Part of having an interactive online platform is that I get A LOT of requests from people to do things for them: read their book, retweet their cause, and sometimes even hand over my blog for their post about their latest affiliate marketing secrets or how a particular brand of toilet paper will change the world.
At some point, while I’m grateful that people are interested, I’ve learned to say NO. Not because I’m being a bitch. Not because I don’t like them (don’t like them? I don’t even know them!). It’s because I am conscious of MY branding. I’ve developed followers and readers based on the content I provide that fits into categories I decided when I started this journey. And if your post or tweet doesn’t fit into my branding, it ain’t gonna happen.
Don’t people know it’s all about me? (Okay, kinda tongue in cheek, but the point is: be protective of your branding.) If you’re unsure what your branding is, that’s okay. You know that I talk about real-life experience, social media, authors and social media, and fun stuff like martinis and Nutella.
BOOK REVIEWS: FIND YOUR DEMOGRAPHIC
Listen, I’m an avid reader. I’m sure your book is amazing and most likely, I will read it if it strikes my fancy. But I make no promises. If I like a book, I’ll review it. But the tone of this blog is decidedly NOT promotional, for authors. For anyone. I don’t trade reviews, I’m not a professional reviewer or book blogger, and there are far too many influential people in that realm whose word means much more than mine ever could.
I appreciate that you ask. I really, really do. But I cannot accommodate you – mostly because of my work commitments (I DO read my clients’ books) and family life. There’s only so much time, and reviewing isn’t my priority.
So, what to do? Find reviewers and book bloggers — right? Seems so obvious. I know I appreciate every one of my reviews and the time people took to read and review my work, but I’m very focused on who I ask to read it also. I enlisted beta readers, top Amazon reviewers I met online, and did book tours. I didn’t send random emails or tweets to strangers requesting a review. Why? Simple marketing strategy: know your demographic.
Here’s a wonderful list started by my web designer, Barb, which connects you to book bloggers who ARE your demographic. Also, I started Indie Book Promos so authors could send their promotional messages out in the form of excerpts, features, or interviews for a reasonable price ($10 to start) and to their targeted demographic.
SHARE YOUR CAUSE
I have nothing but respect for all the charitable causes in the world and I support many. Lots of people doing wonderful things to help others is really why we’re here. So build your platform around your cause!
However, from my own real-life ‘Rachel’s World’ perspective. it’s a lot of work maintaining two blogs, a business, a writing career, and several weekly and monthly guest writing gigs, not to mention family and home. I’ve focused this blog on real-life experiences that have changed people. I’m not religious or political (or if I am, you don’t know about it here), because that’s not at all what my books are about. That said, I get requests from people who clearly haven’t researched me, asking me to share their post about their personal religious or political beliefs, or spread the word about their charity.
Newsflash: that’s why you have your own blog, your own social media platform, and your own persona. Give as you can — time, money, etc., and if your platform is sexual abuse survivors (as mine is), then share that with others. Use your voice. Just make sure it fits.
I don’t ever preach about a specific cause (except not spamming on Twitter), so I’m often shocked when people ask me to discuss their latest project on their god, abstinence, or affiliate marketing (real examples). Does this blog look like that’s the demographic I’m courting? And more power to you for spreading the good word. Just don’t ask me to do it for you. And don’t get mad when I say no.
I don’t write product reviews. Ever. I’m not sure why people approach me (or you, unless you’ve made that clear) to discuss the latest nifty home gadget or said toilet paper. Is it because I’m a woman, so they instantly assume I must be writing about mommy topics? Which is really frackin’ condescending anyway. Hint: big ole feminist here. I love being a mom and I love my kids dearly, but I keep that part of my life private. And you’d know that if you bothered to read my (and my guests’) posts.
Not everyone will buy your stuff. Not everyone is interested in your programs. But if I can type in search terms on Google or Twitter to look for people who are my demographic, so can you (another real life example: I will not write you a blog post about how amazing your affiliate program is). Sigh.
Bottom line: when you enter the world of online marketing, have goals. Have a plan. Whether it’s to gain 100 followers daily on Twitter or blog twice per week about mommy topics, fine. No judgement here. But know what interests you and go after it. Be polite to dogs and waiters.
And if you really, really want me to review your book, write about Nutella and send cookies.
Want to sample eight bestselling authors’ books before buying? Check out this sample from #HerBooks. If you like, you buy the individual books — if not, it’s a cheap download!
I’m thrilled to announce that my latest release, Broken Pieces, won FIRST PLACE in the eFestival of Words Awards and Gold in the Global eBook Awards. So exciting. Head over to Amazon to read a free sample (no Kindle required).
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