Friday, September 19, 2014

Authentic Marketing

Ugh. The big, bad “M” word. It’s not one of my favorites and truly, if there were less letters in it, I’d be labeling it a four letter word.

In fact, just so I feel better, let’s go ahead and label that “M” word something not-quite-so-delightful. Imagine it as a dart board and we’ll send flaming arrows into it…


As a writer, you can never get away from marketing. You will always have to market yourself, because only if you become Richard Castle, Dan Brown, or Janet Evanovich, will you never have to market yourself again. And I’m pretty sure those writers all got to be who they are because of good marketing.

Publishers don’t have as many dollars and the ones they do have are being stretched thinner and thinner.
So how do you authentically market yourself without burning yourself out and turning everyone away from your product? Here are a few things I’ve learned and have proven helpful in my journey to market myself.

Let Twitter/Facebook fan pages be your mouth piece for promotional work. Personal facebook pages (different than public, fan pages) are viewed more as a way to connect with friends and family—not market your product. Once in a while is fine. More than that and people start to ignore you.

Get on social media now. Not later. Not when you have a book contract. Not when you finally have an agent or finish that book. Get on it now. You’ll have less pressure to get out there and learn it all at once and instead can take in small bites.

Mix personal with professional. Everyone likes to know a bit about a person, beyond just the fact that you want them to buy their book. Be relatable, but learn the balance between oversharing/posting and posting what people are going to be interested in.

When in doubt, don’t post it. If you’re unsure if you’re oversharing, posting too many times in a day, etc…then don’t post. It’s better to post once in a while with something witty and fun to read than every hour with a long, drawn out diatribe.

People are visual, so find images that market your brand and share them in your status updates, tweets, etc.

Realize you are becoming a public figure. People will start to recognize you at conferences. Will read your content and have a connection with what you are saying. No matter if you are doing this because you like to blog—and people are really like what you have to say—or you are doing this because you are trying to build an impressive audience, you are becoming someone people will notice. Don’t be noticed because you’ve been annoying, but be noticed because you’ve been authentic. Think about a door-to-door salesman or the salesman at the local car dealership, the cashier at your favorite grocery store—do they make you want to have repeat encounters with them? Why or why not?

Be personable. Be unique. Be authentic. I can’t stress that last word enough. It’s the only way to stand out in social media and on the marketing platform.

Nothing in marketing is a fast process. It’s a slow growing yeast, mixed in a little bit at a time until you look back and see what an audience has been built in you just being…you. Taking time to get to know and invest in other people’s interests, promote them. Show unabashed support for your fellow writers. You’re in this together and together you’re a mighty force to reach readers.

What are your best marketing tips?

Casey Herringshaw is a homeschool graduate and has been writing since high school. She is a country girl now living in a metropolis of Denver, Colorado.


Emily Ann Putzke said...

This is great! Thank you for sharing this!

Casey said...

Thanks for stopping by, Emily! I am glad it was helpful. :)

April Gardner said...

Ugh! Marketing should indeed be a four-letter word. Becoming a public figure is one of the most difficult pills for an introvert author to follow (and aren't most of us introverts? That's what I've heard, anyway.)

My dark little corner just doesn't jive with marketing, unfortunately! :-)

Thanks for the tips!

Casey said...

No, it definitely doesn't, April, when you'd rather write and not shout from the rooftops that you have something new to share. I'm not a draw-attention-to-myself kind of girl, so it's doubly hard for me. It's a fine balance to walk!

Pepper Basham said...

great post, Case - and good info here. The only marketing I really do right now is FB/Twitter (and minimal blogging) - but I have some ideas swimming in my head if I can ever get the time to make them

I love what Laura Frantz does with her quotes from her book

Casey said...

You are one of the most authentic writers out there that I know, Pep! You'll be awesome moving forward. :)