Article at a glance:
- Have a marketing plan before you need it.
- Consider your options, resources and budget.
- If you don’t have an audience, start building now.
I hear it almost every day from all sorts of prospective clients, including some very savvy business professionals:
“I’ve written my book (or developed my product) and I need your help with marketing it.”
So, I ask, “What’s your plan? How much have you budgeted for it?”
Plan? Budget? They’ve been so immersed in pouring heart and soul into
their dream, they’ve given no thought to how they’ll share it with the
world when it’s done. The best time to start thinking about marketing is
long before the book is written or the “fibbajiwijit” is built.
If I’ve just described you, don’t worry, you can start now.
But, as you’ll see from the tips below, you’d already be off to a
running start if you’d been thinking about marketing months ago.
If you’re still writing, designing and dreaming, consider these a few
more things to squeeze into your weeks. Then, when you’re ready to
launch, all systems will be set for takeoff.
- Consider your market. Who will your book or product
appeal to? On the surface, your how-to for new college grads on writing
resumes might also have great suggestions for laid-off professionals
looking for work for the first time in decades. Conversely, an
inexpensive time-saving gadget for busy parents may be the perfect tool
for college kids on a budget. Get creative! Solicit ideas from friends,
- Now that you know your market, how can you best promote your book or product? Will
you buy advertising, look for speaking engagements, try to whip up
interest from the media? You might hire a publicist or contract with
your publisher to handle PR, or go old school and put together a
promotional tour. Research the options that appeal to you and find out
how effective they are in terms of meeting your goals. If you’re
considering contracting with professionals to help you, get references
from people who’ve had successful marketing experiences.
- Identify your resources. All of the above cost
money; some options are less, others more. Look into the ones that
interest you and get an idea of their price. How much can you afford to
spend? Should you start setting aside money now? Is there an
organization or business that would benefit from sponsoring you? A
physician, for instance, might get financial help from a pharmaceutical
company in exchange for standing behind a product. A gardener might find
an ally in the local landscapers association.
- Build a following. Do you have a database of people
already interested in what you have to say? If not, turn to social
media and start building it now. The more of a following you have, the
more potential audience you’ve created for your marketing message. Big
numbers will also turn heads when you try to get speaking engagements or
guest spots on radio and TV talk shows. Having a following is
everything. The organizations and media that book you for an interview
are also hoping all those followers will either buy tickets or stop by
Marketing is too important to be an afterthought, so think about it
long before it’s time to get started. Yes, I understand the effort that
goes into writing a book or creating a product. I know it’s hard to
think about anything else! But if you’re pouring years into that baby,
you probably want to share it with the world. And that takes planning.