I'm not here to tell you guys what your marketing plan should or should not be. I'm here to help you with what you decide your marketing is.
Remember that you can take or leave these tips and only you can tell you how much time, effort and money you want to place in each forum.
Today's Book Planning is for the Twitter users. Below is a link to an article I found very comprehensive. And, comprehensive is what we need! I agree with everything the article says except about sitting down and planning the tweets. For me, when I say something it's sporadic, unpredictable, but that's also a part of me. You can count I'll be there, but you can't count on what I'll say.
If you want to make twitter work...this is the plan--give or take a few minutes! If you call yourself a social media expert (not just a Facebook expert), you really need to know what that means. Below is the no bullshit guide.
Action item: Read this link then take it or leave it.
Just like in your Bio, don't start with "I..."
Instead, tell them how Vampires taught you to write. Or not. Remember you are selling your writing and it's on display from your bio to your portfolio, and each bid. Instead concentrate on what you will do for them.
Decide on what you want to be paid--both hourly or salary because you don't want to limit yourself from either one. Then go to "Find Work" and "Search Jobs".
On the left hand side you'll want to choose Writing & Translation (or whatever profession you chose). Now, go to the search box above the job listings.
What's your niche? Copy writing? Editing?
I put in horse and got one job. Nothing for dressage, but 23 results for animals!
Ghostwriter Wanted for Writing Fantasy/Sci Fi Books!!!! OH, stand back ya'll that one is MINE!
Content for a Dolphine Website!!! Whaa! Can I swim with the dolphins! Oh! Oh! Mine! Mine!
Know this. These jobs come in every day. Tomorrow there will be 20 more. Oh, I just searched dogs and got 11 results. Hell yeah! If at first your search does not succeed--try another! Be creative! Be the ball!
Action item: Bid on 5,10 or 20 jobs. Repeat every day. Go!
I have a client that I can honestly point to and say, "She does elance right!"
She is the book cover artist for Truenotdreams.
She conntacts me every month and asks how I'm doing and if I have any projects. She gets me thinking about all the wonderful covers we've done together and how easy she is to work with.
This is how you get repeat customers. She got me hooked with our first cover together... Dr. Vampyre. She links everything to Deviant art, sends traffic my way, and in return I'm an advocate for Truenotdreams. Let's take a look at what she does:
1. She stays in contact.
2. Her work is fanominal.
3. She is the best deal even with other competitors I hand her all my work--because...
4. She is easy to work with.
5. She gives me freebies that are easy for her to do.
6. She gets the job done on time or before.
7. She is always responsive when I email.
She charges slightly more than say a pre-made book cover service, but honestly, I get to choose the photos and she puts it together--um, no brainer. I will gladly hand her most my projects. It's the little things that freelancers do to stand out. so that list above is your guide.
(Choose 1 or all)
* Contact and old client and find out if they need anything.
* Give a freebie away that took you 5 minutes.
* Link an article to their blog that will send traffic. Don't worry--they will notice.
I'm going to give you one more goodie to round out to 5 parts!
Next up--Bidding projects.
RAISE YOUR RATES
My very first bid that I won was a job of $60 for 10 posts of 500 words or less.
Elance took thier cut and I was paid something like $6 per post.
After that job, I was invited to more. Now remember that you will get 1 out of every 20 jobs you bid. But you're not looking for money right now. (I know, I know I started off with Raising your rates) But your still building credibility.
Once you've got a few stellar star ratings, you can be choosey about your jobs.
I hear the banner whine of losers everywhere coming through--"But the tough economy!"
Stop it. Stop playing a victim. Copy editing has never been more expensive in the history of man right now. You know what I had to pay for a simple paragraph for one of TRP's books coming out? A masterful paragraph, but I PAID for that paragraph--and the editor who did it LOVED the story! *SQUEEE* Okay, moving on.
My point, writer's are getting paid bank. If you're tummy is rumbling it might be difficult to NOT take that $6/per post job. But, you are worth more and once you have PROVEN you are worth more, the higher paying, respectful clientele will not mind paying you your worth.
Those that pay well respect your time and talent. They understand that you are an asset. Yes, you'll find jay-holes, even on elance, but most of them are the people that don't have a clue as to what good writing is and therefore, don't pay you for it.
1. Go over your Bio and read it. Would you hire you?
2. Take all sentences starting with the letter "I" and reword it.
Also, take out the part where you started writing when you were a kid. Every child in America started writing when they were about 5--I had much love of words in kindergarten too!
Give a client your best work here. They need to be convinced of your writing abilities not told about it. If you start off by saying Vampires taught you to write...then maybe that's something, but make the Bio interesting. Your a book! Get that reader to open your pages!
Next up: Go for repeat customers.
Assuming you set up an elance account, or already have one, you might have buggered around on it and saw *GASP* they want me to write what for that little?
Again, first, breath. Let's breath because there are people in the world that underestimate the value of editing. There will always be those people in the world. I'm not one of them. I value you, your time and your expertise. I can't be the only person on this earth that values you, your time or your skill.
So that being said, you might need to do a few jobs that might be below your pay scale. Not much below, but if you think of it as building credibility within elance you'll find that people will soon invite you to bid on a job. From my experience people were asking me to bid on their jobs within a week of being on elance.
So today's going to be all about -- CREDIBILITY!
Elance tests go a long way! They are proof to your abilities. You might be thinking, what if I don't pass the test? Don't be a weeenie. My authors that are editors will pass the test.
But, really Stephanie, What if I don't pass the test?
If you don't like your score, you don't have to display it on your profile. So there's no reason not to take the test. You want to do this step because, as I said before, I've put those that self-rate in the dumpster can. No testy, no lovie. You have a 70% higher chance of getting a job WITH these tests. Take one test a day until you have all the tests you want. If you don't like your score you can take it again in 14 days. The tests are 20 - 40 minutes and they are free.
Take A Test. Any test.
Now remember that Credibility is also in the ratings that previous employers give you. I look at those too when choosing an editor. But that will come in the next episodie...because 20 - 40 minutes of your marketing time is good enough for today! Next up: Rasing Your Rates
Of course I'm going to promote your book and you'll have nothing to do but rake in the cash, write more books and drink lattes!
Really! We'll get there!
Okay, there's one guy out there that I'm following and keeping an eye on VERY closely that I might tell you about later if his promises get those types of results, but the fact is, you need to still work. Not necessarily because you have to work for money, but because it's going to help expand your mind.
Here's where I pull out my secret weapon. Now a secret weapon would be nothing without the secret sauce, so I'm giving you both. What's my secret weapon? Elance. That's right www.elance.com.
You might have tried it and then given up because there's too much compitition, you might have bid and never got anything. There are people out there expecting you to edit their novel for $5. And your excuses mount and mount. But I'm here to give you some focus. You see, just like business--you need a business strategy. Ah, yes, you remember yesterday? Well, here's where I give you a precise marketing strategy tailored specifically for elance.
First a warning. elance is a place where you can build up your reputation and they are perfectly set up for repeat customers. However, you may be discouraged by the amount of "competition".
By the time we're done, you'll see there might be only a handful of real compitition out there. Also, to build up a rating and credibility, you may need to do a few jobs that require you to do the $5 post. But that post is part of your portfolio. You have a portfolio chaulk full of $20 posts and the high payers won't baulk at your fee. But remember, this is part of the strategy.
Now, the first thing in order is to breath. Yes, breath. Clear your mind of anxiety. Go where the words are because you will need them later.
If you skipped this step I beg you to repent! You need patience. You're in for the win and the win takes time.
The Strategy is simple:
Raise your rates.
Go for repeat customers.
Now for the action items.
Go elance at www.elance.com -- I suggest you go to https://www.elance.com/q/about-elance and read what they are about. We both know you love your work (or you wouldn't take a chance on this little micro publisher with big dreams), but read the section about "Better for freelancers." Of course read the "Better for businesses." because you'll know what employers expect.
Sign up. If you already have and have worked with elance before then you might already have credibility built up.
Read the terms of service. Accept, fill out your forms and all that take a look around if you like but time yourself. Ten minutes tops!
Go to https://www.elance.com/q/elanceuniversity/index.html and listen to the video.
If you follow what elance says you'll really find success. The tips I have that are a MUST is put up a professional picture with you SMILING! You're a happy worker. No body wants to work with sillouette dude (no picture). Or frown man.
Fill out all the spaces, like bio, portfolio, etc. with something. Especially portfolio.
Take a few of the elance tests. Self rating says to me, you think highly of yourself, wonderful! But I'd rather have a third party tell me how you rate. If an editor didn't take take any of the tests and just self rates, their bid quickly goes into the decline pile.
A portfolio is a must. I need to see your work. There is a portfolio section in elance. Put 3 - 5 of your best works up.
So let's reivew:
1. Sign up. (Note: Choose your profession they ask for wisely-they charge for others added or changed)
2. Watch elance University.
3. Put a picture on your profile.
4. Make a bio.
5. Upload your portfolio.
6. Take a test.
Whew! That took more than 15 minutes I'm sure. More like 30 - 45. So...we'll continue this discussion tomorrow! We'll get into building credibility and how you do it!
Today, I want to discuss the difference between Marketing Tips and Marketing Strategy.
I discussed it at length as to the differences in this post HERE.
It boils down to Marketing Tips=actionable items. Things you can do/spend money on. These are the things like putting your book out for free. Buy advertising. Going on a book blog tour.
Marketing Strategy tend to be vague ideas. Things like --
Step one. Write the book.
Step two. Find readers.
Step one. Research the market for popular topics.
Step two. Find funding.
Step three. Write the book.
My strategy happened to be the first. Neither one is better than the other. I know plenty of people who will contradict me and say I did it backwards, I know. But I understand myself too well. I could research forever and never write. So my strategy works for me!
Now the actionable item for MY writers is--give me one Marketing Tip that you would like to see me do for your strategy. My authors already have their Marketing Strategies in place, but I'd like for them to think about it for 15 minutes and see if they can come up with a marketing tip that I haven't thought of. Go!
For everyone else...do you have a marketing strategy? What do you think of mine?
Welcome to the first Book Planning 101 session!
So many topics can be covered on Book Planning but today's action item will include blogging.
Let's start with optimizing our websites! Of course I'm reading 31 days to Build a better blog, and I'm writing a journal about it HERE, but I realize that maybe you don't know everything about your site.
Today, I want you to look at your blog and decide what you'd like to include on one of your side bars. If you don't have a clue as to what you'd like take this chance to watch a brief tutorial from Weebly!
Here is a link to the Weebly Live Training support where you can watch a video and learn more about your options! This link: http://help.weebly.com/live-training.html gives you live training sessions.
This link: http://help.weebly.com/ is for direct questions.
Optimizing your website and monitoring your stats will help you better understand what works!
Time yourself and stick to your allocated time for "Marketing". This is marketing time for your book. Check out those links, ponder a question and enter it the weebly support - FAQ & Search. Learn a new thang and expand your mind. In the words of Les Edgerton; When your ripe--you're rotting. When your new--your growing. Always grow.
Tell me what you learned in Facebook or the comments section and we'll base tomorrow's lesson on your feedback!
Have fun with Marketing!
Really all marketing consists of is an expression of your creativeness. As a creative person I think of ways to delight my audience. To get to know them. Engage. But it is like being up on stage. Your whole audience can't all speak at once when there's only you.
But there are venues where you can interact with them just by listening. Social media anyone? Facebook lets you be a voyeur in everyone's lives!
But getting back to marketing...I think if you change gears and express yourself, you might find you love marketing!
As a publisher I get to explore the "technical" side of getting a book out to the audience. I get to be a movie producer/director/camera person by creating trailers for books. I'm a motivational speaker whenever I post an update on Facebook. I talk to my people in a very intimate way in my newsletters-giving a part of my soul to others.
All these things are creative in their own right. I don't think of marketing as selling. I think of it as giving. What can I give you? I'll continue to have fun thinking of ways to entertain you! All of this is exciting and fun! Most of all it's rewarding to see the creative things I've made out there! So don't bemoan opportunity! Embrace creativity and release it out in the wild!
My efforts are to make this a learning blog where writers can see the flip side of publishing. If you have comments that will improve your experience or have a certain topic you'd like discussed, please contact me through email - HERE.
~ Sincerley, Your Editor
Troll River Publications
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