• Madison Siwak

How to Build a Marketing Strategy to Reach Your Author Goals.

by Lilian Sue

Marketing your first book can be challenging. You’re nervous about whether or not your book is getting in front of the right audiences and if you’ll get sales and positive reviews.

But here’s the thing: it doesn’t have to be that way. By building a marketing strategy that positions you & your books the right way, it’ll give you the confidence to meet your ultimate author goals--and stop you from ripping your hair out along the way.

Build a Healthy Mindset By Pushing Past that Fear of Failure

How do you push past that fear that tells you you’re wasting your time, energy, and money on marketing and you won’t get results?

First of all, take a deep breath. You can only waste time if you don’t give the strategy enough time to work or you do something that doesn’t fit with your goals.

The key to building a healthy mindset around marketing is allowing yourself to take your time. Remember, you didn’t write your book in a day, you’re not going to get a sale 10 minutes after you put out an ad or get an interview with the first podcast you pitch.

Pushing past that fear is about learning patience, trusting in your own marketing process, and keeping the framework accountable to your goals. For example, if you don’t feel that sponsoring a radio show right now will help you achieve your goals, then leave it off your plan.

Don’t ever feel you’re paralyzed by your current strategy and unable to move forward, either. Your strategy is a living, breathing document. Just because you’ve created a plan for the next 3 months doesn’t mean you can’t add new platforms or ideas to it. As you grow and learn more about marketing, your strategy will grow and change with you.

Brainstorm Your Goals

Writing down your goals is a great way to keep them organized and make them more achievable. Each time you write them down on paper, type them out on the computer or dictate them on your phone, you’re committing them to memory.

By organizing your goals using the SMART acronym of Simple, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Timely, you can break down your goals into achievable chunks.

How many books do you want to sell in 3 months? Do you want to be a panelist at a conference in 6 months? Do you want to build your reputation as a best-selling author in a year?

The more specific you are with your goals, the easier it will be to find tactics and platforms to incorporate into your marketing plan. It’ll also be easier to measure and evaluate the results of your marketing campaigns and whether you’ve achieved the 3 months, 6 months or 1 year benchmarks that you laid out for yourself.

Determine Your Positioning

Tailoring your marketing strategy to meet your goals is also about finding your brand position. Your brand position isn’t just your genre or your book title, but how you want to be seen as an author.

There are thousands of writers who create stories in your genre but what will make you stand out is your own story-and it’s your story that determines your brand positioning. Sharing honestly about your creative process, the challenges you overcame, and what you’ve learned is the most authentic way to connect with your audiences.

It’s your story, told through your marketing strategy, that will resonate with audiences, because it’s authentic, transparent, and honest. You’re not just a sci-fi/fantasy author or a crime thriller author. You’re an author who has overcome challenges, and become a stronger writer through your creative process. When you know your brand position, you can develop content and tactics for your marketing strategy.

Do Your Research

After you’ve brainstormed your goals and determined your position, how do you find marketing ideas? Do your research! Take a look around social media for other authors in your genre. What tactics are they using that you could incorporate into your own strategy? If they’re being featured in podcast interviews, blogs, or even mainstream radio and TV, what might those platforms be looking for to interview an author like you or review your book?

Are there growth opportunities that these other authors are taking advantage of such as conferences, workshops, festivals, and even book tours that you can incorporate into your own overall goals?

Building a marketing strategy to achieve your goals is about developing a healthy mindset, organizing your objectives, determining your positioning, and doing your research.

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