Why Bigger Is Not Always Better
Before we jump into the meat and potatoes of today’s lesson, let me share something with you that I know will take a big weight off of your shoulders.
A few years ago a guy named Kevin Kelly wrote an article called “1,000 True Fans.” Maybe you’re already familiar.
"A creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, videomaker, or author – in other words, anyone producing works of art – needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living."
It seemed like a whacky idea at first because it went in the opposite direction of how we used to market things. And then we saw that it worked and that it actually made sense.
Think about that: if you had 1,000 people that you know would without question help you promote your book on social media, post reviews on Amazon, write about your book in their blog, how much more powerful and effective would your promotions be? It would be incredible!
And the great thing is that connecting with 1,000 people as true fans is totally doable. When we have a smaller number to aim at, it’s a lot less intimidating, right? Remember, it’s NOT about connecting with everybody - it’s about connecting with the RIGHT people.
So now that we have a clear picture of who we are trying to reach in our Ideal Reader Profile, let’s narrow down how we will reach them.
It’s easy to toss in everything and the kitchen sink when it comes to promotions - we try anything and everything. Not only does that approach overwhelm us, but it also dilutes our efforts. It’s like we are just taking a handful of seeds, tossing them in our backyard and expecting a beautiful garden to grow from that. But that’s not going to happen.
We need to be intentional - not only with who we want to reach but where we reach them. This will help your efforts become more calculated and focused, and will prevent you from becoming overwhelmed. You will know that your efforts are working and reaching the right people.
I’ve broken the process down into three tiers which will help you hone in on connecting with your ideal reader:
The Top Tier
We’ve laid the foundation of who we are talking to with our Ideal Reader Profile. Now you need to ask yourself one question: Where does my ideal reader spend the most time online?
With the incredible selection of options available on the internet, we need to understand that our ideal reader is not going to be everywhere online - they will only be in a few key places. More often than not, social media will be where they spend a majority of their time. So let’s focus on that initially. We are going to choose two - three main platforms that our ideal reader will most likely be on.
Now, here’s another important thing to remember - it’s not about where WE like to be online. It’s about putting ourselves in the shoes of our ideal reader and going where THEY like to hang out and where they feel most comfortable.
Look back at your ideal reader profile. Where did it feel like they were a natural fit?
For example, I know that my Ideal Reader Rebecca is always looking for crafts to do with her kids, so she is all over Pinterest and Instagram. And because she has so little free time, she wants quick updates so she’s active on Twitter.
Here’s the thing: your ideal reader isn’t only going to talk about the books that they like on social media - they are much deeper than that. If you only try to connect with your ideal reader with the books you’re trying to sell, you won’t get very far and it will feel like marketing.
So you have to know what other interests you share to connect with them in an authentic way. This will help you narrow down your search AND take away the slimy marketing feeling because you’re connecting with them on topics and interests that you share.
The Second Tier
Once you know the main social media outlets that your ideal reader is on, let’s think about where else they will hang out online.
These second tier outlets include blogs, websites or other resources that they visit once or twice a week - they aren’t on them every day. Look through your Ideal Reader Profile and think about the other outlets you listed that might fit this tier.
Maybe it’s Goodreads, a blog or website that they are interested in, and so on. Consider what interests you share with your ideal reader - maybe you already visit an outlet that you share an interest in.
The point of this tier is to consider ways to broaden your reach. Maybe you could write a guest blog post on one of these sites. Maybe consider doing a Q&A or book giveaway on Goodreads.
This level might take a little time. Once you have more conversations on your top social media outlets, you can ask what other websites or blogs they like to visit. You will gain a lot of information and insight from conversations you take part in on your main social media tiers.
The key to this tier is not going crazy. Keep your list initially to three or four outlets at the most - this will help you to keep your focus and serve these outlets and your ideal reader well.
The Third Tier
This section is for the “every once in a while” sites or outlets that your ideal reader visits or where you might do some special promotions.
For example, maybe you do a promo on Smashwords, LibraryThing, BookBub or Amazon. Maybe it’s featuring your book on NoiseTrade. Maybe you could do a blog tour with a few key blogs that you know your ideal reader follows. This tier might help you cast a wider net, but you only tap in to them a few times a year.
I would advise that you do this tier once or twice a year. Sometimes these outlets require you to pay for your promotion or they take a bit more time to set up and execute. Again, keep your focus here and be intentional.
Putting It Into Practice
So let’s recap - now you know who you want to reach, where to reach them, and now we need to focus on the HOW.
You and I are going to discuss this during our one-on-one call this week. We will take a look at your Take Action Guide for this week as well as the work that we did with your Ideal Reader Profile to create a specific plan of attack for you.
It’s going to be fun. :)
Fill out the Take Action Guide so you are ready to go for our call. As always, if you’re having troubles or get stuck, we can discuss it during our call. But try your best and see where you end up - you just might surprise yourself!
Until then, I look forward to our call!