Is Your Target Audience Too Large?
So, you spent weeks, months, years (heaven help you) writing a book. You breathed life into words and created value for the world where there was none. You endured this labor of love, and your book was finally published. And now you get to sit back and…promote it?! Yes you, dear author, will have to go out and sell your book. Unfortunately, now is the time when you, like all authors before you, have to put yourself out there and promote.
You might feel uncomfortable with this because you are an introvert, or because the idea of shouting, “Buy my book!” from the rooftops seems, how shall we put it, pimp-ish. Fortunately, there is a way to navigate this process and keep your integrity.
You might think that it is easier to just throw some generic advertisements out to the masses and be done with it. But, this will not sell your book. As much as you may want it to, your book is not going to appeal to everyone.
First things first, you need value statements. Once you know the value your book offers, it will be easier to determine who needs that value the most. In trying to do this you must be weary to not cast too wide of a net. You need to find the small, specific group of people who are so desperate for your value, that they will immediately buy your book. You don’t have to market to everyone, just to this group of people.
The easiest way to identify the kind of people who make up this group is to get inside of their minds. You must determine what emotions are driving them to need your value. Rob Eagar has some great ideas on how to do this in his [amazon text=book&asin=159963421X]. Once you know the type of people who make up your target audience, the next step is to find them.
This part will take some time, but it will be well worth it. Why? These are going to be the people who are so changed, inspired, entertained etc. by your book that they just have to tell everyone they know about it. This is free publicity. So, start asking yourself some questions about where this group might congregate. What websites do they frequent? What blogs do they subscribe to? What groups on social media are they members of? What forums do they post on? What magazines/newspapers do they read? What TV/radio shows do they watch/listen to? What professional organizations are they members of? What hobbies do they enjoy? With a few hours of internet research you can find the answers to these questions.
Next, you have to engage this group in these places. But remember, the biggest mistake you can make is to start talking about your book. That’s right. People will become immediately suspicious and distrusting of you if you charge headfirst into their lives and start talking about your book and how they should buy it. Start by just engaging them in conversations. If they ask what you do, feel free to answer that you are a writer, but don’t start peddling your latest work. Instead suggest free articles for their newsletter, or offer to be the speaker at their next event. Provide a Q&A time/segment, or volunteer your time and expertise to the next group event. Post funny videos, or interesting blog posts you have read. You need to gain the trust of this group of people so that they will believe you when you finally say that you wrote a book that can add the value to their lives that they are seeking.
You don’t have to be a pimp. You just have to be a well informed, devoted promoter of the book you created, and love, and know will enhance the lives of its readers.
Who is your target audience? Share it with us by leaving a comment below.