Earlier, we were looking at a magic long-term formula for marketing success, which I here present again in a reduced form:
1. Look at your prospect and calculate whether or not he or she is appropriate for your product and is ready to receive your communication.
2. Send your message precisely to your prospect, tailored to match exactly what your prospect’s particular needs are.
3. Wait until the prospect realises that your communication exactly matches what is needed.
4. Receive a communication of some kind from the prospect.
5. Recognise that returning communication and thank the prospect.
6. See that the prospect receives the thanks.
7. Back to 1.
It all sounds easy enough. But how would this work in practice?
Let’s assume that you have written a book that you want to sell. By establishing an effective Facebook group, or author’s page or interactive website, you accumulate prospects - they self-select as prospects by joining whatever group you have set up. By engaging with the members of these groups and pages, you can work out who is ready for a marketing message and who isn’t. Watch also for the times at which they are most active and other helpful patterns of behaviour.
That pretty much covers point 1, which is one of the most important points. Trying to market to people in general, without establishing whether or not they are remotely interested in what you have to offer, is the biggest and most common mistake in what people call ‘marketing’. Having a group of self-selected prospects is half your battle won.
You need to know a) what it is about your book that people would find most appealing and b) how to match this up with a prospect’s needs to move on to point 2. If, for example, you have written a space fantasy, what in particular about your story stands out as different and enticing to the particular group of people you are regarding as prospects? Is it set in the past? The far future? On the moon? What other work of fiction is it most like? Does it have any startling new ‘take’ on some old tropes in your field?
Put this together in a short and attractive marketing message and send it out - preferably with visual support in the form of a beautiful cover or other images - at the best possible time for the prospects whom you have amassed in step 1.
Some prospects will respond immediately in some way; some will require a repeated message. But don’t expect what nine out of ten most modern marketing amateurs appear to expect: massive sales after only one or two messages. You’re running into ‘supply inertia’ which is a way of saying that those people whom you’re regarding as prospects are very often already customers for someone else: they have been moving along the rails of other people’s products for some time, gotten themselves into habits and routines of thinking, and aren’t going to instantly respond to the new kid on the block.
Persist. Gently send out the same or very similar messages. Slowly, your message will impinge (if it’s crafted right per the above).
Be alert to responses coming back. These can range from ‘Yes! I’d like to buy your book!’ - rare, but it happens - to ‘likes’, ‘follows’, ‘shares’, comments and so on.
Be around to answer and respond in turn to those responses. You are not an algorithm; you’re real. Convince your prospects of that fact.
Reward your reaching prospects in some way: discounts, gifts, special offers and so on for everyone who even slightly moves in your direction. Make sure that these people get your offers.
Then look again at step 1.
Of course, you don’t have to sit and do nothing while this is happening. These things run in parallel. You might have sent out one message and be waiting for responses, while also building the membership of your prospect groups, while working on new marketing messages. But each message should have its own cycle through these steps.
You’ll find it’s much more engaging and even fun than spamming strangers on the internet. You’ll also find it’s much more ‘alive’: you’re dealing with real people, not unknown ‘identities’. You’ll also find that you’ll get more sales than using any other approach.
Try it and see.