Grow Your Marketing Part 9: The Big Upsell
Step Three: The Big Upsell
We’re looking at how to use emails to create a viable career as a writer.
So far we’ve learned that rather than just sending out emails randomly, there is a proper sequence to your communications, just as there would be if you were running a physical shop. You wouldn’t immediately run up to someone who had just walked into your shop and try to sell them something, would you? Or at least, you wouldn’t if you actually wanted them to buy whatever it was.
No, you would introduce yourself, find some way of engaging the person’s attention, and then encourage them into a buying mood.
You would also make sure that you were displaying highly tempting stuff, yes?
The same applies when you are running an online shop or using email marketing: introduce yourself, engage the person, offer them encouragement, and then move on to the point we have now reached: make sure that you have something large and expensive to offer them.
Remember, if you’ve done all the preceding steps correctly — having your work circulating for free or low fees in the marketplace, and having a Portal Product available to buy, not to mention the foundations described in detail in Crack Your Marketing — then these people on your list are not ‘cold prospects’, but have actually already shown an interest in what you have to offer.
This next step is where big money can be made relatively quickly, so please pay attention.
For every offer you make there is some percentage of buyers that would buy more.
Every new or revitalised reader you acquire through your earlier emails in this series should receive an offer to something which takes them to a whole different level of purchase.
What might that ‘different level’ be?
Well, it might be simply an opportunity to acquire boxed sets of your work at a special price.
Or it might be a club membership, entitling them to inside glimpses of your work, your artistic processes, your plans and projects.
Or it might be a course designed to help them write like you.
Or it might be a special deal on a book not yet released to the general public.
And so on.
What your different level might be is something that will be tailored to your own situation. Maybe you don’t want to run a club or design a course, for example.
It all depends on whether you want to make serious or even just viable levels of money as a writer, and over what time period.
Below are some alternate routes to wealth as a writer. Time estimates are obviously very rough, and everything depends on the work you produce being of at least reasonable quality, but this table should give you some idea:
You might be able to come up with other routes and options, depending upon your individual circumstances.
‘But I just want to be a writer!’ some might say. Fair enough, there’s nothing wrong with that. Write, and do nothing else. But in that wide world of ‘nothing else’, be aware that you’re leaving everything to chance, to the ‘sudden breakthrough’ that is in the lap of the gods, the ‘J. K. Rowling Effect’. It does happen — hence J. K. Rowling — but it probably happens to less than 1% of authors on the market, and, as you can see from the table, it might take a very long time before it happens.
If you add onto the protest ‘But I just want to be a writer who makes serious money!’ then you will have to explore other options, other ways of doing things, creative routes which you might not have considered before.
In your emails which mention these upsells, you will need to consider social proof (reviews of your books) and updates on progress (‘Volume three coming this summer!’) and the like.
Here’s an exercise for you:
Take a look at your work from a reader’s point of view.
You can use your imagination or actually take the feedback from those who have read your book(s).
Get inside the reader’s head.
What does that reader want from you?
What is it about your work which excites them?
What would they like to see next from you?
Is your work something which lends itself to merchandise?
Is your writing style or approach something which you might consider teaching to others?
Make notes; think things through. Are you prepared to wait for a long time and leave everything to fate? Or do you want to take control and lay out routes through which more money can reach you in less time?
As mentioned, a proportion of your readers will want more. That proportion can grow until you have a viable career centred on your writing. But it will only convert to cash if you have produced things which can be bought for cash — sizeable amounts of cash, not the relative peanuts for which most individual books are bought.
‘What about all these readers who don’t respond or who say “No” to these upsell offers?’
That is what we will address next…