This one drives me crazy.

When I see someone who has spent so long creating their book only to cut short it’s success by a lack of understanding how to market it online. Hopefully this issue will shed some light on how to do this properly to save all you authors out there the heartache of unsold copies.

The Worst Way to Promote Your Book Online

Since I’ve been seeing this appear in my FB timeline more and more I figured it’s time to address this issue for good. All these authors have good intentions but the execution is lacking a sound strategy.

Here’s what I mean…

I have run across the following funnel multiple times lately:

Digital Marketing Follow Up for Authors Done Wrong

People are sending traffic to a sales page and offering a free chapter for everybody AFTER they pre-order the book.

The main problem with this approach is it is an ultimatum more than it is a value proposition. By sending them to the sales page without capturing their email first they are pretty much saying “I’m not trying to get to know you I just need you to pre-order my book or else I’m not giving you anything”.

May not be in that exact tone but that’s what their strategy is screaming.

Which brings me to the second issue…you’re asking too much too soon. I may like you but may need some nurturing before I’m ready to actually give you some money. Especially since our relationship is relatively new.

If we liken this approach to dating…you’re asking a stranger to become your spouse. If you wouldn’t do it in dating then you should NEVER do it with marketing.

My third, and final, problem is this would only work with people who already know you. In fact, these are probably the only people this strategy would work on. Which is a problem because it puts a false expectation in place thinking strangers will easily give you their money like the people who are familiar with you did.

Instead you should first focus on giving and building a relationship. You can invite them to pre-order, just not before you have given them something first.

The Best Way to Promote Your Book Online

I propose you build out something that looks like this:

Free Chapter Author Marketing Funnel

There’s a few extra steps involved but they are well worth the effort to put in place.

First thing I would change is delivering the free chapter BEFORE you ask them to pre-order. That way they can sample what you are offering and have the opportunity to decide whether or not they would be interested in buying your book.

It also provides a means of ongoing communication and relationship building via email follow up. Allowing you to build trust and letting your new leads to get to know you better.

Another thing I love about his approach is the value proposition. By placing the free chapter before the pre-order it instantly appears more valuable because I can now get something for free that I would have otherwise had to pay for.

It’s a lot easier to decide if I want something for free than it is determining if I want to take out my wallet and buy it.

Either way, the big takeaway is to always lead with giving. You should count it as a marketing sin to ask of anything from anybody you have not taken the time to give something to.

REMEMBER: Marketing is more about establishing relationships than it is pushing products.

He who builds the most trust through the strongest relationship with their following will ALWAYS win.

If your an author or have setup marketing campaigns for authors I’d love to hear your feedback. Do you agree with this approach? Maybe you’ve been getting great results using another strategy? Would love to hear about it in the comments below.

See ya next week!

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