Marketing Monday: Marketing vs Sales

It’s that time again, I’m going to babble and impart some knowledge from the part of my brain which retains all my years of marketing knowledge!

I recently saw a twitter conversation between some authors, these weren’t authors I was particularly friendly with I hasten to add, who were discussing how they had been doing marketing but their sales hadn’t increased. I’ve seen several conversations like this, and over the years, I’ve had many conversations in corporate settings where I’ve had to explain what I’m about to explain here.

You see, the purpose of marketing activities, and the purpose of sales activities are two very different beasts. Understanding these things will save you a lot of bother in the long term, and help you understand how to communicate with people as well.

So, in simple terms:

Sales: The purpose of sales, is to make a sale, to sell your product. There are a lot of techniques for selling and while it is related to marketing it isn’t marketing. It is its own entity.

Marketing: The purpose of marketing, is to raise awareness, to promote, research and talk to your target market, the more ways you can get your name, product, brand in front of your target market the better. But marketing activity doesn’t necessarily translate to sales, at least not immediately.

So, why do marketing?

While marketing takes time to convert people into actual sales, it builds loyalty. People become accustomed to you and your brand. On social media they become engaged, they want to know what you have to say and they become bought in, with newsletters they become engaged with the additional content you are offering, teasers offer them enticement to pick the book up which you have been wafting under their nose and tempting them with for weeks now.

By the time they by they are loyal, you won’t need to tempt them in future, just knowing you are releasing a book will be enough for them. The sales route doesn’t offer this type of loyalty, you may sell a book quicker pushing the sales route, but it wouldn’t guarantee loyalty for future purchases in the same way. You are also more likely to get reviews and recommendations from people bought into your brand. The fact they are sold on you and your brand means they care and will want to share that feeling with others.

This doesn’t just work for books, it will work for any product, any business. It’s tried and tested, and it’s why marketing continues to work, it’s why most large businesses have marketing and sales working side by side so that they can get those immediate sales while building a loyal customer base.

So, while it can feel futile at times to be working on your marketing, don’t give up, each of those connections you make is valuable to your ongoing success.

Until next time. Much Love.

 

Marketing Monday: Twitter

So a few months ago I posted on Facebook that I was thinking of starting these posts, for those who missed it and don’t know my professional background but want to be sure I’m qualified, I spent 15 years working in Marketing and worked up about as high as you can go on the corporate marketing ladder. I have a Post Grad Diploma in Marketing, and while I was working I was a member of all the relevant professional bodies. In the last five or so years of my career I specialised in Digital Marketing, taking time out in an SEO agency to learn the tech side of things, I then worked self-employed as a consultant which only ended when my Bipolar decided to have a really bad turn three years ago.

So, I thought, why not share some of my marketing knowledge with you guys, it will help the bloggers and authors who read my blog and hopefully give you some ideas on how to do things on a more professional level. Now how I suggest to do things isn’t the only way, and other marketers will certainly tell you differently, but these are the ways I’ve found that work when I’ve been working on campaigns. I’m a strong believer in not paying for advertising, or to boost posts and things like that. I believe that good old fashioned hard work pays off.

So today I’m going to start with Twitter, because so many people use it and I see so many people make small mistakes which could cost them. Plus it is my favourite social media platform so why not start there!

Twitter started in 2006, I set up my first account in 2008, it was a pretty quiet place back then and people were still getting used to how to use it. Over the next few years people realised it could be used for commercial gain using hashtags and twitter chats and the platform started to BOOM! So here are some top tips for you as a new and existing user.

  • When you set up your account think about how you want to be seen, consider your brand and incorporate that into what you are calling yourself. Whether you are a blogger or an author your brand is really important and your twitter handle is a permanent reflection of that brand.
  • Your picture should also be a reflection of your brand, either a nice personal image (I will be doing a post about author images in the future) or your blog logo. Remember the image represents your brand and what you are putting out into the world, don’t let it be shoddy.
  • Be natural in your tweets, try to show your own personality, I know it’s not easy in 140 characters, but being yourself is key on Twitter. Letting people know the person behind the brand is what will unlock their interest.
  • Work out which hashtags are most appropriate to you and be sure to use them, you don’t have to use every single hashtag on the planet, just use a few which are appropriate and be consistent.
  • Tweet every day, a few times each day if possible, Twitter moves fast, 10 minutes after you tweet, what you’ve said is gone, lost in a sea of tweets. Unless somebody actually goes through your timeline on purpose to see what you have been saying it’s lost forever.
  • Use lists! Lists are a great way to pull your favourite accounts together so that you don’t miss anything. You can make them private if you want so that nobody knows you have a list for “Hot Bods” but it just means that when you are following a few thousand people you can pull out those accounts you don’t want to miss and keep track of them.
  • Share links to what you consider useful content, other books/blogs, as well as your own. People appreciate the shares and your followers will appreciate the variety. But don’t feel you have to spend all day every day doing this. We are all busy people so if you only have time to do this occasionally it’s not the end of the world and nobody is going to judge you for it.
  • You can search for people that might be interested in your blog/book and that engage in conversation with them. My reminder when you do anything like this is to get involved in conversations and ensure you are part of things. Talking at someone is probably not going to get you very far.
  • Look out for people who share your blog posts/mention your book and build on that, get in touch with that person and cultivate a relationship. You never know what can come from getting to know someone who has shared some of your content. Always remember that it’s good to talk.
  • Try to ensure you find ways to engage with your audience, whether you have 100 followers or 10,000 you want to keep them interested so try and make sure you remember your voice (going back to the beginning of this list) and you keep giving them interesting tweets to respond to.
  • Use a tool like Hootsuite to help you manage your promotional tweets. This will help you with scheduling your tweets so that the promotional tweets go out at regular intervals and you aren’t sending them out 5 minutes apart. I saw an author send out 10 promos for their book 5 mins apart recently, my timeline was flooded which was super annoying and with a tool could have been easily avoided.
  • Finally, there are lots of really good tools which will make Twitter use easier for you, YAY! A lot of them will offer to send out a Direct Message (DM) automatically when someone new follows you. No, Just Say No! These Auto-DM’s are the work of the Devil! They are annoying, intrusive and some of them require the recipient to action something before they are allowed to follow the person they want to follow. My rule of thumb is if I receive one I automatically unfollow the person it came from, and I know from numerous discussions I have had both on and offline I am not alone. So if you have these set up TURN THEM OFF and if you don’t, don’t go there!

I hope you found this useful, let me know your thoughts, ideas etc, is there an area of your marketing you want help with, let me know and I will try and make sure it’s worked into one of the future posts.

The Discoverability Challenge – 2017

I was looking to add a challenge to my reading this year in addition to the Goodreads Reading Challenge which is just about the number of books you read. I enjoyed keeping tabs on how Joanne Hall was doing with her Discoverability Challenge last year, a challenge to read more female authors, especially within the SFF genre. When she posted she was doing it again this year and within the post put a call out for others to join her this seemed the perfect challenge to join, especially as I have quite a pile of books waiting to be read by female authors I’ve not read before.

The rules are simple, read at least one book per month in any genre, fiction or non-fiction by a female author you’ve not read before. As I take part in blog tours and pick up books from NetGalley this will be easily achievable so I have set myself the goal of making sure that I read at least one SFF novel by a female author I’ve not read before each month to chip away at that pile I mentioned earlier!

I will keep a list here of all the authors I read who qualify for the Discoverability Challenge, and for all the books I specifically read for the challenge I will tag them and link them back to this page. I’m looking forward to seeing how many new female authors I discover in 2017!

My 2017 Discovered Female Authors

  1. Victoria Aveyard – Cruel Crown
  2. Jill Mansell – Meet Me At Beachcomber Bay
  3. Sheila Norton – The Vets at Hope Green
  4. Anabelle Bryant – The Den of Iniquity
  5. Lele Iturrioz – Seasons Within
  6. Cassandra Piat – Stuck With Me
  7. Anne Bishop – Written In Red
  8. Judith Colquhoun – A Country Practice: New Beginnings
  9. Nikki Landis – Dark Promise
  10. Sarah Morgan – Sleepless in Manhattan
  11. Donna Compositor – Curse of Stars
  12. Liz Gavin – Celtic Fire
  13. Clare Morrall – When the Floods Came
  14. Jane Ederlyn – Reborn
  15. Tamara Lush – Hot Shade
  16. Abbie Roads – Saving Mercy
  17. H. Leighton Dickson – Dragon of Ash & Stars
  18. J.D. Hughes – My Beautiful Disaster
  19. Laini Taylor – Strange the Dreamer
  20. Sybil Bartel – Rough
  21. Harper Sloan – Lost Rider
  22. Deborah Wilde – The Unlikeable Demon Hunter
  23. Catherine Green – The Darkness of Love
  24. Deborah A. Wolf – The Dragon’s Legacy
  25. Lynda Young Spiro – There is Always More to Say
  26. Greta Stone – Cry Wolf
  27. Gail Marie Mitchell – Loving The Life Less Lived
  28. Rachel Burton – The Many Colours of Us
  29. C.M. Stunich – Groupie
  30. Cristina Hodgson – A Little of Chantelle Rose
  31. J. Aislynn d’Merricksson – Mother of Wolves
  32. Patricia A. McKillip – Alphabet of Thorn
  33. Tiffany Shand – Shifter Clan Series
  34. Lilly Bartlett – The Second Chance Cafe in Carlton Square
  35. Jaimie Admans – The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters
  36. Anna Stephens – Godblind
  37. Laurie Winters – Home Field
  38. Tani Hanes – Living In The Shallows
  39. Rachel Van Dyken – Cheater
  40. Joanna Mazurkiewicz – Wyvern Awakening
  41. Holly James – Worth Remembering
  42. Caitlyn Lynch – Ellie’s Encounter
  43. Chantelle Griffin – Made In The Image Of The Goddess
  44. A.L. Michael – Cocktails & Dreams
  45. Errin Krystal – The Last Dragon Rider
  46. Aimee Brown – Little Gray Dress
  47. Sarah Bennett – Wedding Bells at Butterfly Cove
  48. Karen Marie Moning – Darkfever
  49. Terry Tyler – Tipping Point
  50. Erika Gardner – The Dragon in the Garden
  51. Pepper Winters – Tears of Tess
  52. Brittainy C Cherry – The Air He Breathes
  53. Sylvia Ashby – The Sinking Chef
  54. Maxine Morrey – The Christmas Holiday
  55. J Kenner – Wicked Grind
  56. Nikki Sex – Abuse
  57. Natalie K. Martin – What Goes Down
  58. Keary Taylor – Branded
  59. Alexandra Weis – Damned
  60. C.M Stunich & Tate JamesElements of Mischief
  61. Violet Blaze – Biker Rockstar Billionaire CEO Alpha
  62. Summer Cooper – Professor Next Door
  63. Leigh LaValle – Breathless
  64. Allie Burns – The Lido Girls
  65. Lilac Mills – And A Sixpence For Luck
  66. Ellen Wiles – The Invisible Crowd
  67. J Mercer – Dark and Stormy
  68. Mhairi McFarlane – You Had Me At Hello
  69. Jackie Ladbury – Air Guitar and Caviar

Guest Post: Cruising Writers – Write the World on a Writing Retreat

I’m very pleased to welcome Christina Delay to the blog today. Christina is the Host of Cruising Writers, a writing retreat for authors which has various locations around the world and fabulous guest coaches.

A big, Texas-sized thank you to BrizzleLass Books for having me on today!

Emeril Lagasse has a wonderful show on Amazon Video called “Eat the World.” If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend! For foodies and creatives, the show is addictive. Not because of the cooking and the food—which is mouth-watering—but because of the shared passion for creating beautiful works of art.

A writer is no different from a chef. Their medium is food. Ours, words.

Continue reading Guest Post: Cruising Writers – Write the World on a Writing Retreat