Four Ways Authors Can Create More by Doing Less
My dear friend Wendy Lee has an amazing gift of going to a flee market, seeing something that would be perceived as worthless, and turning it into the most remarkable piece of art or piece of furniture.
It’s amazing! When she shows me one of her new creations I think, “Why didn’t I see that? Why didn’t I see the beauty or the functionality of that piece like she did?”
She’s able to take something that was intended for one use and turn it into something else. For example, she took an old fireplace mantel, refashioned it and turned it into a shelf that’s in her hallway.
Or she’s taken an old wood frame and turned it into an amazing mirror.
The truth is, doing things like this takes practice and awareness. Wendy Lee observes and educates herself. She makes herself aware.
And as crazy as it sounds, we can do the same thing with our marketing.
I often hear from authors who are running themselves ragged. They are sick of book marketing taking over their entire day and it’s burning them out.
So I’m tapping into my inner Wendy Lee and showing how you can create more for your book marketing by doing less.
Yep, you read that correctly. You can accomplish so much more by doing less and by using your content wisely. It’s going to save you a ton of time, give you more to apply to your book marketing, and help you see bigger results.
Let’s dive in.
Tip #1: Know that a single piece of content goes a long way.
As writers, we create a lot of content. We are writing blog posts, presentations, content for our books, social media posts, videos - you name it - it’s all content you can use for marketing and social media.
The thing is that you can use one piece of content in multiple ways.
Let me give you some examples:
Use pull quotes from your blog to create social media posts.
Take a presentation you gave and turn it into a blog series, an ebook, or a white paper.
Find several blog posts that have a similar theme or message and turn them into a free ebook or newsletter incentive download.
Find captivating or helpful sections from your book and turn them into social media posts.
Use your blog posts as content for your newsletter.
Use the content from your blog posts to create videos.
There are so many things that you can do with one piece of content.
The key is to look at everything you create and ask yourself, “How else can I use this?” It’s about being resourceful with what you have and using it in multiple places.
Tip #2: Don’t forget to recycle!
Let me free you from the burden of feeling like you have to create boatloads of new content all the time. Here’s the fact: you are absolutely allowed to recycle!
I’m a prime example here. I try to write a new blog post every week, but I share at least three blog posts per week on our Instagram and Pinterest pages. So what do I do? I reuse our older content! And I do the same for quotes and informational nuggets on social media.
Here’s why you want to do this:
Many of your followers don’t see what you post at the time you post it.
Your social media following is constantly growing so your content is still new to new followers.
People forget what you’ve posted!
It keeps your old blog posts alive and continues to drive traffic back to your website
Even if your old blog post talks about a previously released book, you can still use it! That’s a great way to drive attention to your other books, keep them visible, and introduce them to new readers.
You can also refresh this previously used content by creating a new image and changing up the headline to share on social media. I use Adobe Spark and it makes the process so much easier!
Yes, this takes some effort. But taking a look at what you already have and repackaging it takes a lot less time than making a completely new content piece.
Tip #3: Be sure to update old content.
This can apply to blogs or social media posts. Chances are you have some old blog posts that are a little out of date or could use some new information.
So instead of deleting that post or starting from scratch, reshape it with a good edit and some new information. This will give you a good head start in creating fresh content that is still relevant.
The same goes for social media posts. Go through your feed and see what posts really resonated with people. Create a new compelling image for the post and share it again.
The key is to look at your old content with fresh eyes - how can you improve what’s already available?
Tip #4: See if you have unused content lying around.
I’ve worked with multiple authors who have a ton of research that they have gathered for their book. This research would make excellent blogs posts, social media posts, or talking points for an interview or presentation.
And then there are the beloved cut passages that don’t make it through the editing phase. That doesn’t mean it’s not good or can’t be used in another way. Maybe you can turn those chapters into free downloads or extra bonus chapters for pre-orders.
Or you can always use sections of those chapters for social media posts or blog posts.
They key is to look at everything that you create as a resource for marketing or social media.
These are just a few ideas to get the juices flowing. As you can see, you don’t need to spend all of your time trying to create new content every week. Chances are you already have something you can tap into.
Get creative! Look at things from a different angle and you’ll find that you’ll have so much more to work with with minimal effort.