Why You Should Connect Your Site to Google Analytics

October 22nd, 2014

Google AnalyticsIf you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Or, what isn’t tracked can’t be improved. If you have a website, you have to know if it’s working for you. It’s important to know what specifically is working well so you can do more of it. It’s great if your mom is visiting your website, not so great if only your mom is visiting your website. The easiest and most effective way to track your website progress, and discover what’s resonating with your visitors is connecting your site to Google Analytics with a little bit of tracking code. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of tracking your site’s Google Analytics.

Benefits of Google Analytics

  • It’s free. Works well as a tracking tool for small businesses or authors who have small advertising budgets. You can use the data to run targeted marketing campaigns.
  • It’s easy to track website visits, page views, user demographics and other information.
  • Identify trends and make changes to your website in real time to best meet the needs of your visitors.
  • Find out where most of your visitors are located.
  • Learn the keywords or topics people are searching for on your site. (Hint: This is a big content clue of the information your visitors are most interested in having.)
  • Find out what pages people click on the most and what pages keep visitor interest for the longest amount of time.
  • Easily identify your best or most effective marketing efforts.
  • Discover how many people access your website via their mobile devices and assess if your website is mobile-friendly.
  • Enhance the user experience by gathering data of what content people like the most and using that data to align your content with visitors’ interests.
  • Make changes in real time if you aren’t satisfied with the performance of your website.
  • See which search engine keyword search terms deliver traffic to your site, and how effective your search engine marketing (SEM) efforts are.
  • Find out which online marketing campaigns bring the most conversions.
  • Use referral and keyword data to improve your site’s search engine rankings and to increase your awareness of who is linking to you when, where and why.

If you are an author and you have a website, hooray! Having a website is one of the top branding strategies I recommend to authors to create community. The next step is to effectively manage your website and let the data to guide you. Use Google Analytics to provide you with feedback on what you should do more of (what’s working!) and what you should stop doing (what’s not working!). Google Analytics is a free tool, so it really is a no brainer.

For more information on how best to use Google Analytics to drive traffic to your website, read my Q & A with Social Marketology author, Ric Dragon. He provides excellent insights on how to gauge if your website is effective. . Understanding what draws people to your website is instrumental to giving your visitors more of what they want and encouraging repeat and longer visits.

Making My Case: Why Authors Need Websites

October 22nd, 2014

a post-it note that reads: Who Are You?I heard there’s a rumor going around in book publishing that authors don’t need websites. I kid you not, in 2014 I still hear people saying authors don’t need a website. If it was a true rumor, many authors would exhale with relief. Who has the time to get a great website up, keep it updated with fresh content and still have coveted writing time? If you are an author, you may view getting your website up as a time-suck or annoyance, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need one. Authors without websites, your careers are like houses without foundations. Not convinced? Here are five reasons why you’ve got to get your author website up.

1. Your readers want to learn more about you.

In our digitally connected world, you can’t put your book out there in the world, but leave yourself in the shadows. Your readers want to know you. They want to know your interests and values, and they want to be able to converse with you online. Your website is the place where readers find out more about you and your expertise. Your website is where you build your brand and keep your content alive in real time. You should own your site. If your publisher owns your site, what happens if you decide to change publishers or decide to self-publish some day? As you develop a blog (which can be re-purposed content from your book) you can regularly reach out to your readers with content of value. Your website houses your content for your email newsletters. And if you want your blog to get more views, you want to be able to share it on Google+ (so it comes up in Google searches). Without a website, your blog is homeless.

2. You need a place to build your community.

As you collect email addresses of your interested readers (I call them your super fans) you are a creating a vetted community of people who are stepping forward and saying, “I am interested in you and what you have to say.” Your website is the ideal place to collect these names for your email newsletter. You are building community. While you can converse on social pages, your website is a home base where collecting emails and generating content meet. Your mailing list is a big asset, you should have control over it. Without a website, it would be difficult to collect email addresses on a consistent basis or have a home base for the content you send out in those emails.

3. You need a place for ecommerce.

If you want to sell other products or services, or that’s your plan down the road, no other social media platform (not Twitter, not Facebook, not Pinterest) can organize the products, books or services like you can organize them on your own website. You can integrate your website with shopping cart tools, add new products all the time and have them organized under a one-click navigation (i.e. under the word, Shop.) Better still, your website can include testimonials from your super fans, solidifying your brand, expertise and the products you offer.

4. Other social media platforms don’t cancel out the need for a website.

Your website is where you are in control. No one else can change the rules like they can on other social media sites. While some players in the publishing industry contend that you can use a social media site in place of having a website, I couldn’t disagree more. A website is where you call the shots. If you are only on social media sites, you are always playing another person’s game. Facebook or Twitter could change the user experience and you just have to follow along. For example, Facebook recently changed its model to more of a pay-to-play platform, so if you opted for a Facebook business page in lieu of your own website, you now have to play by Facebook’s rules. Do you want to be dependent upon Facebook’s algorithm or functionality of who sees your content? If you have a website, you get to decide what your audience sees. Your website and each social media platform are each totally different entities. Knowing your readers and where they spend their time will tell you what social pages you should sign-up for, but bottom line: You always need a website.

5. Why take a hit on your digital reputation when you can avoid it.

Ever hear the quote, “it’s not what you say, but sometimes what you don’t say that speaks the loudest?” Well, that applies to your website too. If your interested reader does a quick search for you and doesn’t find a website, are you okay with that says about you? Not having a website could be viewed as unprofessional, out-of-date, and not connected. Publishers who want you to be a marketing partner for your book, may see your lack of a website as a reason not to take you seriously as a writer. If you want to grow your brand and your business, you need to show up with a website.

Despite popular belief, your website doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. You can keep it simple. WordPress is often recommended as a hosting platform because it’s author friendly, easy to use and easy for people to find (good search capabilities). Keep in mind one thing: It’s better not to have a website, than to have a bad one. If you have a website, make it good one.

Fauzia Burke is the Founder and President of FSB Associates, a digital publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors. A nationally-recognized speaker and digital branding expert, Fauzia writes regularly for Huffington PostMariaShriver.com and MindBodyGreen. For online publicity, book publishing and social media news, follow Fauzia on Twitter: @FauziaBurke and Facebook. To talk with FSB and ask publicity questions about your book, please join us FSB on Twitter and Facebook.

Staying Connected: 10 Digital Marketing Tips for Busy Authors

September 28th, 2014
contemplative woman

digital marketing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hopefully you’ve read Getting Started and Keep Going, my first 20 digital marketing tips for authors. Now it’s about staying connected. Branding isn’t about building something and then walking away. Your brand is a relationship you have with your community and something to invest in continually. It may sound daunting to stay digitally connected all the time, but a little effort can go a long way. And as an author, you have the hard part covered—you have content of value to share. Here is wave three of my digital branding tips for authors.

1) Start a Facebook business page.

where you can converse regularly with your audience and build a sense of community. Begin by sharing content of value. Go for daily engagement. Build community with a Facebook page and pay attention to your analytics or Insights on your page to see what is resonating with your audience. In fact, keep a list of what works best to easily identify what your audience cares about most. (And determine how they like to be communicated to …)

2) Always talk about your book with enthusiasm and passion.

The level of your interest sets the stage for the level of interest of your reader.

3) Start with the six essential strategies for digital marketing success.

Used together, they make for a powerful branding combination.

1)      Start your Website

2)      Send out a Newsletter

3)      Blog two to four times a month.

4)      Video   – Share a tip, inspire, solve a problem, offer a strategy. Talk to your community by sharing content of value in your niche.

5)      Start a Facebook business page. Facebook is too big to ignore. Join in.

6)      Twitter – Research your space. Find your readers. Tweet quick content of value.

4) Create your website.

A professional website is the single most important step toward your digital marketing plan. Your website is your home base, so make sure it is updated regularly and your content is current. Use your site as a platform for all other activities. Post your blog and photos along with links to your social networks. Always remember your audience when developing content. If a person cares enough to come to your site, make sure their trip was worth the effort.

5) Check your website.

Your website is your single most important step in developing your digital marketing plan.It’s your home base. Here’s your mini-checklist:

Do you update content regularly?

Tie in your links to all of your other social media sites?

Make it worthwhile for your readers to stick around your website?

Entertain, inspire or educate?

6) Be SUPER to your Super Fans.

Remember people who sign up for your newsletter are your SUPER FANS! Treat them as such! Never be a megaphone for you, your brand or your book. Always communicate with your super fans by thinking of what you can do for them. What can you offer of value?

7) Your blog.

Make sure it says something! Have you ever noticed that some blogs these days have the most compelling titles—that pull you right in—and then you read the article and there’s no substance or depth to what you just read? You read it but you didn’t learn or gain anything new. Don’t let that be you. Title well and over deliver with your content.

8) Show up with video.

There’s no better way to showcase your personality than with video. Video allows you to converse directly with your community. And it’s so easy to create short videos these days. Try a short video and upload it to your YouTube channel and share away on your social media pages.

9)  Tweet Tweet.

Use Twitter to share resources, quotes from your book and to do market research on your niche. Listen in on what other people are saying, what people are asking and what people are writing about and retweeting in your industry.

10)  Set some realistic social media goals with timelines for completion.

Examples: Build your mailing list. Improve your Website. Write articles for _________ .  Break each goal into individual tasks and give each a deadline.

Are you implementing some of the 30 tips I’ve shared with you so far? If so, I’d love to hear from you! How is it going? What is working for you? Leave a comment below and let’s stay connected!

 

Ask Yourself these 14 Questions to Expertly Market Your Book

September 23rd, 2014
Market Your Book

Market Your Book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s really never been a better time to be an author. There is a lot more competition than ever before, but there are also a lot more opportunities. For the first time in the history of publishing, authors have direct access to their readers. Our new world of direct access to readers requires authors to spend more time and effort to get the word out about their books, but with that investment there is great reward. Authors are building community, making a difference and finding great joy in the process.

I own a digital publicity and marketing firm specializing in creating awareness for books and authors and I often hear from authors who feel overwhelmed with the process of building a brand or finding an audience. Social media has opened the door to a world of possibilities, so where to begin? If you are an author, here are 14 questions you can answer to market your book with expertise.

1. Who is my book for?

Answer this question on paper and a picture of your audience will begin to emerge. Once you can describe your audience, you will have a better understanding of where you can find them online.

2. Who do I want to help?

Think of the problems you want to help solve for your audience and share your knowledge. Create connections through online conversation. Offer value with solutions, ideas, resources or expertise.

3. What does my audience care about?

Don’t follow the next shiny object online; take time to consider what social media platforms make sense for your brand. Just because a social media platform exists or there’s an app for it, doesn’t mean you have to use it. Decide what sites and tools you will use to find and communicate with your audience. To avoid overwhelm, start with a website and one or two social media platforms. You don’t have to do everything all at once.

4. What’s my digital reputation?

Your name and reputation are at stake when you build your brand. You can get help with your social media efforts, but make sure you invest your own time to safeguard your brand. If you outsource some of your social media efforts, make sure all the messaging is consistent with who you are and your personal brand. Your brand is your reputation or story.

5. What’s my top goal for writing my book?

Identifying your goals for writing your book determines your priorities. Nonfiction writers are often driven to write a book to shed light on an untold story, help others with their expertise, build a business or acquire speaking engagements. What’s your top goal? Keep your top goal in mind to decide how to spend your time online.

6. What can I do today?

You don’t have to go viral to gain an audience. Sustained small efforts to keep people talking can be just as effective as a campaign that goes viral. Your ongoing conversation with your readers can result in speaking engagements, paid blog posts, interview opportunities, more fans on your Facebook page, more traffic on your site, increased sales, and a recognition and expansion of  your brand—Brand YOU. Think of what you can do daily to keep the conversation going

7. Does the content I share on my website or on social media entertain, enlighten, inform or educate?

If it doesn’t, don’t share it.

8. What’s my purpose?  

Your purpose for your book is your most meaningful goal as an author. Maybe you want to help people, make a difference, or offer solutions of value. Those goals have a deeper emotional hook than wanting to sell books. As author Seth Godin so aptly put it: “Build it and they will come” is only for the movies. Publicity won’t happen because you have a desire to sell books. Connecting to your more meaningful goals is how you can make things happen. Give value and you will receive value back.

9. Is my website about me and is it professional?

People follow people, not books. When you build your website, make it a website about you first and then your book. A professional website is the single most important step toward your digital marketing plan because it’s your home base. Make sure you update your content is current and you update it regularly. Make sure your site is linked to any other social media sites where you are active. If a person cares enough to come to your site, make sure their trip was worth the effort.

10. How much do I know about reader?

Do you know if your reader is male or female? Young or on the older side? What are the values of your reader? Education level? Where do you think your reader is online? What social media sites? The more you know about your reader, the easier it will be for you to find them online. When you know your reader well, it becomes easier to know what they want, provide content of value, and stay in your lane of expertise.

11. Am I investing in the relationship with my audience or community?

Assess today if you are truly investing in the relationship you have with your readers. Readers today expect more from authors than just a book. Readers want a relationship with writers. Are you invested in their interests? Do you answer their questions? If you help your audience, they will feel connected to you.

12. What is my dream for my book?

Determining your dream can fuel your motivation to dig in and build your brand for the long haul. Building your brand and marketing your book is a marathon and not a sprint.

Be on TV?

Become a columnist?

Speak at conferences?

Offer consulting services?

Sell movie rights to your book?

Other ________________!

 13. Does all the content I produce sound like me?

There is no competition for you. No matter how much you like how someone else’s brand or business, you won’t be effective if you try and be someone else. People will be drawn to you when you are authentic and relatable. Be uniquely you.

14. Am I super to my super fans?

If someone takes the time to sign up for your newsletter, that person is a super fan.  Treat your super fans as such! Communicate with your super fans by thinking of what you can content of value you can provide for them. When you keep the interests and needs of your community top of mind, you can’t go wrong with what you share.

While it will take work, enjoy today’s direct access relationship with your readers. As you build your audience, you will simultaneously create opportunity for you and your brand, while you make a difference in the lives of other people.

© 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.

 

Keep Going: 10 Digital Marketing Tips for Busy Authors

September 18th, 2014
a journal or notebook

Digital Marketing Tips for Busy Authors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hopefully you’ve read Getting Started, my first 10 digital marketing tips for busy authors. This is wave two. Remember, the most effective marketing plan for your book is one that you work on continuously. I know it’s easy to get social media fatigue (or overwhelm) by thinking of all the possibilities of what you can do online … but just take it step by step. Soon you will have a process to market your book and build your brand as an author.

Here are ten more digital marketing tips for you.

1)  Connect to your purpose for writing your book.

As author Seth Godin so aptly put it: “Build it and they will come” is only for the movies. Publicity won’t happen because you have a desire to sell books. Your more meaningful goals will drive conversations and make things happen for you (other writing or publicity opportunities, speaking engagements, etc.) Goals like “I want to help people” or “I want to make a difference” are where you can find connection that resonates. Give value and that’s what you will receive. What is your most meaningful goal for writing your book? (Bonus: Reminding yourself of why you wrote your book can be just the motivation you need to sustain your marketing efforts.)

2) Google your name.

(It’s okay, we all do it!) Think of personal branding as your Google search results. Your brand is your reputation or story. Your brand is what people think of you, so stay on top of your brand. For example, if you see a negative comment on a blog post, respond positively and publicly. Don’t delete, use it as an opportunity to show others who you are.

3) Make your website about you.

People follow people, not books. When you build your website, make it a website about you first and then your book. And you really do need a website. Here’s why!

4) Craft your reader profile.

Answer the following questions about your readers to create your reader profile statement.

Is your reader male or female?

What other books/authors/magazines does he/she reads?

TV shows they watch?

What are some of the common values or traits of your ideal readership?

Does your audience have a problem, concern or frustration that your book seeks to solve?

What does your audience want?

What are the top three audiences for the book?

What do you consider the top competitive titles for your book?

Education level of your readers:

Do they need/want your book for pleasure or business?

Is your reader on social networks?

Which ones?

Once you have your reader profile statement, you will get a better sense of who your ideal audience is and where you can find them online.

5) Think about your reader.

What does your reader want? Use your reader profile to identify what your reader and audience wants. How can you serve your reader? What problem can you solve? What can you help with? Write down your answers to get a crystal clear picture of how you can meet your readers’ needs.

6) Create two-way relationships.

Today readers expect more from authors than a just their book. Readers want a relationship with writers. Assess today if you are truly investing in the relationship you have with your readers. Are you invested in their interests? Do you answer their questions? When the content you create helps your readers, they identify with your brand, and feel loyal and connected to you.

7) Be able to quickly describe your reader.

There is no everyone.com. Readers are part of micro-communities. They want good books, and they will support authors who will support their interests and passions. List five ways you can identify your reader. (What are your shared interests and passions?) When you know your reader front and back—it’s easy to know what they want, provide content of value, and stay in your lane of expertise.

8) Dream big.

What is your dream for writing your book?

o   Be on TV?

o   Become a columnist?

o   Speak at conferences?

o   Offer consulting services?

o   Sell movie rights to your book?

o   Other ________________!

Determining your dream can fuel your motivation to build your brand for the long haul. After all, seeing results from your brand is a marathon and not a sprint.

9)  Be You.

Don’t try and emulate anyone else or any other brand. A personal brand lets you carve out your niche. There is no competition for you. What makes your brand unique? List three things.

10) Keep the conversation going.

It’s perfectly normal to feel like your brand is a one-way street. You wonder if anyone other than your mother is reading your blog. Wait for it. Remember, your brand is like waiting for a newborn to smile. It doesn’t happen when you want it to, but when you are patient, it will happen. Keep the conversation going on a regular basis and don’t give up. View each day as an opportunity to do something.

Do you have any questions about marketing your book? Chime in below and let’s get the conversation going!

© 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.

Getting Started: 10 Digital Marketing Tips for Busy Authors

September 3rd, 2014

Woman Laying on Couch with ComputerYou are an author. Your book is finished. Or you are still working away page by page. You wish your book would sell itself due to its sheer brilliance, but realistically, you know it’s going to take some leg work to market your book. You want to share your story and get your message out into the world, but with today’s endless list of social media sites and tools, you feel a little overwhelmed. You are faced with a myriad of choices and the one-word dilemma all of us share: time. How do you market your book and still have time to write?

If this sounds like you, you are not alone. It’s a common problem most authors face. Let me help you with 10 digital marketing tips.

1) Start now.

It’s never too early to start. Even if your book is in the idea phase, it’s not too early to start building your brand and finding your audience, because it takes time. Ask yourself: Who is your book for? Answer that question on paper and a picture of your audience will begin to emerge. Once you can describe your audience, you will have a better understanding of where you can find them online.

2) Invest often.

You will get as much out of your personal brand as you put into it. Think of who you want to help. Think of the problems you want to help solve for your audience and share your knowledge. Create connections through online conversation, always offering value with solutions, ideas, resources or expertise.

3) Decide what works for your audience.

Busy authors have to figure out the best options for publishing their book while simultaneously working on branding and marketing. Don’t follow the next shiny object online; take time to consider what social media platforms make sense for your brand. Just because a social media platform exists or there’s an app for it, doesn’t mean you have to use it. Decide what sites and tools you will use to find and communicate with your audience. To avoid overwhelm, start with a website and one or two social media platforms. You don’t have to do everything all at once.

4)  Identify your audience.

Answer these three questions:

  1. Why did you write your book?
  2. Who is your book for?
  3. What interests do you share with your audience?

Answer these three questions and you will be writing a description of your audience. You have to first know who your audience is before you can find them on social media.

4) Protect your good name. Monitor your digital reputation.

Your name and reputation are at stake when you build your brand. You can get help with your social media efforts, but make sure you invest your own time to safeguard your brand. If you outsource some of your social media efforts, make sure all the messaging is consistent with who you are and your personal brand.

6)  What are you goals for you book?

Identifying your goals for writing your book determines your priorities. Nonfiction writers are often driven to write a book to shed light on an untold story, help others with their expertise, build a business or acquire speaking engagements. What’s your top goal? Keep your top goal (or two) in mind to decide how to spend your time online.

7)  Determine your value proposition.

Who does your book help? Read your answer to this question often as it will give you the motivation to do the continuous work it takes to promote your book and build your brand.

8) Take time to read.

Readers make the best writers. Need a good book recommendation? I have 14!

9)  Know your small efforts count.

You don’t have to go viral to gain an audience. Sustained small efforts to keep people talking can be just as effective as a campaign that goes viral. Your ongoing conversation with your readers can result in speaking engagements, paid blog posts, interview opportunities, more fans on your Facebook page, more traffic on your site, increased sales, and a recognition and expansion of  your brand—Brand YOU. Think of what you can do daily to keep the conversation going.

10) Brand You.

All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc.Tom Peters. When you engage with your audience online ask yourself: Does it:

  • Entertain?
  • Enlighten?
  • Inform?
  • Educate? If it doesn’t, don’t share it.

If your true passion is writing, I know marketing can appear daunting. Take a day-by-day approach and realize every effort counts. As I tell many of my clients, sometimes waiting to see the rewards from your efforts is like waiting for a baby’s first smile. You just have to be patient, because your day will come.

© 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.

 

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.