One word that strikes fear into the heart of any writer or business person is the dreaded “M” word: Marketing. You’ve got a book or product you need to tell the world about, but man, how the hell do you get the world to sit up and take notice?
There’s so many ways to sell and so often people get heavy handed with it. They flood their social networking with pleas for sales, “Buy my stuff!” over and over again and eventually it has the opposite effect. You end up turning people off, they don’t see the message anymore and it all becomes more and more desperate.
In the past we’ve talked about how making a sale and increasing your client fan base is all about creating relationships first. That doesn’t change. In addition to nurturing a relationship, you have to have some tools to go along with it once the relationship door is open. Where can people get your book, product or service? How can they get in touch with you? What can you give them?
Most of all, how do they learn about you?
This is where your media kit comes in handy. Wendi and I recently created one for the Saga. Although I have the meet and greet down pat when visiting book stores and other shops, Wendi doesn’t. She isn’t in my head and has no idea what book stores ask for. Our media kit isn’t just for the potential customer, it’s for us too. It keeps all our info on the same page and keeps us consistent with company policy and procedure. It creates a system.
We did a media kit for our good friends/clients Betsy and Peter Wuebker over at Passing Thru. They wanted something that showcased their many travel photos and gave precise information about their services and site in an easy to use/view format. The added challenge was making a kit that they could update and edit themselves.
The solution came in the form of a PowerPoint file. We were able to create a template with their brand and photos that made it simple for Betsy or Peter to modify and update as needed.
Media kits come in many shapes and forms and each one is going to be different depending on your needs. For Betsy and Peter, online accessibility was key. For Wendi and I, a printed physical version is what we need as we visit bookstores. Others may have affiliate ad images for download on their site, or maybe use a short video. The possibilities are endless.
No matter what form your media kit takes, there are a few key items you need to start with:
- Who: Who are you? A brief introductory page or About. Chances are you may not get to speak to the decision maker if you’re on a cold call. That info gets passed on later.
- What: What are you selling? A services listing or one page catalog of your books/services is helpful. With our books we have an image of each book, a synopsis of the story, genre, page count, ISBN, retail and wholesale price, ordering information and so on.
- Where: How can people contact you? Where are your websites and social networking?
- Why: Show people why they need what you’ve got. For some that means including social and website statistics, for authors, it’s how many sales you’ve made, what book signings you’ve had, review excerpts, testimonials, conventions and shows you’ve been to, speaking engagements, photos of events, ect.
Marketing is all about thinking outside the box. With so much noise out there it’s harder and harder to get attention. Take this post for example. Some of you may notice it’s familiar and with good reason. We sent this out in one of our Around the Studio newsletters.
When it comes to our newsletter, we like to offer our audience information not shared publicly. We have articles like this, or technical tips on design and writing, or insights from our Journey to the Center of Your Heart program, updates on events and workshops, and every now and then a special offer.
This week we chose to share a piece of our newsletter with you. Your email list is another tool in your marketing arsenal and when used correctly, it helps you stay in contact with people genuinely interested in what you do.
Next week we’ll take a look at email lists, what they are and what they aren’t. In the meantime, if you’d like to subscribe to our newsletter and join us each Sunday, use the sign up form at the top of this page.