How Authors Can Amplify a Small Audience
There is no such thing as a small audience.
Anytime there are eyes on you - on social media, within your newsletter list, on your blog - no matter what the number, you have something to work with.
Now, I’m not trying to be the “forever optimist” and just give you warm fuzzies about your book marketing. If you have one newsletter subscriber, you’ve got something to work with.
If you have a small audience, you’re actually in a fantastic situation.
You have the opportunity to get valuable feedback from your readers. The information your readers can provide you with is marketing gold. You can ask them where they like to hang out online, what content they respond to, and enable you to develop solid relationships with your readers.
You won’t be left guessing and relying on what I call “hope marketing” - which is basically grasping at straws, trying to figure out what sticks.
When you get feedback from your readers, it opens you up to thinking more like your ideal reader.
You might be wondering, “What do I ask them? How do I get them involved?” So I’ve provided six questions to get the ball rolling.
But before we jump into the questions, let’s talk about how to get your readers involved. If you want to offer them a free incentive for their help you can. But in my experience, most readers are happy to give their feedback and insight because they want to help.
- Look at your social media outlets. Do you have certain people who regularly like or comment on your posts? If so, ask them if you could have five minutes of their time to ask them a few questions.
- Ask your newsletter subscribers. Send a message saying that you would love to get some feedback from them and see if you could get five minutes of their time.
- If you’re starting from scratch, ask friends or family members who resemble your ideal reader and see if they could answer a few questions.
You can ask these questions in an email, you can Skype, or even hop on the phone. Whatever works best for you and your reader. I’d aim at having four or five people to talk to. But whatever number you get, you’ll still get great information.
Once you have some people lined up, here are six questions you can ask. You can add to this list, but be sure not to be too general. For example, don’t say, “What do you want to see more of on my blog?” Be more specific.
QUESTION ONE: What are the top two social media outlets that you are on regularly?
This question will help you know where you need to be on social media. If they aren’t on Twitter but they are on Instagram, you’ll know that you don’t need to spend so much time and effort on Twitter.
Remember, you don't have to be on every social media outlet. This will help you narrow down where you need to be, which will save you time and energy.
QUESTION TWO: What are your hobbies and interests outside of books and reading?
When you can discuss topics outside of books and reading, you’ll see an entirely new world open up. Finding out what your readers are interested in will help you connect with them on a more personal level. And it will give you so much more to talk about.
QUESTION THREE: What is the last book you bought and what made you want to buy it?
When you know what makes your readers buy the books that they do, you’ll know what you need to focus on with your own books.
QUESTION FOUR: What makes you want to follow an author on social media?
This will enable you to know what type of content to share. When you know what they respond to and why they respond to it, it will give you a better understanding of what you need to create in order to attract readers.
QUESTION FIVE: What blogs or websites do you visit regularly?
You don’t need to be everywhere online. Being in the right place is more important than being everywhere. This will point you in the right direction so you know where you need to be.
QUESTION SIX: How do you discover new books and authors?
If your readers find new books on Goodreads, BookBub, Amazon, etc., you’ll have a better idea of where to do special promotions or giveaways when your new book is released.
This feedback will provide a big arrow pointing you in the right direction. It will help you to know what you need to focus on and free you up from working on things that won’t impact your audience.
If you want to take this a step further, sign up for our free video training called Answers for Authors: 5 Actionable Steps to Intentionally Grow Your Audience. You don’t want to miss this! Sign up and we will let you know how to access it.