When it comes to authors selling books, I think the problem is this: People confuse marketing with having to be sale-sy all the time. I can certainly understand wanting to get sales. But when your only message to potential readers is “Buy my book!” people will tune you out very quickly.
People buy from you when they know and trust you. If you are struggling to connect with potential readers on social media, take a good look at what you’re posting! If it’s a series of “buy” messages, here are my 3 steps to building a rapport with your readers and maybe . . . get them to love you.
Step 1: Stop selling – and focus on building relationships instead.
Step 2: Be a problem solver – address what keeps your audience up at night.
Step 3: Give back – adopt a cause that relates to your area of expertise.
When you shift your focus from selling to interacting and wanting to be of service, an interesting thing happens – you become a lot more interesting to your friends and followers. What should you post?
- Articles and observations relating to your book.
- Solve problems! What are the problems that relate to your topic? A great way to get discussions going and get your content shared is to address those problems and have some ways to solve them.
- Personal opinions are fine, as long as you’re comfortable discussing them.
- Observations relating to news events
- Insights on research relating to your area of expertise
- Questions for your followers that relate to your book.
- Do you have a cause that relates to your book? Talk about it and what others can do to help.
- And very occasionally, a mention of your book and where it’s available
Your purpose on social media is to be social and engage your audience. You know you’re succeeding if your fan base is growing and your fan engagement is growing. And you’ve really hit the jackpot when your fans join your mailing list. (These days, that’s the ultimate compliment!)
Speaking of growing your list, have some free stuff on your website as an incentive for people to sign up. Go beyond the tried-and-true chapter excerpt of your book. Could you develop a report or a checklist that your readers would love to have?
Fiction writers, don’t despair. Your readers have “problems” too. Their problem relates to finding the next book or series that they want to read. How can you help them find your book and others like yours?
Nobody really sells anything on social media. Your readers want to engage with you and learn more about you. Your job is to know what your audience wants and give it to them in the form of good content.