The Balancing Act of Author Street Teams by guest @K8Tilton

I just launched my first street team, The Bad Redheads, so I asked my author assistant if she could write a bit about street teams for those who don’t know what they are. If you are interested in joining The Bad Redheads you can do so over here: The Bad Redheads


Street team

Over the years I have joined a variety of street teams, launched street teams for my authors, and talked about the “what” and “how” of street teams online. The one thing in all of this I can guarantee about street teams is that each one will be different from the next.

What is a street team?

A street team is a group of fans that join together to support an artist, brand, author, band, or other similar people/products. Street teams are powerful marketing tools because they tap into an established group of fans and utilize their passion and connections. Street teams hone in on word of mouth marketing by encouraging your fans to share their love of your work with others so you can reach a larger audience.

What are the different types of teams?

  • The non street team
    • If you search online for street teams you are bound to find a few of these street teams that are in fact NOT street teams. These groups are author Facebook groups, groups with no sign up process, or the author’s early reader team. Although it is great for an author to want to connect with a Facebook group or develop a group of early readers, this doesn’t make them street teams.
  • The “hands-off” team
    • These are the teams that require members to sign up and usually require some tasks in order to be officially a part of the group. But after the initial set up these teams are not offered regular guidance.
  • The mission focused team
    • These teams require sign up by members like a “hands-off” team but go beyond just the initial set up. The author or team leader interacts regularly with the street team and sets up monthly optional missions to guide members to be the most effective and engaging.
  • The hard-sell team
    • This team requires members to positively review every book the author has ever written (just to sign up) and religiously counts points and stats of each member. Being part of this team feels like a job.

Which team is right for me?

  • The non street team
    • The non street team option is for authors who are not ready to establish a team. If a team setting is not right for you consider setting up a group for fun with a few readers or getting together a group of advance readers. This method is all about having fun and building up relationships.
  • The “hands-off” team
    • This option is good for those who want to either seriously limit the number of street team members or who just want to give things away without making a huge time commitment. For authors who want a very small team with low maintenance required, setting up a team of the very best and most passionate readers will allow you to step back and let the readers do what they have already been doing. For authors who are just not ready to commit to running a team (or hiring someone to do so) setting up a “hands-off” team can be an option to spread some promotional material to readers who will hopefully share it.
  • The mission focused team
    • This is the team you start when you want to commit to really building up a marketing force and building relationships with your passionate readers. These teams require a sign up process and a monthly mission/goal that includes spending time sending out the missions and collecting the results. A mission-focused team will require more time and money, but if you commit to it you will see results.
  • The hard-sell team
    • These teams are not right for ANY author. Just don’t do it. Trust me.

The Balancing Act

Much of the debate on what street teams are and how they should be run revolve around a balance. As an author you don’t want your street team to be too loosely put together or it won’t really be a street team at all. You also don’t want to cross moral lines and create a monster hard sales group (which never works in our current market). So how do you balance between too much guidance and not enough?

For the street teams I have launched and run for my authors I focus on making the teams mission based. Having missions gives readers direction. Sometimes we just don’t know what to do to help our favorite author. By giving missions you answer that question. Keeping the missions optional allows readers to participate when they feel comfortable. Having this environment lets your readers be honest and true with others, and that is the best marketing you can get.

At the end of the day your street team is YOURS. Make it a group you can be proud of and enjoy.

What do you think about street teams? Have you started a street team or joined one? What team was it?

About Kate Tilton:

Kate TiltonKate Tilton has been in love with books for as long as she can remember. Kate believes books saved her life and strives to repay authors for bringing books into the world by serving as a dependable author assistant. A cat-lover and fan of many geeky things, Kate can likely be found curled up with the latest Doctor Who episode, plotting world takeover, or assisting authors and readers in any way she can. Kate is also a self-proclaimed Twitter addict. You will find her hosting #K8chat, her own creation, every Thursday night on Twitter from 9-10pm Eastern.

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“My goal for the longest time has been to help authors. Make their life better because they make my life better. You are my rockstars.”


About RachelintheOC

Rachel Thompson aka RachelintheOC is a published author and social media consultant. Her three books, A Walk In The Snark, The Mancode: Exposed and Broken Pieces are all #1 Kindle bestsellers! When not writing, she helps authors and other professionals with branding and social media for her company, BadRedhead Media. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut.

Buy Now : A Walk in the Snark * Mancode: Exposed * Broken Pieces


  1. Out of the ash I rise with my red hair and I eat men like air. (Sylvia Plath)

    I am proud to be a bad redhead.


  2. Very happy to have Kate Tilton’s help with my street team. It’s mission-based, and so far, members are very engaged.

  3. I joined Duffy Brown’s street team which is how I won the right to be a character in Pearls and Poison.

  4. Great information! I’m considering starting my first street team and I’m at a loss really. I have one dedicated person and one possible person. Then, well… not so sure.

    I know how to engage and build relationships with people, but not sure about the details of the street team. Guess it would help to become one bad redhead (outside of real life that is) and learn by experience, eh? ;)

    Thanks for the tips, Kate, and thanks for having a street team I can learn the ways of the Force from, Rachel. :)

    • Hi BC!

      I wouldn’t recommend starting a team until you have at least 10 very dedicated people. Starting a street team is a time commitment (or a finance commitment if you hire someone to help you). Without having 10 really passionate people the time commitment isn’t quite worth it.

      Street teams are all different. I will certainly be writing more about them! If you have any questions please let me know!


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  4. […] Tilton presents The Balancing Act of Author Street Teams posted at Rachel in the OC, saying, “Ever wonder what street team are? Here is a run-down on […]

  5. […] back my fabulous author assistant Kate Tilton! Kate has been on the blog before with her article, The Balancing Act of Author Street Teams when we launched my street team The Bad Redheads. If you didn’t sign up then you can still […]

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