Authors: What, Why and How to build your platform

There's no argument from those in the know when it comes to securing a publishing contract and selling books. Many decisions are made based on an author's platform.

Even if you self-publish, you need to build your platform.

Your author platform is how you are currently reaching an audience of book buyers. It’s also how you plan to do so. It is your influence, your ability to sell to your market. It is your ability to sell books because of who you are or who you can reach.

Your author influence is your ability to impact your readers perspective, beliefs and point of view. It is also the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something.

What is Your Platform?

Your platform has to do with who you are… what makes you unique? It's also your personal and professional connections and any media outlets you can tap into in order to sell books.

In reality, if you want to get a book deal or agent, you need a platform. If you are a self-published author, you need a platform to sell your books. When your book is ready you absolutely must have a platform if you want to sell books.

Your platform includes your current customers and clients, audiences you present to, listeners who hear you on interviews, television audiences, blog readers, social media platforms, current email list and the market reach of collaborative partners.

Start Now

Many authors delay building their platform. Successful authors know there is no time to wait. They work on their platform on a consistent basis.

To build a rock solid platform you need to start immediately by doing something every day. Whether it's to blog, guest blog, set up interviews and speaking engagements, create a media kit, secure endorsements or be a featured expert on a summit, radio show or podcast, you will be well served to embrace the fact you need to build your platform.

Not sure where to start? Check out the Book Accelerator program to learn how to build your platform AND create a successful book launch.

 

 

Save

Content Marketing Equates to Visibility and Increased List Size

Most experts who conduct business online and offline know increasing their subscriber list size can equate to increased revenues. Increasing your list with qualified leads takes more than simply adding numbers.

It takes a targeted effort including knowing who you want to reach, where they are at, and getting in front of them in a way that establishes your credibility.

It also takes consistent, and ongoing, effort. One of the best ways to position your expertise is through content marketing.

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” Full article click here. 

The idea is to get your content seen by as many people as possible who have an interest in your information.

There are lots of ways to do this with some of my favorite being…

  • Blogging
  • Guest blogging
  • Presentations
  • Interviews (Podcast and Radio)
  • Article marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Quotes
  • Joint Venture Partnerships involving shared content

Blogging

Obviously, having your own blog is a great idea. To be effective you need to post relevant content on a regular basis. If you’re short on ideas of what to blog about, ask your audience. People love giving their input. And what better than to write about what they want to read?

Guest blogging

Many blog owners are constantly on the lookout for great content by experts. What better way to reach a completely new set of eyes than to guest blog? There are ample opportunities and this one strategy alone could generate a lot of traffic to your own site if you add links in your post. Include a giveaway in that link (with the blog owner’s permission) and your list is likely to increase in size.

Presentations

Yes, presentations qualify as content marketing. After all, when you’re in front of an audience, you are sharing your information. That is, unless you’re under contract with a company that requires you share only the company’s information. But if you keynote, host workshops and seminars, you are in a great position to share your content.

Interviews

There is no shortage of interview opportunities. A quick google search for internet radio shows or podcast shows will result in ample locations to share your message. Your message is your content.

Article marketing

Short, 400-600 word articles can generate a lot of traffic when posted in the right locations. There are thousands of directories constantly in need of well written articles. There are industry and market specific directories, trade journals, and even company newsletters, where you can distribute your articles.

Social media marketing

With places like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and other high traffic social networks, you can distribute articles and blog posts directly to these locations. A simple way to do this is take the first paragraph or two from a post or article with the permalink leading back to the full article.

Quotes in Images

People love pithy quotes. Sure, you can post quotes from famous people OR imbed your own quote in an image followed by your name and web address.

Expert giveaways via Join Venture Partnerships

Expert giveaways are a great way to increase value to your market as well as the market of the other experts involved in the giveaway. How it works is that each expert contributes something of high value and then promotes the giveaway during a specific time period.

Currently, I’m involved in a very high quality Expert Giveaway. The brainchild of my friend and colleague, Cathy Demers, the launch of the giveaway has over $7,000 of value. Cathy handpicked the experts she wanted to be involved in this campaign.

The best part of an expert giveaway is what is called borrowed credibility. What this simply means is you can increase your credibility, as can the other experts, by who you are being associated with.

CLICK HERE to access the great gifts from Cathy's expert partners (valued at over $7,000)

Regardless of which route you decide, content marketing is a must do for any expert and entrepreneur wanting to grow their business and revenues.

You know you’ve hit the mark when people tell you, “I see your information everywhere.”

When you hear this, you’ve done your job effectively.

Try this… for one month, implement content marketing every day. Imagine how much will happen if you consistently do at least one thing everyday for 30 days.

 

30 Day Challenges…They DO Work!

30 dayWhen I initially agreed to do a 30 Day Blog Challenge, I had no idea how beneficial it would be. Eleven days into the experience, I’m finding it has given me a new level of discipline and focus that has far reaching benefits.

It was during a private mastermind meeting with my clients that I first agreed to the Challenge. I was leading a discussion on the importance of short term goals to achieve specific results. The conversation geared around visibility.

As a proponent of blogging and article marketing, I invited my clients to commit to doing both for 30 days. One of my clients asked if I would be willing to commit to a 30-day blogging challenge.

“Absolutely!” was my immediate response. “I will blog Monday through Friday without fail for 30 days.”

Knowing my clients would be watching to see if I followed through, I knew it was essential for me to stay true to my agreement. I also knew there would be topics coming to surface though at the moment of making the commitment, I had no idea what they would be.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how fun the challenge has been. I’ve also been pleased with the range of topics I’m writing on.

The best part of all is this?  Once the post is written, I have them posted on a few article directories. I’ve also posted the permalink from each of the posts on various social networks I am active on. This gives me more reach and benefit for my time invested in writing the posts.

Why 30 Days for a Challenge?

Actually, there is a lot of benefit to relatively short term time-frames for challenges. Rather than someone committing to “forever” or for a year at a stretch, short term challenges are much more achievable.

30 day challenges became very popular regarding health and fitness, business, and personal goals.

Plank Challenge

30 Day Plank Challenges became all the rage over the last couple of years. If you’ve never done planking, Day One is going to be rough for most people. By Day 30 you will be amazed at how strong your stomach muscles have become and how great you feel.

NOTE: Do this challenge at your own risk. You need to be in relatively good health to attempt this.

Video Challenge

Then there is the 30 Day Video Challenge. This is where you shoot one short video a day for 30 days. When done right you can get a great deal of visibility and SEO juice with this type of challenge.

The key is to make the videos short, engaging and of high value. Giving tips on a specific topic is a great way to use the video challenge.

Cleaning Challenge

30 Day Clean Out One Drawer or Closet a Day Challenge is amazing. I created this for myself in that I had a few areas in my home I wanted to get super organized. The thought of doing it all at once was rather overwhelming, but doing one thing a day was very doable. Within a short period of time I had accomplished a great deal.

Phone Calling

What about the 30 Day Calling Potential Client Challenge? This is where you set a goal for a minimum number of outbound calls you make to people in your database, those you met at networking meetings and conferences.

Imagine committing to calling five people a day for 30 days. That’s 150 people. Without a doubt you would secure business from this strategy.

If you challenge someone to make 150 calls, that can be very overwhelming.  But ask them to make five calls a day; that’s very manageable.

Conclusion

Regardless of the challenge, when you stick to them, they work. It’s quite simple.

In the 11 days since I’ve been doing the Blog Challenge, I’ve found myself digging deep to come up with high value posts.

What has worked for me is to do my blog posts first thing in the morning. My mind is fresh, ideas are flowing and I’ve found that by staying the course, I have a great sense of accomplishment to start my day.

What is something you know would benefit you by committing to it for 30 days? Whether it be a change in physical activity, eating, business, your relationship or just about anything, make the commitment, stick with it and watch what happens. You’ll likely be amazed.

Here’s what article marketing can do for you

Recently one of my premier clients was invited to write a monthly article for a highly visible online magazine specific to her market.

The magazine is extremely well known, has a huge readership and is definitely a feather in my client's cap.

These type of opportunities are huge and can open up a lot more opportunity. I consistently hear from men and women about how they would love this kind of opportunity but don't do anything to create the opportunity.

Of course, there are those who will say my client is so lucky, but the fact is she created her luck by putting herself out in a big way to become visible to the powers that be with the magazine.

Great opportunities don't just fall from the sky. We create them based on the actions we take and the foundation we make.

Gaining lots of visibility makes building your business a heck of a lot easier. And truth be told, visibility definitely equates to more revenue generating opportunities.

Granted, not everyone needs name recognition within their market. Yet, 99 percent of the clients I work with find that name recognition is essential to their success. If you are an author, coach, speaker, trainer, consultant, artist, or entrepreneur, you likely need name recognition.

One of the most effective ways to gain visibility is by writing and distributing articles – article marketing. I began article marketing in the late nineties when few people were doing it. I had very little visibility and market position compared to what I have today. Without a doubt, one thing that skyrocketed my visibility was article marketing.

If you haven’t yet begun writing articles to establish your expert status, build your subscriber list, and increase your credibility and market reach, now is a great time to begin. Article marketing:

  • Positions you as an expert
  • Increases traffic to your blog, website, and landing pages
  • Increases sales potential
  • Builds name recognition
  • Gains trust and entry into your customer’s mind
  • Builds a highly responsive subscriber list for any industry

Not Everyone Agrees
Years ago I received a very heated email from a subscriber who said article marketing for visibility, credibility, and increased revenues absolutely does not work. She claimed she tried this strategy with no success at all, and she was very upset. She supported her position by adding that many of her friends and colleagues had similar results. Here’s what she wrote: “I personally don’t know anyone who has gotten increased business from this tactic and none of my clients have either. Who is getting more business from this and what are they doing differently?”

Amazingly, the very strategy she said didn’t work was what had encouraged her to opt in to my subscriber list – she read one of my articles and responded to the free ebook offer mentioned at the end of the article. Hmmmm.

Success Strategies
It takes more than just throwing some words together and calling it an article for article marketing to work. Consider the following questions:

  • How well written is the article?
  • Is it geared to a specific market?
  • Does the title grab people’s attention?
  • Is there a resource box at the end of the article?
  • Does the resource box include a compelling offer that encourages the reader to visit your website, blog, or landing page?
  • Is your website set up to optimize those visits with a visible opt-in opportunity that is of high value?
  • Do you have a follow-up plan to market to those who opt in to your subscriber list?
  • Are you creating high value for those who receive messages from you?

When one or more of these elements is not in place, writing and distributing articles can be completely ineffective.

Be Realistic
Don’t expect to immediately increase revenue by posting one article. There’s a process involved in turning casual readers into paying customers, and this process should be part of your overall marketing strategy. It’s like baking a cake; if you don’t have all the right ingredients and use them in the correct order, you can have a total flop on your hands. But when article marketing is coordinated with the rest of your marketing plan, you can be extremely successful and enjoy a very tasty outcome.

Portions of this post is an excerpt from Power Up for Profits! The Smart Woman's Guide to Online Marketing
Click here to learn more about Power Up for Profits!

Search engine optimization is either dead or on life support!

This is the time of year many people talk about making big changes.

Whether it be business, health, finances, relationships, or whatever the focus is.

Few people take as huge a plunge into change as my friend and colleague, Marnie Pehrson.

Have you heard what she's doing?

Marnie Pehrson, the creator of IdeaMarketers.com (the longest running article directory) has closed down the site and reopened as IgnitePoint. Why? Because she says article marketing for search engine optimization is either dead or on life support. WOW!

That's quite a shift in the online marketing world! Just goes to show you have to be constantly on your toes when doing business online.

Perhaps you know what it feels like to have the rug ripped out from under you online.

This is why Marnie is putting together a panel of successful entrepreneurs to share what's working and what's not in the ever-shifting online marketplace. I’ll be participating on the panel and sharing my insights on the subject.

If you're trying to create a WOW with your business … or just plain survive, you won't want to miss this call coming up Wednesday, December 12, 2012. It will be recorded. So even if you're busy and can't attend live, be sure to register for the audio.

To receive this timely information, CLICK HERE!

See you there!

Article Marketing – Is Your Panic Setting In?

Now that the dust has settled with the recent Google announcement there are new levels of dialogue about what this means.

For some it’s, “Business as usual” while others have to rethink just about every bit of information they put to market.

Those who have produced quality information all along have nothing to worry about. Those who have cranked out garbage are fast falling off the article marketing cliff.

Panic May Set In
Many consultants routinely recommended to their clients to use article marketing as a part of their promotional efforts. Some consultants are in a panic because now they have to come up with something else to recommend to their clients. Others are not concerned at all due to always emphasizing quality and relevance when recommending their clients use article marketing in their mix.

Here's the deal; anything that improves the quality of information people are developing (and limits the garbage) is a very good thing. Thumbs up to Google.

It Becomes Obsolete
Something that’s important to keep in mind with this change (and many others we have already experienced and will experience in the future) is this… a recommendation to our clients today may be obsolete at some point in the future. We don't have a crystal ball we can peer into.

However, we can always focus on quality, value and integrity. When we do this all is well in the world.

Flexibility is essential for virtually anyone who is using the Internet to market their business. The rules are constantly changing and there's not a lot we can do about this. What we can do is keep the right perspective. Additionally, we can strive to ALWAYS deliver excellence.

Bottom line; the recent Google change is a very good thing for anyone who has been producing great content all along.

What are you thoughts on content quality? Comments welcome below.

Please retweet.

 

 

With Google’s change is article marketing dead?

Over the last few days article marketing is a top conversation (and concern) in many online circles.

If you haven't heard about the big announcement Google made on Thursday of last week about the change to article farms you need to know about this. Especially if article marketing is a part of your overall online promotions strategy.

The fact is, if you use articles in your marketing you may need to make some changes to how you market in the future – or not.

The change Google announced is designed to weed out shallow and low-quality content from its top search results.

[Read more…]

One Simple Step to Get More out of Article Marketing

As with anything we do it is very helpful to determine purpose before simply jumping into the process of creation. Article writing  is no different.

How do articles fit into your overall sales and marketing strategy? Are you using them strictly to build credibility or will you go beyond this?

Some of the best uses for articles are to drive traffic to your blog or a landing page. From there, you are in a great position to invite visitors to opt-in to your subscriber list.

In order for to get the most from your efforts develop a strong resource box. Rather than the resource box being all about you think in terms of the reader – WIIFT (what’s in it for them)

For example, one that has created a great many opt ins for me is this.

“3 Simple Steps to Begin Making Money Online Right Now! FREE online course from Kathleen Gage. Kathleen works with spiritually aware speakers, authors, coaches and consultants who are ready to turn their knowledge into money making products and services. http://www.streetsmartsmarketing.com/3simple.htm

Put thought into your resource box in order to fully optimize what you are doing. The clearer you are the better.

I use my articles as a way to introduce those who are not familiar with my work a low risk way to learn more. From there, I can continue to build trust with those who opted-in for my offer. Books

From there, each time I introduce a book, information product or service to my market, those who opted-in are much more receptive to the offer.

What's been your experience with article marketing?

Procrastination is a killer when it comes to article marketing

Killer Just today I joined a forum for those
who want to learn more about article marketing. I have been using articles
marketing in my overall marketing mix for years. I joined to see what else I
can learn and to share my experience for those who are new to this strategy.

One thread (discussion) is about how we
tend to procrastinate on getting articles out on the Internet. The reality is,
procrastination is the killer of success. Not just with articles, but with
everything we do.

For the sake of this article I will
stay on the topic of articles and how they actually can be a springboard to our
overall product development and revenue generation.

I am an avid believer in repurposing
information. Articles are great for repurposing. Repurposing simply means
changing form. Here’s what you do; take a simple article and turn it into tweets,
blog postings, portions of a report, the start of a book, the foundation for a
teleseminar; the list goes on and on.

I have found in working with hundreds
of clients, most people complicate the process often by their desire to be perfect.

The reality is most people who are making
a great living through their writing do so because they avoid the “I have to be
perfect” syndrome.

Granted, we want to make sure we take
quality information to market, but we don’t get so caught up in things having
to be absolutely perfect that we miss opportunity. Do we make mistakes?
Absolutely!

Do we do what we can to minimize the
mistakes? Of course!

Do we have people who will point out
our mistakes? You bet! There is no shortage of individuals who will spend hours
upon hours pointing out the mistakes of others to the point they never get their
own information to market.

Now that’s a mistake on their part. Why
are they focusing so much attention on what others are doing instead of taking
time to get their own money making information to market? I contend it is their
fear, but that’s a completely different conversation.

So… back to writing articles that will
be used to market you, your products and your services. If you are holding back
because you find the task of writing too overwhelming read on.

A simple solution is to write as if you are talking with
someone. Think about the main point you want to make about whatever your topic
is and hold a “conversation”. What tips would you share with someone who wants
and needs a solution?

For example, let’s assume your specialty is organizational
skills. Let's say you are going to teach someone how to organize their office.
What 3 – 5 tips would you give?

Write out the tips. From there, write a short paragraph or
two for each tip.

Add a title and a resource box and presto! You have an
article.

300 – 500 word articles work great. Remember
to add in key words based on your market.

Another simple method is to take each tip you wrote out,
create a title for each and expand on the title and tip.

Some people do well by sitting down and writing one long
article and then turning the long article into several shorter articles.  Others find by simply writing a few short ones
they do better.

Once the articles are done submit them
to various directories. Then move on to the next thing you will do to market.

And there you have it! A quick solution to marketing with
articles. Whatever works best for you… just do it. Remember, procrastination is
the killer of success.

How do you avoid procrastination? Your comments are welcome.

Want to learn how to make money by turning your articles
into reports? Go to http://www.streetsmartsmarketing.com/ReportProductDevelopment.htm