Writing a book is such a journey that writers often fail to pay attention to everything else that needs to happen around it. That journey is not dissimilar to great companies that work really hard, internally, to perfect their products and services but then fail to make this visible to their prospects outside the company walls.
There are lessons then which writers who go on to successfully market their books, learn, that apply equally well to large corporations and small-to-medium enterprises. I usually leave the production and marketing parts to my publishers, but that isn’t really true.
The Social Media Mind was a watershed book for me because I actually got actively involved in its marketing. A fact I explored in more detail here. That started a process that has only accelerated and increased over the years to the point that I understand that a writer who is not integrally involved in the marketing of their book is now missing opportunities for connecting with their readers and achieving sales.
What is different this time round for me however is that in the case of “Intentional: How to Live, Love, Work and Play Meaningfully” I retained the audiobook rights and took myself, charge of the production process. From auditioning and picking a narrator to the kind of cover that should be and the markets it should reach, I had to acquire fresh knowledge and skills and make crucial decisions that will affect the audiobook’s success.
I am far from being new to social media marketing, content production or, indeed, optimizing a digital entity for search. But doing it for others successfully doesn’t always translate into being able to properly do it for yourself. The reason lies in perspective and emotional involvement that makes it hard to be objective.
To make it work I had to force myself to take a step back. Gain some valuable distance and then approach the project a little more dispassionately. The process helped me understand some of the issues I encounter when it comes to great companies that do really good work and yet fail to communicate it to their prospects which then makes it difficult for them to understand the difference between them and their competitors.
Three Valuable Marketing Lessons You Have To Apply To Your Business
So, what was it that I learnt exactly and how can you benefit from it?
- Stop Working In Your Business And Call It "Marketing" – Working in your business is a different environment to working on your business. The skillset it requires is different, the perspective is different and the mindset is different. The pressures you experience are also different. We may think we can do both, because the business is ours and we understand it but functionally we simply don’t have the available cognitive bandwidth to do it. Neuroscience also shows that because the brain doesn’t have redundant neural circuitry the identity we assume as a business owner (or writer, in my case) is entirely different to that of marketer. Confusing the two creates a cognitive dissonance that is reflected in poor choices, bad decisions and inaction.
- Work With Your Audience In Mind – “Customer-centric” has been done to death when it comes to describing how a business works. When we truly think about it every business should, logically, be customer-centric otherwise it will simply not survive. So, when we use the term what we really mean is that there are certain decisions made that place the customer’s interests above that of the business. It is the same with being a writer. Clever prose, metaphors and examples that mean a lot to me, cool ideas I’ve thought that illustrate what I want to say have to become subservient to the means at hand: how to communicate best so the reader benefits quickly from the book’s content. To achieve that you need to step outside your business and approach it as a customer and ask yourself, every step of the way, does this work for me?
- Create A Personality – Amazon, despite its facelessness, feels like a brand whose personality, motives and function we understand. Because we understand it we trust it. Trust is key for every type of relational exchange even when there is no money changing hands. In choosing a narrator for Intentional, the audiobook, I sought a voice that could sound both authoritative and friendly. In choosing Robert Barefoot I picked those elements over others. Similarly, a business, that fails to brand itself is left offering merely transactional choices to its prospects. Such choices virtually never create a relationship. Without a relationship all you’re left with are one-off transactions (if they materialize) that deliver just the value of the transaction itself.
If you apply these three lessons to your business, even if you do nothing else, you will notice a distinct change in how it is perceived, how your prospects see you and how you feel about it all.
To find out where Intentional is sold click here.
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