No matter what you’re selling, the only thing that changes on “The Road to a Sale” is the product. Sell me on you, not your product, FIRST!
I love to hear from aspiring and Indie authors. I love being the first to discover an up-and-coming author, but ... befriend me before you attempt to SELL me!
After twenty-two years in sales and marketing, I discovered that no matter what I’m selling, the rules never change. If you are willing to listen, I would like to share that thoroughfare with my author friends using Twitter and Facebook vernacular. And I’m not sure, but since a large portion of our readership consists of readers, I think they might enjoy this post too. If not … if you’re only interested in today’s specials, simply help yourself around our page. We tried to make it easy to navigate. We don’t even make you subscribe to read our posts or see our deals. So please make yourself at home.
Okay, now, back to the steps of selling your product … respectfully!
Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest ... wherever you find potential clients and purchasers of your wares. Follow people who share your interests. DO NOT use auto-follow programs. You want real friends. Believe me, you can make some real friends and amazing connections in the cyber world.
Proper meet and greet is essential. Eye contact and a friendly handshake in the real world might equate to an actual “thank you for following” in the cyber world without an immediate attempt to sell your product. But if you’re like me, and you get a lot of followers to keep up with, I’m sure readers understand. Again, just remember not to SPAM them with direct messages to buy something. Nothing upsets me more on Twitter than someone who doesn't follow me back, but then DMs me to check out their book or website. Grrrrr....
This step never supersedes "introduction," hence my hatred of auto DMs. A profile picture and bio are essential; don’t make me guess who you are. If you want to connect with me because I shared a book or a review, like my posts, start a conversation ...
Qualify needs and wants:
Have an interest in me. Find out who I am and what I like. If you’re a horror writer and I like romance, I’m probably not interested. That doesn’t mean we cannot learn something from each other, but why lose a potential friend/buyer because you’re trying to hard-sell me something I don’t want.
Presentation of product:
Now that you know me, show me what you have to offer. Your blog or interview may now be of interest. It gives me a sample of who you are, how you write, and whether I might want to buy. How do you do this? It's that interacting thing again. Believe me, if you stop by my sites and interact with me, I will want to go look at your sites.
Demonstration of product:
Now that we know each other and have the same interests, you can actually share a sample of your work. Freebies are great, links to your samples are wonderful too. And remember, you don’t need to SPAM me the same message a hundred times a day. A pinned tweet or pinned Facebook post works well.
Close the sale:
I’ve read your sample, and I love it. Now make sure you tell me where and how I can purchase. CHECK THOSE LINKS! If the link you provided is broken, more than likely I’m not going to jump through hoops to find you.
Pretty easy nowadays. I should be able to find you if you provide me with a working link. However, maybe I want something more personal. If I won a giveaway on your page and you say you are going to send me a prize or a personally signed product, do it quickly, don’t wait. Don’t make me ask. More than likely I won’t ask. I just won’t play again.
You might not be able to do this in every situation, but if you know I purchased your product, follow up with me. I know authors aren’t supposed to comment on Amazon or Goodreads; but if a reader posts a link on Twitter, I think it’s okay to thank them and retweet it. If a reader makes a comment on your website, THANK THEM. There are no excuses not to do this one. They came to your website. Unless you’re Nicholas Sparks and are getting thousands of comments a day, I see no reason that when someone comes to your home that you shouldn’t be hospitable. Remember, as a reader of your book, I am now your best form of advertising. Most paid advertising lasts a day. Referrals never end.
Finally, if you make it on the bestselling list because of your fans, thank them! Believe it or not, you did not make it as a bestselling author simply because you wrote a great book. Plenty of great books never make it anywhere. You made it because you paid for awesome advertising and/or because readers shared your book.
If you disagree with my list, that’s okay. But, I read a lot more books than I write, so I tend to think of myself as a professional reader.
Thanks for reading. Please feel free to start a conversation at one of my online homes. I assure you I will respond. ;)
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