As we enter January, 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. Here’s 14 marketing “do’s and don’ts” to help maximize your growth in 2014:
1. Do Grow Your Email Newsletter List
Even thought Facebook and Twitter grew in 2013, email still gets better marketing results. I’d rather have 1 email address for every 100 Facebook “Likes” and every 1,000 Twitter “followers.” My most successful clients all have large e-newsletter lists with at least 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 attract new subscribers. Do set a goal to add at least 100 new subscribers per month.
2. Don’t Shy Away From Asking For Referrals
Last year, over 50% 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?” Allow me to demonstrate by asking, “Who do you know who needs marketing expertise to grow their business, non-profit, or book sales? Do tell them to contact WildFire Marketing.”
3. 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 your brand is bland, make 2014 the year to resolve the problem. For detailed assistance, see Chapter 3 in my book, Sell Your Book Like Wildfire. Don’t have a copy? Click here
4. Don’t Follow the Social Media Nerd Herd
90% of all social media chatter is 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. Offer free content, articles, discounts, samples, resources, etc. Don’t worry about piracy. Do worry about obscurity.
5. 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 down products or books that aren’t profitable, and avoid negative people who drain your energy. With the time and energy you gain, you’ll be positioned to capitalize on new opportunities you encounter.
6. Don’t Listen to Marketing Hucksters
Eschew those who advocate buying your way onto the bestseller lists 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.
7. Do Launch New Products
For every good book, product, or service, there are usually three or more spin-off opportunities. 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 short stories. Take your top-selling products and offer it in larger or smaller sizes. Doing so helps you attract a wider audience and entice a new section of your target market.
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 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 2014 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
The average author, business owner, and non-profit director usually works a tireless schedule. Vacations and downtime tend to get pushed to the backburner. This leads to burnout, stress, and lowered creativity. Do plan your vacations now, and make them sacrosanct. You’ll face the year feeling more relaxed knowing a vacation is on the books.
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 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 it’s easier to garner attention for your book or service. Also, make a list of headline topics that fit your expertise if those issues hit the newswire. It’s easier to get media coverage when you plan ahead.
13. Don’t Skip Your Professional Growth
Don’t view professional development or hiring outside expertise as an expense. View it as investing money now to make more money tomorrow. Only take advice from someone who has succeeded at achieving your intended goal and has a track record of helping others. If you want to increase your business, you’ve got to increase your skills.
14. Do Update Your Website
I’m surprised by how many authors, non-profits, and businesses go a whole year without updating their website. This implies, “My business is stale. I have nothing new that would interest you.” Is that what you want your customers to think? If not, add new content to your website on a monthly basis, such as new articles, stories, samples, testimonials, products, case studies, personal updates, etc.
As you read these 14 Marketing Do’s and Don’ts, I encourage you to pick at least two or three issues and work on them this week. Don’t let this advice to waste. Do have a happy and fruitful 2014!