Grow Your Marketing Part 2: Doubling Your Leads
Crack Your Marketing details a procedure for engaging with the right audience for your book, building up interest, and making sales. That ‘right audience’ is right because it’s made up of leads.
A lead, to get brutally accurate about it, is not necessarily just another pair of eyes seeing your book.
A lead, properly defined, is the right pair of eyes seeing your book under the right conditions.
The rest are just ‘eyes’. They’re not leads, they’re just people.
Paid advertising these days is based on algorithms which promise to place your book ad in front of sets of eyes determined by a list of factors which you can, to some extent, determine: you can set up an audience based on age, gender, location, and even tastes, and more. This is far more sophisticated than advertising years ago which was just based on placing an ad for a product in front of ‘the masses’ and hoping that enough of the right people saw it and were prompted by it to make a purchase. Social media and technology have changed all that — you can now self-select who sees your ‘billboard’ to a large degree.
But the common experience — and chances are that this may be your personal experience too — is that the promise of such algorithms far exceeds their delivery. Yes, occasionally, an author gets lucky and finds his or her audience using a paid ad — but in over 90% of cases, even the most carefully delineated algorithm fails to generate sales.
You don’t really have to look further than your own experience to answer that: how do you respond to book ads which appear in your social media feeds? You might give them a casual glance — you might even click on a couple of them from time to time — but your inclination to purchase is probably pretty low on most of those occasions. It takes an exceptionally well-tuned and well-timed ad for you to click ‘Add to Cart’, doesn’t it?
It’s the same for the people who see your paid ad.
Because you (and they), even if interested, were not necessarily in the right frame of mind to buy at that moment in time. You were busy doing something else, as were your potential customers.
What you need is an audience who is not only interested but in the right mood to buy.
Crack Your Marketing outlines the exact steps to take to acquire such an audience — at no cost.
But how do you double that audience?
Well, one way is to allow that audience to build over time. The processes involved with that are given in the book. But for those who might be impatient, there are a couple of things you can do.
1. You could magnify the steps given in Crack Your Marketing.
This is just a case of doubling the efforts described in the book. You can get inventive and have an audience of hundreds or even thousands of leads if you want to spend a little additional time applying the strategies given. If you wanted to spend two hours a day on developing larger audiences of ‘warm prospects’ or leads, you could do so with relatively little trouble.
My rule of thumb estimate is that you would need an audience of a total size of around 50,000 before you would get the ‘doubling leads’ effect stably. That could be made up of several smaller segments, or one giant audience — but if you wanted to accomplish that target in under a year, I would suggest going for the smaller segment approach. That would mean five audiences of about 10,000 each, or however you wanted to break that down. You could even have fifty audiences of 1,000 each, though these might take more time to manage effectively.
As I have said, complete details of what to do and how to do it — as well as what pitfalls to avoid — are contained in Crack Your Marketing.
2. You could develop a Lead Magnet.
You may have heard of this term; you’ve undoubtedly seen many of these lead magnets over recent years. A Lead Magnet is simply an irresistible ‘bribe’ offering a specific chunk of something which a prospect considers valuable in exchange for their contact information.
For fiction writers, this is a little tricky to determine.
Non-fiction writers or producers of other goods can generate lead magnets fairly easily: simply work out something of real value to a lead, and present it enticingly, either as a ‘free download’ or as something majorly discounted. Most non-fiction products or services, like web design or financial advice or even health or lifestyle information, break down into ‘chunks’ and can be delivered to prospects through the internet.
But fiction is different.
If a prospect is willing to download a ‘free chapter’ or even a ‘free book’ — something which you see all the time these days — then that’s all well and good — but as a marketing strategy for fiction, it can be wasteful. The reader walks away with a free sample of your work and all you have to show for it is an email address to which they never respond. Even worse is that authors these days are giving away shedloads of work without even gaining the benefit of a specific email address with which to build a mailing list.
At least with a mailing list you have your own control over contacting who has bought your work and can potentially market to them specifically in future — a kind of ‘hot leads’ database. But giving a book away on Kindle means you never find out who downloaded it.
So what’s the answer to ‘Lead Magnets’ for fiction writers?
You have to concentrate on building a Portal Product.
This is a piece of work which is supercharged with everything you have to offer as a writer — it’s the keystone, the talisman, the heart of what you are about as a storyteller. It’s a gateway, a window, a doorway into your work. Once they read it, you can virtually guarantee an effect on any reader — given that that reader has already self-selected as a lead in the first place.
It goes like this:
a) Following the procedures given in Crack Your Marketing you build a large audience of warm prospects or leads — potential readers who have willingly placed themselves in your domain to some degree, and, while they are there, are in the right mood.
b) You engage with this audience following the Marketing Mantra as given in that book.
c) You present to that audience at the right time — when they are in the right ‘mood’, under the right conditions — a Lead Magnet or Portal Product. This is the piece of work — it might be a short story, a self-contained novel, a set of interwoven tales or something else — which contains enough of your magic to enchant the reader.
You can be so sure of its power that you can offer it for nothing, or you can charge a reasonable price for it — nothing too prohibitive.
Voila! You have acquired a definite lead, a hot prospect — or perhaps even a customer.
What Could Go Wrong
In nearly every case (assuming you are getting traffic to your Lead Magnet/Portal Product, which isn’t really a problem if you’ve applied the Crack Your Marketing techniques) the reason it may not be performing well is because it isn’t actually a ‘portal’. It doesn’t pack enough of a punch; it lacks crafted power.
Testing shows that a Lead Magnet/Portal Product that packs enough storytelling punch can convert over 60% of the traffic into a lead and/or customer.
So, if you want to double your hot leads—start with your Lead Magnet/Portal Product.
Write something brilliant, in other words.
Note: this doesn’t have to be ‘brilliant’ compared to Shakespeare or Dickens or Amis or [fill in the name of the leading writer in your genre here]. This just has to be brilliant in terms of unique to you — your Portal Product has to radiate Youness. It has to be a powerful expression of who you are as an author and what you can offer a reader. If it isn’t, it might generate some interest, but will fall flat quickly and your marketing will falter.
For more on all of this, including how to put together a Portal Product, as well as how to double the number of customers, the profit margin and the frequency of purchase of your book, stay tuned.