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…