Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Building a Marketing Plan

Ever since one of my readers mildly chastised me for my laxity in marketing, I've mulled on ways to do more. By nature, I am not a saleswoman, but I have since learned one important distinction.

Marketing is not sales. Marketing is making one's product known in the hopes it leads to sales.

So I've spent a couple years researching ideas. The research was sparse at first and has grown in frequency. During this time, I've learned something else.

What seemed to be a good way to market even two years ago may not be relevant today, leading me to also realize that today's ideas may be passe tomorrow. The bad news: there is no one sure answer. The good news: free choices abound.

So this past weekend, I opened my idea file, chock full of the ideas I've collected, and created an in-depth marketing plan for 2017. As I worked, I learned more things (If anything, this has been educational, right?).

I did not use every idea I collected. Rather, I focused on the ones that appeared useful and within my abilities.

One: I have so many ideas, I probably can't check them all off this year, much less implement them.

Two: I really have done very little in the way of making potential readers aware of the series.

How do I know this? My revised plan is divided into seventeen sections, all with their own subsections.

It's basically divided into goals and ways to build awareness. Two goals are very important. One is to spend no money (although I'll probably have to spend a little). This goal is paramount to me, as I wish to pass on valuable strategies to authors, with the assumption most of them/us don't have the marketing budget of top New York publishing houses.

The second goal is, of course, finding and connecting with potential readers in authentic and non-spammy ways. Nothing turns me off faster than insincere and pushy sales tactics, and I don't want the BryonySeries to smack of it.

Rather, I want my efforts to resemble the way I wrote and shared stories in my childhood. I reveled in the creativity and then asked my friends, "I wrote this. Would you like to read it?"

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