Archive for Platform Building

How Many Followers Do You Need before Doing a Book Launch?

Spirit Authors is well-known for its ‘bestseller’ book launches. So why is book marketer Lynn Serafinn advising an alternative plan for marketing your book?

A couple of weeks ago, a new client sent me an email asking, ‘How many social media followers would you consider “enough” for me to move onto planning a full book launch?’

My reply to her was that there was no simple answer to this, as there were so many variables. As I was explaining these variables in some detail in my email, it occurred to me that my readers here on Spirit Authors would probably also like to know the answer to this question. So today, I’ll be looking at the factors that I believe contribute to a successful book launch, as well as an alternative to the big ‘bestseller launch’, which I believe is a viable, economical and more sustainable book marketing option for many new authors.

The Golden Era of Launches

My first exposure to ‘bestseller book launches’ (also called ‘Amazon launches’) was in 2008 when I attended a seminar in London with Janet Switzer, one of the marketing brains behind the book Chicken Soup for the Soul. That was the first time I had ever heard of ‘joint venture partners’ and the idea of collaborative Internet marketing campaigns. It was clear that the key to success was in the strength of your network. One person even naively asked Janet if she would share her partner mailing list with us (!). Of course, she gracefully declined, explaining that this was not only a breach of confidentiality, but that she had spent years cultivating and nurturing the relationships with these partners. The people on that list would have no relationship with the new person. Thus, without relationships, the list would be of no value whatsoever – even though, for Janet, it was THE most valuable asset she had.

(As an aside, in hindsight I realise that what Janet did NOT talk about was the fact that the ‘Chicken Soup books themselves are collaborative projects, as they are comprised of dozens of different authors. That’s a whole different subject I won’t delve into here, but it is a major defining factor in the success of these books.)

I had attended the seminar because I was just about to self-publish my book The Garden of the Soul, and wanted to get ideas for how to give it a good ‘birth’. While the seminar opened my eyes, it also raised more questions than it answered, and I embarked on a quest to research everything I could find on the subject. I incorporated ideas I liked, and discarded those I didn’t. But the one thing I could see would be the biggest determining factor in my success would be my network. I started a radio show. I created free Garden of the Soul audio meditations. I made Garden of the Soul video poems for YouTube. I started blogging on a special site just for the book. But the most effective thing I did was set up a Garden of the Soul network on Ning. Sadly, no longer a very popular social media platform, many of my closest network partners today originally came from my Ning network. It was a lovely ‘micro-universe’ where I made close connections with a few hundred people who were 100% committed to helping me when my book came out a few months later. As a result, I was able to get the book to #18 in the spirituality category on Amazon, which wasn’t bad for a one-person act who had never done a book launch before. I was able to return the favour by having many of these people as guests on my radio show. Dozens of them continue to be my book launch partners today, and a few even became book marketing clients.

Since then, I’ve coordinated dozens of book launches for clients. I have a superb team who know exactly what to do and when. It’s become ‘systematised’ to such a degree that I can pretty much guarantee a client will hit #1 (or at least #2) in one or more category on Amazon. With each launch, my network of partners grows, and our relationships become stronger. Now my own circle of partners (along with my team) has become my most valuable business asset.

To Launch or Not to Launch?

So far, you might be thinking, ‘Great. All I need to do is find a person like Lynn or Janet who has a strong partner list and I can do a bestseller book launch.’

Well, when I was just starting out doing these launches as a business, I also made that assumption, thinking my clients could ‘ride on my coat-tails’ so to speak. But let me tell you from experience, this assumption is completely WRONG.

After a year or so of doing book launches, I started to see some patterns:

  • CLIENT A: Those clients who depended primarily upon my partner network might get to #1, but it was harder to get them there and it didn’t necessarily result in big sales. Furthermore, once the launch was over, it was sort of like, ‘Ok, I’ve spent all this time and money. Now what do I do with myself and my book?’
  • CLIENT B: Those clients who had strong partner networks of their own (which were then combined with my network) would rise to the top of the charts more quickly, and stay there longer, resulting in more book sales overall. However, as books are cheap, it was only on rare occasions that their profits from these sales would cover the expenses they had laid out to do the launch. Thus, they’d write it off as a business expense, and just return to ‘business as usual’ after the launch, meaning the launch made no significant change to their business.
  • CLIENT C: Those clients who had strong partner networks AND who had ‘spin off’ products and follow-up offers for their customers not only made better book sales, but they also made residual income after the launch. This was the only group who actually profited financially from doing a book launch.

As I saw these patterns emerging, I decided I would no longer offer book launches as an option to clients in the ‘A’ category. I felt it was unethical to ask them to commit so much time and money for something that would give them ’15 minutes of fame’ and then a big crash and burn (if not a credit card debt) at the end of the tunnel. Instead, I worked with them to build their marketing platforms and their networks – sometimes for as long as a year. Some would go on to do a book launch, but many didn’t feel the need, seeing the platform building as a steady and sustainable alternative to business growth and book sales.

Clients in Category C, obviously, had the greatest potential to benefit from doing a book launch, and I am happy to do a launch project with them.

Clients in Category B are ‘borderline’. What I tend to do with these clients is work with them for a while to create their follow-up offers so they can ‘ascend’ to Category C before their launch.

Back to the Question of the Day

OK. Now, taking all that context into consideration, let’s get back to my client’s question: ‘How many social media followers would you consider “enough” for me to move onto planning a full book launch?’

What you might notice is that, so far, I haven’t even MENTIONED social media followers. When I referred earlier to ‘strong partner networks’, I was NOT talking about big mailing lists or large numbers of followers on Twitter or Facebook.

That’s not to say that large social networks are not important. The fact is that your partners will appear from these networks. Of course, it’s up to you to recognise potential partners and cultivate your relationship with them (I talk a lot about this in my Twitter book Tweep-e-licious).  

Numbers have to be looked at in context. For one thing, the number of ‘followers’ that is considered substantial will vary from one social media network to another. While 2,000 Facebook friends is a lot, it’s not particularly exceptional on Twitter. Also, low numbers in one network can be offset by exceptionally high numbers elsewhere. For example, one of my clients has a minimal presence on Twitter, but has over 60,000 fans on his Facebook fan page.

But most of all, it’s not just about quantity, but about quality. Things I would assess before considering someone for a book launch are:

  • The level of engagement they have in their social networks (quantity and quality)
  • The amount and quality of informational content they have created and shared online
  • The degree to which that content reinforces their overall brand message
  • The amount and consistency of traffic they are driving to their website every day
  • Their mailing list size AND the consistency/relevance of their communication with that list
  • And, as already mentioned, the level of connection they have to potential PARTNERS who have equally solid platforms as them

Closing Thoughts

I hope you can see that making the decision to embark on a book launch cannot be reduced to a numeric equation. The decision comes from looking at a combination of factors, including your marketing platform, your partner network and your business/brand development. Think of a finely crafted watch. The only way it works is: 1) for all the parts to be of good quality; 2) for them to be assembled and working together as a unit correctly and; 3) for them to be maintained regularly.

Frankly, I think the ‘golden era of book launches’ is dying out. I believe building a solid platform and making a plan for how your book marketing will support your business growth is far more important that the ephemeral ‘rush’ you’ll get from being #1 for a day. It’s like winning the X-Factor and then not being able to make a career out of singing.

This is why we at Spirit Authors (now a branch of the 7 Graces Project CIC) have been focusing more and more deeply on developing a range of platform-building packages for our clients. We feel, for the majority of clients, these options give greater long-term value and are more sustainable than a book launch.

If you’re writing a value-rich book, you run an independent ethical business, or you’re planning to launch a new product in 2014, have a look at our platform-building packages and then drop us a line via the contact form on this site to set up a free 30 minute consultation to discuss your needs.

Lynn Serafinn
11th December 2013


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LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal in Business and Sales.

Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project CIC, a not-for-profit social enterprise created to train, support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their business ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

Twitter:

@LynnSerafinn   @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

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Book marketer Lynn Serafinn has managed Amazon launches for dozens of #1 bestselling authors. Today she tells why doing a launch is NOT always the best choice.

I’m an independent marketing consultant for non-fiction authors. I started specialising in this area in 2009 because authors were asking me to develop ‘Amazon Bestseller Launches’ for their books, having seen the success I’d had launching my own publications. Over time, this developed into my company Spirit Authors. I no longer work alone, but have the pleasure of working with an experienced and organised team. Together, we have delivered full-service book launches to dozens of clients, the majority of whom attained #1 bestseller status. Our team have fine-tuned our launches into a system we could probably do in our sleep by now (and, yes, I do sometimes dream about launches).

A successful book launch can rapidly inject a business with a zing of energy not easily attainable by other kinds of marketing strategies. For example, one of my recent launch clients, Morgana Rae, says that the launch of her book Financial Alchemy, which became a #1 bestseller in 4 countries on Amazon, bringing her ‘3000 new mailing list subscribers, over 6,000 new Twitter followers’ and made her ‘a quick $30,000 in sales.’ When Morgana says ‘quick’ she means it; these benefits came to her over the course of 48 hours.

These kinds of statistics make bestseller book launches look like candy in the candy shop to authors. BUT (and there is always a ‘but’), it’s important to put it into context: such results can only come at the end of an intense 6 months of planning, organising and promotion. To the outsider the launch might look fast, exciting and glamorous, but behind the scenes it’s a lot of hard work and long work weeks for both the author and the marketing team. And, of course, employing an experienced team of 6 or more people to work hard for you over the course of half a year incurs a significant financial investment.

When I started Spirit Authors, I used to offer our book launch services to anyone who asked for them. Not any more. The more I do book launches, the more I have become a firm believer that they are NOT appropriate for everyone. While it is true that hitting #1 can be the ‘ultimate high’ for an author, if you and your business are not ready to take on the time, expense AND the follow up after a launch, you are unlikely to reap the benefits. I’ve seen some authors (not my clients!) feeling lost, depressed, broke, resentful and even ashamed after their book launch—even apparently ‘successful’ ones.

For that reason, it’s vital for authors to know whether or not this is the ‘right’ time for them to do a launch. To that end, I’d like to share what are, in my experience, the 5 most important criteria for deciding whether to go down the bestseller launch route, or to invest in a different approach to marketing your book.

Criterion #1: You must have the freedom and willingness to block out the TIME

Even ‘full service’ launches require a significant time investment from the author. There are things only the author can do such as show up to radio interviews, write or record virtual blog tour interviews, interact with fans and followers, engage with their audience through regular blog posts/newsletters and meet with the project manager to do the planning. Also, if the author is still in the throes of preparing their book for publication, there might also be many other creative or mechanical things they need to attend to, such as working with their editor or designers.

If you are employed in a full-time job or have many family obligations, trying to ‘squeeze’ in the time for all these things is going to be extremely challenging for you (and you risk serious burn-out).

Even if you are self-employed and you notionally have the flexibility to give time to the project, if you routinely have dozens of plates spinning in the air at a time, as so many creative people do, you might find it challenging to GIVE UP some of your business activities to the project. If you are used to having a chock-a-block daily calendar, you will only be able to manage a book launch if you are willing to let go of some of your obligations. A good consultant should be able to pick up on this habit and help you address it, but ultimately you have to create the time you need for the project; there’s no such thing as ‘finding’ time.

Criterion #2: You must have an established online PLATFORM

An Amazon bestseller book launch is an online marketing activity. Therefore, if you don’t have a good online presence, there is really little point in doing an online launch (unless you happen to have some sort of fame/celebrity in mainstream media). By ‘established’ online platform, I mean:

  • You are blogging at least once a week or can get started doing this right away
  • You are set up on all the major social networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and possibly YouTube or other niche networks)
  • You are regularly using social networks to promote your business
  • You are ‘influential’ on at least one of these networks (i.e., have several thousand followers/contacts)
  • You have a current and targeted mailing list of at least 1000 subscribers
  • Your web traffic and page rank are healthy (a complex subject that I cannot go into here)
  • That all of the above is speaking to the SAME audience as the readers of your upcoming book. For example, if you’re known widely as a business coach and you’ve decided you want to write a young-adult sci-fi novel, you’re going to have to start working on a new platform!

If you cannot tick ‘yes’ to most of these criteria, you really should spend a minimum of 6 months to bring yourself up to this level before considering doing a book launch.

Criterion #3: You must have an established BRAND

Some people ask me whether or not being a first-time author is an important consideration in deciding whether or not to do a launch. In my opinion, being a first-time author is not an issue if the client has a well-established brand. For example, Financial Alchemy was Morgana Rae’s first book, but her brand had already been around for 10 years. People already knew who she was and what made her approach unique. But what’s more, SHE understood her ‘USP’—her unique selling point—the quality that made her brand different from others.

Having an established brand is possibly the biggest distinguishing factor between authors who fizzle out after the temporary euphoria of reaching #1 and those who truly benefit from attaining this status. A bestselling book makes a strong brand stronger. Conversely, if you have a weak, generalised or newly formed brand, your book is likely to reflect its lack of clarity, and a launch will do little if anything to make it clearer.

Those who do best with their launches are those who relate to their brand as something beyond themselves—as an entity in its own right, with its own character, personality and life-force. When your relationship with your business is clear and well-defined, and your book will be a clear, outward expression of that relationship. This is the perfect time for a book launch, even if some ‘gaps’ in your platform need to be filled before kicking off the launch planning.

Criterion #4: You must be a seasoned and spirited entrepreneur

Doing a bestseller book launch is an entrepreneurial venture. You MUST see it as part of your business and marketing budget, and know that the ‘return’ you receive from it may not be immediate, and may not even be financial (at least at first). A true entrepreneur knows this, and is prepared emotionally and financially for it.

Being an entrepreneur is something of the ‘middle way’:

  • You cannot be too rigid, always looking at the balance sheet, unwilling to invest what might seem to be a disproportionate amount of money in something that won’t necessarily pan out quickly, if at all. Panicking over every penny spent during your launch will shut you down. It will limit your creativity and deprive you of your joy, even if you DO hit #1. I’ve seen this happen many times.
  • Conversely, you cannot be too reckless, TOO willing to drive yourself into debt, spending more money than you are able to repay on something that won’t necessarily yield quick results, if any. When authors get swept away by the elusive ‘high’ they imagine they will feel by becoming a bestselling author, they can easily convince themselves that maxing out their (personal) credit cards is justifiable. This can ruin you unless you have an income stream to pay this debt back. Please don’t imagine your book sales will do this for you. Only a few #1 bestsellers make enough in royalties to cover the expense of a launch. And even if they do, it takes a good 6 months to receive your first royalty cheque.

The only way to enter into a book launch is to understand the risks, and use the influence you curry from your launch to help grow overall business. And that brings us to the fifth and final criterion…

Criterion #5: You must have a plan for building upon your success

A successful launch can result in a surge of business growth and increased media presence. But this can ONLY happen if you ‘spin it’ and make it happen. My very first launch client, Allison Maslan, took her #1 status and ran like crazy with it. Four years down the line, the woman has multiple multi-million-dollar companies and her own TV show. The expression ‘Ya gotta work it, baby!’ is an essential post-launch mantra.

Have a plan for what you want this launch to DO for you. When I wrote The 7 Graces of Marketing, I already knew I wanted to host a conference and build a community, training programme and certification programme upon it. I didn’t exactly know how that would look, but I knew that ultimate purpose of my bestseller book launch would be to set the wheels in motion for my bigger business vision.

Closing Thoughts

These days, if I feel an author is not ready for a bestseller launch, I tell them. But unfortunately, not all companies are as transparent. Many authors have written to me over the years, sharing their stories of how they were disappointed by the level of guidance, care and service they received by companies that were only out to make money from them. Use these 5 criteria to assess yourself before you call a marketing company about a book launch. Understand your own strengths and weaknesses; understand your brand and your business goals. But most of all: understand that a big book launch is NOT the only way to promote and sell your book, and that maybe your time for a big launch is when you publish your NEXT book.

Take the time to create space in your diary, build your platform and establish your brand. Get to know what kind of entrepreneur you are and who your audience is, and how you can ‘spin’ and develop your message into something bigger.

Then, when you’re ready for a book launch, drop us a line at http://spiritauthors.com/contact, at least 6 months before your proposed launch date. And if you’re NOT ready for a launch, contact us too. We can help you prepare for self-publishing and have a number of platform-building and branding packages that can help you get ready.

I hope you found this article to be helpful, and I wish you the very best of luck in your publishing adventures!

Lynn Serafinn
12th June 2013


NOW You Can Get The Spirit Authors Blog
Delivered Directly to Your Kindle!

 

Now you can have access to the latest tips in writing, publishing and book marketing everywhere you go. Get our Spirit Authors articles delivered 1-2 times a week directly to your Kindle for only 99 cents a month (77pUK). Instead of reading someone else’s book on your way to work, get information on how to make your OWN book a success.

Take a 14-day free trial at:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/ZlW7HT
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/131495j

Join us on the Spirit Authors Page on Facebook
Connect with us on Twitter.


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Through her company Spirit Authors, her marketing campaigns have  produced a long list of bestselling self-help and mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

Twitter:
@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU

Author and marketer Lynn Serafinn shares her 12-step template for turning your articles into great content for your readers and effective marketing tools for you. 

I work as a marketing consultant for non-fiction authors. Most of my clients come to me with the same problem—they want to build their online marketing platform so they can ‘get the word out’ to the world about their book. For this to happen, it’s vital that we create, define or refine their brand.

Your brand is not just about your book; nor is defining your brand just about getting the right name, logo and colours. Your brand is a profile of who you are. It’s about your values and your mission. It answers questions like:

  • What do you stand for?
  • What is the change you want bring to the world?
  • What value does your book or company bring to humanity and planet?

Armed with this level of self-awareness, an author can then begin the greater work of communicating their brand to the public. In a nutshell, that’s what marketing is.

One of the key methods I encourage my clients to use to communicate with their audience about their book is blogging. Blogging (especially for people who are naturally inclined to write) is one of the most expressive, creative and effective ways to reach your intended audience and allow them to get to know your brand intimately. But a surprising number of authors have no idea how to write an effective blog that a) reinforces their brand and b) ‘sells’ their book without turning into a schmoozy sales letter.

In this article, I’m gong to give you a 12-step template for writing an effective blog that can give genuine value to your readers, build greater connection between you and your audience, and serve as a marketing piece for your book without diminishing the integrity of your message.

STEP 1: Choose Your Topics Strategically

To make blogging work as a marketing strategy, you need to put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What are they looking for? What problems are they trying to solve? What do they love, hate, fear, desire? See the world through their eyes.

Then, ask yourself this: How does your book address their problems? What expertise do you have that can meet their needs? Make a list of topics and break them into sub-topics. Try to come up with at least 20 ideas. If you blog only once a week, that’s nearly 6 months’ worth of value-driven content ideas.

STEP 2: Put Your Message in the Title

I spoke about this in another article I wrote on my 7 Graces of Marketing blog called ‘Left-Brain Blogging for Right-Brain Marketers’. So many writers I meet do not understand the importance of landing the right title for your blog article (or book, for that matter). Being cute, colourful or poetic doesn’t necessarily work in blogging. If your title doesn’t say exactly what a reader will find in the article, they are unlikely to check it out. Remember, the viral nature of blogging is highly dependent upon people sharing your article on social media and bookmarking sites. Even if someone does share your post, if the title doesn’t speak to their followers and readers, they won’t be inclined to click their link to check it out.

For your blog post to be an effective marketing tool, make sure you SAY what the article is about in the title. Put keywords in the title that will show up in searches if people are trying to find specific information. Finally, try to make your title no longer than 60 characters long (including spaces). The reason for this is that many search engines will cut off after 60 characters. If you need to make the title longer than 60 characters, make sure the crux of the message and the most important keywords are before the 60 character point.

I give a lot of care and attention to creating titles for my blogs. Have a look at the title of this article as an example:

  • TITLE: How to Sell Your Book or Service by Writing Great Blog Posts
  • It is EXACTLY 60 characters
  • The overall topic/message is contained in the title
  • The title is keyword rich and the keywords are all relevant to the topic of the article
  • The title reflects a topic that is relevant to the needs and interests of my reading audience (authors and business owners looking for creative and ethical ways to marketing themselves online)

STEP 3: Choose a Good, Royalty-Free Image

Always include an image in your blog post that reflects the subject and feel of your article. I encourage authors to put this image at the top of the article on the left-hand side. Make sure it is listed as the ‘featured image’ if your blog has that function.

Search engines love rich media like images and videos, but images also make your article more attractive when shared on social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and encourages people to ‘pin’ your post on Pinterest.

Make sure your image is ‘royalty free’. Do NOT pinch images by doing a Google image search. This means you might have to pay for your images, but if you blog once or twice a week, the investment is no more than the cost of a cappuccino at your favourite coffee shop. Here are some good royalty free sites (some of these are my affiliate links):

123rf.comRoyalty free images. Pay as you go or subscribe. http://www.123rf.com/#teknochik.

iStockPhoto. Royalty free images. Pay as you go or subscribe. http://bit.ly/OM8rqW.

DreamsTime. Free and inexpensive royalty free images. http://bit.ly/12VLCu8

STEP 4: Start with a ‘Teaser’

I think it’s a good idea to start your article with a ‘teaser’ that summarises what you’re going to talk about in the article and WHY. This teaser should be only 1 or 2 sentences, preferably no longer than 160 characters in length (with spaces). Make sure the teaser is a complete, self-contained thought, and is not just the first line of your article.

The reason for the 160 character teaser again has to do with search engines and sharing. When an article is displayed on search engines like Google and on social media sites like Facebook, you will see the title of the article and a short description of it. Unless you have your SEO (search engine optimisation) defined in your blog post, that description will typically be the first 160 characters of your article. Rarely (if ever) will your first 160 characters say anything of meaning about the context of the rest of the article. Putting in a ‘teaser’ ensures that people will know precisely what your article is about.

Note how the 160 character ‘teaser’ in this article stands up on its own, enabling readers to know exactly what they will find if they click the link:

Author, marketer Lynn Serafinn shares her 12-step template for turning your articles into great content for your readers and effective marketing tools for you.

Put your teaser in bold italics at the beginning of your article. This will set it apart from the main body of your post, and allow your audience to get a quick idea of what the article is about before reading.

The teaser is also another chance for you to use relevant keywords, making your blog post more likely to be picked up in Google searches.

BONUS TIP: If you are a WordPress user, I recommend using a plug-in called ‘All in One SEO’. Then, in addition to entering your title and keywords, you can use this teaser for the meta ‘description’ of the post.

STEP 5: Present the PROBLEM

After your teaser, start your article by presenting the ‘problem’ you are going to address in the article. Say what the problem is and why people need a solution to it. This doesn’t have to be very long or complicated; a few sentences or a short paragraph is perfectly fine.

Then, after you’ve presented the problem, tell the audience how you intend to address this problem in the rest of the article. This is important because it helps ‘filter’ your audience: those who don’t care about the topic will click away and those who are really interested will keep reading. And here’s the secret: the more ‘filtered’ your audience becomes, the more defined they become. And the more defined your audience is, the more clearly defined your brand becomes in their eyes.

STEP 6: Present the SOLUTION or ANSWER to the Problem

This section is the main body of your article. It is the place where you demonstrate your wisdom or expertise by addressing the ‘problem’ you identified.

How long does this need to be? That really depends upon what you ‘promised’ in the previous step. For example, at the top of this article I said I would give you a 12-step template, so that automatically defined how long this article would be. But I tend to write long articles and certainly your blog posts don’t need to be as long as mine. For example, I asked one of my clients to write an article explaining the meaning of two symbols from her book. Notionally, she only had to write one paragraph for each of these symbols.

TIP: Don’t go off the topic in your blog post. If you presented a problem, stick to addressing it and don’t go off on a tangent. If you find yourself wanting to talk about things that aren’t really related to the problem you presented, save those ideas for a different article.

STEP 7: SUMMARISE the Importance of What You Discussed

After you’ve presented your ‘solution’ write a paragraph that summarises how you fulfilled the promise of the article, and highlights the importance or usefulness of the subject at a wider level. What can this bring us? How does it help us? How does it add to our lives? What’s the bigger vision?

For example, my summary at the end of this article will talk about how good blogging can bring authors and business owners to ‘sell without selling’.

STEP 8: SHORT Mention of Your Book

After all that is done, give a brief mention of your book, relating it to the topic you just discussed. This should NOT be a ‘sales pitch’ but an invitation to the reader to get to know more about you and what you offer by letting them know you have more to give. Try to keep this to a single sentence (two at most).

STEP 9: ‘Call to Action’ 1: SUBSCRIBE REQUEST

In a single sentence, tell your readers what they can expect from future articles, and invite them to subscribe to your blog.

TIP: Be SURE you have an email subscription box set up via Feedburner, JetPack or other subscription service).

STEP 10: ‘Call to Action’ 2:  ENGAGEMENT

Always encourage your readers to leave comments on your site. This helps build stronger connection with them, and it also gives you feedback about how they feel about your content. Start your request by saying something like ‘I’d love to hear about your own experience’, or ‘I’d love to know what you think about this topic’, etc. Then, simply ask them to leave a comment in the comments box.

STEP 11: Make it Easy for Your Readers to Share and Follow

Be sure to have links to your social media profiles like Twitter or Facebook, and invite people to connect with you. Be sure you also have a good sharing plug-in installed so people can share your article. If you want, you can encourage them to share the article by saying something like, ‘If you liked this article, please share it with your friends.’

STEP 12: Bio and Headshot

This is a step too many bloggers overlook. It is HIGHLY important for people to know something about the author of the article they’ve just read. Without this, they cannot form an opinion about the value of your content, your book or brand. It’s wrong to assume that people know who you are just because they came to your website. It’s your responsibility to give them this information.

I recommend ending EVERY blog post with a short bio and headshot. This is because your reader will be busy asking many ‘why’ questions:

  • ‘Why’ is this person talking about this particular subject?
  • ‘Why’ should I believe in what this person has to say?
  • ‘Why’ should I come back to this site in the future?
  • ‘Why’ should I check out what else this author does (their book, their business)?

Closing Thoughts

Short-term sales might come from sales pages, but long-term customers come through TRUST. Writing effective blog posts on a regular basis is one of the best (and easiest) ways I know to build that trust. The more your audience gets to know you, your ideas and what you stand for, the more they come to trust your advice and your integrity.

The beautiful thing about blogging is that it is a way to ‘sell without selling’. When you share your wisdom, insight, experience, information or expertise on your blog, you are not only giving value to your audience, but you are also building awareness about yourself as a non-fiction author, business owner or service provider. Thus sales become an organic—rather than an aggressive—by-product of this interaction between you and your readers.

In my book The 7 Graces of Marketing, I refer to ‘The Grace of Inspiration’ as being the antidote to the ‘Deadly Sin of Persuasion’. I believe content blogging is a prime example of ‘Inspiration’—where we share our wisdom, ideas and expertise freely. Inspiration breathes life into our readers and customers, rather than hitting them over the head, as so many ‘old school’ marketers do. This shift away from Persuasion to Inspiration is part of the new paradigm I explore in that book.

Of course, to get the word out about our blogs, we need a way of broadcasting them to the world. In my book Tweep-e-licious, I offer many practical strategies for how to use Twitter to promote your blog to your ideal audience.

AND…if you’re serious about building your business through blogging you might consider our Spirit Authors Platform Builder packages (Starter Package or Growth Package). That’s a 13-week programme where we work with you to create an effective blogging strategy for YOUR audience, and support you by doing a lot of the ‘legwork’ to get your articles edited, proofed, published and distributed to your network. To speak to us about our Platform Builder packages, drop us a line via the contact form on this site and we can set up a free 30-minute consultation.

The 12-step template I showed you today is exactly the same one I use and teach my clients. I hope you’ll give it a try and that it helps to strengthen your brand, and increase your following and your sales. Please share this information with your friends if you found it useful.

And as always, I welcome your comments, feedback and thoughts for future articles below.

Lynn Serafinn

22nd May 2013

 


 

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LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Through her company Spirit Authors, her marketing campaigns have  produced a long list of bestselling self-help and mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

Twitter:
@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU

In this 3-part series, Lynn Serafinn shares a few strategies from her book Tweep-e-licious to help authors get the most out of Twitter when promoting their books. In Part 1 she discusses the importance of giving value to your audience by tweeting ideas FROM your book and how using quotes from your best reviews can be an effective strategy. 

I’m an online marketing consultant for non-fiction authors who have a powerful message to share. As such, it’s my job to create marketing strategies that use social media to help build my clients’ reading audience and promote their books.

One of my favourite marketing tools is Twitter. However, most of my new clients tell me that they don’t understand how to use Twitter for marketing. They often feel daunted by it because there is so much information flying by them at a rapid rate. They also don’t know WHAT to Tweet, how to reach their ideal audience or how to interact with people to build relationships.

All of those questions (and more) are addressed in my book Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically. For those of you who may not have read it (or as a quick refresher course for those who have), I’d like to share 5 of the easiest and most fundamental strategies for using Twitter to promote your book. In today’s article, we’ll look at Twitter book marketing strategies 1 and 2.

Twitter Book Marketing Strategy 1: Tweet Ideas FROM Your Book

So many authors on Twitter shout ABOUT their book, saying things like “You can buy my book on Amazon”. A Tweet like this nearly always fails what I call the ‘Yeah…So What?’ Test. People read a Tweet like this and say to themselves (you guessed it), ‘Yeah…so what?!’

If people are saying ‘Yeah…so what?’ when they read your Tweets, it means you have failed to pique their interest or arouse their curiosity. Your Tweet is just the doorway to your book, and it’s your goal to inspire people to open the door. The best way for a non-fiction author to do this is not to Tweet about your book so much as to Tweet great ideas FROM the book. Share some lines of insight, quotes, etc. that stand up on their own. In other words, make the Tweets themselves interesting. Then, include a link either to your sales page or a blog post (I’ll talk more about blog posts in part 2).

Sharing great ideas from your book should be easy for a non-fiction author. Start by making a Tweet for each of your chapters, and then break these into sub-ideas. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find yourself making hundreds of Tweets from a single book. Make sure the Tweets are short and only contain a single idea. That way, people will be more apt to absorb their meaning as they fly by on their Twitter stream.

Here are few examples of ‘Idea Tweets’ I have used:

#Tweepelicious Tip 58: Simplicity is King. http://bit.ly/RDhD0t

#Tweepelicious Tip 59: Always ask ‘Yeah…So What?’ before posting your Tweet. http://bit.ly/RDhD0t

Tip for authors: Don’t Tweet ABOUT your book; Tweet ideas FROM your book instead. http://bit.ly/RDhD0t #Tweepelicious

Twitter Tip 64: the best Tweets are those that arouse curiosity. http://bit.ly/RDhD0t #Tweepelicious

Note these details:

  1. You’ll notice I’m NOT taking people to an ordinary sales page for my book. If people don’t know you, they are not likely to buy your book the first time they visit your site. That’s why these Tweets take readers to landing page where they can download a free 90-minute audio class that gives them a taster of the tips and strategies they’ll learn in the book. This gives people a chance to know more about me before spending any money. It also helps grow my mailing list.
  2. For those who are motivated, they CAN also purchase the book from that page as well.
  3. I include the hashtag I’m using for the book, if there’s enough room. In this case, the hashtag is #Tweepelicious. The art of making good hashtags and using them for marketing is a subject I cover in detail in the chapter “Using Hashtags” in Tweep-e-licious.
  4. The Tweets THEMSELVES have value, even if people don’t click your link. When you write your Tweets, think about what your audience most wants to know, and put that into a Tweet. Allow them to get value from you without the ‘commitment’ of clicking your link. This builds the ‘relevance bridge’ between you and your Twitter followers. They start to see what you know, what you stand for and what you have to offer them. The stronger your relevance bridge, the more your ‘target audience’ can recognise you as someone of influence.

Twitter Book Marketing Strategy 2: Tweet Lines From Your Best Reviews

All authors know the value of a great review. However, I only recently discovered that making Tweets from some of my best reviews resulted in a lot of clicks and ReTweets. Frankly, I wouldn’t have suspected this, as I thought they would fail the ‘Yeah…So What?’ Test. But if you choose the content carefully and construct the Tweet correctly, it actually does work.

Here are a few examples of ‘Review Tweets’ I’ve used that usually get a good response:

“Don’t tuck this on your shelf of ‘just another how-to book about social media marketing’. It’s not.” http://amzn.to/10JVDw8 via @JacobNordby

“A smorgasbord of much needed information for today’s marketer.” http://amzn.to/10JXUHL via @intuneparenting #Tweepelicious

“This book helped me discover how using Twitter at its full potential can make a big impact.” http://amzn.to/10JZ3yU via @Argancel

“A technicolour ride around the Twitterverse in 158 Twips!” http://amzn.to/ZPhtwm via @KatieRoseWindow #Tweepelicious

Note these details:

  1. I include the reviewer’s Twitter ID (if I know it). This is so the reviewer will see it in their ‘mentions’, which encourages them to ReTweet it to their followers
  2. I link directly to the permalink of the review on Amazon. This way they see the review in context and they can buy the book right away if they wish.
  3. I include the hashtag I’m using for the book, if there’s enough room. In this case, the hashtag is #Tweepelicious.
  4. The Tweets are not just about the book, but they refer to subject matter of interest to the reader, i.e. marketing, social media, Twitter, etc. Make sure your Review Tweets speak to the interests of the audience, and are not just ‘bragging’ about your book.

Your Challenge for the Week

Get started using these two tips over the next week:

  1. Compose a selection of ‘Idea Tweets’ and ‘Review Tweets’.
  2. Send them out a few times a day. Vary them. Try not to send the same one out within the same week.
  3. Pay attention to which Tweets get attention. Watch your Twitter interactions to see which ones are marked as favourites, commented upon or ReTweeted.
  4. If you shorten your links with ow.ly, bit.ly or a similar service, monitor your clicks. See which ones get the most and least attention.
  5. See what’s working and what isn’t, and adjust your Tweets accordingly. Note that lack of attention doesn’t always mean the Tweet itself is ineffective. It could be that you don’t have the right kinds of followers, or you are Tweeting at the wrong time of day. Again, all these subtleties are covered in detail in Tweep-e-licious.

Next Time

In Part 2, we’ll look at the next Twitter tip, where I tell you how to use Twitter to drive traffic to grow your reading audience through blogging. Be sure to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog so you’ll receive this article, as well as all our future author-focused information articles.

AND…if you want to dive deeply into Twitter and learn all my marketing strategies, I invite you to check out the book Tweep-e-licious at http://tweepelicious.com. You can also get free access to my 90-minute Twitter audio class from that page.

Please share your comments and questions below. I love reading your feedback.

Lynn Serafinn
8 May 2013

PLEASE SHARE YOUR QUESTIONS & COMMENTS BELOW!

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BOOKS BY LYNN SERAFINN

The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVER

The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell

Find out how traditional marketing negatively impacts our health, economy, communities and natural environment, and how to turn it around with a new paradigm called the 7 Graces of Marketing.

Brit Writers Awards Finalist

eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues

 

Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically

Learn how to create meaningful content and build powerful collaborations through Twitter and other social media ETHICALLY.

eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales

Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com

 

The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self

A metaphoric and poetic journey about finding your voice, receiving the blessings of life, overcoming trauma and becoming whole.

An Amazon spirituality bestseller 2009. Kindle version coming later in 2013.

Read excerpts and buy the book at http://give-receive-become-be.com/

 


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She was also a eLit Book Awards Silver Medalist in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs and a Bronze Medalist in Business and Sales.

Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project CIC, a not-for-profit social enterprise created to train, support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their business ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

Twitter:

@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU

Lynn Serafinn’s book marketing advice for authors getting ready to launch, including tips for ensuring your book gets into the right categories on Amazon. 

Last week, I shared the first part of an interview I did with Kristen Eckstein of Ultimate Book Coach, where she asked me these 5 questions about book marketing:

  1.  When in the book publishing process should an author start promoting their book and planning their book launch?
  2. Should all authors consider doing an Amazon “bestseller” launch?
  3. What are some of the activities you help authors with in the 6 months leading up to their launch?
  4. You told me that you always recommend “kick starting” an author’s book sales before an Amazon launch. What do you mean by that? What benefits does it give the book and author?
  5. What other book launch tips can you share?

In part 1, I shared my answers to questions 1 – 3. You can read those is ‘How to Kick-Start Your Book Sales – Part 1’.

Today, I like to share my answers to the last two questions, where I also reveal my ‘secret sauce’ tip.

KRISTEN: You told me that you always recommend “kick starting” an author’s book sales before an Amazon launch. What do you mean by that? What benefits does it give the book and author?

LYNN: By “kick starting” I mean ordering 2 or 3 copies of the paperback AND Kindle version of the book in each of the Amazon websites (or at least the English language sites in US, Canada and UK). You can send them to people who live in those respective countries. To make it practical, you could send it to people you have asked to review or endorse your book.

There are three reasons for “kick starting”. The first one is to ensure your book is listed as being in stock on Amazon. The only way Amazon will purchase a quantity of your books is if they see that it’s selling. Some people use pre-sales for this, but I prefer to use the kick-start method. When authors do not do this, they may get to launch day and Amazon says the book is out of stock, which can put buyers off from buying it.

The second reason is so that your book will appear in the sales rankings. Until your book has sold at least one copy, it will show no sales ranking at all.

And the third reason has to do with placement. Most of my authors either use Lightning Source for printing and distribution, or they are published by major publishers. All of these channels use either Ingram or Baker and Taylor for distribution to retail outlets, including Amazon. When you submit your title for distribution, you have to choose the categories into which your book may be classified (they call these “BIC categories”). Unfortunately (and inexplicably), Amazon’s categories don’t quite “match” the BIC ones and your book can end up catalogued in some pretty arbitrary categories. The only reliable way to find out where your book is placed is to order a few copies of your book a few weeks before your launch date.

Hopefully, by doing this, your book will appear somewhere in the “top 100” in at least one category, even if only for an hour. This should give you an indication of where Amazon has placed the book. If the category is way off, you can write to them via Author Central, and give them suggested changes. As an example, a few weeks before my book The 7 Graces of Marketing came out, I discovered they had placed it in the “accounting” category. Wow, what a mismatch that was! Fortunately, the kick-starter strategy ensured it was all sorted out before the launch.

KRISTEN: What other book launch tips you can share?

LYNN: Oh, I’ve got plenty! Here are just a few:

  1. A launch is a business investment. Invest wisely. Having an international #1 bestselling book can open up many doors to you and your business. But don’t go into it with “rose-coloured glasses” and no plan of what you want this status to bring you.
  2. Don’t expect to put together a launch in less than 6 months. If you suddenly get the idea to call a marketing company like mine one or two months before your book comes out, thinking they can “do it fast” for you, you’re wrong.
  3. Your launch doesn’t have to coincide with your publication date. Some of my most successful launches happened 6 months AFTER a book came out. Just because your book is coming out next month does not mean you have to launch next month.
  4. Don’t try to do it on your own. Hire an experienced team to do it for you, and focus on doing the things only you can do—writing, doing interviews, creating your business products, etc.
  5. Don’t expect your Virtual Assistant to be able to run a book launch for you. I’ve seen that fail time and again. An Amazon launch is a specialist skill, and you’ll only frustrate yourself and your hired help if you ask the wrong people to do a launch for you.
  6. Don’t cut corners. Do it right. You won’t get the results you want if you try to save money by eliminating any of the essential components.
  7. Don’t feel hopeless if you’re not ‘ready’ for a big launch. If you’re not ready for a launch, there are still many things you can do to market your book and build your long-term platform. That is why Spirit Authors offers alternative packages for authors who many not be quite ready to invest in a big launch. Then, when their 2nd book comes out, they’ll be in a much better place to invest the time and money a successful launch requires.
  8. SECRET SAUCE: Your 1st book will very often increase in sales as a result of a successful launch of your 2nd book. Every time you launch a new book, it has an impact on past titles IF they are written for the same audience.

I do hope these two articles gave you some useful information.

Please share your comments and questions below!

If you are thinking about having an Amazon book launch OR you’re just getting started building your book promotion platform and would like to see how our team at Spirit Authors can help, send us a SHORT email describing your project and where you are in your marketing so far using the contact form at http://spiritauthors.com/contact.

AND…if you’d like to get PRACTICAL tips on building your online marketing platform using Twitter, you can get a free 90 minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com. You also find out about my award-winning marketing book Tweep-e-licious, which was written very much with authors in mind.

Lynn Serafinn

1 May 2013

 

PLEASE SHARE YOUR QUESTIONS & COMMENTS BELOW!

Like this blog?

Then please subscribe using the form at the upper right side of this page, so you can receive our articles on writing, publishing, book promotion and new mind-body-spirit book releases.

NOW You Can Get The Spirit Authors Blog

Delivered Directly to Your Kindle!

Now you can have access to the latest tips in writing, publishing and book marketing everywhere you go. Get our Spirit Authors articles delivered 1-2 times a week directly to your Kindle for only 99 cents a month (77pUK). Instead of reading someone else’s book on your way to work, get information on how to make your OWN book a success.

Take a 14-day free trial at:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/ZlW7HT

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/131495j

Join us on the Spirit Authors Page on Facebook

Connect with us on Twitter.

Follow @SpiritAuthors

BOOKS BY LYNN SERAFINN

The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVER

The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell

Find out how traditional marketing negatively impacts our health, economy, communities and natural environment, and how to turn it around with a new paradigm called the 7 Graces of Marketing.

Brit Writers Awards Finalist

eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues

 

Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically

Learn how to create meaningful content and build powerful collaborations through Twitter and other social media ETHICALLY.

eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales

Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com

 

The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self

A metaphoric and poetic journey about finding your voice, receiving the blessings of life, overcoming trauma and becoming whole.

An Amazon spirituality bestseller 2009. Kindle version coming later in 2013.

Read excerpts and buy the book at http://give-receive-become-be.com/

 


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She was also a eLit Book Awards Silver Medalist in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs and a Bronze Medalist in Business and Sales.

Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project CIC, a not-for-profit social enterprise created to train, support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their business ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

Twitter:

@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU

Recently I was interviewed by Kristen Eckstein who runs a site called Ultimate Book Coach. She had read something I wrote in a Facebook comment about ‘kick starting’ your book sales and asked if I would do an interview with her for her readers.

I thought I’d share it here on the Spirit Authors site too, because many of you might find it useful. 

The questions Kristen asked were:

  1. When in the book publishing process should an author start promoting their book and planning their book launch?
  2. Should all authors consider doing an Amazon “bestseller” launch?
  3. What are some of the activities you help authors with in the 6 months leading up to their launch?
  4. You told me that you always recommend “kick starting” an author’s book sales before an Amazon launch. What do you mean by that? What benefits does it give the book and author?
  5. What other book launch tips can you share?

Today, in part 1 of this interview, I’ll be sharing my answers to questions 1 -3.

KRISTEN: When in the book publishing process should an author start promoting their book and planning their book launch?

LYNN: Really, an author should start promoting their book the minute they have landed the title for it! When I say “promoting” it, I don’t mean trying to sell it, but rather, building an online platform for themselves through blogging, YouTube and social media. This helps grow their network and mailing list, and starts to establish them as experts in their chosen field. If an author already has a good network, they should start to create content on the specific subject of their upcoming book and “name drop” their title at the end of articles, indicating a book is coming out soon (e.g., “This article was an adaptation of ideas from my upcoming book My Book Title coming autumn 2013.”)

KRISTEN: Should all authors consider doing an Amazon “bestseller” launch?

LYNN: I don’t think big launches are a good fit for all authors. Back when I was a new marketer, I used to take on any author who wanted a launch. But these days, I never take on a client for a full book launch unless (or until) I can see their online platform is solid. Big book launches are expensive and they require a substantial number of systems to be in place before they can be pulled off successfully. Also, if you have no platform, you are unlikely to attract very influential partners to support you. So you owe it to yourself to spend at least a full year building your online platform before you even consider approaching partners for a launch.

I have observed that the books that sell the best in bestseller launches are the ones by people whose business/brand is well established. They may be first-time authors, but people already know who they are and what their message is. Because the business is already well-established, the book tends to be more useful to the public, for the simple reason that the author knows what works and what doesn’t work for their own clients, customers or readers. These kinds of launches also tend to attract the best partners and have the most focus. Finally, the author tends to have an integrated business plan for what this book will do for them, and the expense of the launch brings a good return on their investment not just through book sales, but also through business growth.

I have also observed that first-time authors who are also brand new business owners tend to struggle. The author may be very passionate about their work, and they may be willing to pour their last dollar into a launch, but I really don’t recommend this. While they SHOULD develop a modest launch and a long-term marketing plan for their book, they absolutely should not put themselves into financial difficulty to do a bestseller launch when they do not yet have the systems in place where a) they can attract a strong network of partners and b) they already have an audience of buyers for their book AND their business products and services.

Q3: What are some of the activities you help authors with in the 6 months leading up to their launch?

If their platform is already pretty solid, I first look for the “gaps” in their online platform and fill them. Then, I work with them to create a blogging and leads generating strategy to increase their following while we do the mechanics of the actual launch. Then, over the next 6 months, we work with my team of 7 people to plan and deliver a telesummit, coordinate a Virtual Blog Tour and a radio media tour and coordinate and mobilise a team of network partners who will help promote them. We also design the graphics, make all the web pages, autoresponders and marketing copy, make a video book trailer, invite high profile guests to speak at the telesummit, create intake forms, collect and manage data, get endorsements and reviews and get systems going on Amazon, including book categories and author profile and lots of other bits and bobs. All this takes a tremendous amount of work from our team and the author. Fortunately, I’ve got a highly experienced team and can depend upon them to do the job splendidly.

Behind the scenes, a lot is going on in terms of motivating and communicating with partners and crisis control. As the project manager, it’s my job to deal with all the possible worst-case-scenarios that will arise in a CALM, efficient manner. My clients are “allowed” to freak out, but I cannot.

Then, on launch day, there are a lot of things to do around tracking sales, capturing screenshots and motivating partners. I really focus on developing a proper “team” with my network partners, so they get behind the client, and vice versa. It’s my goal to ensure everyone (not just the client) benefits from the launch.

*** END OF PART 1 ***

Please be sure to subscribe to this blog so you can receive Part 2 of “How to Kick Start Your Book Sales”, where I (finally) talk about what I MEAN by “kick-starting” your sales, along with how and why to do it. I also give 8 additional bonus tips that can help you stay sane during your book launch.

If you are thinking about having an Amazon book launch OR you’re just getting started building your book promotion platform and would like to see how our team at Spirit Authors can help, send us a SHORT email describing your project and where you are in your marketing so far using the contact form at http://spiritauthors.com/contact.

AND…if you’d like to get PRACTICAL tips on building your online marketing platform using Twitter, you can get a free 90 minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com. You also find out about my award-winning marketing book Tweep-e-licious, which was written very much with authors in mind.

Lynn Serafinn
24 April 2013

PLEASE SHARE YOUR QUESTIONS & COMMENTS BELOW!

Like this blog?
Then please subscribe using the form at the upper right side of this page, so you can receive our articles on writing, publishing, book promotion and new mind-body-spirit book releases.

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BOOKS BY LYNN SERAFINN
The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVER

The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell
Find out how traditional marketing negatively impacts our health, economy, communities and natural environment, and how to turn it around with a new paradigm called the 7 Graces of Marketing.

Brit Writers Awards Finalist
eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues

 

Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically

Learn how to create meaningful content and build powerful collaborations through Twitter and other social media ETHICALLY.

eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales

Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com

 

The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self

A metaphoric and poetic journey about finding your voice, receiving the blessings of life, overcoming trauma and becoming whole.

An Amazon spirituality bestseller 2009. Kindle version coming later in 2013.

Read excerpts and buy the book at http://give-receive-become-be.com/

 


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She was also a eLit Book Awards Silver Medalist in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs and a Bronze Medalist in Business and Sales.

Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project CIC, a not-for-profit social enterprise created to train, support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their business ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

Twitter:

@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU

Is there a right and wrong time to hire a marketing consultant? Author and ethical marketing consultant Lynn Serafinn believes so. Today Lynn shares 10 criteria that can help you avoid making a disastrous business decision. 


Recently I’ve been getting a lot of requests for consultations from potential clients, and I have to admit I’ve turned away more clients than I’ve taken on. You might find it surprising to hear that I’m the one doing the turning away considering people are hiring me. After all, aren’t they the ones doing the hiring? Isn’t the client the one who makes the decision of whether or not to hire me?

Well, back when I first started my business…when I was clueless and desperate…that might have been the case. I wanted clients—any clients—so I could pay my bills. But over time, I learned that this open policy worked neither for me nor my client.

These days I have certain criteria that determine whether or not I am willing to take on a client. I’ve found them to be extremely useful in helping me avoid months of frustration on ineffective collaborations. In looking at them, I thought these criteria would be just as useful to anyone who might be considering hiring a marketing consultant, PR or business coach. So I decided I’d share them with you today.

WRONG TIME #1: When you’re just starting out
Since the start of the so-called recession in 2008, more and more of us are entering the world of self-employment. The trouble is, many people who are just starting out may be good at what they do, but have no idea what is involved in planning and running a business. The tendency is to want to run out and hire help in the form of a business coach and/or marketing consultant. In my experience, this is the WRONG time to do this. If your brand and niche are ill-defined, you are apt to choose the wrong consultant, who will lead you in a direction that may not be where you actually want to go. Furthermore, you’ll spend a heck of a lot of money on them that should be spent on other essential start up expenses.

WRONG TIME #2: When you’re clueless
Most new authors are a bit clueless as to what is needed for their business or project. While I don’t mind authors coming to me with little idea about what is involved in a book launch (which is my specialty), I do mind them coming to me clueless about the value of what I offer them. If I have to spend all my time validating my strategies to a client during our sessions together, it holds both of us back.

Clueless people have “UNconscious incompetence”, meaning they don’t know anything but they have no idea what it is that they don’t know. Before you even ask for a consultation from a consultant, take some responsibility and do a little homework. Do some research; attend some webinars; read some books. Become what I call a “conscious incompetent”: someone who KNOWS what it is that they don’t know. Then, you’ll not only be able to choose the right consultant, but you’ll be able to understand what they’re talking about. But most of all, you’ll be able to ask the right questions during your initial meeting.

WRONG TIME #3: When you don’t know what you want
Never enter a client-consultant relationship if you don’t know what you want from it. If you don’t know what you want, you’ll never know if you’ve gained it. The first thing I ask clients when they call me for a consultation is what they WANT from the service they’re asking about. You’d be amazed how many authors who call about a book launch have no idea why they want one, except that it sounds glamorous. Glamour is not measurable. I want to give my clients measurable results. It’s up to you, the client, to know what you want to gain before you enter into that relationship.

WRONG TIME #4: When you have no game plan
It’s equally vital to have a bigger picture in mind before you call a consultant. Where do you see your business going AFTER you end your contract with the consultant? If you’re hiring a marketing consultant for a particular project or product launch, how will this help the business? Where will you take customers after the launch? My MOST successful clients are those who took our work together and created a bigger game plan from it. My least successful clients are those who jumped into a book or product launch and then stopped short, without a clue of their next business step. I try to help my clients with this as much as I can as we work together, but ultimately it is up to them to see this through.

WRONG TIME #5: When you’re desperate
I hate, hate, hate it when a client comes to me and says, “My business was doing great until this year. Now I’m in trouble. I’m hiring you to help me get out of this situation in the next 3 months or I’ll go out of business.” I’ve received such calls on more than one occasion. Some were from long-established companies that had global reputations. I can’t speak for other consultants, but I feel stressed if someone wants me to be their “saviour” or last resort to bring them out of a crisis. There are so many factors that can take a company to breaking point, and pumping up the marketing may NOT be the best solution. Besides, marketing is a long-term process. It’s about relationship building and brand identity. Furthermore, if your company’s really in crisis, you’re going to be panicking (and cursing your consultant) if your marketing campaign doesn’t work. You’d do better to sit down and do some market research with your audience to see what’s going wrong.

WRONG TIME #6: When you’re broke or living on credit
For many of the same reasons as #5, it’s the wrong time to hire a consultant if you’re having serious money problems. And if you’re thinking it’s OK to max out your credit cards to pay your consultant but your current income is barely enabling you to pay off the minimum monthly payments—well, that’s just plain dangerous. While your consultant SHOULD be able to help you increase your revenue in the long-term that does not mean the return on investment will happen before your bills are due. Do not even think of hiring a consultant unless you have some positive cash-flow in your life.

WRONG TIME #7: When you’re not ready to put in the effort
My most successful clients are those who “did their homework” in between sessions. My least successful clients are those who sent their assistants in to do all the work, and they didn’t even dip in to discuss and design strategies with me. A consultant is NOT another “hire”. They are there to help you build strategies for your business, brand or project. If you are not willing to put in the effort, you will not reap the rewards.

WRONG TIME #8: When you lack entrepreneurial spirit
If you’ve only just recently come out of employment and you still have a “regular salary” mentality, you are unlikely to be very comfortable with the financial ups and downs of entrepreneurship. A true entrepreneur understands the value of good, sensible business expenses, whereas a novice just sees everything as costing money. If you lack entrepreneurial spirit, and you do not enjoy the roller coaster ride, you will bring a fearful, restrictive energy into the client-consultant relationship, and hamper the results you get.

WRONG TIME #9: When the consultant doesn’t work within your niche
Make sure your consultant understands your audience AND has connections within your niche. So, it should go without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that YOU need to understand your audience and that you are already established in your niche before you hire a consultant. Some clients come to me to help them crystallise their niche and branding, and that’s OK as long as we are clear that is the task at hand. But if you launch into a marketing project together and there is a mismatch or misunderstanding about what your brand or niche is, you’ll end up wasting a lot of time and money (not to mention finding it a frustrating and stressful experience).

WRONG TIME #10: When no one else works for your company
If you are a small or sole-proprietor business consider hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) or other support staff before you hire a consultant. Most of these kinds of hires are outsourced. Create systems with them that make your business into an actual business. Then, if and when you do hire a marketing consultant, you’ll have a better idea of your strengths and weaknesses, and you’ll also have a team of people to help implement the work the consultant recommends.

I consider myself to be an ethical marketer. If someone comes to me and I believe it is the “wrong time” to call me, I tell them. I don’t want any old client—I want the RIGHT clients. Some of these probably carry more weight than others, but if a client ticks more than one of these boxes, they are probably not ready to work with me yet.

And you, the client, should also want the right consultant. I hope these “10 wrong times” were useful to you as you shop for one…at the right time. When you do get it right, the relationship between client and consultant can be a dynamic, creative and fulfilling one for both parties.

If you think you’re ready take that step and work actively and strategically with a marketing consultant, drop me a line via the contact form on this site and we can have a chat. If you’re NOT ready, I recommend you check out my books:

Thanks for reading. I’d love to hear your comments and experiences below.

~ Lynn Serafinn

27 February 2013 


If you’re an author needing help with marketing your book, give Lynn Serafinn at Spirit Authors a shout via the CONTACT FORM on this site and we can set up a FREE 30 minutes Skype chat to see if I can help in any way.

AND FINALLY, DON’T FORGET to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog for more tips on writing, publishing, book promotion and new mind-body-spirit book releases.

NOW You Can Get The Spirit Authors Blog
Delivered Directly to Your Kindle!

 

Now you can have access to the latest tips in writing, publishing and book marketing everywhere you go. Get our Spirit Authors articles delivered 1-2 times a week directly to your Kindle for only 99 cents a month (77pUK). Instead of reading someone else’s book on your way to work, get information on how to make your OWN book a success.

Take a 14-day free trial at:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/ZlW7HT
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/131495j

Join us on the Spirit Authors Page on Facebook
Connect with us on Twitter.

 


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. In her work as a promotional manager she has produced a long list of bestselling mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

Twitter:
@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU

Crowd funding can often seem to be the solution to financing a book project. But statistics show 90% of all crowd funding campaigns fail. When is the right and wrong time for an author to embark on a crowd funding venture?


Years ago, in the golden days of Hollywood, the story of actress Lana Turner was an urban legend. As the story goes, she got her big break in the film industry by “getting discovered” at age 16, when she was sipping a soda at a drug store. Stories like this, while undoubtedly antiquated in today’s world, have long been the mythology of artists. When I was in the music industry, there was scarcely a musician who didn’t dream of “getting signed” by a big label. We only need to look at shows like The X-Factor to see that the dream of “getting discovered” and being skyrocketed to instant fame is still very much a driving force in the artistic community.

Many authors today continue to have a similar myth playing at the back of their minds. They still dream of landing that big publishing deal, with that big juicy advance. But times have changed. Technology has changed the landscape. Just as the era of home studios and digital downloads “democratised” the music industry, enabling virtually anyone to make an album, the era of digital publishing and print-on-demand has enabled anyone to publish a book. Because of this glut of artists on the market, traditional publishers have more competition. Therefore they’re getting pickier. They don’t want to take risks. If they’re going to shell out their money on an author, it has to be a sure thing. These days, publishers expect authors to be good at marketing and promoting their own books. Let’s face it: while publishing deals do still exist, the “glory days” where the author is developed by a publisher are mostly a thing of the past.

But here’s the Catch-22 situation: authors are “artists”. And artists are notorious for being “starving artists”, meaning they’re not always the best money earners. So how can an author get started in the industry without a little help?

One thing many artists have considered is crowd funding, which has evolved with the dawn of Web 2.0. Crowd funding is where you reach out to the public (over the Internet) for funds for your project. It’s rapidly becoming a serious part of business growth for artists (especially filmmakers, recording artists and authors) as well as social enterprises and non-profits. In other words, it has appeal mainly for what I would call “right brain ventures” as opposed to hard-core businesses.

Some authors have used it to great success. Seth Godin’s 2012 crowd funding campaign for his book The Icarus Deception is probably the most famous example. He aimed to raise $40,000 in an “all or nothing” campaign on Kickstarter. He ended up raising $287,342 instead—more than 7 times his target. This is stuff that urban legends are made of.

BUT (and here’s the big but), statistics show that that 90% of all crowd funding campaigns FAIL. I’ve watched several of these failed campaigns happen before my eyes. And if you listen to what Seth Godin has to say in his video on his Kickstarter page, you can get an idea of why this happens:

“Maybe this hybrid method, maybe this open door where drip, drip, drip over the years you build a tribe. And then you go to the tribe and do what Kickstarter is great at, which is not building the tribe but leveraging the tribe. And then, and only then can you say, ‘OK, here’s this object. Let’s go…'”

And therein lies the key: Crowd funding campaigns are NOT for the beginner.

I know, you might think there’s a great irony in the fact that the new author needs help with funding more than those who are already established. But think about it from the funder’s perspective: If you are a complete unknown, how is your book going to sell? Would you give away your money to a book project for an author that has not yet developed a loyal audience?

While you don’t have to be famous like Seth Godin to run a crowd funding campaign, you DO need to be well connected. I have two current clients who will be running crowd funding campaigns to finance their book projects in 2013. One (whom I won’t announce yet) is a first-time author, but I’m sure she will succeed. Why? Because she’s been building a massive tribe for the past 5 years and the topic of her book is spot-on target for their interests. She’s also a well-known expert on the topic of the book, and a notably successful businesswoman.

The other client is a woman named Erica Tucci. Let me tell you about Erica and why I think her project will also be a success.

In 2011, Erica suffered a profound stroke that stopped her life dead in its tracks. Now as she recovers, she’s writing a book called Radiant Survivor: How to Shine and Thrive through Recovery from Stroke, Cancer, Abuse, Addiction and Other Life-Altering Experiences. She’s nearly done with the first draft. In the book she shares not only her own journey, but stories from several others who have faced their own tragedies and have survived and thrived in spite of the odds. She also offers practical healing advice on how those devastated by illness can find an awakening to an entirely new life. And finally, Erica is also committing a percentage of the proceeds to a stroke rehabilitation centre that she attributes to saving her life. Altogether, the project promises to help and inspire many people.

Still in recovery and not fully able to work or earn money, Erica is planning a crowd funding campaign to subsidize the launch of the book. In truth, it’s really her only option to cover all the expenses entailed in getting her book out: hiring an editor/proofreader, book cover design, interior layout, eBook formatting, printing and, of course, the costs of marketing and launching the book (which our Spirit Authors team is doing for her).

Erica got a lot of ideas about what to do (and what not to do) in “Tip 138” of my book Tweep-e-licious, where I talk about using Twitter to propel a crowd funding campaign. In the book, I discuss in detail the top 5 mistakes most people make (not just authors) when they try to run a crowd funding campaign. Here’s a video of Erica talking about what she picked up from that tip:

If you’re reading this in your Inbox and cannot see the video, you can view it on YouTube HERE.

Erica hasn’t officially launched her crowd funding campaign yet, because she’s taking time to do her due diligence, much as Seth Godin infers above. She’s taking time to build her tribe and create her marketing materials—not for the book, but for the crowd funding campaign itself. I think this preparation, along with the compelling nature of the project itself, will lead to her success in this campaign. If you want to watch Erica’s progress, or help her with this campaign, I whole-heartedly encourage you to connect with her via Twitter at @EricaTucciMuse or on her Facebook page Radiant Survivor

Twitter can be a great component in building your tribe and, when the time is right, running a crowd funding campaign. Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Marketing Their Business Ethically can help you with both. I hope you’ll check it out at http://tweep-e-licious.com. When you buy the book, you’ll get a link to a free Twitter resource pack with a 90-minute Twitter audio class and links to over 100 useful Twitter resources to help get you on your way.

I also invite you to subscribe to my Tweep-e-licious playlist on YouTube, to see what other Twitter marketing tips readers have shared (drop me a line if you’d like to make a video too!): http://bit.ly/TweepVideos

~ Lynn Serafinn
13 February 2013

If you liked this article, please SHARE it!
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Join us on the Spirit Authors Page on Facebook
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If you’re writing a book and want to grow YOUR tribe, give me a shout via the CONTACT FORM on this site and we can set up a FREE 30 minutes Skype chat to see if I can help in any way.

AND FINALLY, DON’T FORGET to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog for more tips on writing, publishing, book promotion and new mind-body-spirit book releases.


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. In her work as a promotional manager she has produced a long list of bestselling mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

Twitter:
@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU

At long last we have reached that prophetic (if not hyped up) year of 2012 so many of us have been awaiting. According to many futurists, this year will mark the beginning of unparalleled expansion of awareness and global consciousness. And based upon the explosion of social media over the past few years — and most especially its evolution in 2011 — we do indeed seem to be ever-increasingly expanding our potential for awareness of our world. How many of our grandparents could possibly have imagined being “friends” with people from every corner of the planet, or having possibly tens of thousands of “followers” who know your name, what you do, and what you stand for?

But with our expanded capacity for connecting with others, we also find ourselves with an information overload. Sometimes there is just too much coming at us all at once, and we can get overwhelmed. We’ve all tried different ways to organise both our incoming and outgoing data. When it comes to organising our social media, integration and automation seemed like “the” solution, but we find ourselves yet again in an information overload situation. There are just so many different options on the market that we often find ourselves asking, “Isn’t there one RIGHT way of delivering and filtering through my social media information?”

In my work, I help business owners (primarily authors and holistic professionals) set up their social media integration and automation, and train them how to use it. But the induction process into the world of Twitter, Facebook and the like can often shake up many emotions and challenge many beliefs. Some people who are new to social media might have a pre-conceived idea that automation takes the “social” out of social media, and therefore eschew the convenience automation has to offer. These people end up working harder rather than smarter, and risk burning out on social media before they reap the rewards. Others, who don’t really like the idea of social media at all, but see it as a “necessary evil”, want to automate everything and don’t want to bother connecting with their audience. As a result, these kinds of people frequently become convinced that the lack of response they are receiving from their audience means, “Twitter (or whatever) is simply a waste of time!”

Yes, I’ve heard it all before.

Regardless of whether you recognise yourself as being similar to one of these two personality types, or you are already an enthusiastic social media devotee, let me assure you, social media can have a massive impact upon the success of your business. My own business was utterly built upon it! But in order to make it work “smart” for you, and to ensure you receive all the benefits it has to offer, you need to understand that BOTH automation AND interpersonal connection are EQUALLY important to running an efficient and effective social media platform because:

Automation is needed to deliver your content.

Interaction is needed to build relationships.

Learning the balance between these two can be a steep learning curve for many of my new clients. As demonstrated in the previous examples, those that depend upon one and fail to implement the other tend not to reap the results they seek.

But what makes the learning curve even more challenging is that to stay on top of things, you need to get used to changing your strategies all the time. This is because the social network platforms themselves (i.e., Twitter, Facebook, etc) are always in a state of evolution, and the plethora of third-party applications available to support these platforms are also always in a state of continual change.

The plain truth about social media:

Sometimes clients come to me expecting to learn the definitive system for social media. And while I tend to do things in a systematic way for myself, the truth is: there is NO magic “one size fits all” way to “do” social media. Your situation is not the same as mine. Your business is not the same. Your communication style is not the same. Your audience is not the same. Sure, there will be many similarities, but if ANYONE out their claims to be a guru, and tells you they have “the” one-stop solution for your needs, you’d be pretty safe to bet it’s a scam. Don’t spend your money on such claims (I’ve lost more than a few quid on such false promises back when I was a newbie).

But the fact that there are so many variables is not the only reason why there is no end-all magic bullet for social media. It is also because all the social media tools out there are all continuously changing, sometimes for the better, sometimes not. And as they change they create a butterfly effect upon each other. So you really have resign yourself to the fact that social media is a fluid system, and that there will be a continual process of learning involved. Even a Rubic Cube is easier to figure out, because the cube is a stable system that doesn’t change.

But the good news is, the more you know, the easier it is to adapt to this ever-flowing sea of change. For that reason, I thought it would be a good idea to write an eBook, going through some of the currently most popular social media tools for distributing your content:

Buy Kindle edition on Amazon US/Canada for only $1.97

Buy Kindle edition on Amazon UK for only £1.28

A FEW CUSTOMER REVIEWS ON AMAZON

5.0 out of 5 stars
Personal Insights from an Expert

“This is a must read for anyone who wants to simplify the technology of building a platform and creating “raving fans” and supportive friends. Not only is this ebook comprehensive, it is personal—you feel like you are getting the inside scoop from a best friend. Lynn knows her stuff and I especially enjoyed reading the history of her personal experience from using each of the tools.
~ Michelle Lynn Casto, soul coach, author
San Antonio, TX

5.0 out of 5 stars
Must read for anyone trying to create a Social Platform
Lynn’s knowledge of social media is astounding. This book will help me reach my 2012 goals of building my platform to over 50,000 on FB, Twitter, and YouTube. Not only is her approach straightforward and easy to read, she shares the pitfalls as well as the highlights of several popular platforms. I never knew it could be this easy to reach so many people providing a consistent stream of useful content.”
~ “Desert Networker” (aka Renee Baribeau) author, healer
Paradise, California

5.0 out of 5 stars
Social Media Tools – Which are best for me?

“I am certainly no computer geek or guru and have not utilized social media fully because I didn’t know how. Lynn Serafinn has given us non-geeks some “tool tips.” She has rated five of the most popular social media tools and given us tips on how to utilize them effectively to increase our presence on the Internet. If you have a magnificent web site and the best possible product but no one sees it, what good does it do you? “Social Media on AutoPilot” will help you make good choices on programs and make these programs work for you. It is a clear, concise, honest and very helpful book which details the strengths and weaknesses of each tool – Ping, TweetDeck, Twaitter, HootSuite and TweetAdder. Yes, she uses some “computer speak” but you can handle it and it will definitely be to your advantage. Anyone who wants to be found on the Internet and/or increase their Internet presence can benefit from ‘Social Media on Autopilot’.”
~ Irene Conlan, radio host, writer, blogger
Phoenix, AZ

5.0 out of 5 stars
How to Handle Social Media Auto-Apps — Demystified & Humanized
Like many bookish, word-centric types, I am not naturally attracted to social media’s many techno-centric, third-party apps that allow you to speed up your Twitter management process, and bulk-feed useful information to your followers. I tend to prefer the simpler, slower approach: going directly to each SM site and responding to followers from there. But Lynn Serafinn’s new book changed my mind. Not only does it demystify five of the main automating apps, it includes many not-so-problem-free experiences that the author has had with most (thereby winning my complete confidence — because of her complete honesty).

Brilliantly, I think, Serafinn ensured excellent balance in reviewing these auto-apps by creating a three-part evaluation process — listing the “Nice” qualities, the “Necessary” qualities, and the “Nightmarish” . . . results. So you, as a result, learn exactly what to avoid, what aspects of each to circumvent with a judicious SM two-step, and what to more or less wholeheartedly embrace…one of the most useful aspects of this book, for me at least, is a smattering of social-media-app stories (both Serafinn’s own stories and those of her clients) that help to illustrate how SM apps can be used successfully with quite astonishing results.

For someone who, like me, would prefer to just go ahead and use techno tools without having to investigate their many complex innards first, this book is a terrific timesaving guide that will help you leap over the techno chasm and get to the good stuff: connecting with people who matter to you and your business.”
~ Laurel Marshfield, developmental editor, ghostwriter
Philadelphia, PA

‘As a business mentor and a serial entrepreneur, it is important that I stay on top of the latest marketing tools and strategies. I also believe in simplifying and streamlining your life as much as possible. What Lynn Serafinn has done with her new book, Social Media on Autopilot, is truly genius. Not only has she saved me hours of time to learn all of these great social media tools, but she clearly explains how to keep an authentic connection with your followers and potential clients, which is very important to me. And, in Lynn’s great writing style and entertaining sense of humor, she gives us the Nice and Nightmare insights so we know what to expect.

Lynn Serafinn was the master mind behind the launch of my book, Blast Off! The Surefire Success Plan to Launch Your Dreamsinto Reality to No. 1 in the US and Canada. She has a very unique talent of combining her uncanny tech savvy capabilities with her ability to incorporate it all into the big picture plan of a marketing campaign. Not only will this book help you demystify the social media maze, but also teach you how to utilize it to grow your business. I plan on recommending it to all of my clients.’
~ Allison Maslan, president Blast Off Business and Life Mentoring,
#1 Bestselling Author and Online Television Show Host

Don’t own a Kindle? You can download a FREE Kindle Reader App for PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone 7, Blackberry or Android (and new ones being added regularly) from Amazon:

Amazon US/Canada: http://amzn.to/FreeReadingAppsUS

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/FreeReadingAppsUK

In Social Media on Autopilot: Nice, Necessary or Nightmare? [Kindle edition], I bring you 5 details product reviews intended for business owners on five of today’s most popular social media applications: Ping, TweetDeck, Twaitter, HootSuite and Tweet Adder. Each product is evaluated on virtually every feature it offers, and ranked in terms of its usefulness, reliability, automation capabilities, interaction capability and mobility.

Accessible reading even for the “newbie”, this report and help you find out how the pros use Twitter, Facebook and other social networks without selling their souls or spending every waking hour at their computer. At the end of this report, you will also find some useful bonus materials covering options for integrating your media, and some ideas for using social media apps on your mobile phone.

I have helped dozens of authors and online business owners reach the top of their field through social media. Nearly all my learning has come the “hard way” by spending countless hours at my desk, trying to find products and figure out what was best. For a mere $2.99, this detailed report (at 15,770 words, it would have been about 50 pages if I had printed it in paperback format) you save yourself months of research and trial and error.

There are even a few free gifts for you at the back of the eBook.

I hope you find this booklet useful. If you do, please do come back and leave a comment below (or better yet, post it on Amazon!). Also, if you have any suggestions for eBooks you would like me to write, please let me know that too in the comments below. That would be REALLY helpful to me!

And do please subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog for more info and insight into the world of writing, publishing and book promotions.

Enjoy going on autopilot!


Lynn Serafinn, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach and teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and bestselling author. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. In her work as a promotional manager she has produced a long list of bestselling mind-body-spirit authors. She is also the creator of Spirit Authors, which offers training, coaching, business-building and inspiration for mind-body-spirit authors, whether established or aspiring. Passionate about re-establishing our connection with the Earth, she supports the work of the Transition Town network in her hometown of Bedford, England.

Lynn’s other books:

International #1 Bestseller in Business Ethics, Marketing and Communication (Dec 2011)

Spirituality Bestseller (2009):

The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self (2009)

To contact Lynn for coaching, campaign management or media appearances, please fill in the form at http://spiritauthors.com/contact.

HeadphonesAuthor, book promotion coach Lynn Serafinn shares her tips on building your list by giving away great audio to your social media network.

Authors are always looking for ways to promote their books online. However, many are under the mistaken impression that promoting your book means you need to put excerpts on your blog or give away free chapters for download. And while giving away parts of your book might seem to make a lot of sense, it’s not necessarily the most effective way to promote your book online. The Internet is flooded with information. Even free content has got to kick some serious butt to make an impression on readers these days, who probably have a backlog of things on their “to read” list.

So instead of running the risk of becoming yet another unread masterpiece, I’d like to suggest authors put down the pen (or their keyboard) for a little while and start recording their voice instead.

Yes, I’m talking about giving away audio instead of all your precious writing. Why audio? Well, for one thing, if you follow some of the tips below, you don’t have to do much to produce the content. Secondly, audio has a higher perceived value than simple text. And lastly, audio get your audience closer to you. Speaking to your audience directly, and letting them get to know the sound of your voice, is both powerful and intimate.

What kind of audio can authors give to their readers?

Here are some ideas:

  1. Get yourself booked on some Internet radio shows and then give away the recordings of some of your interviews (ask the host if it’s ok first, of course). Make sure the interviews are content-rich and interesting to the listener. If they are just “pitches” about your book, no one will be interested in them. In a future article, I’ll give you some tips about getting booked on shows.
  2. If you don’t have any interviews in the coffers, set up a webinar on your topic (or a series of them), use the recordings of those. Not only will it be a good promotional activity on the day, but you can reuse the audio as an ongoing give-away gift.
  3. You can also do a live reading of the most powerful part of your book in front of a small audience and record that, or record it directly into your PC if you don’t happen to have an audience on hand.

Use your imagination, but make sure you give away at least 15 minutes of audio as your free gift. Some of my giveaways have as many as 8 hours of audio, depending upon the subject matter.

How good must the quality be?

If you are recording at home, be sure your audio is recorded and mixed down to MP3 format at a sample rate of 44.1kHz at 16 bits. If your recording is from an Internet broadcast, it will be compressed and the audio quality will be much lower resolution, but for a free gift, that is usually acceptable. Some conference line recordings, however, are at set to such a low fidelity they are really not usable. Do a test run first and listen back to it. If there’s a lot of noise (indicating low bit rate) or it sounds like you have a lisp every time you say the letter “s” (indicating the sample rate it too low), it might not be a wise choice.

MP3 PlayerHOW do you deliver your free audio gift?

Be sure you have created a way for people to DOWNLOAD the audio, rather than use an online player (such as Audio Acrobat). Remember that people like to play MP3s on their iPod or other portable player while driving in their car or commuting on the train to and from work.

Secondly, don’t deliver your audios all at once. Spread them out over a few days or send one audio per week. There are two reasons for this. The first reason is to allow your audience to take their time “consuming” your content. People might be speed readers, but there is no such thing as a “speed listener.” An hour of audio takes an hour to listen to it. When you deliver too much audio all at once, people are LESS likely to listen to any of it (I still have a couple of my offers set up like this, and keep meaning to change them). But the other reason why it is a good idea to spread out your delivery of audios is this: when you deliver four audios over a period of four weeks, it allows you to build a stronger relationship with your audience.

Make your “squeeze page” (the page where they enter their name and email to get your audio) as MINIMAL as possible. Don’t confuse the reader with other offers or links on your page. Make the audio the-one-and-only offer on the page, and resist the urge to link out to other pages of your website.

On your download page (the page people go to after they sign up for your audio) make sure you have a “call to action”, which should comprise of a picture of your book, a quote from a great endorsement, and a link to buy your book online (don’t forget to use your affiliate link if you have one!). Also put this same call to action at the end of any follow-up emails you might send them. If you are delivering a new audio every week, your readers will see this call to action every time they go to retrieve their new audio.

WHERE do you offer these free audios?

Ok, so here’s where the magic comes in. Here are some of my favourite uses. And the nice thing about them is that once you have them set up, you just walk away from them and let them do their magic:

  1. As a ‘thank you’ gift when they subscribe to your ezine/ newsletter (this is probably the most common way people use them)
  2. As a ‘welcome gift’ when they “like” your fan page on Facebook
  3. As a ‘bonus gift’ on a JV campaign for another author’s book launch
  4. As a ‘Thanks for Following Me’ gift to new Twitter followers using Social Oomph
  5. As a ‘random gift’ on Twitter or Facebook. Every now and then when you tweet, just tell people you’ve got a free audio for them. You can use Twaitter to schedule them to go out 1x a day, 1x week, or whatever you like.

And here’s a Bonus Tip:

*** Give your audio as a totally ‘unexpected gift’ in your bio at the end of an article… like the one you see below. 😉

I myself have numerous audio offers going out on a regular basis throughout the year, which add hundreds of new names to my list without my even trying. I hope these ideas spark your creative juices and help you build your own list and social media following with lots and lots of wonderful new people.

I love to know whether or not you found this article to be helpful. Please DO leave a comment below to let me know, or to write to me at http://spiritauthors.com/contact ask any questions you may have about this information.

Happy recording!

======================

Did you know that a lot of nice people hate marketing?

Artists, authors and holistic business owners are some of the most common. Maybe YOU are one of these people? Find out about the relationship between marketing, business owners, and the future of our planet in this 10-page eBook and 18 minute audio book “Why Nice People HATE Marketing” at http://spiritauthors.com/pages/bonus/why-nice-people-hate-marketing-request.html which is a sneak peek at just a handful of the cutting-edge ideas presented in the upcoming book The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell by Lynn Serafinn coming at September 2011. You can pre-order the book now on Amazon.

Photo from 123RF

When authors have a book launch, they very often gather together a group of network partners to support the launch by offering a bonus gift. Offering a bonus gift for someone else’s launch can be a great way to find new targeted subscribers for your mailing list (see more information about why you might wish to join a campaign at the end of this article).

I manage many book launches every year, and every time I do it’s necessary for me to give some guidance to network partners about what makes a good, appropriate and effective bonus gift. If you are going to be offering a bonus gift for a book launch, it is essential you choose the right kind of bonus gift AND present it properly. Otherwise, you are likely to be very disappointed with the results of all your efforts.

I thought I’d share this information with my blog readers because it is not only relevant to bonus gifts for book launches, but pretty much to any kind of special offer you might use for leads generation. These guidelines are based upon years of experience in what works and doesn’t work in YOUR best interest, and hopefully increase the probability of opt ins for you.

What IS a good bonus gift?

  1. It must be 100% FREE
  2. It must be DOWNLOADABLE
  3. It should be something special that is NOT routinely and easily accessible via your website (especially your home page!).
  4. It must be in a format accessible to most (PDF, MP3, MP4 are all recommended formats).
  5. Suggested gifts include eBook, special report, audio course, eCourse, templates, video series, etc.

What is NOT a good bonus gift?

  1. An offer of a discount for something they must buy.
  2. An offer of free coaching or consulting (see more below).
  3. An offer of a free place on a live course on a specific date.
  4. Something you would have to send to people via snail mail.
  5. Something which would cost YOU money to give (such as a printed book).
  6. Something in a non-universal format (e.g., an eBook in MS Word doc format would not be acceptable).
  7. Something anyone could easily find by visting your website.

What is an “opt in page” and why do I need it?

Your opt in page is the place where people will come to REQUEST (not receive) your bonus gift. It should include a sign up form where they are required to enter their name and email (I suggest you do NOT ask for any other information).

How do I get a sign up form?

Any email delivery or autoresponder system such as AWeber, GetResponse, Constant Contact or Mail Chimp will allow you to create a sign up form. If you don’t have any of these services, I recommend you get one. Mail Chimp is free for the first few hundred subscribers.

What should my “opt in page” look like?

It should be VERY basic with no distractions, such as outbound links, adverts, etc. It should ONLY show your bonus gift and the opt in form. It should be on a special stand-alone page that is NOT on the home page of your website.

What happens after people sign up?

The opt in form will have a function where you can tell it where to send people after they sign up. They should be taken DIRECTLY to a download page. THEN, you should also set up an automated follow up message that says something like, “Thanks for downloading my bonus gift (Title of Gift). Just in case you didn’t get the chance to download it, here’s the link to the download page again: (link to the page).

But I’m looking to get clients. Why can’t I offer free coaching (or whatever it is you do)?

Frankly, because you never will be able to fulfill the requests you will receive.What if you receive 100 requests? Are you prepared to give away 100 precious hours of your time? You shouldn’t be. If people are asking for free coaching and have no intention of hiring you, you are simply wasting both their time and yours.

Instead, give people a free downloadable gift (eBook, MP3, etc) that costs you no time to deliver, and then, if you want, put a message at the end of the eBook that you will offer a free consultation to the first 10 requests, or something along those lines.

But I want people to visit my website so they can check out my products and services. Why can’t the opt in page have info about these?

Please remember, on these launches people will be clicking to receive DOZENS of free gifts. They are not interested in checking out anyone’s site while they are doing this. It’s overwhelming enough for them (yes, it’s actually overwhelming for people to have so much choice). If you overwhelm them further with “information overload”, or it looks like you are trying to sell them something, they will CLICK AWAY from your page. Trust me, I have had many a JVP not follow my advice, and not receive but a handful of opt ins during a campaign.

Personally, I typically get hundreds of opt ins on my bonus gifts BECAUSE I make simple, not distracting pages that do not attempt to “sell” people anything. Remember: once people are on your list, you can send follow up messages with information on how to take the content further. You can also put this information IN the product itself (in fact, you should).

~ EXAMPLE ~

If you want to see an example of a bonus page that receives LOTS of downloads every week,
so you can try to model your page after it, have a look at this one:
http://spiritauthors.com/pages/bonus/why-nice-people-hate-marketing-request.html

~ JOIN A CAMPAIGN ~

If you would like to be a partner on a book launch, check out the latest campaign I am running HERE:
http://spiritauthors.com/latest-book-launches

~ NOT SURE WHY YOU WOULD WANT TO BE A PARTNER? ~
Find out 7 reasons why you would want to partner on someone else’s book launch NOW in an article I wrote:
http://spiritauthors.com/news/7-reasons-to-partner-on-someone-elses-book-launch-now/

I hope you have found this information helpful! And do check out my upcoming book launches, and come join us if you like.

Until next time, I send you warm wishes,

Lynn Serafinn


About Lynn Serafinn, Creator of Spirit Authors

Lynn Serafinn

Lynn Serafinn is a transformation coach, book promotion coach, radio host and bestselling author of the book The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self.

Her upcoming book, The 7 Graces of Marketing, is coming in June 2011.

She also works as a campaign manager for mind-body-spirit authors and has produced a long list of top-10 book campaigns, including many #1-sellers. She created Spirit Authors to offer training, coaching, business-building and inspiration for mind-body-spirit authors, whether established or aspiring. Contact Lynn about YOUR book project at at http://spiritauthors.com/contact.

Be sure to subscribe to this blog for regular book writing and promotion tips (just fill in form at right of your screen).

Sign up for Lynn’s bi-monthly newsletter Creative Spirit (fill in form below) packed with inspirational articles, self-promotion tips, broadcast guide to her radio show, and news about upcoming spiritual author book releases.

Throughout the year, Lynn also hosts large-scale telesummits with world-class speakers on a range of mind-body-spirit topics. Your subscription to Creative Spirit will ensure you’ll be the first to know how to attend these free events.


Receive Creative Spirit

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Finding Your Readers

Lynn Serafinn, promotion manager for #1 seller mind-body-spirit authors, on how to understand your relationship with marketing, identify your target audience and find your potential readers.

Many authors come to me for marketing advice just as their books are getting ready for publication. You will, however, note that I have placed this module BEFORE the module on preparing for publication. That is because, quite frankly, if you do not start your marketing long before your book is even finished being written, then you are apt to have a book come out and be extremely disappointed in the sales results. You might ask, “How can I market a book that isn’t even written yet.” The answer is simple. You aren’t. You are marketing YOU. That is what this lesson is about. It will really get you thinking about your personal relationship with all those wonderful people in the world who will be reading your book in the not-so-distant future. It will give you some strategies to identify them, know them, find them and reach them in an authentic, spirit-based way. If you find yourself resisting any of the material in the lesson (and I have had many a client and colleague for whom some of these ideas pushed them to their “edge”), slow down and take as much time as you need to understand why you are resisting. To understand this resistance fully, we will be exploring what I consider to be the key factors that influence how we approach the subject of self-promotion and online marketing

  1. Our relationship with money/selling
  2. Our relationship with technology
  3. Our relationship with other people
  4. Our relationship with ourselves (and I mean our TRUE Selves)

And after that self-examination, you’ll be ready to embark on a journey exploring how these factors will impact the success of your book, as you take the first step towards building your promotional platform — identifying, finding and reaching your targeted readers.

The above introduction is from Lesson 1 of Spirit Authors Module 2:
Pre-Publication Marketing Musts (aka “100 Days to Build Your Online Promotional Platform).

In that lesson, you will:

  1. Explore your relationship with money, marketing and selling
  2. Learn how to identify your target audience and why this is important
  3. Learn the two key goals of early marketing
  4. Outline the infrastructure you need for finding your audience online
  5. Create a plan for reaching your audience

For more information about the complete 10-week course, which includes audio downloads, full transcripts, weekly workbooks, access to member forum and monthly members-only calls, see http://spiritauthors.com/module-2/mod-2-overview. You can take the course for a 7-day “test drive” for only $1, and get some great free bonus gifts just for checking us out.


About Lynn Serafinn, Creator of Spirit Authors

Lynn Serafinn

Lynn Serafinn is a transformation coach, book promotion coach, radio host and bestselling author of the book The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self. She also works as a campaign manager for mind-body-spirit authors and has produced several top-10 book campaigns, including FOUR #1-sellers, in 2010 alone. She created Spirit Authors to offer training, coaching, business-building and inspiration for mind-body-spirit authors, whether established or aspiring. Contact Lynn about YOUR book project at at http://spiritauthors.com/contact.

Be sure to subscribe to this blog for regular book writing and promotion tips (just fill in form at right of your screen).

Sign up for Lynn’s bi-monthly newsletter Creative Spirit (fill in form below) packed with inspirational articles, self-promotion tips, broadcast guide to her radio show, and news about upcoming spiritual author book releases.

Throughout the year, Lynn also hosts large-scale telesummits with world-class speakers on a range of mind-body-spirit topics. Your subscription to Creative Spirit will ensure you’ll be the first to know how to attend these free events.


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Categories : News, Platform Building
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Book Promotion expert and Founder of Spirit Authors, Lynn Serafinn, shares a morsel from her 10-week course Module 2: “Pre-Publication Marketing Musts” (subtitle “100 Days to Build Your Online Promotional Platform”).

LinkedIn is perhaps the most elusive of online tools for many new social networkers. Many people first come to it and cannot understand how it can possibly help them with business and network building, but that is simply because, on the surface, LinkedIn appears to be starkly formal with little opportunity for interaction compared to the colourful interface Facebook provides, and the face-paced exchanges found in Twitter.

But while LinkedIn is definitely more of a professional network than it is a social network, when you explore all it has to offer you will find it to be not only a place where you can thrive and establish your renown as a professional (including a professional author), but also where you can find a virtually endless supply of information and referrals, as well as have access to thousands of people in your target audience.

While there are so many aspects to explore in LinkedIn, today I just want to share 1 very quick tip with you that can help you make LinkedIn work for you as you build your online platform, either for your book promotion or other business.

What’s the tip?

To establish yourself as an expert.

How do you do that? You do this by answering questions others post in the LinkedIn Q&A. You can access the Q&A by clicking “more” in your LinkedIn profile, and then selecting “Question”. When you are prompted, select “answer questions.”

When people post questions on LinkedIn, they have to put them in at least one category and/or subcategory. I recommend searching for a topic that is closely related to your specific area of expertise. I frequently answer questions on writing/editing, technology, internet marketing, etc. Have a look around for subjects that match your expertise most.

When you find a question you think is “juicy”, and which you feel confident about providing information, read over the replies received so far and then give an answer that gives added value to the person who asked the question. BE GENEROUS in your reply. Share from your expertise and experience. Give links to outside sources you believe would help the person. The key to this process is to focus on what you can GIVE the other person. There is nothing more irritating to me when I go on LinkedIn and read replies to questions that are obvious spam or simply attempts to gain attention. Invariably it backfires on the person. But if you are generous with your wisdom and your professional knowledge, people really appreciate it.

After a question has been online for some time (usually 7 days), it closes unless the person who asked the question keeps it open. After it closes, LinkedIn sends a request to the person who asked the question asking them to rank who gave the best answer to the question. If your response to the question is selected as the “best”, you then are ranked as an “expert” in that particular subject. Your expert status is then a permanent part of your LinkedIn profile. Every time your answers are selected as the best, you gain another accolade as an expert.

Establishing yourself as an expert on LinkedIn helps others to see that you are knowledgeable on specific subject areas AND that you are a generous and helpful person. People can also click your expert status and see exactly what kind of knowledge and information you are sharing, which further establishes your credibility.

The long-term benefit of this is that people will come to trust you both as a professional and as a person. If you think that will not have a positive impact upon your business (and even your book sales) think again. Because LinkedIn is a professional network, as opposed to a social network, it does indeed have limitations on how you can market yourself compared to Twitter or Facebook, for instance. But in helping you establish your professional credibility, LinkedIn becomes a great balance to the other components of your online platform.

There’s a lot more to LinkedIn, what to speak of blogging, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and many other components on online promotion. I cover these in GREAT detail in my course Spirit Authors Module 2: “Pre-Publication Marketing Musts” (or “80 Days to Build Your Online Promotional Platform”).

This 10-week online course is open to new members, and you can sample the first week for only $1.

At the end of your $1 test-drive, if you choose to complete the course, it’s only $197 for 10 lessons, with access to the site for a full 12 weeks.

  • Lessons include audio, video, written transcripts and workbooks.
  • You receive 1 lesson per week, and all materials are fully downloadable and yours to keep.
  • The lessons are SUBSTANTIAL. The audio lessons average 90 minutes in length.
  • You do NOT have to attend live classes, and can download the material in your own time.
  • While you are enrolled on the course, you are invited to attend the monthly Spirit Authors member calls.
  • You also have access to the member forum, to share ideas and establish connections with others
  • PLUS: lots of bonus gifts when you join (2 bonuses when you take the test drive, and more when you sign up for the complete course)
  • AND: Access to a members-only resource area
  • This course is also suitable for holistic business owners who want to develop their online presence.

To take the course for a $1 test drive (or to read more about it), go to:
http://spiritauthors.com/register-module-2

You will be charged only $1 for the first 7 days

Then, if you choose to continue, pay only $197 for this 10-lesson course (please note: the cost of this course WILL be going up in 2011).

Course content:

  • Lesson 1: Your readers: knowing, finding and reaching them
  • Lesson 2: Your pre-launch essential checklist and action plan
  • Lesson 3: Integrating and leveraging blogs and RSS
  • Lesson 4: Using autoresponders, newsletters and giveaways
  • Lesson 5: Unlocking the secret powers of Twitter
  • Lesson 6: Unlocking the secret powers of Facebook
  • Lesson 7: Unlocking the secret powers of LinkedIn
  • Lesson 8: Multimedia platforms (YouTube, BlogTalkRadio)
  • Lesson 9: Choosing and using forums to expand your influence
  • Lesson 10: Tricks for staying sane, saving time and keeping it real

OR… if you’re just starting a book project, you might be interested in my 8-week Spirit Authors Module 1: “Starting and Writing Your Book.” Read more at http://spiritauthors.com/register-module-1.


About Lynn Serafinn, Creator of Spirit Authors

Lynn Serafinn

Lynn Serafinn is a transformation coach, book promotion coach, radio host and bestselling author of the book The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self. She also works as a campaign manager for mind-body-spirit authors and has produced several top-10 book campaigns, including FOUR #1-sellers, in 2010 alone. She created Spirit Authors to offer training, coaching, business-building and inspiration for mind-body-spirit authors, whether established or aspiring. Contact Lynn about YOUR book project at at http://spiritauthors.com/contact.

Be sure to subscribe to this blog for regular book writing and promotion tips (just fill in form at right of your screen).

Sign up for Lynn’s bi-monthly newsletter Creative Spirit (fill in form below) packed with inspirational articles, self-promotion tips, broadcast guide to her radio show, and news about upcoming spiritual author book releases.

Throughout the year, Lynn also hosts large-scale telesummits with world-class speakers on a range of mind-body-spirit topics. Your subscription to Creative Spirit will ensure you’ll be the first to know how to attend these free events.


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Book promotion coach and campaign manager Lynn Serafinn from Spirit Authors shares her tips on what authors should NEVER say to new online network connections.

Recently I received a private message from a new connection on LinkedIn that I thought was so exemplary of everything one should NOT say in a first contact letter, I thought it would make an excellent article for my readers.

Below is a paraphrase of what I received:

Hi Lynn,

My name is Fred Flintstone and I am inviting you to view a few chapters of a soon to be released classic. It’s a controversial memoir about being a Stone Age man in a modern world. Please let me know what you think via the Guest Book at www.fredflintstonetheauthor.com. Please forward the link to someone else who may benefit from it.

Fred

(Please note: Of course, this is NOT the actual letter I received, and did tell the real author I would be sharing this example with my readers)

Let me ask you this: If ‘Fred Flintstone’ were actually a real person and this were a real letter from someone with whom you had just connected (and had not yet even exchanged any messages), what would be your reaction? Be honest.

Well, my first reaction was quite dismissive, if you want to know the truth. I was almost ready to archive it without replying. But then I thought, What was this person really thinking and feeling when he wrote this? I imagined that he thought this letter made him sound confident. After all, our culture is always talking about people needing to embrace self-belief and have a feeling of self-worth. So was this letter a display of genuine confidence or was it from someone who was trying to appear to be confident according to some guidance he learned somewhere?

While my instincts told me this was the latter, I felt it wasn’t fair of me to dismiss the letter simply on the grounds of how authentic I deemed it to be. However, I knew full well that many other people on LinkedIn were likely to dismiss Fred’s letter, not giving it a second thought. And then, what would have been to point of the poor author’s efforts, trying to reach out to his connections?

… Connections! I thought. Ah, yes, that was the real problem.

Fred was not connecting with me. He was talking ‘to’ me, not ‘with’ me. He was not engaging. He was telling me what I should think about his book (that it was a classic) and, furthermore, was asking me to forward it to others ‘who may benefit.’ The words take the ‘high ground’. When you are on high ground, you cannot connect with your reader.

I decided to check out Fred’s profile. Now what was SO interesting is that he worked in the marketing industry. And frankly, to me, the letter showed it. Most of traditional (or what I call ‘Old School’) marketing does not, as a rule, embrace connection as one of its strategies (or values). Furthermore, ‘Old School’ marketing (hey, should I spell it ‘Old Skool’, you think?!) has no qualms about telling us what we should think about their products. Old Skool Marketing (oops, there I did spell it that way) is, in my view, disconnecting and disempowering to its customers. That is precisely why I don’t use it. Still, the old methods are taught in so many marketing training programs even today.

This got me started thinking about my own values and how I believe in empowering people. If I simply deleted Fred’s message, ‘rejecting’ and judging him in my mind, how would I be honouring my life purpose and all I stand for?

I wouldn’t be.

So do you know what I did?

I decided to write Fred back, telling him honetly about my reaction, and giving him a suggestion of what he might have written. It was exactly the same kind of feedback I would have given one of my own clients. Here’s what I wrote back:

Hi there Fred,

Hmm… as one marketing person to another, may I be so bold as to advise that possibly the worst thing you could EVER do in your first communication with someone is to say, “I am inviting you to view a few chapters of a soon to be released classic”?

You might think it sounds confident, but it actually does not impact the reader that way. It comes across as bragging, as we do not know each other at all yet. What’s more, LinkedIn has a very different ethos from other networks, and messages like this are generally not seen as good form.

I’m not writing this to criticise you, but rather to advise you so you don’t end up alienating people on LinkedIn or your other social networks. In social networking, the first rule of thumb is to connect at a personal level and to be generous with your advice and personality.

Here’s an example of an alternative “hello” letter you might have sent:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi Lynn,
My name is Fred Flintstone. When I read your profile I wanted to connect because I see you are a fellow author and that you work with other authors.

I’d love to hear more about your book, your message and what you do to help authors. Drop me a line and tell me more when you get the chance.

I just published a memoir about being a Stone Age man in a modern world at www.fredflintstonetheauthor.com. As you are experienced with promoting authors, I’d be most pleased if you visited it sometime.

Looking forward to connecting,

Fred

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Can you see the difference, Fred? In your letter, it’s all about you. Furthermore, you are asking me to help promote you without even bothering to talk to me as an individual. In the one I just wrote, you show that you have looked at my profile and considered me as a human being. Then, you are inviting me to tell you more about myself. THEN when you ask me to visit your site, it is humble and appreciative and not “you should read my book because it is a future classic”. That will never win people over to you.

BTW, this is the sort of stuff I teach people all the time. I help authors build their platform, which means building relationships. I have produced 6 top-10 authors this year alone, 4 of them have gone to #1. So trust my advice and it will help ensure your book has a chance at becoming a classic. :-)

Warm wishes,
Lynn

Ok, I have to admit, when I hit ‘send’, my heart did a little flip-flop and I asked myself if I wasn’t been rather BOLD in sending this letter. But then I thought, I’ve got nothing to win or lose here. My intentions are actually to HELP this person succeed in his project. He can reject it completely if he wants. He can write back to me and tell me I’m an arrogant jerk who should mind her own business. I was prepared for whatever happened.

As it turns out, Fred did write back a few days later.

He wrote:

Hi Lynn

Thanks for your letter. It was… enlightening.

What do you charge for your services?

Fred

I SWEAR to you, this is a true story!

ALWAYS REMEMBER: Your contacts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc., are real people. They have hearts and souls and desires and talents just like you. Connect first. Find out to WHOM you are writing. READ their profiles. Ask questions. You don’t need to sell ANYTHING if people like you.

Connect! Connect! Connect!

I hope you found this real-life example useful. AND I want to thank Fred, who is a GREAT sport for letting me paraphrase his message, for giving me some great content for my readers. I know it will help many people.

Fred, I really do hope your book becomes a classic.


About Lynn Serafinn, Creator of Spirit Authors

Lynn Serafinn

Lynn Serafinn is a transformation coach, book promotion coach, radio host and bestselling author of the book The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self. She also works as a campaign manager for mind-body-spirit authors and has produced several top-10 book campaigns, including FOUR #1-sellers, in 2010 alone. She created Spirit Authors to offer training, coaching, business-building and inspiration for mind-body-spirit authors, whether established or aspiring. Contact Lynn about YOUR book project at at http://spiritauthors.com/contact.

Be sure to subscribe to this blog for regular book writing and promotion tips (just fill in form at right of your screen).

Sign up for Lynn’s bi-monthly newsletter Creative Spirit (fill in form below) packed with inspirational articles, self-promotion tips, broadcast guide to her radio show, and news about upcoming spiritual author book releases.

Throughout the year, Lynn also hosts large-scale telesummits with world-class speakers on a range of mind-body-spirit topics. Your subscription to Creative Spirit will ensure you’ll be the first to know how to attend these free events.


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Blog Ahead!Lynn Serafinn, book marketer, coach, campaign manager for #1 bestselling authors, explains all about Virtual Blog Tours, their many benefits and how to run one.

When I organise a book launch campaign for my author clients, I always include a Virtual Blog Tour. Every time I start a new campaign I am invariably asked, both by my clients and by their Joint Venture Partners (JVPs), “What exactly is a Virtual Blog Tour?” I thought it would be a good idea to write an article explaining what it is, and why it is a great promotional tool when properly organised.

What is a VBT?

A Virtual Blog Tour (VBT) is an online “event” wherein an author “visits” a different blog each day during a specified period of time, generally 2-4 weeks in duration. For instance, if your VBT were 2 weeks long, there would be 14 blogs, and each blogger would be assigned a specific day on the tour. In selecting blogs on which to appear, the author would seek out bloggers who have good traffic aimed at specific target audience(s) congruent with the topic of the book.

Technically, the author doesn’t “visit” these blogs. Rather, on the assigned tour day, the blogger would post a blog about the author’s book. Some blog platforms (such as WordPress) allow you to schedule a post in advance, making it more convenient for the blogger by automating the process.

The content of the blog could be an article about the author, a book review or an interview. When I organise a VBT, I generally prefer to use interviews, which are organised in advance between the blogger and author.

Organising a VBT

The way I organise the interview is to provide a good selection (10-20) of sample topics or story angles on which the author could answer questions. Then, each blogger provides (well in advance) 3 original questions he/she would like to ask the author, aimed at their particular reading audience.

Recently I designed a VBT for a book on the topic of OCD. Here are some of the sample topics I provided my bloggers:

  1. What OCD is and what it is not
  2. What doctors know or don’t know about OCD
  3. What parents need to know about OCD
  4. What teachers need to know about OCD
  5. Being a parent with OCD
  6. OCD in personal relationships
  7. Having OCD in a work environment
  8. OCD and health issues…

And so on.

When I send the sample topics to the VBT bloggers, I ask them to formulate 3 questions based upon a topic (or topics) they feel would be of greatest interest to their readers. The questions are sent to the author several weeks in advance of the tour. The author provides written answers to the bloggers’ questions, and together we assemble the “virtual interview” into a structured format, so the bloggers can more or less copy and paste it into their blogs (of course, they can edit it as they choose).

The format we provide the bloggers goes something like this:

“Today I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 4 of the Virtual Blog Tour for The Super Duper Book by author Mary Jones. Yesterday, Mary visited John Smith’s blog at [link to John’s blog]. Below is the great interview I did with Mary about how to be super-duper.

[Interview]

I hope you enjoyed this interview with Mary Jones and that you’ll check out The Super Duper Book by Mary Jones coming to Amazon on [date]. You can receive a collection of great gifts when you buy her book on the day of her launch, including one from me: [name of blogger’s gift]. To find out how to buy Mary’s book and receive these gifts, go to [link to author’s sales page].

Be sure to follow Mary tomorrow when the next stop on her Virtual Blog Tour is Charlie Brown’s blog at [link to Charlie’s blog].”

Promoting a VBT

When I organise a VBT, I create a “Tweet” for every stop on the tour, and give them to all bloggers and JVPs well in advance, asking them to post at least one update per blogger. That means, on their designated day on the tour, dozens of people would be sending out updates with a link to Mary’s blog post to potentially hundreds of thousands of people on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. (depending upon the size of your campaign team).

Additionally, the author would post the tour calendar, with all the links, on his/her own blog.

Being a blogger on a VBT has many benefits:
  1. It provides bloggers with easy, original content for their readers.
  2. Because an organised team of networkers is sending out updates for each stop on the tour, it has the potential to drive 1000s of new readers to each blog.
  3. It helps increase search engine rankings for the blogs, as the blog is linked to, both forwards and backwards, the other blogs on the tour.
  4. Bloggers on the tour get to connect with new bloggers who share common interests and speak to similar audiences.
Of course, for authors, a VBT is wonderful because:
  1. There is a diversity of content going out about their book during a concentrated period of time.
  2. The content is easy to create.
  3. It expands their network.
  4. They get their book promoted to 1000s of people every day for the duration of the tour.
  5. The content you have created could be reused for other purposes.

And don’t forget, if a blog post is particularly interesting, both the author and the blogger can “reTweet” about it every now and then after the tour.

I hope you found this information useful. Please do feel free to leave your questions or comments below. And if you would like to discuss setting up a book launch or VBT for your book, feel free to contact me via the contact form at http://spiritauthors.com/contact and tell me about your book project.


About Lynn Serafinn, Creator of Spirit Authors

Lynn Serafinn

LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Through her company Spirit Authors, her marketing campaigns have  produced a long list of bestselling self-help and mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

Twitter:
@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

Spiritual author and book promotion coach Lynn Serafinn from Spirit Authors gives top tips on how, when and why to tag people, fan pages and groups on Facebook. As always, your comments and feedback are most welcome below!

I get some of the best ideas for blog posts from questions friends ask me on Facebook. Tonight, my one of my friends asked me how you “tag” people in Facebook. I realised in my written explanation to her that there was actually a lot of detail and subtlety involved, so I thought it would make a great blog post to share with other authors, and people who want to know more about developing their online platform.

“Tagging” is one of the most powerful tools on Facebook. A “tag” is basically a link you create to a person, page or group on Facebook that you place within your wall posts, photos or notes. When you “tag” a person in a wall post Facebook, your post will automatically appear on their wall as well as on your own. If you tag them in a photo or note, it will appear in their updates.

Here are some guidelines of HOW you put tags in a Facebook post:

  1. When you type an “@” sign into a wall post, Facebook recognises that as a signal you want to tag someone. Let’s say you wanted to tag me in your post. My first name is Lynn, so you would type “@Ly” (important: do not put a space after the @ sign) and then WAIT a second or two. Facebook will open up a window with everyone in your friends list whose names have “Ly” in them. When you see my name, CLICK on my picture, and I will be tagged. You will know the tag is activated because my name will turn blue, and it will turn into a link that takes you to my profile page.
  2. You can tag a maximum of 6 names in a single wall post.
  3. You can also tag PAGES or GROUPS. Just follow exactly the same steps as above.
  4. As mentioned above, when you tag a person, page or group in a post, your post will appear on THEIR wall automatically. This is a great way to spread messages virally and it also means that the parties you are talking to or about will see your message without checking their updates.
  5. The other advantage to tagging is that NEW people will see you who might not have seen you before, especially if you are tagging to a page or a group. Anyone who checks out the group or fan page will see your post.
  6. You can also tag people in a note or a photo. There is a section on the right side of the note that lets you create tags exactly the same way as above. You can tag more people in a note or photo than in a wall post (the current limit is 30).
  7. NOTE: You cannot put a tag in a comment. You can, however, put a web link in a comment.

Now here’s the obvious question: WHY would you want to tag someone?

One way to use tagging is to tag people, groups or fan pages to say something nice about them or to help spread some news that would be of interest to the people (or members of the page/group) being tagged. Here are a couple of examples of when you might use tagging to a page or group:

  1. If you want to share some news about the page or group to you profile page (such as a new blog post, event, book, video, radio show or other news item THEY have posted). In this case, you might post the news to your personal Facebook profile, but tag the page/group in the post. That way, it will appear on their wall, and they will see you are helping to spread the word about their good work.
  2. If you see or create a news item, tip, video, event, etc., you think would be of interest to the members of the group or fans of the page, but you also want your own friends to see it, you might post the news to your wall, and then tag the page or group. For instance, if I wanted to bring a post to the attention of Spirit Authors, I might say, “Spirit Authors, you might find this useful” (Spirit Authors would be tagged).

Below is an example of a post I made on Facebook recently about a new page I had found by one of my networking friends. I “shared” the page use the “share” link, and then I wrote this tagged post to accompany it:

Just discovered my good friend Dana Lynn Smith‘s new page The Savvy Book Marketer. She is a wealth of information. Spirit Authors and Next Top Author folks, check her out and “Like” her page for great tips. Dana is also a member of the Virtual Faculty at the Spirit Authors membership site, btw. :-))

Note there are four tags in the post: 1) Dana Lynn Smith’s personal page, 2) Dana’s business page “The Savvy Book Marketer”, 3) the “Spirit Authors” business page and 4) the “Next Top Author” group. That means that, altogether, this single post was (on the day I posted it) visible to over 5000 people, just about all of them authors. I noticed that within a few minutes of posting this, Dana’s fan page increased by 5 members, and if people start “liking” or commenting on the post, it is likely to generate more interest. Not bad for a post that took a few seconds to compose.

In this post, I am not only helping Dana Lynn by sharing her page and saying something nice about her, but I am also helping the people I have tagged in the post (Spirit Authors page and Next Top Author group), because they are a targeted group of authors, all hungry for new information about book promotion. Furthermore, as I “shared” The Savvy Book Marketer page, people will see the logo and description of the page, which makes the post far more visible and attractive, and makes people far more likely to check it out than if it were a simple link.

But the beauty of this is that I am also gaining from this. How?

Because I am being seen as someone who likes to give value to others. And because of this, people enjoy staying connected to me. Furthermore, because the tags make the post appear on Dana’s pages, new people might see me on either Dana’s personal page or on her business page. If they perceive me as being someone who can offer good value to them, they are likely to seek me out as a connection. They also might see the Spirit Authors link and check that out too. Believe, me, I have more Facebook invitations these days than I can keep up with.

IMPORTANT TAGGING NETIQUETTE:

  1. NEVER abuse tagging to SPAM your Facebook friends or Facebook pages. Spamming means that you just tag people for the sake of them paying attention to a promotion you are doing. Do NOT do this. If you want to invite people to a promotion, create an event, business page or group and invite them to join voluntarily. If you are running a promotion, go ahead and post it in your updates, but don’t tag people in the updates unless they have something to do with the promotion OR you know them very well personally, and they would wish to know what’s happening (e.g., if you are launching your book, and close  friends and family would like to be informed).
  2. Don’t be a Facebook “squatter” or “poacher” on other people’s pages. By “squatter” I mean someone who uses tags or hangs out on someone else’s business page ONLY to promote themselves. By “poacher” I mean someone who joins pages solely to find people to invite to their own pages. For instance, if I had gone to Dana Lynn’s page and said, “Hey all you Savvy Book Marketers! I’m the best thing since sliced bread. Come on over to my page,” that would be pretty tacky. Now, if DANA said such a thing about me to her own group, that would be completely different.

What I am showing you here are some of the fundamentals of social networking, and indeed what I call “spirit-based” marketing. Social networking is the cornerstone of my business and of all the promotional platforms I help authors create for their books. But even though it is a powerful tool for your book promotion, always remember that the key to spirit-based social networking is to help others, and to gain a reputation as someone who willingly and joyfully helps others, trusting that there is enough business and prosperity in the world for all of us.

Tags in Facebook are very powerful if you use them correctly. Use them with sincerity, creativity and generosity, and over time you will see your network grow and your business flourish. Besides… I think they’re FUN.


About Lynn Serafinn, Creator of Spirit Authors

Lynn Serafinn

Lynn Serafinn is a transformation coach, book promotion coach, radio host and bestselling author of the book The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self. She also works as a campaign manager for mind-body-spirit authors and has produced two #1-selling book campaigns, and another #2-selling campaign, in just the past 4 months. She created Spirit Authors to offer training, coaching, business-building and inspiration for mind-body-spirit authors, whether established or aspiring.

Be sure to subscribe to this blog for regular book writing and promotion tips (just fill in form at right of your screen).

Sign up for Lynn’s bi-monthly  newsletter Creative Spirit (fill in form below) packed with inspirational articles, broadcast guide to her radio show, and news about upcoming spiritual author book releases.

Throughout the year, Lynn also hosts large-scale telesummits with world-class speakers on a range of mind-body-spirit topics. Coming up over the next few months:

  • 3-day summit on Evolution of Consciousness
  • 3-day summit on Cellular Memory Release
  • 4-day summit on Healing the Corporate World
  • Your subscription to Creative Spirit will ensure you’ll be the first to know how to attend these free events.

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Many of you have probably seen online promotional campaigns where people have partnered up to help launch a new book or product. Perhaps you’ve wondered why people would bother to get involved in another person’s book campaign, and what they could possibly gain from it. It’s easy to understand how a collaborative campaign benefits the author whose book is being launched. While being #1 on Amazon doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be raking in the “big bucks”, the kudos of being a #1 seller is worth many times its weight in cyber-gold when seeking gigs as a public speaker or media guest. Furthermore, if you are a self-published author who later wishes to approach a publisher, being able to prove your ability to promote yourself successfully will be highly influential in their decision of whether or not to pick you up as one of their own.

But when it comes to being a PARTNER on such campaigns, many people ask the question, “What’s in it for me?” They wonder things like:

  • “By promoting someone else in the same field as mine, am I not just handing a sale over to my competitors? Isn’t that totally against all business logic?”
  • “Doesn’t promoting someone else take the limelight off me and shine it on the other person, leaving me in the dark?”
  • “Won’t people be less inclined to buy MY book when it comes out if they have already bought the other author’s book?”
  • “I’m still writing my book. Shouldn’t I wait until my own book is finished before I consider partnering on someone else’s book campaign?”

The answer to ALL these questions is the same – Absolutely NOT!

Here are 7 good reasons why you should become a partner on someone else’s book launch campaign, and why you should do it NOW rather than later:

  1. List Building. I mention “list building” first only because most people think this is the primary reason why you would join a collaborative campaign. It is indeed true that such campaigns give you the opportunity to grow your mailing list, but your success will be contingent upon how attractive and relevant your message and your bonus offer is to the target audience of the campaign. Be sure you join campaigns that appeal to your target audience and take time to create bonuses that are likely to attract people who will stay with you. And while wanting to build your list is one good reason to join a campaign, it is NOT the primary reason. Read on…
  2. Friendship/business relationships. In my opinion, this is the top reason why you want to join a campaign. When you work on a campaign of this kind, you are not just working with the author; you are also working with the other partners, increasing your network of excellent business associates. I cannot tell you how many creative alliances were made between partners I introduced to each other on my book campaigns. The alliances you form can have a big impact on your business growth in the long term. Remember-if you have enthusiastically and authentically helped someone else succeed, they will remember you and are likely to support you when you go to launch your own book… for no other reason than the fact that they like you.
  3. Visibility and Brand Recognition. The campaigns I design reach hundreds of thousands of people. Even if people do not opt into your list, every time someone goes to the book launch page, they see your face, brand name and product. Think about it: this is free promotion for you. Dozens of other partners on the campaign are helping to get your name out by driving people to the launch page. Even if your own book is only in its early stages, you can (and should) create a bonus that gives a “sneak peek” at who you are and what you are about. State the name of your book and the date it will be coming out (or a close estimate). Start building your brand recognition NOW.
  4. Association in the public eye. When you appear on someone else’s page, people associate you with that person. They assume you have something in common and that you have some sort of personal connection. If you are part of a campaign with people who have high profiles, it can raise your own profile in a very positive way. I had a new partner approach me a few months ago who said, “My list isn’t that big, but I’m a good networker and I just want to ‘play’ with you guys.” In other words, she wanted to be associated with the other partners on the campaign, which is great. I took her on as a partner right away, and she became one of the most reliable partners on my list. Be sure to select a campaign that creates the RIGHT association in the public eye. That way, when your book does come out, people will already associate you with similar books and be inclined to check you out.
  5. Learning the ropes. Being on someone else’s campaign is the BEST way to learn what works and what doesn’t work in a book launch… but you’ve got to study it and pay attention to detail. One of my networking partners recently told me that she had been studying how I ran my campaigns and was going to have her team implement my strategies in her own upcoming book launch. As a result of her highly-organised campaign, her book hit #1 in two Amazon categories in both the US and Canada. Being on the inside of campaign and receiving all the communication from the project manager is the very best way to learn how campaigns work.
  6. Empowerment and satisfaction. When we work together as a team and help a new author reach the #1 rank, there is a genuine feeling of empowerment and satisfaction of having achieved something together. It isn’t about “sales”; it’s about working together to reach people’s hearts. By telling others about this wonderful book, you have spread good will and added value in the world. And knowing you have the ability to inspire others to buy a great book will boost your self-confidence when you get ready to release your own book (or teleseminar, course, workshop, etc.) in the future.
  7. Practicing the Law of Abundance. The old era of marketing was based upon fear, scarcity and competition. Now, we are entering a new era of spiritual marketing is founded upon mutual support, collaboration and a belief in abundance. This new era can only evolve if we come to trust that the Universe has enough for all of us, and that the more we allow energy to flow by giving to others, the more will come to us in return. While our wish to receive should not be our motivation for giving, our faith that we will be taken care of should be at the very foundation of our trust. If you wish to flourish, become a partner on a campaign. It will help you shift from scarcity mentality to a feeling of expansion and abundance.

I hope this article has helped you see the many advantages of partnering on a campaign. Remember: it’s not just about selling books and list building. There is much more to it than that. Every campaign I do gives me a rush!

And if this article has enticed you to expand your networking, and you would like to become a partner on an upcoming book launch, here’s your chance, I am currently seeking partners for several upcoming book launches.

~ JOIN A CAMPAIGN ~

If you would like to be a partner on a book launch, check out the latest campaign I am running HERE:
http://spiritauthors.com/latest-book-launches

I look forward to hearing from you!

Warm wishes,

Lynn


About Lynn Serafinn, Creator of Spirit Authors

Lynn Serafinn

Lynn Serafinn is a transformation coach, book promotion coach, radio host and bestselling author of the book The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self. She also works as a campaign manager for mind-body-spirit authors and has produced several top-10 book campaigns, including FOUR #1-sellers, in 2010 alone. She created Spirit Authors to offer training, coaching, business-building and inspiration for mind-body-spirit authors, whether established or aspiring. Contact Lynn about YOUR book project at at http://spiritauthors.com/contact.

Be sure to subscribe to this blog for regular book writing and promotion tips (just fill in form at right of your screen).

Sign up for Lynn’s bi-monthly newsletter Creative Spirit (fill in form below) packed with inspirational articles, self-promotion tips, broadcast guide to her radio show, and news about upcoming spiritual author book releases.

Throughout the year, Lynn also hosts large-scale telesummits with world-class speakers on a range of mind-body-spirit topics. Your subscription to Creative Spirit will ensure you’ll be the first to know how to attend these free events.


Receive Creative Spirit

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Comments (3)
Mar
07

How Twitter Changed My Life

Posted by: | Comments (17)

Ok, now you are probably going to think I’ve lost the plot.

Twitter changed my life. Let me tell you how.

AND I am going to attempt to tell this story in lines of 140 characters or less.

It all started when I launched my book “The Garden of the Soul” in April 2009.

After a year of mastering this “thing” called social networking, I created an Amazon book campaign.

I found many JVPs (joint venture partners), mainly from Twitter.

Some who helped were @InspiredSheila @SuzieCheel @KSchulweis @BrendaAdelman @RuthHegarty @JoeRumbolo @LolaFayemi (see next)

AND @HeidiRichards @AwakenedWisdom @LindaClairePuig @jenngivler @audaciouseditor @GailSussMill @Gloreebe @jessicamcgj @SpiritCoach #ff

Also ran a Virtual Blog Tour with peeps like @MoonPoppy @DuncanBrodie and many others.

Also ran a Twitter contest. @JulieAnnTurner won a signed copy of my book.

Anyway…

Long story short, my self-published book became an Amazon bestseller in #spirituality #mind-body-spirit and #self-help.

When “The Garden of the Soul” made bestseller, Tweets and RTs went viral. #gots

I think it was June when @SouthsideBroadc contacted me to be on their radio show. I soon became a regular guest.

Thru @SouthsideBroadc I met @SpiritusShelagh who has since become one of my closest friends.

July 2009: blogger/editor @BookEditorLM wrote me on Twitter wanting to do a blog piece on me: http://bit.ly/c8hbCa

Aug 2009: @BookEditorLM asked @tonyeldridge if he would repost that article. He asked me to write a new one.

Oct 2009: @tonyeldridge published my new article “Pre-Natal Care for Your Book” http://bit.ly/bWCmQA

Same month @AllisonMaslan (whom I didn’t know) read that article. Sent me DM asking me to coach her 4 Amazon launch.

I put together Amazon campaign for @AllisonMaslan ‘s new #book #BlastOff!

Nov 2009: I asked @writersinthesky (whom I had met on Ning) to come and help us put the campaign together.

We put together another great team of JVPs.

If I named all the Tweeple who helped us on #BlastOff! I think I’d need another day to write this.

Meanwhile lots of people were asking me for book advice. I decided to start a new site called Spirit Authors. http://spiritauthors.com

Dec 20 2009: I set up Twitter profile @SpiritAuthors and Facebook fan page. http://facebook.com/SpiritAuthors

Started Twitter/FB campaign to drive people to fan page. By Christmas day there were 100 fans.

Jan 2010: Did another campaign to get 500 fans by my 55th birthday end of Jan. I got 600+

Jan 19, 2010: Allison’s book launched. Twitter & FB went viral. “Blast Off” reached #1 in US/Canada. http://bit.ly/RXpQu

RT @AllisonMaslan’s “Blast Off” reached #1 in US/Canada. http://bit.ly/RXpQu

Jan 21, 2010: Success of launch attracted attention of @AllisonMaslan ’s literary agent @wgtwelve. He’s also @EckhartTolle ‘s agent

As an author, I am now represented by @wgtwelve.

More and more #mind-body-spirit #authors come to me to create campaigns for them.

New Amazon campaigns: @AwakenedWisdom (April 20), @NeuroBooks (May 11) and @wgtwelve (Nov).

From Twitter contacts, I quickly assembled team of 18 VIP experts for Spirit Authors Grand Opening http://bit.ly/9pfpJV

VIPS: @wordywoman @BookMarketer @CaronGoode @DayaDeviDoolin @inspiredwriter @docmarion @AlanSeale plus many already mentioned.

Nearly 500 people registered 4 the #Spirit #Authors Grand Opening http://bit.ly/9pfpJV

My good friend @SpiritusShelagh was my co-host for the event. What a source of strength she is.

Oz Tweep @charlyjl was a wellspring of technical support in getting the site ready. Couldn’t have done it without her.

April 20, 2010: @AwakenedWisdom ALSO becomes #1 #spirituality #book thx 2 Twitter! #AWEbook

GR8 expectations 4 @NeuroBooks May 11. #OCDbook

1000+ peeps on Facebook page. http://facebook.com/SpiritAuthors

NOW: @SpiritAuthors open and I have long waiting list of #book campaign clients. On #Spirit #Authors I teach new authors how to set use #Twitter to build a promotional platform and #Amazon launch… as well as many other things (Oops! That’s more than 140 characters!)

Ok… enough with the Twitterspeak!!!

I am quite serious when I say Twitter has changed my life. Yes, my own book would never have become a bestseller without Twitter. Yes, I could never have helped Allison become a number-1 seller. Yes, I would not have gotten some fab new clients and an amazing literary agent. And yes, I would never have thought to create Spirit Authors and now have a blossoming new business as a result.

But it isn’t REALLY about business at all.

Have a look at all the Twitter links above. These are not just links. These are all REAL people whom I have come to know, respect and care about over the past year. Even though some of us are separated by tens of thousands of miles, we have all shared many a heart-felt conversation over the phone, and have been there for each other through the highs and lows.

And really, there are just so many other wonderful people I have met from Twitter (as well as Facebook, Ning and LinkedIn, in that order), I cannot count them.

When many people first come to Twitter, they don’t “get it”. How can you possibly communicate in 140 characters? How can you possibly make friends with people? How can you possibly build a business from it? WHY would you WANT to do this????

And I’m telling you now—it’s because of the PEOPLE!

I have made more close friends from networking on Twitter than any other form of networking I have ever tried… even more than “live” networks in my home town! While I do love Facebook as well, there is nothing (yet) that can beat Twitter for ideas going viral, and for meeting lots of people who share your interests within a very short period of time.

But as I said, it’s not just about the business. The friends I have met through Twitter are some of the most inspiring, supportive, positive and powerful light-workers I have ever met. That is why I have linked to EVERY one of them above.

So, if you are on Twitter, you should follow them. These are wonderful, beautiful people—get to KNOW them.

As always, your comments below are MOST welcome!

Lynn Serafinn

Warm wishes,

Lynn Serafinn

@LynnSerafinn

@SpiritAuthors

P. S.: This article was inspired by a Twitter conversation I had a new friend on Twitter @WendyMWarden. Many thanks, Wendy. This was fun to write!

P. P. S.: Knowing HOW to make Twitter (and social networking in general) work for you, both on a business level and on a deeply fulfilling personal level, is something of an art form. This is why I teach it on the Spirit Authors course:

  • In Module 2, I teach the fundamental principles of spirit-based promotion so you can create a fertile promotional platform for selling your book online using social networking.
  • In Module 4, I teach the “how to’s” of creating an Amazon Book Launch.
  • And, of course, there are 3 other modules on starting and writing your book, preparing for publication, and creating a brand and sustainable business from your book.

It’s my hope that by teaching authors (and authors-to-be) the techno-art of Twitter, they will not only find professional fulfilment, but they will also expand their world by connecting to others who understand them and wish to help them grow.

If this sounds like something you would like to explore, I offer a 7-day “Test Drive” on any Spirit Authors learning module for only $1. Visit the site at http://spiritauthors.com and check out the introductory audios and module overviews to see if there is something at Spirit Authors that can help you achieve your writing goals. And if you have any questions, please just fill out a contact form on the site and I promise I will reply personally.

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