How to Engage Readers with Your Facebook Page

April 9th, 2014

Just when you thought you were all set to promote your book on your website, I’m writing to you about making your Facebook fan page shine. Spending time on social media sites can feel like a time sink. I know, but there is a bright side. Your Facebook fan page (unlike a personal Facebook page) is accessible to everyone and the sooner you begin, the sooner you can build up your fan base. If you are new to using Facebook, you may want to read my blog on 8 Ways to Increase Engagement on Facebook first.

If you want to take your engagement to the next level, read on. As one of the top social media platforms, Facebook is a terrific way to build your brand. Let’s take a look at some new ways to increase your engagement on Facebook.

Use your cover image. Good news, Facebook has relaxed its rules on what can go on your cover image. You now can include a call to action, and price and purchase information on your cover image. Of course you will want to make sure the cover image you select accurately represents your brand, showcases your book and captures the attention of the audience you want to target. Keep in mind that you want to connect with your audience on an emotional level so they feel like they really know you. Even though it’s a Facebook business page, communicate on it as if you are having a one-on-one conversation with your readers.

Host a promotion or giveaway. Facebook used to require third-party apps to run giveaways and promotions on Facebook, but now you can host them directly on your Facebook business page. There are so many ways to promote your book and engage readers. Just to give you some ideas, you can write a blog about your book, share the blog post on Facebook and ask people to comment on it to be registered to win a copy of your book. Or post an image of your book with a short description and ask you Facebook audience to like or comment to be registered to win a free book. Consider giving away one copy of your book every day for a week to build momentum and boost engagement. The great news is, you are an author so you already have the creativity you can tap into! One more example: If your book has a theme of hope, ask your Facebook fans to share their best story about hope as a way to win a copy of your book. Engaging your followers on a personal level builds relationships and makes your Facebook page more compelling.

A little bit about the rules: The only thing you cannot do (per the new Facebook guidelines) is to require your fans to share to win. You can encourage your fans to share your offer; you just can’t use the share function for eligibility to win. If you don’t yet have much of a following on Facebook, consider offering a $25 gift card to a bookstore as incentive for people to enter your giveaway. Your giveaway doesn’t have to coincide with the launch of your book. You can run giveaways anytime: before your book is published to build up buzz, during launch, or tie giveaways to a special event or holiday. (Running giveaways only applies to Facebook business pages and not personal Facebook pages.)

To ensure you meet with Facebook’s rules and regulations, add this to any contest you do post about on your timeline: *This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Facebook.

While promotions directly on your timeline are simple to run, and can easily translate into increased engagement for you, there is one drawback — you won’t be able to collect emails to build your list as you can with a third-party app. There are benefits to running both types of giveaways, so play around with both and see what works best for you. Facebook timeline giveaways offer fast, immediate engagement whereas a third-party app can grow your email list. The best long-term strategy is to use both types of giveaways.

Just ask. There are so many different ways you can build relationships and market your book and business on Facebook, you just might miss some of the easy strategies to engage with your followers. Just ask for what you want! Direct calls to action on Facebook are extremely effective. Ask your fans to share, comment, or like a post. You can ask your followers to please help you spread the word about your book or your new Facebook page. Even just a simple, “I’d love to hear your feedback” . . . asking your audience to interact, means there is a better chance they will actually do it.

Make it immediate. Offer incentives for people to act now. Use terms like “act now,” “on sale today” only or “be the first to receive this special offer” so you can instantly grab the attention of your followers. Use the immediacy of social media to your benefit. Consider offering a free-chapter for a limited time only or offer your book for free to the first five people who like your post. You have lots of options to promote your brand and book. Tap into your creativity and you are off and running!

Have fun with your social media efforts on Facebook and remember the more you invest in your relationships and provide value to your readers, the more effective your Facebook engagement will be for the long term.

© 2014 Fauzia Burke. All Rights Reserved.

Author Bio
Fauzia Burke is the Founder and President of FSB Associates, a digital publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. For online publicity, book publishing and social media news, follow Fauzia on Twitter: @FauziaBurke. To talk with FSB and ask your book publicity questions, please join us on Facebook.

11 Ways to Promote Your Book Year Round

March 26th, 2014

I probably don’t have to tell you that marketing your book is a year-round endeavor. Today’s digital world provides you with endless ways to market your book and connect directly with your readers. Just like we all build relationships in the real world . . . with an investment of your time, you can build your readership online. As you put together your digital marketing game plan, here are some ideas for you to consider.

1. Get a jumpstart. Build up excitement before your book comes out by talking about it on your social media pages. Talk about the process of writing. Share a quote or two from your book. Do a countdown. Create buzz about your book before it’s even finished.

2. Start with the four big platforms. Social media is an excellent way to build relationships, so start with the four big social media sites, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Connect your website to each of your social media platforms. Not only are these social media sites free, but they give you the opportunity to engage with your audience, grow your readership, create a community and establish your brand like never before.

3. People follow people, not books. Let your website be a comprehensive picture of you, your brand, your book and your message.

4. Write blogs and newsletters. Blogs and newsletters are great tools to promote your book and can be simple to do, especially if your book is finished. You may want to repurpose content, slice and dice certain aspects of your book to promote it to your audience, and show the value of the content you provide. Once you have a blog written, share it on all of your social media sites and encourage others to share it too. Blogs and newsletters build your brand, get your name out there and can drive traffic to your website.

5. Think slow and steady. It’s okay if your marketing efforts don’t immediately go viral. Be consistent in creating buzz about your brand and book by communicating daily on your social media sites. Think big picture because carving out your niche, creating a presence and building a following takes time.

6. Tap into your professional and personal networks. Consider reaching out to people individually to spread the word about your book and ask a few contacts for some testimonials. Consider offering a free chapter of your book that people can download from your website to capture interest and lead people to buy your book.

7. Reach out to the media. You can reach out to the media directly, following writer’s guidelines and offering an article or making a pitch. Another way to connect with the media is to follow Help A Reporter Out or HARO, and answer media requests with content that is relevant to your space or expertise. HARO gives you the opportunity to be quoted and get exposure for your name, website and book.

8. Find your ideal audience. How would you explain your ideal audience? What interests do they have and what do they value? Take some time to think about it and possibly jot down who you should be interacting with based on your particular niche or brand. Once you have a clear picture of your ideal audience, you will be able to target them more effectively and provide them with your content which will be of value to them. Follow people who complement your brand and other authors in your genre or niche.

9. Show your value. How can your book help other people? What’s in it for them? Let your marketing efforts come from the authentic place of offering value to your readers. Providing value and solutions is the way to form lasting relationships with your readers.

10. Follow the three E’s. Does your content entertain? Does it enlighten? Does it engage? If so, post it, write it, Facebook it, share it, blog it or tweet it online.

11. Go offline with your ideas. You can complement your digital marketing efforts with some offline promotions as well. Just some ideas . . . Create a flyer with tabs to tear off that include your book title and website. Buy an ad in local newspapers. Create some announcement cards or postcards for your book. Leave them in waiting rooms of offices, post them up to bulletin boards, and see if you can share them at libraries and some local bookstores. Consider hosting a book launch party. Invite your friends and have them invite their friends. Approach bookstores and coffee shops and see if they will allow you to do a book signing or carry your book.

An effective digital strategy is a conversation with your readers that doesn’t end. Jump online and start your conversation today. If you’ve been at it for some time now, I’d love to hear from you. What book marketing strategy worked best for you? Chime in the comments section below.

© 2014 Fauzia Burke. All Rights Reserved.

Author Bio
Fauzia Burke is the Founder and President of FSB Associates, a digital publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. For online publicity, book publishing and social media news, follow Fauzia on Twitter: @FauziaBurke. To talk with FSB and ask your book publicity questions, please join us on Facebook.

Why Every Author Needs a Digital Marketing Advisor

February 4th, 2014

Today, every author needs a digital marketing advisor, or at least an experienced marketing advocate to protect their interests. This can be an agent, a marketing savvy friend or a digital marketing consultant, but the need is unquestionable and the development of your digital brand is essential for your book’s success.

I have put together a list of aspects of your marketing plan and the type of advice you need to market your book successfully. If you are a marketing savvy author, consider this a checklist for yourself if not, then think about who is giving you the advice you need:

Website
Your digital marketing advisor should advise you on the best platform to use for your website, and work with a web designer on design, architecture and content. She should make sure Google Analytics is set up on the site along with a mailing list sign-up and social share buttons. Once the site is launched, she should track the analytics, specially the bounce rate of your site. If needed she can prepare monthly reports on the analytics, and suggest changes and updates to the site. Every quarter she should analyze how the site is working and suggest changes and upgrades. Once a year, both of you should plan on a deep dive to revise and refresh the website content.

Mailing List

It takes a long time to grow an email mailing list, but it is well worth the effort. Your mailing list is your most valuable asset as an author so it’s important to set it up and maintain it effectively over the long-term. I consider the members of your mailing list your super fans (and here’s a blog on how to cultivate them)

It is important to have someone protect and cultivate that list. Your advisor should discuss the benefits of different list hosting companies. She should work with you to create and develop a newsletter; coordinate the plan and timing regardless of who is doing the actually content creation and distribution. She can also provide reports on a regular basis with the goal of growing the list and improving the open and click rates.

Blogs

Some authors might cringe at the thought of a regular blog due to the time it takes, yet blogs are the king of content in the social media world. They can help you build your audience, connect with readers, build trust and drive traffic to your site to sell your book. Your marketing advisor should help you decide on topics that would be timely and would work for your audience. She should help you develop a calendar with topics that would be relevant to the media and your readers.

Social Network

A marketing advisor should help position your brand by linking your website to social media platforms and work with you to create profiles at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and LinkedIn as needed or as appropriate. She can advise you on the positioning of your brand and on best practices of each of these social media outlets so you know what to post and when.

Representation With The Publisher and Others Interested in Supporting Your Book

It is of benefit to you to work with someone who can coordinate the campaign with your publisher and can help build and manage that important relationship. Your agent is probably your best bet, but you may not have an agent or you may need more support with marketing and publicity timing. Your marketing advisor can coordinate the launch of your book campaign to make sure all aspects are optimized and that there is coordination between the different parties for the best results.

You may have support from your employer or friends or influential colleagues and it is critical to have a plan and give them specific things to do to help you. You marketing advisor can coordinate the tweets, reviews and word-of-mouth so necessary for your success.

Recently, I was speaking to an author and asked her, “How is your digital marketing working for you?” She answered, “I don’t know.” Then thought for a moment and said, “How would I know that?” If you feel the same, it is time to get some strategic help.

Marketing is more complicated today due to numerous options and ever-changing social media landscape, but it is also more exciting and measurable than ever before. Where you spend your money, time and talent should be a calculated decision, and with the right advisor it can be.

© 2014 Fauzia Burke. All Rights Reserved.

Author Bio
Fauzia Burke is the Founder and President of FSB Associates, a digital publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. For online publicity, book publishing and social media news, follow Fauzia on Twitter: @FauziaBurke. To talk with FSB and ask your book publicity questions, please join us on Facebook.

Living Wholeheartedly – An Experiment

January 22nd, 2014

Last year the fabulous Seth Godin recommended an audio program by Brene Brown that changed me in so many profound ways. I consider that recommendation and then listening to the audio program one of the highlights of 2013. It is called The Power of Vulnerability and I can’t recommend it more.

Her work inspired me so much that I pinned her 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living on my bulletin board. Ms. Brown is a sociologist, and her guideposts are based on data and research. When she interviewed hundreds of people to do her research, she found a small group that was “shame resilient” and lived wholeheartedly. Her guideposts show us all how it’s possible to live wholeheartedly, so I decided to work on her advice to live more wholeheartedly, and here are the results on my experiment.

Cultivating Authenticity — Letting Go of What People Think
This guidepost is a challenge for me. Not because I don’t live authentically, I try to everyday. I live my life as authentically (and honestly) as possible; however, it is not always easy. Being an immigrant, there are always expectations of keeping one foot in each culture. There’s the culture of your origin and the culture of your new home. Along the way, all immigrants make choices about how much to assimilate and how much to hold true to the culture of their origin. Worrying about how I am perceived by both cultures sometimes leaves me feeling like I don’t fully belong to either. In the new year, I will try to be more true and proud of my unique culture — one I have created and blended for myself with acceptance of who I have become as a hybrid of two unique cultures.

Cultivating Self-Compassion — Letting Go of Perfectionism
I realize tying perfection to self-acceptance is a losing battle. We all are imperfect yet we should be kind to ourselves and give ourselves the gift of self-compassion. This year, I promise to accept myself where I am and not wait for the perfect me to show up.

Cultivating A Resilient Spirit — Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness
The past few years have been personally challenging, and I found myself watching more TV than usual. It was an escape and a numbing tool. Starting today, I am going to give myself a weekly allotment of TV Time (like my kids had when they were little) until I stop using TV to escape. I can cultivate my resilient spirit simply by knowing I am not powerless. Neither are you!

Cultivating Gratitude and Joy — Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark
Finally, a guidepost that is easy for me. I have practiced gratitude for 10 years now and I have found many ways to incorporate gratitude in my life. Last year, I wrote a blog about it and I was surprised that it was one of my most popular blogs of the year. I’ll continue cultivating gratitude in the year to come as it has led to many good things for me.

Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith — Letting Go of the Need for Certainty
I totally trust my intuition. Meditating every day really helps me develop faith and trust in the way my life unfolds. But truth be told, I really don’t like living in a state of limbo. It is not easy for me to be comfortable in a state of uncertainty. I will continue my meditation practice as it helps me sit with the unknown and be OK with it.

Cultivating Creativity — Letting Go of Comparison
Oh, this was a fun experiment. I am very creative with marketing ideas and my work, but I don’t consider myself a creative/crafty person. Last year, I decided to try my hand on a few creative projects. I made a photo book for my daughter for her graduation. I also finished writing a novel. My novel was collecting dust half-written and I pushed myself to finish it. I have to say creativity for the sake of creativity had quite an energizing effect on me. This year, I plan to find new ways to tap into my dormant creative energy and give myself permission to play and fail.

Cultivating Play and Rest — Letting go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth
I love my sleep and there is seldom a night that I get less than the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep, so check off rest off my list! Play? Now that’s a different story. As a purpose-driven entrepreneur juggling work and family (like so many of us do), I thought playing is a waste of time. Nudged and encouraged by Brown’s guidepost, I asked my daughters about their favorite game and they said they love CandyCrush. I downloaded it (and a few more games) and have enjoyed playing them ever since. Playing made me happy for sure, and I plan to find more ways to play in the years to come.

Cultivating Calm and Stillness — Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle
This was an easy one for me. I have been meditating for 15 years and value calm and stillness more than anything. I will continue to practice and teach meditation.

Cultivating Meaningful Work — Letting Go of Self-Doubt and Supposed To
I love my work and think it is extremely meaningful. I help authors promote their books and writing and publishing books is every writer’s ultimate dream. Helping authors realize their dream? What could be better?

Cultivating Laughter, Song and Dance — Letting Go of Being Cool and Always Being in Control
I definitely need more laughter, song and dance this year. I tend to be a serious person and will need to work on lightening my mood and making room for laughter, song and dance in my life! Since I have accepted myself as a work-in-progress, I will surely try!

I wish you all a fabulous New Year. May you live it wholeheartedly. I know I am trying to.

© 2014 Fauzia Burke. All Rights Reserved.

Author Bio
Fauzia Burke is the Founder and President of FSB Associates, a digital publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. For online publicity, book publishing and social media news, follow Fauzia on Twitter: @FauziaBurke. To talk with FSB and ask your book publicity questions, please join us on Facebook.

FSB’s Favorites of 2013

December 30th, 2013

As we wrap up 2013, we looked back at all of our projects throughout the year and rounded up our favorite book jackets, website designs, and FSB blogs.

 

Favorite Book Covers

Songs of Three Islands
By Millicent Monks

The House at the End of Hope Street
By Menna van Praag

The Mapmaker’s War: A Legend
By Ronlyn Domingue

The Kennedy Half-Century
By Dr. Larry J. Sabato

The World Atlas of
Street Art and Graffiti
By Rafael Schacter

Welcome Home, Mama and Boris
by Carey Neesley with Michael Levin

 

Favorite Website designs

The Kennedy Half-Century: The Presidency, Assassination, and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy

Ted Kerasote, author of Pukka’s Promise, Merle’s Door and Out There

Lois Metzger, author of A Trick of the Light

August Turak, author of The Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks

Dave Barry, New York Times-Best Selling Author

Bill McBean, author of The Facts of Business Life

 

Favorite FSB Blogs

Does Social Media Sell Books? Gillian Flynn’s Agent Gives Her Perspective

18 Lessons in 18 Years

Social Media vs Social Networking

Married to Your Work: How to Be in Business with Your Spouse

5 Benefits of Personal Branding for Authors

4 Ways to Cultivate Gratitude Everyday

 

FSB’s Favorite Features of 2013

December 24th, 2013

This year has been a great year for us and we wanted to share our favorite features over the course of 2013! (in no particular order) We hope you enjoy taking a look back over these great articles, interviews and features! 

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The Social Publisher

Fauzia Burke, President of FSB Associates, was interviewd by Book Business magazine for this article. She lent her expertise on Social Media and Social Networking and their role in promoting your book and yourself online.

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Q. and A. With Thea Goodman

Book: The Sunshine When She’s Gone          

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A most valuable player By W. Hodding Carter

Book: Reader’s Digest’s Stories in Uniform: A Look at the Heroics, Laughs, Sorrows and Tragedies of Our Soldiers

Read an excerpt of David Mamet’s ‘Three War Stories’

Read an excerpt of Larry Sabato’s ‘The Kennedy Half-Century’

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The ‘Moses Myth’ of Innovation By Jeanne Liedtka

Book: Solving Problems with Design Thinking: Ten Stories of What Works

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CNN Opinion

Legalizing pot isn’t about medicine, it’s about getting high By Howard C. Samuels

Book: Alive Again: Recovering from Alcoholism and Drug Addiction

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Book of the Week

Book: The Sunshine When She’s Gone by Thea Goodman

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The Secret to Lasting Partnerships

Book: Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks: One CEO’s Quest for Meaning and Authenticity by August Turak

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15 Photos Of Creative Street Art From All Over The World

Book: The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti by Rafael Schacter

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Why Dieting is the Worst Way to Lose Weight by Tom Venuto

Book: Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle

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Meeting Marie: Paul Conroy’s Memoir ‘Under the Wire’ Remembers Marie Colvin’s Final Days

Book: Under the Wire: Marie Colvin’s Final Assignment

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Book Club: Was JFK’s Assassination Inevitable?

Book: The Kennedy Half-Century: The Presidency, Assassination, and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy by Larry J. Sabato

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America’s Cassandra: David Mamet Speaks on the Lies of Obama and War

Book: Three War Stories by David Mamet

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Exercises To Build Muscle:4 Muscle-Building Techniques You’re Probably Not Using (Yet) by Tom Venuto

Book: Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle

Graffiti Art: The Definitive Guide To The World’s Spray Paint All-Stars

Book: The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti by Rafael Schacter

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5 Ways to Manage Stress this Holiday Season

November 26th, 2013

Holidays can be a stressful time. Every time I am in a parking lot of a shopping mall and see people fighting over the last parking spot, I think we need to all remember this is supposed to be a joyous time. I have discovered 5 ways that keep myself less stressed and I hope they help you too:

1. Gratitude. November is the month for showing gratitude. The holiday season reminds people to take stock. You are more likely to read or write gratitude posts or tweets. Maybe your family members share what they are grateful for around the Thanksgiving dinner table. I love seeing people cultivate gratitude because it leads to so many wonderful, positive things. I am passionate about practicing gratitude because it is essential for alleviating stress and increasing happiness. Gratitude keeps us focused on the positive in the present moment, helps us pay attention, and is the key to joy. Gratitude truly can make our lives better. Reduce your stress this holiday season (and year round) by cultivating gratitude. Your state of gratitude really can live beyond November. Gratitude is really a gift you can give to yourself to reduce stress and enhance your life — both professionally and personally. Gratitude is essential for keeping a positive attitude, seeing opportunities everywhere, and absorbing some of the childhood magic of this holiday season.

2. Meditate. As a business owner, mom of two daughters, and a wife, living in balance is a challenge, as I know it is for so many people juggling multiple responsibilities. One thing that helps me is my love for mediation. I meditate every morning. I also teach meditation. It helps me feel grounded, connected and settled. Sometimes I meditate for just a few minutes and other times I take my time. The good news is that I find the same benefits each time. Mediation doesn’t have to be difficult to practice. Meditation can simply be the practice of quieting your mind, focusing on breathing deeply and taking some you-time before the chaos of your day ensues. Even if you only have five or ten minutes for meditation, I recommend it. You may want to connect meditation to an alone-time activity that centers you like walking, cooking, painting or writing. Feeling centered may help you move from a frazzled, stressed state to one of calm and relaxed.

3. Check for balance. The kind of balance I am mentioning here is physical. If we are out of alignment physically it can exacerbate our stress levels. Does your body live in balance between stillness and movement? Do you give yourself breaks to move during the day instead of remaining sedentary in front of your computer? Do you carve out time to exercise? Are you aiming to eat a variety of colors so your diet isn’t out of balance? Do you try and strike a balance between sounds and silence? Some people have a tough time with silence, but it’s so good for our minds and bodies to have down time and a blank, quiet canvas to think. How about sleep? Do you aim for a balance between waking hours and sleeping hours? When your body is in physical balance, your mind will be better equipped to handle stress.

4. Be in nature. It is wonderful to spend holiday time in the company of family and friends, but it is equally important to leave room for yourself and your own thoughts. Of course, this time of year, you may have to bundle up, but the fresh air and the outdoors can do wonders for your state of mind and your creativity. As Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” I am convinced he meant walking outdoors! Consider spending some solitude time in nature to recharge and replenish you.

5. Become mindful. Mindfulness may sound like something that only yoga lovers practice, but really it’s about living in the present moment. I try and remind myself to be mindful and consciously pay attention to all the tiny (and big!) moments of my life. It’s easy to worry about the future, brood about the past, and forget to live in the present. Yet, the present is where we need to be in order to live in a state of gratitude, pausing to notice all the blessings and wonderful things in our lives can help us feel immeasurable happiness as a result.

I wish you and yours a lovely stress-free holiday season. With a little mindfulness, it can be.

© 2013 Fauzia Burke. All Rights Reserved.

Author Bio
Fauzia Burke is the Founder and President of FSB Associates, a digital publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. For online publicity, book publishing and social media news, follow Fauzia on Twitter: @FauziaBurke. To talk with FSB and ask your book publicity questions, please join us on Facebook.

Your Brand is Your Baby

November 15th, 2013

Wait for it, wait for it. Your baby’s smile is coming. I promise.

Sometimes when I am talking to clients, I use a newborn as a metaphor for personal branding. I know it’s crazy, but hear me out. The first four weeks of parenting a newborn is a one-way relationship. There is a whole lot of love flowing in your baby’s direction, and a whole lot of work — feeding, changing, caring for and soothing. Without a doubt, it’s exhausting, and at times, frustrating. Day in and day out you adoringly devote yourself to your baby without any interaction back. But then, all of a sudden, your newborn looks into your eyes and smiles. Suddenly, your frustration melts away and you happily stay up all night and take care of your sweet baby.

That’s what personal branding is like too. In the beginning, it’s all work. You wonder if anyone, other than your mother, is reading your blog. You feel a little defeated because you don’t see immediate results. Where’s the flood of comments on your blog? Why hasn’t your Facebook page soared in numbers because of the witty post you shared? Did you just tweet your brilliance into the darkness? Where’s the interaction or conversation, you wonder. Rest assured, your personal brand will become a two-way street. With patience and diligence, attentively care for your baby — your personal brand — and your baby will smile back at you. You just have to wait for it.

Can anyone hear me?

Hang tight. Cultivating your brand is a slow build. You can’t automate conversations overnight. To become a well-known and well-established brand you have to dig in for the long haul, so adjust your expectations a little bit. Building a brand is a marathon not a sprint. You are shaping perception. Prepare for a ramp-up period when it may feel like you are only writing for your mom. Just because you hear crickets when you send your content out, doesn’t mean you aren’t building an effective brand. Just do all the right things. Run all of your content through the filter of: Is this message congruent with my brand? Create a great website that tells a story about you. Write a blog on a schedule. Establish a Facebook business page to attract your ideal audience and create a Twitter account. Have a social media presence and create conversation. Connect with people who are interested in your niche. Do these things consistently and the slow build of your brand begins.

Your day will come.

I heard from a client the other day whose baby smiled back at him. A man came up to him — outside his inner circle of friends and family — and recognized him and told him his blog was “powerful and moving.” He emailed me and said, “My baby smiled!” It made his day for sure, but it also made mine. Once you see a small win, that’s when the conversation is beginning. Once you hear that your message is getting out there and resonating with people (even if it begins as a trickle), you are on your way to building your personal brand. Once your one-way investment into your brand is reciprocated and turns into conversation, you will know you are doing the right things.

Two-way interaction will fuel your momentum.

Just like a baby or a child, you can’t take care of it for a while, wipe your hands and say, “My job here is done.” Even after you receive that cherished smile, investing in your brand is an ongoing process. Brand-building should always be on your mind. Once you have followers, loyal fans and readers of your work, (just like any relationship) you have to nurture your network. Your ability to reach people, interact with them and monitor your message is continual. You can’t, of course, fall off the grid and go silent after you’ve worked so hard.

Care tenderly for your baby — your personal brand — and you will reap the rewards of your efforts. One day everything will change for you. Someone will respond to you and let you know that your message matters. Someone will touch you by saying, “Thanks for what you wrote.” And that’s the moment when you will stop asking, “Why am I doing this?”

© 2013 Fauzia Burke. All Rights Reserved.

Author Bio
Fauzia Burke is the Founder and President of FSB Associates, a digital publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. For online publicity, book publishing and social media news, follow Fauzia on Twitter: @FauziaBurke. To talk with FSB and ask your book publicity questions, please join us on Facebook.

Fauzia’s Radio Show Interview

November 4th, 2013

Listen to Fauzia’s great interview with Kristin Hiemstra, from The Art of Potential Radio Show to learn about marketing books on-line,  how the publishing industry has changed and the best way to build an on-line following.

From the Chapelboro site: Fauzia Burke is sought after by America’s top authors like Sue Grafton for her expertise in internet book marketing. With experience launching more than 2000 books she knows what she is talking about. Fauzia shares with us what it takes to create your own brand and build a following. A great show for those thinking of starting their own business, upping their professional game, or trying to get their own book published.

Listen here: http://chapelboro.com/wchl/lifestyle-weekly/art-of-potential/november-1-2013-8/

Married to Your Work: How to Be in Business with Your Spouse

November 1st, 2013

“The secret of a happy marriage is finding the right person. You know they’re right if you love to be with them all of the time.” — Julia Child

My husband and I were both working in the publishing industry 18 years ago when I had an idea to start my own business. I wanted to promote books online. I left a great job to follow my interests, but thankfully, my past employer became my first client. Within a year of starting FSB Associates, I had more work than I could do alone, so my husband took a huge leap of faith and quit his job to join me. Together we built a niche service company creating online awareness for books and authors through a seamless integration of social media and web publicity. We build brands and loyal communities of readers for authors, and create and design author websites to help authors build the foundation of their digital strategies. Many years ago, people advised me not to work with family — particularly a spouse — and that’s not bad advice, but for us, it works.

We are still happily married and very much in business. Joining forces, we have successfully executed more than 2,000 book publicity campaigns and watched our beautiful daughters grow up. I’ve learned a few things along the way about how to grow a business and a family together.

Don’t immediately toss out the idea of working with your spouse. You don’t have to immediately discount the notion of working with a spouse or another family member because of the taboo of mixing family and business. Under the right conditions, or the right relationship, it can work. Building a business and a family with my husband has made us closer, and we love what we have created together.

Position your strengths. My husband and I have different skill sets that complement each other. He’s good with numbers and technology and I’m good with people and publicity. Positioning your strengths is how you can build a successful team and business. Plus, people are happier when they are doing what they do best and it’s easier to stay in your own lane when you separate your responsibilities by what each spouse does best.

Maintain boundaries. Once you have delegated your responsibilities, let your spouse handle those responsibilities without interference. Sure, you can collaborate, but it’s best to stay out of each other’s way. Refrain from telling your spouse how to do what they do best. Let each other have some room and flexibility to work independently. Trust one another because it’s key to letting each other flourish in your designated roles.

Create a work only zone. Understand that business communication is different from personal communication, and once you are at work, be at work. Leave all personal miscommunications or disagreements behind. Know you can talk about personal topics once you are home. Clear your mind of any issues once you enter your work only zone. Since personal issues typically involve more emotions than business issues, make a conscious decision to table emotions until you are back in home mode so work decisions can be made with a level head.

Embrace open communication. Respect is so essential in any marriage, but if you are in business together, respect is critical. Respect is being appreciative of your spouse’s talents, gifts and insights. Respect can easily be conveyed by listening. Always be respectful in your communication. Open and effective communication can make a working relationship harmonious.

Forget balance and go for blend. Don’t worry too much about separating work and family in some perfect balance; find a blend that works for your family. Feel free to attend school events for your kids and make up the time at night after bedtime. It’s okay to talk about the business at dinner, or put in some work time in the evening, as long as the blend of work and personal time works for everyone involved.

Remember that you are both on the same side. There is a Zig Ziglar quote I love: “Many marriages would be better if the husband and wife clearly understood that they are on the same side.” Not only is this a great piece of marital advice, but it also is great advice for running a business with your spouse — just remember you are on the same side. As business owners, we have the same goal, success for our clients, staff, our business and our family. Remembering that you are working together for the same outcomes can facilitate a positive and easy-breezy working relationship.

Focus on the big picture. Remember, why you went into business together. My husband and I are passionate about the book publishing industry, about web marketing, and about helping authors. We also enjoy the flexibility of having our own business. While we do put it long days and some working nights — common for entrepreneurs — our time is our own. We can design our days with flexibility, coming up with the right mix of family time while never losing focus on the business. Ultimately, we always keep the big picture in our minds, and that’s the importance of our marriage and family, our number one priority.

Marriage and business works when you work at it together. In fact, it can work so well that blending family and business may become a tremendous blessing in your life. It has in mine.

© 2013 Fauzia Burke. All Rights Reserved.

Author Bio
Fauzia Burke is the Founder and President of FSB Associates, a digital publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. For online publicity, book publishing and social media news, follow Fauzia on Twitter: @FauziaBurke. To talk with FSB and ask your book publicity questions, please join us on Facebook.