It’s time for an Author Marketing Gut Check- that kick you in the gut feeling when you get it, you have a break through. As an author, it happens when you start to take the business seriously.
Are You a Planner or a Pantser?
There is endless debate in the author world- planner or “pantser”, as in do you plan your novel (make an outline) or do you fly by the seat of your pants and see where the story takes you. While I find it is a pretty subjective question- I’ve met professed pantsers that plan more than I do and I consider myself a planner, though the plan is pretty loose and fluid. But, I’m not trying to open this old wound.
When it comes to your author marketing, if you are a pantser you are leaving money on the table. Plain and simple. If you are unfocused and flying by the seat of your pants with marketing you may do alright. But, the chances that you do great- like 50 Shades or Wool great- becomes a lottery ticket.
Compare this to an author marketing plan that is methodical and logical. You may, still, never become a superstar of literature, but you will be better placed overall to achieve what someone called recently “workman-like” success. You will also increase the possibility of that lightning-strike, big-money name for yourself.
Becoming a Planner
Unlike the creative process of writing where your artistic process is ingrained and not likely to change- you can learn to become a planner when it comes to your marketing. The first step is to stop following the herd without really knowing if anything works for you and why. You need to come up for air, take a look at the landscape, set your sights on where you are going.
When it’s time to take your author marketing seriously, the first step is to take stock of where you are. Understanding that will give you clues about where to start improving your marketing and what areas need the most work. It will also give you the confidence of knowing that, when you make improvements to your marketing strategy, you can watch the results of your work over time.
Planning with Data
Author Marketing is not a creative, artistic pursuit. It is logical and driven by scientific principles. Trying new things, testing the results and adjusting accordingly. You can’t measure your performance if you don’t know your starting point. You need, first of all, to get your frame of reference so that when efforts pay off- or when they don’t- the strategy can respond.
So what data are you looking for?
To start with, you need to make a list of every place you have a web presence. Like many folks, that likely means Facebook: a personal page to start and mostly likely a fan page as well. Many people are on Twitter, Linked In and Google + as well. Include blog and/ or website links.
Each of these sites employs different information, but there are myriad tools available to dive into all of the popular sites. Many of the tools are even free, or at the least very inexpensive. Begin by familiarizing yourself with these measurements.
On Facebook, begin with Fan Page Analytics; the built in free tools that they provide. These are readily available. Familiarize with the information there. Look at who your fans are, when they are on line, what they have engaged with.
Google Analytics is a free web master tool that you want to connect to your website or blog to track your site visitor behavior. Information such as the page traffic source can be invaluable to targeting more visitors.
There are also sites like Social Authority and Klout that will track your web presence based on a variety of factors and give you a score that you can compare to an average, or compete with others. Using these programs is almost like a game, imagine that one level of candy crush saga that you played over and over until you took over the number 1 spot among your friends. Or Farmville? Remember when it seemed like Facebook was all about one giant game of Farmville? It still is, only now it’s all marketing. It makes marketing fun to work to try to increase your score.
Planning your Route
Once you begin to get an idea of what kind of state your internet presence is in, you can look for ways to improve it. That is the Author Gut Check moment- when you can take information that is at your fingertips and begin to employ it.
But, that’s a post for another day. Meantime if you want a hand getting started with measuring your web presence- I got a thing for that. I wrote up the Gut Check Worksheet when I was working with the authors of Planettopia Publishing. I have tons of my favorite free tools and lots more details that I couldn’t fit into one measly blog post. Give it a gander over HERE.
And, as always, thanks for reading. If you liked my post, please show the love and share it won’t you? And if you really liked it and want more great stuff like this, as well as fan exclusive offers, subscribe to the mailing list- that’s where the real magic happens.
title tag: Author Marketing Reality Check
Description tag: Author Marketing Gut Check- that kick you in the gut feeling when you have a break through. As an author, it’s when you start to take the business seriously.