Authors: Free Conversion Funnel Templates that Make You Money

Conversion funnel. Sales funnel. Marketing funnel.  As an author, it's to your benefit to know what these terms mean.

A funnel (regardless of whether it's called conversion, sales or marketing) is the term that applies to a process you take subscribers, clients and potential clients through that usually starts with a free offer and ends up with a paid offer.

Basically, you are guiding the customer toward various conversion points. Ultimately, you are encouraging people to take you up on a paid offer. There are various ways to set up funnels. When you know what you're doing, you can turn a $20 book purchase into one that generates hundreds, even thousands of dollars in sales.

Authors Want to Make Money

Although some authors could care less about making money, most do want to make money from their efforts. If you're able to make money you're able to keep writing without worrying about how you're going to pay your bills.

Selling books, in most cases, is not going to give you the type of revenues that will pay all your bills. Sure, for a handful of authors, their book revenues are substantial. For most authors, it's necessary to incorporate various revenue streams in the mix.

The image of my white board (above), shows a simple conversion funnel virtually any nonfiction author can develop.

Simply put, you create a free offer that your readers are interested in. From there, you have a low-priced up-sell that's an easy “yes” for subscribers.

Not sure how to create conversion funnels. Click here http://www.powerupforprofits.com/salesfunnel to access several templates virtually anyone will benefit from.

What's the Process?

Most people agree you need a sales funnel, yet, many have no idea how to make them really work.

There is a process customers go through when buying your product. It is built on need and desire. The greater the investment on the part of your customer, the more you must build confidence, trust, and credibility in their mind. If you are selling $10 widgets, that’s one thing. If, on the other hand, you are seeking to build long-term relationships with your customers and be viewed as the “go-to” expert, you need a systematic approach. While widgets are sometimes part of my clients’ product offerings, they usually want to go beyond the widget and make a difference in the lives of their customers. They want to provide long-term solutions and create ongoing relationships with their customers. They want to build their business based on trust, value, and integrity.

No matter how great your product, most people will not buy a high-ticket product or a $1,000, $5,000, $10,000-plus mentoring course or consulting contract without first being introduced to you by way of a free or $20-$50 offering. This is what is referred to as “funnel marketing.”

1_Sales_FunnelCustomers enter your funnel by way of something that is very low risk such as a free or very inexpensive item. Based on their experience with that first contact with you, they decide what their next course of action will be.

Most people who use funnels stop with a one off approach.

But smart marketers know there is much more to the sales funnel process than this. Even if someone says no to your first offer, they may be interested in something else. But unless you know what that something else is, you are leaving a ton of money on the table. Additionally, you are not allowing your customers to have more than one choice in how to do business with you.

One person who is a hands-down expert on robust sales funnels is David Perdew. David has built his business teaching others how to create conversion funnels. Right now you can access lots of FREE templates when you go to http://www.powerupforprofits.com/salesfunnel

You will learn how to…

  • Include all the correct funnel elements before you ever build a web-page
  • Understand the difference between single- and double-optin funnels and when to use them
  •  Uncover the secrets of eliminating conversion bottlenecks
  •  Improve funnel performance with simple split testing to double and triple conversions
  •  Review simple optin funnels that will turn your prospects into buyers immediately

Avoid being like other authors who wish they were making money. Be among those of us who absolutely understand the power of conversion funnels without having to figure it all out for yourself. http://www.powerupforprofits.com/salesfunnel

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Authors: Make Your Mess Your Message and Then Promote It Like Crazy

In a few months, my memoir will be published. I feel like I'm opening a door to an amazing future.

Writing a memoir has been a dream for decades.

I talked about it, thought about it, dreamed about it. Yet, I didn’t do anything to move closer to writing it.

Part of me romanced the idea of sharing a very dark period in my life.

Another part of me kept my story carefully tucked away. It was safer this way… so I thought.

Inspired by Greatness

When I read, Maya Angelou’s memoir, Gather Together in My Name, something inside of me woke up. I was stirred beyond belief.  I thought, “Here’s someone I have so much admiration and respect for who shared some of the darker periods in her life. If she can do it, so can I.”

This coincided with attending a mastermind meeting in San Diego. During one session on achieving a long-time goal, I made a commitment, right there, right then, to get the first draft done by a specific date.  I went so far as to write down my goal and share it with the woman sitting next to me. I turned the goal into a commitment.

With several books already published, hundreds of articles written, thousands of blogs posts posted, writing was not the issue. Revealing things about myself I kept carefully tucked away for years was.

Yet, something inside of me had woken. I reached a point where I could no longer hide out. I could wait no longer to tell my story. It was one of those, “I don’t want to carry my story to my grave.”

Researching Other Stories

For months, I read dozens of memoirs from people I greatly admire. What was most revealing about this process is how vulnerable each had allowed themselves to be.

It became apparent each had made their mess their message. Amazingly, my admiration for each of these men and women intensified after reading their story.

Through sharing their “secrets” I've been inspired to share the experiences of my life that cultivated me into the person I have become. The dark times. The tough times. The ugly times.

I'm ready to let go of the secrets.

Simply Writing is NOT Enough

For some authors, simply writing their stories is enough. It’s a very cathartic process.

For others, we know we must do all we can to get our story in front of as many people as possible. We know our story will impact, transform, inspire and encourage others to break out of their own limitations.

For me, simply writing my story is not enough. I must also focus on raising awareness about the book.

Rather than sit on the dream of “I sure hope it sells,” I’m being very proactive about the success of the book.

Plan Your Success

Many authors spend an inordinate amount of time writing their book, but very little, if any time planning how their book will get in the hands of readers.

My plan is to do as many interviews, podcast shows, speaking engagements, webinars and teleseminars as possible leading up to, during and after publication.

I will also post on my blog, do a blog tour, guest blog and write for appropriate publications to further promote the book.

Then there’s the actual online book launch. My primary focus will be to drive potential buyers to Amazon to buy the book during a specific period. The purpose is to drive the numbers on Amazon, get the book rankings to number one in each category and as close to #1 overall as possible.

Will I achieve my outcomes? The only way to be sure I do is put 100% of my effort into the result I desire.

Marketing Starts Now

Even though the book will not be published for several months, there are things I’m already doing for promotions. In that I will be traveling across the United States and Canada to promote the book through live appearances, book signings and speaking engagements, it’s essential to prepare promotional material.

I’m currently working with a videographer on a speaker video (sizzle reel), a photographer on current photos, my speaker one sheet, media kit, and all other promotional items.

My team is fully aware of what my goals are. My OBM – (online business manager) and I have had numerous meetings about what needs to be done including a launch site.

I have someone who will work with me on securing interviews and blog tour opportunities.

I’m working with someone who will secure speaking engagements for me.

I have a social media expert who is laying the foundation for my ad campaign. All of this is in the works months before the book is to be published.

I am also reaching out to colleagues, friends and people in my circle of influence for their support to participate in the book launch. Some will be sending broadcast messages to their community. Others will interview me on their podcast and radio shows. Still others will post articles on their blogs. While others will be a part of the blog tour.

There will be a series of media releases distributed on PR Web. As well, my local media will be contacted directly. Local media loves to interview local authors.

This is just a portion of what I am doing to get the word out. Again, if I want the book to get in the hands of as many readers as possible, it’s up to me to be as proactive as possible.

What are you doing?

As an author, you must plan out your campaign. Sure, you can write and publish the book and hope it grows legs. Or, you can take full responsibility to do everything possible to raise awareness about your book.

Because I know how critical the plan and implementation are to the success of a book, I am launching a new group training designed for serious authors who are tired of lukewarm results for their books. Whether you are writing a memoir, business book, health, how to, spiritual or any book you want to reach lots of readers with, this training will assure you greater success than if you go it alone.

Be watching for details to be released soon about the training.

If you leave things to chance, your chances of success are a lot less than if you get in the driver’s seat with a very focused approach.

To assure you receive information on the training, I invite you to download my FREE report – Hit #1 on Amazon. www.oneonamazon.com

By opting in, you not only receive a very content driven report on book marketing, you also receive updates about the training.

 

 

Authors: 3 Top Ways to Get Book Reviews

In the last few days, I've had several newer authors ask me to review their books. What shocked me was the approach some of them used.

“Read my book and then give me a review,” is not the best approach.

A better approach would be to make sure the person you're asking has an interest in the genre.

Prepare to Ask

Before approaching someone to review your book, be prepared. A few of the items you should have available are:

  • Your author bio
  • A book description
  • Contact information
  • Author photo
  • Book cover photo
  • Press kit
  • Video book trailer

3 Top Ways to Get Reviews

1.Those who have already reviewed on Amazon

One way to do this is do a search on Amazon for books in your genre. Check out the reviews. Contact top reviewers to let them know you read their review and feel they would enjoy reviewing your book based on the genre. Of course, ask them rather than tell them to review.

Also check out Amazon top reviewers. They've earned the position of top reviewers because they love reviewing books. To find out who they are go to https://www.amazon.com/review/top-reviewers. Create a spread sheet on who they are, the types of books they review and what their reviewer position is.

As with anything, the more well known they are, the more they are asked to review books. Be prepared by giving them enough information to make the right choice. (see list above)

2. Members of Facebook Groups

There are plenty of Facebook Groups filled with members eager to review books. Do a search on Facebook with the words Book Review Groups. You'd be amazed at how many groups there are.

Do your homework on the groups. Some are highly active, while others… a waste of time.

3. Ask your existing readers or fan base

If you have a strong social media following, you have a built in group of reviewers. The more visible you are in the groups, the easier it is for people to say yes.

Additionally, if you belong to associations, writers groups, or online communities, you have potential reviewers.

Be prepared to send a copy of your book to those you ask to review for you. Often, a PDF will suffice. In some cases the reviewer will want a physical copy.

It's a Process

Keep in mind, getting reviews is a process. You have to be organized, focused and consistent. Be sure to thank those who do review based on your request.

Ready to Get Your Book to #1? Get my FREE report at www.oneonamazon.com

 

30-Day Marketing Challenges are GREAT for Authors

I've shared the story, many times, of my naivety when I wrote my first book. Like many authors, I thought all I needed to do was write a book and the rest would take care of itself.

Sales on my first books were minimal. Frustrated, I asked some very successful authors why I wasn't selling any books. The question they inevitably asked was, “What are you doing to market your book? What kind of visibility do you have?”

My blank stare and a, “Uhhh, haven't done much of anything to market the book,” gave them all the information they needed to determine why I had not sold more than a handful of books.

Ironically, I'd been in marketing for years, but had a disconnect when it came to marketing my books.

I erroneously believed the, “Build it and they will come,” myth.

Today, I look at the success of a book with a completely different lens.

Today I say….

Build it. Do all you can to let people know you built it. Be willing to sell it.

Interpretation… Write it. Market it. Sell it.

You MUST Be Visible

Authors need visibility… as do their books, IF they want to maximize their opportunities.

The more visible you are, the more books you'll sell. Yet, many authors continue to shy away from the spotlight.

Shying away from the spotlight means hiding out from potential readers. If your books are designed to help readers improve some aspect of their life, if you're not doing all you can to be visible, you're actually depriving people from tapping into your brilliance.

The first step to successful book sales is to accept you must become visible. One of the best ways to do this is commit to doing something every day for 30-days, without fail.

Getting Through the Clutter

In the past, gaining visibility was a lot tougher than it is today. Yet, today there is more noise and competition to contend with.

Even though it's easy to gain visibility, avoid a haphazard approach. This is the greatest benefit of a 30-day challenge.

I've participated in various types of challenges including health, nutrition, blogging, marketing and in a few days, I'm starting two video challenges.

I must admit, years ago when I participated in my first blogging challenge, I was all over the place with what I blogged about. Even though I did the challenge, I didn't get the results I got on my most recent 30-day Blogging Challenge.

Have a Plan

With the most recent blogging challenge, hosted by Paul Taubman and Danni Ackerman, I determined from Day One on a theme. I also decided what my long-term goal was with each post.

My primary focus was on book marketing. Not only was I clear on what I would blog about, I was also very, very clear that I would use the challenge as a way to build my subscriber list, get people in to my Power Up for Profits Facebook group and generate revenues.

Results

Had I not had a clear plan of what I wanted my end result to be, I likely would have had results that didn't come anywhere close what they are.

The Video Challenges

With both video challenges, I am very clear that again, I will focus on shooting video that teaches viewers about book marketing. I also know I can make a nice offer for something free that continues the training and dialogue on book marketing while building my subscriber list.

What I love about doing both challenges at the same time is how much it will stretch me. One challenge focuses on doing Facebook Live while the other is all about YouTube videos.

Facebook Live

Just like it sounds, Facebook Live is real time video. It's a great way to interact with viewers real time. You can have an open Q&A to engage viewers. This allows you to know what's on people's minds. You can read comments from those on the live view.

What's great is once the video is done, it can be posted on your Facebook wall or in a group you run for later viewing.

You may have only a few people on the live event, but after the fact you can have dozens, hundreds, even thousands of views.

Want to learn about FB Live and the 30 Day Challenge from Lou Bortone? Click here to check it out and join in. No cost to join.

Lou is making the opportunity irresistible. When you enroll before August 1st, Lou's throwing in his Facebook Live 101 course as a free bonus! (A $97 value – Yours FREE!)

How cool is that?

Tube Ritual

With a different focus on video, Tube Ritual is the brainchild of Brian G. Johnson. During the 30 days, Brian will be sharing ideas, insights and tips on how to get more engagement with your YouTube videos.

Here's the deal. This is not about using the same video for both platforms. Nope! It's about learning each platform and committing to doing videos for each.

What I love about Brian's challenge is this; if you are willing to make a minimal financial investment (under $20) you get a full YouTube training program with immediate access.

I've watched several of the training videos and am blown away by the information.

Go for the Gusto

If it were me, I'd register for both challenges. Oh! I did and I highly recommend you do too. Both Lou and Brian are masters at what they do. Each can teach you tons about video and video marketing.

If you're serious about your marketing, seriously join both. IMHO

30-Day Challenge to Promote a Book

There's nothing better the a good challenge to stay to course with your book marketing. However, it's not just about saying, “Buy my book.”

Nope. It's about using content from your book to come up with ideas.

Let's say you have a book on dog training. List 30 things you could teach dog owners about how to train their dogs. On the list you could have things like:

  • Unruly behavior
  • Reward based training
  • Digging
  • Jumping
  • Ball aggression
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Etc.

Map out how you want the information to unfold. Get a wall calendar and add a topic for each of the 30-days. Whether it be video or blogging, make a commitment that, no matter what, you get great content out to market for a 30-day period. No excuses!

Be sure to let people know where they can opt in for something like a checklist, report or a more in-depth video. When they opt-in, this is your opportunity to continue to create high value.

In your videos or blog posts you can include a link to your Amazon page. Or, you can send broadcast emails to those who opted in with a direct link to your book page on Amazon.

My Own Book Marketing

My memoir will be published at the end of 4th quarter this year. I plan to be very, very consistent with my marketing, both online and off. 30-day challenges offer me this opportunity.

Prior to that time, I'm using the challenges to build a community of potential book buyers. Yes, hopefully that's you.

Soon I am going to start a 30-Day BOOK CHALLENGE for members of my Power Up for Profits Facebook group.

In the meantime, to create as much value to my group as possible, I will be posting live videos about marketing a book. Want to learn how to market your books? Click the Facebook image below.

 

 

Authors…Viral Marketing Is Easier Than Ever…If you know what to do

When my first book was published, there was no such thing as online viral marketing, social media marketing or the Internet, as we know it today. It simply didn’t exist.

Getting the word out about your books was costly and, oftentimes, not very effective.

Authors often went unnoticed, simply because they didn’t have the knowledge or financial resources to do effective marketing campaigns.

Fast forward to today. The marketing playing field has been leveled. Now virtually anyone can gain massive visibility for his or her work.

Whether it be books, teleseminars, webinars or live events, opportunities for authors are limited merely by one’s desire to put the effort into spreading the word about what you have to offer.

Enter viral marketing

Viral marketing is a method of Internet marketing that attempts to make content so interesting that viewers will pass blog posts, videos, images and social media posts along to others.

More than ever, stars are born based on uniqueness of content posted online. A book can go from a virtual unknown to bestseller status in record time through the power of viral marketing.

However, it does take work. Lest you think no effort is involved with the process, think again.

The obvious work is in the writing and publishing of the book. Then there’s the actual marketing followed by consistent effort.

Community of Raving Fans

Consider what opportunities the book can create such as building a list of raving fans, opening doors for speaking gigs, consultation contracts and the obvious, the revenues to book can generate. Then there are the media opportunities.

The benefit to a viral marketing is unparalleled due to their work being viewed by potentially millions of eyeballs.

Many authors have not thought through the process of where their works can be viewed other than the obvious, Amazon.

Smart authors are well served to take the viral power of the internet into their own hands. This doesn’t mean the author must do all the work themselves.

There are countless choices of virtual assistants, support teams and other individuals who specialize in aspects of online marketing. Whether it be someone to post your information on social media, help with video marketing or secure interviews for you, the author, when done right, you can focus on your writing, while someone on your team does the push marketing.

Even one mention online has the potential to gain traction in many locations such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube and a raving fan's blog.

Checklists Make The Process Easier

The best thing to do is have an actual checklist of what needs to be done every time you want to proactively market your work. Click the image of the Book Accelerator list for immediate, no opt-in access.

What you see below is a great place to start your viral marketing process. To have something this simple is better than having nothing. You can get more elaborate as you get more comfortable with the process of doing all you can to get on the viral train.

  • Blog post
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Slideshare
  • Google+
  • YouTube Video

In the past, authors had to depend on limited avenues to get their work out. Today, it’s merely a matter of focus, commitment and proudly saying to the world: “Hey, I’ve got some creative content here. Listen (look) up. You’re going to love this.”

Are you willing to put the effort into your content going viral? If so, it’s never been a better time to do so.

 

 

 

 

 

Marketing Your Book Every Day Doesn’t Mean Marketing ALL Day

If you're serious about selling books, you have to accept that marketing is a must do.

Daily marketing is ideal.

Keep in mind, marketing every day is not marketing all day.

Objections Abound

In a recent blog post, I talked about using speaking as a way to sell books. I did receive a few objections regarding speaking.

“I don't like to speak in front of others,” is a common frustration people have when I recommend speaking to sell books.

Here's the deal,  you don't have to do anything you don't want to. I'm simply sharing what has worked for me and countless other authors.

I do not believe in a cookie cutter approach, but I do know fear can definitely hold one back from accomplishing all they are meant to accomplish.

In the case of Martha, whose vocal chords were affected by a stroke in 2009, it makes perfect sense to find other, more conducive ways to get her message out.

When you don't do something because you just don't want to, or fear is rearing its ugly head, you may want to step back and rethink your objections. IMHO.

There are many, many ways to market. You don't need to do them all. You just need to decide what works best for you, your market and your goals.

One Day It All Changed

In a recent interview, I was asked what's changed in the way I market my books today compared to when I marketed my first book years ago.

Simply put…a clear plan. Over the years, I've become realistic about what it takes to sell lots of books.

Most authors want to sell books, but many never will. At least not more than a handful.

That was my own story with my first book. I had no plan. I believed I would somehow get discovered. I was incredibly naive.

Today, I know it takes effort to get my books in the hands of readers. Here are a few things you should do to get your books sold.

  • Identify your ideal reader
  • Determine where they hang out
  • Have a plan of how you will become visible to your potential readers
  • Work the plan
  • Be consistent
  • Do something every day

Identify your ideal reader

The more you know about your reader, the better.  One things for sure, “everyone” is not your market/reader. There are those who will devour your words while others will care less about what you write. The more you know who will eagerly consume your words, the easier it is to reach them.

Understanding who your reader is, is the first step in knowing where they hang out.

Where do they hang out?

You can have a “throw it at the wall and home something sticks” marketing approach or you can be laser focused. When you know the type of blogs they read, what social networks they frequent, what magazines they read, radio and podcast shows they listen to and even what television shows they enjoy, the easier it is to reach them.

Create a plan

What is the end result you want to accomplish with your books? Is it simply to sell books  or is it to use the books to create other opportunities such as speaking, consulting, coaching or having them attend your live events?

When you know what you ultimately want to accomplish, this gives you the foundation for a plan that is likely to be more successful.

With my book, Power Up For Profits, The Smart Woman's Guide to Online Marketing, my goal was to have book buyers attend a three day event. At the event, I introduced a year-long coaching program. I successfully enrolled several clients into the program.

Had I not had a clear vision and plan, I would not have generated the type of sales I did. Simple as that.

Work the plan

Putting the plan together is only as good as how well you work the plan. To not take action is a huge mistake.

Be Consistent

Consistency is another essential aspect of your success. Which leads into the next point…

Do something every day

A common reaction I get from authors who are resistant to marketing is, “When will I have time to write if I have to market every day?”

Marketing every day is NOT marketing all day. It simply means you put a specific amount of time to market each day. As little as 30 minutes a day will get you a greater result that 99% of authors. Why? Because most authors do minimal marketing thus resulting in minimal sales and back-end oppopportunities.

For more ideas on how to market your books, access my FREE report Hit #1 on Amazon at www.oneonamazon.com

Stand Out

The #1 way to sell books is to do whatever you can to have your book stand out from the millions of others that are out there.

7 very easy to implement “stand out” ideas.

1.  Article marketing
One of the oldest online marketing strategies is still one of the most effective. Writing articles should be very easy. After all, you are a writer.

Even if you don't have a lot of time on your hands, you can create several articles from the content of your book.

At the end of the article add in a free offer that drives readers back to your blog, website or landing page to opt in for something of value. Yes, ethical bribes still work.

Once you have people on your list, you can drive them to your Amazon book page.

2.  Tell people
You need to let your friends, family, colleagues, clients, peers and just about anybody know that your book is published. After all, if you're not willing to talk about your book, others may not be either.

3.  Reviews from happy readers
Third party endorsements (verbal or written) are a great way to have your book stand out. Ask readers to leave reviews on Amazon. Often, readers don't think about writing a review unless asked to do so.

Never pay for reviews.

4.  Facebook
Start a Facebook group. Groups are a great way to build a community of raving fans.

Once you start the group, let people know about it.  Be actively involved with those who joined the group. Otherwise, the group is stagnant and a huge waste of time to members.

A powerful way to get the most out of your Facebook efforts is to build a community of raving fans. This is one of the most important things you can do on Facebook.

Ready to learn how to do this? Join me on July 31st as Denise Wakeman, digital marketing strategist extraordinaire, will share exactly how to do this with members of Book Accelerator group.

This is open to current members. To join Book Accelerator go to www.anatomyofabooklaunch.com

5.  LinkedIn groups
A fantastic way to build a loyal following of potential buyers of your book(s) is to start a LinkedIn group that is specific to the theme or genre of your book.

Does a group take work? Yes. But so do all the other methods outlined in this post.

The fact is, anything you do is going to take effort.

6.  Blogging
By far one of the best things you can do to build visibility, credibility, market reach and SEO is blogging.

You can also guest blog. This gives you even more reach. One thing blog owners seem to like is to host someone who has content already published. This is one reason you should post on your own blog as frequently as possible.

7.  Videos
Without a doubt video is one of the most powerful marketing tools you can use to promote your book.  You can do book trailers, short readings, or simply share stories as they relate to your book. Be sure to be animated during your shooting and use keywords both in the spoken part of the video and the title and description.

Want to learn more about video creation and marketing? Join me on September 12th for an intimate gathering in Portland, Oregon for Visibility and Video One Day Workshop. Go to www.powerupthinktank.com for full details.

 

 

You Can’t Please Everyone… So Why Are You Trying So Hard To Do So?

Whether you’re an author, speaker, consultant or entrepreneur, if you’re at all visible online, you open yourself up to criticism, unsolicited feedback and sometimes, weirdos. I wish I could say the negative and weirdo stuff will never happen to you, but it does.

I don’t know if was mercury in retrograde, the way the wind was blowing or due to sending out more updates than usual, but a few days ago I received several messages from people on my subscriber list.

Before I share what their  messages were about, let me set the stage for why I sent so many emails in a short period of time.

Challenges Work

Recently, I joined The Ultimate Blog Challenge – a 30-day writing challenge – hosted by Paul Taubman and Danni Ackerman. I joined to be a part of a community of people who all want to write and distribute lots of great content online via their blogs.

Check it out at https://www.facebook.com/groups/UltimateBlogChallenge/

What I like most about the challenge is the community involvement and the support from Paul and Danni.

Within days of starting the challenge, I noticed an increase in blog traffic, I generated revenues as a direct result of the posts and increased my readership because of blogging daily.

To get the most traction for my efforts, I've made sure to post the permalink to the posts on various social media channels and, as mentioned, I sent update emails to my subscribers.

Feedback Abounds

I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the number of positive private messages I’ve received from several of my email subscribers about my increased posting. Yet, I’ve also received messages from a few readers not so pleased with my update messages.

Feedback has been everything from, “Oh my gosh! I'm loving getting the daily updates. The content is so useful.” to “You are sending too many updates. Please only send me messages once a week.” to “I can't believe you would actually have a pop up box on your blog. You're better than that. It's like you're begging for business. Tone it down sista!”

I read and respond to the good and bad.  I do consider if what the person is saying is valid enough to make any changes in the way I do things. More times than not, a change is not in order.

What I found interesting is this; within an hour of getting the message about pop up boxes, I read posts on a few blogs I am a huge fan of. All are blogs that have a huge following, are written by industry experts and have great content. All also have pop up boxes.

Some are in the internet marketing space. Some, health and fitness. Others, the book marketing space.

Ironically, I was not at all bothered by the pop up boxes, nor did I feel like the blog owner was begging for business. Nor would I ever think to ask them to tone it down.

I smiled as I saw the boxes appear. I'm sure they get similar conflicting messages from their subscribers.

Avoid Changing Who You are Based on Someone Else's Opinions

I also found the comment, “Tone it down sista!” interesting. From childhood, many of us have had people tell us to get in line, behave, don’t rock the boat, tone it down. There comes a day we realize “not toning it down” is what make us who we are.

Many of the most successful people in the world, in a variety of fields, are the ones who refused to tone it down. And likely, they were told to do so many, many times.

But I digress… the fact is, pop up boxes work. Sure, not everyone likes them, but no matter what you do, you won’t please everyone. It’s impossible to think you can. Yet, some people do try to please everyone. They make changes to their business model, online marketing or content development based on feedback from one or two people.

My goal is to ALWAYS create massive value for my community. In this, I know I cannot please everyone.

If you are going to be visible online, as a speaker or as an author, you better have broad shoulders, not take things personally and avoid basing your choices on one or two comments.

Sure, if you get lots of negative messages in a short period of time, it’s well worth considering a change.  But for the most part, you need to avoid a knee jerk reaction to negative comments. By the same token, don’t assume one good comment means you are on track.

All of this is a process. It’s about testing, adjusting, analyzing and making changes that are in the best interest of your community.

Amazon Opens Us Up to a Lot of Feedback

One place feedback is open for public scrutiny is on Amazon. Book reviews are visible for all to see.

Recently, I published an eBook – Blog Book Tours. The book received a few reviews. Two were very positive and one was a 1 Star by someone who didn’t even read the book. They rated the book at a one due to a typo in the description and the Look Inside Feature.

I immediately fixed the typo in the description, but have yet to fix the one inside. I had to look at the amount of time I wanted to put into the fix of a 99-cent eBook. Not that I like having a mistake in the book, but it's about ROI. The world is not going to fall apart due to one typo in the Look Inside Feature of the book.

What I learned years ago is to take criticism as it is given. Is it constructive or is it simply someone blowing smoke?

Here’s what to do when you get feedback…

Don’t Take It Personally

Everyone has received feedback. How someone feels about your book, info product, presentation, consulting style may have nothing to do with you being inferior or the person not liking you. It’s a chance to look at your part in something and if it makes sense, make a change just like I did with the typo in my Amazon Kindle Book description. The person gave me valid feedback and I took appropriate action.

Consider the Source

Is the feedback coming from a reliable source? Are they someone whose opinion you respect? Do they know the full story?

Look at it From the Other Person’s Perspective

I like to ask myself the question, “I wonder what their positive intention is in giving me this feedback?” Often, someone is trying to help when they give feedback. Yet, their feedback may be based on outdated information. For example, when I chose to let go of wearing business suits, I had a few older relatives who said, “It’s not professional to not wear business suits.” These were people in their 80’s who, in their day, you had to wear a suit to be considered professional. The intention was sincere, the timing outdated.

Respond Without Being Defensive or Snarky

Whenever we get feedback that is way off in left field, wrong or just plain strange, the temptation is to become defensive or respond in a very snarky way. Resist the temptation. As mentioned previously, consider the source. Are they someone who is critical of most people? In the case of a reviewer on Amazon, are most of their reviews low? If so, it may just be their personality. If not, be willing to consider the feedback as valid.

Consider the Long-Term

Comments made online are often permanent. Before doing anything, consider that what you put online lasts virtually forever. Rather than immediately responding to criticism, think in terms of how you will feel if you see your response a week, month or year down the road. Not only how you will respond, but how will others think of you based on what they find you posted at any point in time.

The bottom-line is this, feedback helps us improve, when it’s worth listening to. As you gain more visibility, you do open yourself up to increased feedback. Some good and some not so good.

Keep an open mind, consider the source, and determine if a change is in order.

However, don’t let one person’s opinion of you stop you from being who you are. Play full out, be who you are and do what you are here to do…make a difference.

Facebook Group

Did you enjoy this post? If yes (or no) please leave your comments. To get more involved in my community, be sure to join the Power Up for Profits Facebook Group. Click here.

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Are Hybrid Publishers All They Are Cracked Up to Be?

The day you've been waiting for has arrived. Your book is published and listed on Amazon.

The Hybrid Publisher you hired did all they said they would do …. to a point.

You've been checking your numbers, but the same position on Amazon is frozen in time. The numbers are not moving at all.

Then they move, but in the wrong direction.

This is NOT what you expected. The publisher said they would market your book, but you come to find out what they consider marketing and what you consider marketing are apples and oranges.

This happens to a great many authors. Lots of effort goes into getting the book done, hiring what they believe is the right publishing company, and waiting and waiting and waiting.

You had an expectation of what it meant for the publisher to market your book, but you're not seeing any results. So you, the author, take control. You decide you are going to market by telling a few friends, posting on your Facebook wall or tweeting once or twice about your book. Still nothing.

Crickets

The fact is, most publishers do nowhere near the marketing that needs to happen. They may send out a media release, send a broadcast email to a portion of their email list, and post a few tweets, but beyond that, you're on your own.

If you do nothing, you will hear the ever feared sound of crickets.

Sure, you were told by the high-bred self-publishing company that the company’s marketing team would market your book, but you come to find out what “marketing the book” means to you and what it means to the company you chose for publishing your “baby” are two different things.

What is a Hybrid Publisher?

Hybrid publishers combine aspects of traditional publishing and self-publishing. Yet, even with knowing that Hybrid Publishers are a combination of various aspects of publishing , including the marketing, there are a ton of gray areas.

For a more in-depth look at what a Hybrid Publisher is and what they do, Jane Friedman gives a great perspective in her post What is a Hybrid Publisher?

“It is challenging to define what such companies have in common. They have extremely varied business models, methods of working with writers, and approaches to marketing and distribution.” Jane explains.

Going with a Hybrid Publisher gives you the freedom to get your book to market a lot faster than with a traditional publisher. Yet, there are a number of factors to consider when doing so including your costs, turnaround time, quality of delivered work, reputation of the company, do you keep all profits once you pay the company and customer care.

Before jumping in bed with a Hybrid Publisher, do your homework.

YOU Still Have to Market

Regardless of who publishes your book,  you will likely be the one to do most of the marketing. Below are five simple things you can incorporate into your overall marketing.

  1. Leverage on Reputable Book Promotion Sites

There are countless sites where you can promote your books for free. You simply submit the information to the site and in many cases, that’s it. In other cases, you may need to send a copy of the book in electronic format to a specific person.

  1. Guest Blog Posting Campaign aka Blog Tour

Blog tours are, by far, one of the best ways to gain visibility for you and your books. In a recent post, I go into a lot of detail on how this is done. In essence, you find blogs that have a similar readership as those who would enjoy your book. You contact the blog owner about you writing for their blog. The fastest way to get a yes is to have a lot of content readily available online already. This is why having your own blog, and writing on a consistent basis is a great idea. When a blog owner can do a quick search and find a lot of great content already published by you, their risk to having you write for them is minimized. The less risk for them, the better.

Learn all about Blog Tours with my Kindle Book – Blog Book Tours.

  1. Reviews

Books need reviews. It’s as simple as that. Reviews sell books. To not have reviews amounts to losing sales. Vying for the book buyer’s attention has become very competitive. One way to get through to the buyer is with lots of reviews. Make getting reviews a part of your overall marketing. It can be as simple as asking people to leave a review once they read your book. However, you can figure that for every ten people who say they will leave a review, two will actually do so. As with most things, it’s a numbers game. Lots of yeses will result in a few reviews.

  1. Develop your social media outreach

One of the greatest advantages for authors today is the ability to reach a global market by way of various social media channels. As with anything, you have to be consistent in posting. Whether it be a daily post on your Facebook wall, several tweets throughout the day, articles on LinkedIn, or YouTube videos, social media is a must do.

  1. Engage and Leave Comments on Blogs and Forums

A great way to gain visibility for you, as an authority, is to leave comments on blogs and forums. Make sure your comments are more than, “Nice post.” Put some thought into what you’re writing, add value and do NOT promote your own stuff in the post. If you add value, often people will search you out.

One of the worst offenses when leaving comments on blogs is to blatantly promote your own site, blog or books. As with anything, create value.

The more consistent you are with marketing your books, the better. It’s definitely more than a one and done scenerio. You have to make marketing a part of what you do day in and day out. When you do, sales definitely increase as do other opportunities for you, the author.

Report Shows You How

Looking for proven ways to market your book? Check out my FREE report – Hit #1 On Amazon. There are lots of great strategies on exactly what you can do to easily, simply and quickly market your book.

Click here.

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The Why and How of an Author Media Platform

Wouldn’t it be great to write your book, get it published and have Oprah’s people call you for an interview? Or maybe 60 Minutes comes calling for an appearance on the show. Even having local media reach out would be an author’s dream come true.

Can this happen? Well… yes and no.

If you do nothing to raise awareness about your book, it’s very UNLIKELY your phone will ring off the hook.

On the other hand, when you’re proactive in your book marketing, amazing things happen. Suddenly, you can become a media darling.

Was It Luck or Hard Work?

When I think of incredible success stories of authors, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame come to mind.

By now, it’s no secret they literally worked their butts off, took tons of risk and didn’t stop when it came to spreading the word about their first book. The rest, as they say, is history.

Yet, many aspiring authors choose to say Jack and Mark are the lucky ones. It has been said, “Luck is when opportunity and preparedness meet.” They prepared by working hard, having a vision and doing all they could to gain visibility for their book.

An area both Canfield and Hansen focused on was getting as many media interviews as possible. While most authors would settle for a few interviews over a period of months or years, Jack and Mark did interview after interview after interview.  Often several in one day, day in and day out.

One could say they were obsessed. In their case, being obsessive paid off.

In the early nineties, when the first Chicken Soup book was released, there was not the availability of media opportunities like there is today.

Visibility Rules

Not only is traditional media easier to reach for a story pitch than it was back then (due to so much information being available online) today there are other forms of media such as social media, blogs, podcast shows and Internet radio virtually any author can tap into.

It’s all about visibility in front of your sweet-spot reader. There are many great ways to gain visibility for your book. However, the sooner you work on publicity the better.

Prior to the publication date, not after, is when you need to start laying the foundation for:

  •     Interviews
  •     Book signings
  •     Speaking engagements
  •    Amazon rankings

Sooner is Better

Although most authors tend to think about publicity after the book is published, it’s essential to start sooner, much sooner.

Begin long before the actual publication date. However, even if your book has been in print for a long time, don’t let this discourage you. You can still do a lot to gain traction and visibility.

The reality is this; most authors do nothing to get maximum visibility for their book. They “hope” it somehow ends up in the hands of readers. And thus the reason why most books never make more than $100 in sales in the lifetime of the book.

Regardless of where you’re at in the lifecycle of your book, it’s never too late to look for media visibility. The more evergreen your book, the easier it is to get media interviews months, even years, after the book is published.

Additionally, the more visible you are online, the better. Media folks are always on the lookout for authors to interview and books to feature.

As an author, you knowing how to market online is a huge plus. Best part of all is this; you don’t have to be a techie to market online.

Build a Platform

Basically, a platform is where you will appear. The platform is where the author has an audience following and is seen.

The platform gives the author a ready-made potential of readers. Nowadays, this is a MUST HAVE for authors.

The bigger your platform, filled with raving fans, the more books you are likely to sell. And plaforms are all about visibility.

Build visibility on social media

The best way to get noticed by the media is to have a strong social media presence. Before taking a hit and miss approach to social media, determine where your potential readers are. For some authors, Facebook is perfect, while for others, LinkedIn is more suitable for the genre of your book.

Look for forums and social networks specific to where your market “hangs out.” For example, if your market are dentists, it’s likely Facebook is NOT going to be where you need to spend your social media time. A location like Dental Town would be a much better fit. Dental Town is an online community specific to the dental industry.

There are online communities specific to just about any industry and interest. It just takes a bit of research to find those that are a fit.

Content is King

Position your expertise with content. Content marketing is a “must do” in today’s online world of content hungry consumers. Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach tied into your overall digital marketing where you focus on the creation and distribution of valuable content to attract your “sweet spot” ideal readers and clients.

Content marketing is an ongoing process and one that requires consistent effort. For example, this article is part of my content marketing strategy. It will be distributed in specific online directories and on my blog.

As with your social media efforts, content marketing can get you noticed by the media.

Distribution to directories allows for new readers and the media to find you.

A big part of content marketing is posting on your blog. This allows for your current followers to enjoy fresh content.

Post the permalink from the blog post on social media, send an email to your email subscribers to gain even more traction for your efforts.

These two strategies should be part of your long-term positioning to get noticed by the media. To get immediate results have a plan of action that gets you the fastest results in the shortest period of time.

Identify radio and podcast shows that are a great fit for your book. A quick Google search with “radio shows + your topic” will result in lots of choices. For podcast shows, visit iTunes and do a search for shows that fit for your topic or book title.

Keep a running list of show information such as the producer, host, or bookers for the show. Most show sites will have this information available.

Pitch Perfect

Create a pitch for your book with great hooks that will spark the interest of the show contact. To pitch your idea, you can send a media release, but often a short email will work better.

When pitching your idea, keep in mind that the media is on constant overwhelm and doesn’t have time to wade through a bunch of information before getting to the heart of your message.

Get right to the point. Avoid long emails with a bunch of back story before you get to the actual pitch.

Present your idea with the audience in mind. Why will the audience be interested in what you have to say? After all, if you know what gets the audience excited, that will likely get the host, producer or booker interested.

The bottom line is this; you have to put effort into your market visibility as well as how you reach out to the media. Many authorpreneurs avoid these important steps and their book sales reflect this fact.

Make this a part of your overall business practices and you will be far ahead of those who “hope” to be discovered.

Jump Start Your Efforts with Someone Who's Been There, Done That

If you’re ready to completely jump-start your book marketing efforts and fast-track your sales, check out my full Book Accelerator program. I've included incredible information on how to launch a successful book campaign.

In it, you learn the various aspects of a powerhouse book launch campaign. This program is designed for authors who don't want to spend month after month trying to figure it out. At your fingertips you'll have exactly what you need to sell lots of books, create back-end opportunities like speaking, consulting and coaching and so much more. Check it out.

CLICK IMAGE BELOW FOR FULL DETAILS

 

Internet Marketing Sometimes Brings out Angry, Crazy, Over-the-Top People

Yesterday I sent an email message to my subscribers about a bonus webinar I'm offering in 12 days.

There was a mistake in the message. A few people brought the error to my attention.

I appreciate the people who did this. Especially with how nice everyone was with their approach.

There's Always an Exception

Except for one guy. He was over the top livid with the mistake AND went on to tell me what a slime bag I am.

He made it clear he didn't like my approach to letting people know they can opt out from my list. It's the wording at the end of the message he took issue with.

What he was incredibly angry about and basically told me to do “strange things to myself” because of it was the word WARNING! (It's in all my broadcast messages, this one included).

He went on to tell me that I don't care about my customers and shared with me several more of his judgements about my business ethic.

This isn't the first time I've received what could be considered a downright abusive and over the top message from someone who opted in for my information. In reality, it comes with the territory.

Don't Let One Person Ruin Things for You … Most People Are Fabulous

Thank goodness these type of messages (and people) are few and far between. The majority of messages I receive are from great folks in my community.

This is the reality of marketing online. Every so often you get a bad apple. You can't let that stop you from doing what you know you should be doing.

But sadly, many people quit when they get a message like I got from this guy. Or they spend so much time wondering how they could have not upset one person, they forget about all the other people who appreciate what they do and what they offer their community.

Renewed Commitment

The upside of this experience is my renewed commitment to sharing with my community that running a business online is not always a walk in the park. Sometimes it's downright weird.

I'm also committed to letting my community know how fulfilling an online business can be.

With this in mind, I would love for you to accept my invitation to join me on June 22nd.

To find out more about the online business lifestyle, join me for the webinar I was telling folks about when I got the message from Mr. OverTheTop. 🙂

Webinar Will Be Recorded

Even if you can't make the live webinar at 10 a.m. Pacific on June 22nd, I will record it. Anyone who registers gets the replay.

If you want to join in, all you need do is go here http://powerupforprofitsbook.com/ and get the Kindle version of my book, Power Up for Profits!

The book is chock full of great information on how to get the most out of your time online. Check it out.

I'm going to share with you how to manage your state when “stuff” happens. How not to let the one bad apple distract you from the 100 great people in your community. How to make sure you don't give up because of one insult. And so much more.

I would love for you to join in.

p.s. The Kindle version is only $2.99 for a few more days. That's 70% off the regular price. After that, it goes up to $9.99. Don't miss out.

http://powerupforprofitsbook.com/

If you already registered, you made a GREAT choice. This is going to be fun.

p.p.s. Ironically, the guy didn't opt out. Making sure to not engage with his energy from this point forward, I did him the favor of taking him off my list. This way, he can find someone else to get upset with. LOL