WEEK ONE PREP WORK

WHO YOU'RE TALKING TO

 

Welcome to our first Prep Work session! I am incredibly honored and excited to join you on this journey - it’s going take some hard work, but I guarantee you it will all be worth it :)

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Let me start off by saying that trying to talk about book marketing, social media, and everything involved with growing your audience is kind of like trying to take a sip out of a fire hose. There is just so much out there, right? 

And the kicker is that technology is continually changing things. There’s always going to be a new social media outlet, a new website to try out, a new blog - you name it, it’s evolving. And our goal with these one-on-one coaching sessions is to give you substantial and clear-cut steps to put into practice in order for you to see your writing career thrive, despite all the technological changes that take place. 

When you apply these strategies and practices you will see the growth and the genuine engagement and interaction that you need to get tangible results.

 

Hello? 
      Anybody There??

When you share a post on social media, do you feel like you’re yelling into a void? That’s a feeling many authors have because of one simple reason: they don’t have a crystal clear understanding of who they’re talking to.

This is the most vital step in establishing a solid and successful foundation for your book marketing. The best way to do this is to have an ideal reader in mind. And we can do this by creating what we call an Ideal Reader Profile.

Why is having an Ideal Reader Profile important? Because if you don’t have this, there’s a very good chance that your marketing is going to be very general and generic, which is ineffective in today’s world. On Amazon alone there are over 800,000 Kindle books - there is no shortage of options for readers out there! 

To be seen in today’s over-saturated world you can’t just blend in with everything else if you want to be visible and make an impact on your sales. 

Your Ideal Reader Profile will enable you to connect with readers who are actually interested in your books. It’s a lot easier to market to people who are interested in what you write about, rather than trying to connect with people who don't.  If you aren’t attracting your ideal readers you’ll have trouble converting online followers into customers. 

And here’s the great part: once you do this exercise it will make your marketing so much easier and much more effective. You will actually hit your goals a lot faster because you’ll know exactly who you want to reach, making them easier for you to find. 

Once you get into the mind of your ideal reader you understand what they are looking for. You can write more effective social media posts, your blogs will be relatable, and you will know where they will be online. 

It’s a powerful way to look at marketing. It’s not about “Hey! Look at me and my book!!” It’s more about, “How can I connect with others who share similar interests with me?” 

Now, you might be thinking, “Jenn, I already know who my target market is.” Here’s why focusing on a “target market” won’t work - it’s way too broad and way too general. It doesn’t articulate the values, beliefs, qualities and interest that personally connect you with other people. In other words, it lacks soul! 

A general “target market” audience lacks the empathetic connection that we need to create with our readers. It doesn’t dig deeper into the personal psychology of your reader, which is where the connection trigger and the buy trigger live. 

An Ideal Reader Profile teaches you and prompts you to get into your reader’s head and see life through their eyes. 

This is a level of understanding and empathy that authors crave but hardly anyone is giving that to them! Stop thinking like you and turn yourself into your reader. Start thinking and feeling like your ideal reader. 

Move forward with a clean slate - be willing to look at this with fresh eyes. It’s a bit of a mind adjustment, but it’s a powerful one!

 

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Meet My Friend Rebecca

Before we jump into who that person is for you and what you need to do, I want you to relieve yourself of the stress that if you don’t understand marketing or the best way to find and connect with readers - push all of that aside. Because this is just as much a mind adjustment as it is a tactical application. 

Your priority is to communicate with readers in a way that empowers them to pick your book over the thousands of options out there. You don’t do that by talking about how amazing your book is. You do that by letting your readers get to know, like and trust you. 

When you keep this in mind you will find ways to connect and interact with readers in a much more authentic and genuine way. It will also be dramatically different than the way other authors are talking to readers, so that alone will help you will stand out online!

 

I’d like to introduce you to my friend Rebecca. Rebecca is a married mother of three who lives in Atlanta, GA. For as long as she can remember, Rebecca always dreamed of becoming a writer. She was a rather shy, introverted girl growing up and found that books were her greatest source of comfort and company. 

One of her earliest memories was reading Anne of Green Gables with her mother every night before bed. That book made her feel like she had a friend in Anne - like she wasn’t alone. She identified with her struggles, her love of learning, and her loneliness. Rebecca felt like she fit within the pages of that book so perfectly that she was actually a part of Anne’s story. 

Rebecca remembers when they finished the book she longed to find another story to identify with and become lost in. Books were here greatest escape - she poured over Little House On The Prairie, Little Women, Charlotte’s Web, The Secret Garden, A Wrinkle In Time, and so on. 

When she realized that she could actually create and write as well, she spent every spare moment she had writing. Her mother would either find Rebecca either reading or writing during her free time. Her mother even bribed her with new books if she would go out and play with the neighbor kids. 

As life moved on, Rebecca graduated from college with a degree in creative writing but put her dreams of becoming an author on hold after she got married and started having kids. When her children got to be a little bit older, she introduced them to the books that she fell in love with when she was their age. 

As she would read to her children, Rebecca felt words, thoughts, plots, and characters coming to life in her head. Her passion to write was sparked again and she felt an overwhelming need to write. Every spare moment she had she would be at her computer. And before she knew it she had a first draft written of her first book. 

It was an amazing feeling - a feeling of immense pride and accomplishment. But those feelings were also matched with fear and overwhelm. Now that she had finally finished her book, what on earth should she do? Does she want to self-publish or should she go through the process of finding a publisher? How does she let people know about her book? 

 

So, why did I introduce you to my friend Rebecca? Because Rebecca doesn’t actually exist - she’s in my head. She is my ideal reader. 

I wanted to share part of Rebecca’s story with you to give you an idea of how much detail and insight we can gain by creating an Ideal Reader Profile. 

Because I know so many details about Rebecca (what I just shared isn’t even the half of it!) I can write copy for social media, blog posts, emails, and so on to sound like I’m writing for just one person. And in a way, I really am - I’m writing for Rebecca. 

Everything that I do on social media, every blog post that I write, every newsletter that I issue, every ebook that I create, all of that is written in service to Rebecca. If I think it will resonate with her, I’ll post it. If I think Rebecca would find something funny, I’ll post it.  

Because I know that she is a mother to three kids, if I share a picture of my son who colored his forehead with magic marker, Rebecca will identify with it. Because I know that she values childhood literacy, she will respond to an article I found on authors who are partnering up to provide books for intercity kids. Because I know Rebecca is all over Pinterest, I’m sharing pins that I know she would respond to. 

Here’s the key: modern marketing isn’t about pushing the sale of your book. It’s about communicating with another human being on issues, topics and causes that you share and connecting with them. 

Herbert Bayard Swope, who was a journalist in the early 1900’s once said, “I can't give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.” 

It’s so true…

 

 

A Single Stone

 

Now, many authors that I talk to don’t want to talk to just one person - they don’t want to leave anyone out and push others away. That’s lost sales, right? 

Actually, it’s the complete opposite. Think about it this way…

When we take a single stone or pebble and drop it into a puddle of water, what happens? We see a powerful, single point of impact and then it ripples out further than where we initially dropped the stone. 

Let’s apply that visual to our example. For me, that single point of impact is Rebecca.  And because I’m talking about topics that I know Rebecca will respond to I know that impact won’t end right there - it will ripple out to others. Because I have such a clear and specific vision of who I’m talking to, I know that it will appeal to others. 

It’s not about connecting with everybody - it’s about connecting with the RIGHT people.  

There is so much value to stepping outside of yourself and experiencing the world from another person’s perspective. This is especially true if it is someone that you want to reach and connect with. 

Your Ideal Reader Profile enables you to actually enjoy what you’re doing, while also helping you decide what to post online. You simply ask yourself whether or not your ideal reader cares about what you’re going to share. If the answer “Yes,” you move forward and you’re good to go. And if not, skip it. This allows so much more creativity and freedom in what you’re doing! 

And when you think about it, this approach is so much easier and less intimidating since you only have to focus on talking to one person instead of thousands of people.

 

 
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The Benefits 

At any point throughout the day, there are over 3 billion people online. There are over 1 billion people on Facebook, 974 million on Twitter, and over 75 million on Instagram on a single day. You’re never going to appeal to everyone - the key is to appeal to the right people

Your Ideal Reader Profile will not limit you - it is going to actually help you be  more visible online because you will be talking with the right people, in the right places, and in a way that they will respond. 

It also gives you a starting point and helps you figure out parts of yourself and your own story that you can share. You can be more personable and genuine. It helps you communicate with your readers like you would with a friend.

And that's the goal - to create a connection that makes your readers feel like they know you, and you know them. Because we all  want to support people that we know, like and trust. And that's what your Ideal Reader Profile will do for you. 

 


Creating Your
Ideal Reader Profile 

Now it’s time to take action! The PDF forms that we will have you download, print, and fill out every week will be called TAKE ACTION WORKSHEETS. These worksheets are the core of creating a unique approach and plan to make your marketing work specifically for you and your readers. 

With this first TAKE ACTION WORKSHEET, some of the questions might seem a little odd, but believe me, there is a purpose behind each of them. Set aside time this week to complete it. If you have questions or get stuck, don’t worry - I will help you during our one-on-one call together this week. 

Included with the worksheet link each week will be a link to a PDF version of the Prep Work you just read on this web page for your records.

Good luck and I’m looking forward to our call!