Not All Book Marketing is Created Equal… or How Similar Activities Create Different Results

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Umbrellas on the Beach
Similar, but Different?

“At a superficial level these authors were all doing the same thing to market their business books, so why were the results so different?”

~ Debra Hilton

In January, I talked to a group of people about marketing their authority books. This article explores the outcomes of three of these people and why they ended up with quite different results.

All three already had business books which they had launched in the previous 6-18 months, and which were only generating marginal results for their business. Two of the authors hired me to review their books and marketing campaigns and make strategic suggestions, the third felt that she was already following a strategy that seemed to incorporate all that I suggested, but agreed to act as a control and share her data from September to March.

Business Book Marketing Basics

There are four key elements that underlie successful business book marketing (fiction book marketing is slightly different):-

  1. Use Amazon & Kindle: this is a no-brainer! If you’re not convinced read my previous article, “3 Ways Using Amazon to the Max Can Dramatically Improve Your Book Sales & Increase Your Opportunities” and make sure that you have maximised your description and all the other options available;
  2.  Feature it on Your Own Website & LinkedIn Profile: the fact that you have written a book gives you more credibility than you can imagine and is a huge advantage when it comes to attracting clients and media;
  3. Maximise Your Media Appearances: media appearances and features (TV, radio, magazine, podcast etc.) are immensely valuable if you use them well. Too many people don’t prepare effectively and waste the opportunity. That mainstream media feature is only fleeting… but you can turn it into a lifetime of opportunity if you use it well. Unfortunately, most don’t.
  4. Social Media Saturation: very few authors use social media to maximum effect. When I talk to them they are writing blogs, creating videos, and posting links on social media, but they are not seeing the traction because they are missing some key accelerators in this area and they aren’t tracking their results and changing their strategy to meet their actual audience.

Interestingly enough, there’s a clear difference between going through the motions in each of these areas and actually applying a strategy as the graph below shows.

A Tale of 3 Book Marketing Implementations

I have changed the names of the individuals concerned, but the data was provided by each of them and only cover sales and consultations booked via the internet.

Janelle attended my Business Book Marketing webinar at the start of January and felt that she was already doing everything I discussed. As you can see, nothing really changed with either her sales or her consultations over the six months we mapped. January is usually a quiet month for Australian businesses so, from her perspective nothing changed.

Henry’s book sales had been fairly consistent at between 2-6 books per month and a consistent 3 consultations booked as a result of his book for the past 14 months when he attended the webinar. After our Strategic Book Consultation (currently $495 including GST) he decided to use my services to rewrite his key collateral (Landing Page, Amazon Description, Pillar blogs) as well as purchasing my Custom Social Media Saturation Strategy & Maximise Your Media Strategy packages which he then implemented with the help of his team. As you can see not only did his book sales increase, but the number of consultations he booked directly from his landing page as well as from the book sales increased even faster.

Kate had been very disappointed in the performance of her book over the past 12 months and she attended the Business Book Marketing webinar without any real expectation that she would learn anything new. When she booked her Strategic Book Consultation after the webinar it was really because she wanted to be able to say that she had tried everything and writing a book in a heavily regulated industry was no more effective than anything else she had used to market her business. She has some copywriting training and does great video so I critiqued her landing page and Amazon listing, and talked to her about creating pillar blogs and implementing the Social Media Saturation Strategy I had outlined in the webinar. We held the Strategy Session in the middle of January, and by February she had requested a Custom Social Media Saturation Strategy and was very excited about the opportunities that were popping up for her. As she said, “I thought I was doing all I needed to and I was headed in the right direction, but there was a lot more that I could do to accelerate my conversions.”

Are You a Dabbler or an Expert?

The intensity and saturation you apply to your social media and advertising make an enormous difference… and I’m not talking about time invested.

When it comes to social media, I hold the same view I have always held: you are merely a share-cropper on someone else’s real estate which means that you are at their mercy. Recent revelations about Facebook and other social media sites have only intensified my perspective on this, and I suspect that Google is about to clamp down on personally hosted websites as well. However, that said if you want to use your books to sell your consulting services strategic use of social media is enormously beneficial.

Many people who think they are using social media and blogging to sell their books and consulting services are like Kate or Janelle, they are just going through the motions and have convinced themselves that “this won’t work in my industry.” Often they are just a few tweaks away from success.

It’s like many professions, you can learn the theory easily enough, but when it comes to implementation it’s practice and experience that makes all the difference to your outcomes.

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