I hear it all the time. Authors, speakers, entrepreneurs, designers, photographers, small business owners, Realtors, plumbers, job seekers… They are all facing the same problem.
Marketing is time-consuming! Especially when you’re trying to figure it out as you go.
Actually, the whole thing can become simply overwhelming. Since they don’t know where to start, they often don’t get started or they make slower progress than they want and need to.
That’s one of the reasons that I write this blog.
I enjoy helping people find the tools and techniques that really work.
I like to take a specific issue and figure out the best way of fixing it, so that I can then pass it along to my clients and readers.
Whenever possible, I prefer to test things out for my own needs before recommending them to anyone else. But sometimes the best I can do is research it, knowing the needs of my clients, and let you know which I would choose if I were going to be using it.
Know what you want to accomplish
That exact situation came up recently. I was in conversation with a friend on Facebook who was looking for a magazine designer.
Since there are many different approaches that can be taken to designing a magazine, I asked her some leading questions.
- Did she want her magazine to be online, in print or both?
- Did she want to design her magazine online or upload a PDF that was displayed in an online reader?
- Did she want flexibility in her design (for enhanced creativity) or did she want a template she could work from (for ease of use)?
- Did she want just text and images in her magazine or other types of content like video, MP3 and ecommerce options?
These were just a few of the questions we discussed.
Find the right tools
In this particular context, my friend was looking at potentially using LucidPress to generate her magazine. I’d also found FlipSnack and suggested she compare the two, along with Issuu, which is a popular online document viewer.
She narrowed down her choices to LucidPress and FlipSnack and asked what I thought of them. So, I took a few minutes to look at the features and functionality of both, and to research a few comparison articles to see what existing users thought of them.
What I found was that selecting the right tool was contingent on knowing how you wanted to use it and what you wanted to get out of it. (Isn’t that always the case!)
A wrench is not just a wrench
As an author, speaker or entrepreneur, it’s important to know, first, what your objective is and then, second, what your preferred operating method is, before making a choice about the tools and platforms you want to integrate into your business.
If the tool makes things harder for you, it’s not the right one.
If it limits your ability to achieve your objective, it’s still not the right one.
Look for tools that are the right fit for you.
Don’t just assume that because everyone else is using it, you should too. Everyone else is not you!
I was commenting to my son recently about the wide selection of socket wrench handles hanging on a hardware store wall. You might think that a wrench is a wrench is a wrench. But that’s simply not true.
There are different size wrenches (1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″, 3/4″, 1″, 1-1/2″, 2-1/2″ and 3-1/2″ to start with), ratcheting and non-ratcheting, fixed socket or interchangeable, metric, standard and Torx sockets, and so on.
Even if you settle on the specific tool you want, you’ll find that one manufacturer’s handle has a different grip than another’s. And while both may be perfectly usable, one fits your hand better than another.
Use the tools that are right for you
The same is true as you build your business. There are plenty of tools out there to work with. But you need to know what job you want to use the tool for (to make sure it has the right functionality to accomplish the task), as well as which one suits you best.
You could have the best tool in the world, but if it’s not something you’re comfortable with, you’re simply not going to use it!
That’s a frequent conversation that I have with my authors.
Which social media platform should I be on?
What is the absolute best method of marketing my book without a budget?
What’s the one thing I should do every day to reach my audience?
There is no “one size fits all” answer to that. It’s unique because you are you and your ideal reader is your ideal reader. You aren’t everyone else.
That’s why it’s critical to develop a marketing strategy that has you, your offering and your market in mind.
It’s also how consulting a marketing strategist can help you create an optimized plan that ensures that your budget is being applied to the activities that will work best for your specific product, goals and audience.
So, if you are feeling stuck or if your book marketing simply isn’t getting the results you want, I encourage you to book a strategy call with me and get unstuck! I can help you connect the pieces so that you feel confident about your next steps.
Oh, and if you were interested in the outcome of the LucidPress vs. FlipSnack review, check back next week and I’ll share those results.