Archives for July 2012

Staying “Top of Mind” While Marketing Your Book

Anyone who has authored a book knows that there are a million ways to market it. Some tactics are subtle and friendly, while others are more “in your face.” A solid marketing strategy for your book includes a careful mixture of both. You have to let people know your book exists, but then gently remind them as time goes on. It’s a fine line between being enthusiastic and being nauseating. Enthusiastic is good, but don’t be a turn-off to your prospective readers by beating them over the head with it.

Today’s tip will show you one of those tactics intended more to remind people that your book exists rather than directly tell them about it. The nice thing is, if they want to learn more, they can click through and do just that! But I’m getting ahead of myself…

Watch the video below to learn how you can add the Facebook page for your book to your work history in your profile. If you don’t have a Facebook page for your book yet, give us a call and we’ll help you get one set up.

You can do the same thing for your LinkedIn profile. (Once again, if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, we’re here to help!)

By linking to your book in both of these places, you’re leaving a subtle reminder for people connected to you that directs them to where they can find more information about your book.

Remember, one of the rules of marketing is to stay “top of mind.” You want your book to be the first thing they think of when they go to pick up a new one, and you can subtly do that by keeping the title visible wherever you interact with people.

At the same time, this additional visibility for your book title helps to grow your platform, enabling more people to be aware of what you’re working on and generating potential interest in your future projects.

What are some of the other subtle ways that you stay “top of mind” for your readers?

The Oft-Forgotten Tool in our Marketing Toolkit: SlideShare

Are you an author? A speaker? A trainer? A marketer? All of the above? You know there’s a very powerful tool that’s often overlooked that we could be taking out and using more often; or at least I know I could. So, today’s post is going to cover some interesting examples of how you can use SlideShare to increase your visibility.

  1. Start first with the increased exposure that posting presentations to the SlideShare site itself gives to you. Developing a strong presence on the site, with a complete profile, suitable keyword tags for each presentation, etc. will allow others to find, appreciate and share your material and samples that much more easily. It also provides a great place to send event planners, training coordinators, etc. who want to see a bit more of what your work looks like. According to the SlideShare website:

    SlideShare is the world’s largest community for sharing presentations. With 60 million monthly visitors and 130 million pageviews, it is amongst the most visited 200 websites in the world. Besides presentations, SlideShare also supports documents, PDFs, videos and webinars.

  2. Jazz up your LinkedIn profile by incorporating the SlideShare app into it. To do so, in LinkedIn, select the More menu, followed by Get More Applications…, and then select the SlideShare Presentations app to add to your profile. Configure the app to connect to your SlideShare account, and then visitors to your profile will be able to see the most recent presentation you shared. If they click on the app logo, it will take them to an expanded version of the SlideShare app where they can explore other presentations as well.
  3. Embed a presentation on your website. If you have a presentation or two that you want to highlight for your website visitors, SlideShare provides you with the necessary embed code to be able to do that. Here’s one that I just uploaded from a talk I gave last March.
  4. Pin presentations from SlideShare to Pinterest boards. I recently got into a debate with someone about Pinterest and its ideal uses. They saw it as a place where women share recipes and post inspirational quotations. The thing is, Pinterest is such a powerful site and has an incredible level of engagement. So, why wouldn’t you incorporate it into your business strategies, marketing tactics or even your job search? Here’s a great SlideShare presentation on creating Pinterest resumes. The same concept can apply for various speaking topics, book subjects, training courses, etc. Be imaginative!
  5. Periodically share your presentations in your status updates on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Create a few pre-crafted posts that you can add to your editorial calendar and keep continuing traffic coming to the presentations you want to have the most visibility. Schedule these posts in your post planner (I use Hootsuite), so that they run on auto-pilot.
  6. Remember to craft your presentations well! A well-crafted presentation will catch people’s attention, prompting them to share it with their networks as well. Consider adding video to your presentation or an audio track, wherever appropriate, to bring the presentation to life.
  7. Generate leads using SlideShare. If you upgrade your free account to the PRO version, you can use LeadShare to enable viewers to contact you directly, right from your presentations! With a LeadShare campaign running, a lead capture box is displayed after the first 10 slides, at the end of the deck, or by a permanent display button on the player. To learn more about Leadshare, click here.

What are some of your favorite ways to use SlideShare?

Book Review: The Pumpkin Plan by Mike Michalowicz, or How to Grow a Killer Business

The Pumpkin Plan book cover by Mike MichalowiczIt’s been awhile since I’ve written a book review on my blog. It’s not because I haven’t been reading. I have. It’s just that there have been so many other things calling for my attention, like writing my own Top Ranking eBook, preparing for the launch (September 5th) of a book I co-authored, and keeping up with client work, family life and other obligations.

So, when Mike Michaelowicz, a.k.a. The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, asked if I’d be willing to review his latest book, The Pumpkin Plan, I had to give it some serious thought before making the commitment.

In reading the book’s description though, I realized it was one I was going to want to read regardless, so may as well help with the launch! The book’s subtitle is “A Simple Strategy to Grow a Remarkable Business in Any Field.” It’s more than that though.

In this book, Mike explores the idea that many entrepreneurs are broke in every sense of the word, working 5 to 9, eight days a week, yet still living check to check. As much as I hate to say it, that sounds like me and many of the other entrepreneurs I know!

Every one I talk to has the same complaint. They want to work less and earn more. Whether it’s selling their service, product, book or speaking topics, it takes hard work. We keep thinking that we’re so close to “making it” that we keep plugging away at it, never realizing that we’re going about it all wrong…

That’s what drove me to read The Pumpkin Plan. I needed to find my own way out of the rut I was making and into the business I knew I could have.

Mike was inspired by the methods used by farmers to grow giant pumpkins and saw the applicability of those techniques for growing a wildly successful business that dominates the competition.

The plan is simple:

  • Plant a prizewinning seed.
  • Get rid of the losers.
  • Nurture the winners.

As I ate lunch with a friend the other day, a message came through on his phone, and he started talking about how he’s got this blood-sucking client who contacts him multiple times a day for support. After reading The Pumpkin Plan, my first thought was “Get rid of the loser!”

While this is a hard thing for any business owner to contemplate, blood-suckers keep our businesses from growing because they sap us of the time and energy we could be spending to blow the minds of our best customers with our innovation and unparalleled service.

This same principle applies whether you are an entrepreneur struggling to attain the riches of time and money you know are waiting for you, a speaker offering too many one-off topics to be appealing to as many event coordinators as possible, or an author looking to market your book to absolutely everyone.

Plant a prize-winning seed. What’s the core strength of what you have to offer? When other people talk about it, what do they say? If you don’t know, ask your best clients or customers. Here’s what one of mine had to say…

Top two things I love about Aleweb.
1. Actually knows what needs to be done.
2. And on the rare occasion that you don’t know, you know exactly who does. As result, I don’t have to pay for fiddle-around-trying-to-figure-it-out time.

Get rid of the losers. Rotten pumpkins stunt the growth of healthy ones. So, know your customers. Figure out which ones drive sustained growth and ditch the rest! (If you’re like me, ditching a customer sounds hard. But Mike gives 4 examples of simple ways to do just that, and they’re easy!)

Nurture the winners. This means more than just upselling to your best customers. It means finding out what their real needs are and then blowing their minds with innovation and unparalleled service, doing the things that you are already best at doing. Talk about aligning your business with your purpose! In this stage of the plan, you are working with the customers who already value you for what you are best at, and are giving you ideas as to how to give them more of it!

So, if you’re looking for inspiration, thoughts and practical ideas of how you can go from growing your everyday, garden variety business to growing an awesome, killer, cream-of-the-crop enterprise, you need to read this book and work the plan as you go along.

To learn more about The Pumpkin Plan, watch a video from Mike, and download the first chapter for free, check out his website and the related free resources.

Disclaimer: A free review copy of this book was provided to me by the author. No further compensation was made or promised. Additionally, no affiliate links were used in this post. Aleweb is based in a state where we can’t be Amazon affiliates. Darn!

 

Have you read The Pumpkin Plan yet? What action steps have you taken toward growing your own giant pumpkin?

Happiness, Joy and Big Fat Klout Scores Indeed!

joyful rodent Pictures, Images and Photos

Photo courtesy of Photobucket user l5gcw0b

A friend of my mine shared a link to an article on Facebook this morning. The title caught my attention. “Happiness, joy and big fat Klout scores.” Hmm…  I had to click on the link and see what that was about. (If you’re still with me at this point, can you wait until you’ve finished reading this post before abandoning it to go read that one? Or at least come back here when you’re done? Thanks!  :-))

The author, Mark Schaefer, makes a very good point, and it’s well worth reading in his own words, even though the post is almost a year old now. The message is still timely.

Are you using social media to create happiness, joy or a big fat Klout score? These are three major distinctions, and your purpose has a lasting affect on how useful your marketing will be.

Let’s look first at the Klout score, because I know so many people like to see how they can manipulate that score and others like them (Kred, PeerIndex, etc.). Your Klout score is based on an algorithm that looks at how influential your social media presence is. It’s not a bad thing to be aware of to see if your strategy is accomplishing what you’d hoped it would. But I see it as a yardstick to measure effectiveness, not as a goal to be achieved. No one is ever going to praise you at your funeral for that awesome Klout score you had.

The next one we’ll tackle is happiness. Everyone would agree, happiness is a good thing to share within your social networks. Just to be clear though, as Mark puts it:

… There is a difference between happiness and joy.  You can be happy about a hamburger.  You can be happy about a song. Happiness is temporary.  Joy is peace.

Within your social marketing strategy, happiness would be offering that free sample of your book, or a discount code for your product or services. It’s a temporary thing that people are happy to share with their friends and connections, but it has no lasting effect.

If the purpose of your social marketing is to create “happy customers,” you’ll be engaged in a constant quest to find that next thing that will spark them to action and brighten their day. Offering them the same thing repeatedly will eventually lose its charm and appeal.

However, when you understand the reason for the journey you, personally, are on, and the difference you want to make in the world around you, you understand your why. It becomes easier to make business decisions because you have something to navigate by.

I recently had the opportunity to speak on a topic that I have the knowledge and skill to speak on, but it’s not part of what I’m trying to accomplish with my life and my business right now. When I was still unclear about my why, I would have taken the speaking opportunity even though it was a bit in left-field. Yet, now I could see that it wasn’t relevant to what I’m working to accomplish. I was able to offer up another topic that was in alignment with my purposes, and that was suitable for the audience. It worked out incredibly well. However, even if the speaking engagement had fallen through, it would have been alright because I wasn’t chasing down a rabbit trail that distracted me from my purpose.

When you know your why, you feel joy in your work and it’s reflected in your social media activities. Joy is lasting. It’s contagious even! When you are joy-filled, others want to be around you, and they want to learn why you are the way you are.

It’s often said, “People don’t remember what you say, but how you made them feel.” When you engage in your social marketing activities with joy, people that want what you have naturally start appearing. The message spreads, not because of what you’ve said, but because of how you’ve made them feel. No discount coupon or Klout score is ever going to accomplish that for you.

 

So, what’s your WHY? What energizes you about what you do, and makes you ready to get up each day to tackle it again? Share it below. We’d love to hear about it.