To be successful with a book today means that you have to leverage certain specific business concepts and leadership content in a transformative fashion. I looked over the strategies that our best and most financially successful authors and thought leaders adopted to build their platforms this past year. The book is just one component to success.
1) Target Your Media and Your Market Carefully
The best way to start is to develop a targeted and focused outreach strategy to reach your target market and the media that serve them.
Step 1 — Define your Target Market— Who is your book really designed to help, serve or entertain?
Step 2 – Determine where they “hang out” both online and offline—what blogs are they reading? What other authors do they follow? What trade magazines are they reading? What associations or industry groups are they members of? What do they do to reach their people?
Step 3 – Value-added Outreach—Deliver content that is of value to these people. Feel their pain. Champion their cause. Fulfill their highest desires.
It’s easier to find 100 blogs that your target market is following and get 70 of them to run your content than it is to try like crazy to get on The Today Show. A single problem solving tips article or a feature story in the right magazine, or trade journal may be worth much more than a short talking head interview on the major networks.
2) Develop and Leverage Testimonials
The value of a single testimonial (be it from a fellow author, business person, or an academic or professional colleague well known blogger, columnist, etc.) is significant. It helps convert browsers into a buyers
Tremendous leverage comes having a dozen really great testimonials. It’s important that the people you get to endorse your book have a following much greater than yours. The action plan you develop and implement getting these testimonials can be designed and deployed so that the person who endorses you helps spread the word to their followers.
For example 10 authors that have a following of 100,000 people each is a million targeted people with a much higher propensity of buying your book. To do this you must think ahead and plan to do much, even all, of the work for them—meaning you have to create a variety of collateral, properly formatted communications for them to use (tweets, announcements about the book, press releases, videos etc etc). Be disciplined in asking them when to spread the word about your book and always, always offer to do the same for them.
3) Give Plenty of Books Away – But Only to the Right People!
For most authors and thought leaders the book is just one format that their content exists in. Be crystal clear about who your target market is. Identify the ways to get those books into those people’s hands. Now think of who can influence them if they were to send them a book. You can send them out with a personal note or ask them if you can send books to them if they would them deliver them to the type of people you are trying to reach. You can yet reach out to your network to see who personally knows the type of people you are trying to reach and offer to send a copy out on their behalf.
Peter Winick is a content strategy consultant and book marketer working exclusively with non-fiction authors and thought leaders in globally. He is based New York City. He has over twenty years of experience and has worked with a large number of bestselling authors and renowned thought leaders including Keith Ferrazzi, Chip Conley, Steve Shapio, Dr. Mark Goulston, Dr. Stew Friedman and Carol Roth. He has built and managed several consulting and professional development organizations. He can be found online at www.thoughtleadershipleverage.com