read their books, fall in love with them, and immediately go buy 10 copies to give away to friends. Many non-profits expect people to fall in love with their cause, donate money, and immediately solicit 10 friends to contribute as well. Many businesses expect their customers to buy their products, rave about them, and order 10 extras to give away. However, this mindset represents an unrealistic expectation.
The average person has no desire to spend their hard-earned money to market your stuff. For instance, most readers aren’t going to run into a bookstore and plunk down over $100 to buy a bunch of books as gifts. But, when authors carry this expectation, they subconsciously shift the marketing responsibility to their readers. They expect other people to make word of mouth happen for them.
Word of mouth doesn’t work that way. It’s not a task that you shift to other people. Instead, word of mouth works when you empower people to tell others. The process begins with you, not your customers, by making it easy for them to share your material. You start by giving people a reason to talk about you in the first place. Then, you provide free resources and streamlined tools that encourage people to share with others.
Word of mouth occurs when you remove the barriers of apathy, cost, and skepticism in a person’s mind. When you take responsibility to light the marketing match, people will take a stronger interest to spread the fire of your message.
(For a more details on word of mouth marketing, see Chapter 11 in Sell Your Book Like Wildfire.)