Build It And They Will NOT Come!
I wish e-marketing were as effective as Ray Kinsella’s Iowa cornfield baseball diamond. Build a perfect creation and your audience will flock to it.
Know your audience, and plan to interact with them. You may do this physically, at shows, readings, galleries, social events, workshops, etc. And, you should also interact online. Engage in online conversations with your followers. Contribute useful information on forums, comments sections in news items or blog postings, submit articles, images.
Attract followers with an offer, also known as a “lead magnet”. In exchange for an email address, offer exclusive invitations to events; provide background information about your novel; send free samples of your work; answer their questions with expert advice. Have a landing page on your site that presents the offer, and to which you link from social media, email campaigns, even note cards on bulletin boards!
Stay engaged. Respond to comments and questions with meaningful information. Just thanking someone for a “like” is not enough. Tell the story. What inspires you. What has it taken for you to create your masterpiece? Be authentic.
Be consistent. Keep a conversation going. Schedule a time each day, week, month to interact with your audience.
HOLD ON you say. “I don’t have time for all that. Too busy with Projects, Family, Customers—and plenty of others, to market myself.”
But at some point you need make time for marketing yourself. Your customers want to know who you are. So you will need to schedule activities such as
- Meeting with your e-marketing resource people, to give feedback, listen to their suggestions, provide relevant information to help them to reach your audience. Your consultant should be able to provide statistics on how your audience is interacting with your e-marketing efforts. That will in turn help you determine what works best for your audience and refine your approach.
- Visiting your social media to ask and answer questions and comments. Provide information that is valuable, rather than trying obviously to sell yourself. Follow others–bloggers, experts, tweeters–and interact meaningfully and constructively. It’s not a one way interaction, with you bragging all the time. It’s “Social”!
- Asking yourself, “Who cares?” Why are you doing your creating, how will others benefit? Keep asking that question, because the answer can change!
Now, for a word about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Key to effective SEO is knowing your audience and how what you have to offer fits with their needs and interests. What are they searching for, and what words do they use in their searches? Look for ways to incorporate those “Keywords” in the content of your website, blog, social media. Use those keywords as links from social media postings to content on your site. This will help people find you, but it’s still no substitute for direct interaction.
So, how do you know this is working? Set up and refine your metrics as you learn more about your audience and what works with them. One sure-fire way to know if your marketing efforts are effective is if your email list is growing. Email remains the most effective way to interact with your audience.
Other numbers to watch are your followers on social media, the comments you receive on your posts, visits to your site, requests for information, orders, etc.
Persevere! You are not going to achieve 10,000 followers overnight–or even this year, most likely.