5 Ways to Live Fearlessly in the New Year

December 19th, 2014

A Better Life sign with sky in the background

 

I love Theodore Roosevelt’s quote about the man in the arena. “It’s not the critic who counts.The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood. If we want to truly live, we have to get into the arena. We have to take risks, strive, stumble, sweat, and dare greatly.  Living fearlessly isn’t living without any fear; it’s just not letting your fears call the shots. Here are five ways to push your fears out of the way.

1. Work for yourself.

When I had a thriving career in publishing, I decided to resign and start my own digital marketing business for authors. It was 1995 and I didn’t know anything about Internet marketing. Fast forward to today, and not only is FSB Associates successful, but I have no regrets. There’s no better way to boost your confidence and become self-reliant than working for yourself. I know so many people who’d like to start their own businesses but don’t because they fear it might not work out or they want guarantees. If you wait until you feel ready or know you will be successful, you will always be waiting. Confidence comes from preserving through risk and making it to the other side. So take the leap. I’ve never regretted starting my own publicity company for authors. If you’d like to tiptoe before you run, start a side business while you still have your 9-to-5 job. Remember, work has its challenges whether you work for yourself or someone else. And if you’ve always dreamed of starting your own business, wouldn’t you rather try (and face fears) than wonder?

2. Take action.

Worry is an inactive state. Worry just creates more worry and most of the time, the thing you worry about never happens. When my husband left his position as sales director in publishing to join me in running my company, we didn’t know if working together would kill our marriage.  When we quit our jobs to run our own company we had two babies, a mortgage and only a couple of clients. Of course we worried, but we didn’t let it stop us.  My husband and I love working and growing our company together. We also love the freedom of working for ourselves. Take yourself out of a state of passive worry by going into action mode, even if it means facing a fear head on. Action alleviates fear and worry and soon you just may realize you were worrying for nothing.

3. See the world.

I have some friends who will never fly. Ever. For some it’s because of the loss of control, for others it’s the fear of a plane crash. I know someone else who never wants to leave the United States because she feels it’s unsafe. I’ve always traveled a great deal, so I’ve never had these fears, but there is a sound bit of simple advice I once heard: “You can’t live like that.”  If you make decisions based on what could happen, your life will be limited. Take a step back and let go. I think it’s important to realize we all aren’t in total control anyway, so why reduce the wonderful experiences you could have by traveling? We can understand each other, our world, and ourselves so much better if we see the world.

4. Be ready for setbacks.

It’s important to view setbacks as just that—setbacks. It’s not a sign from the universe that you should change direction or give up. Failing doesn’t mean you are a failure. Whether it’s a failure, a setback or a misstep, view it as an opportunity to learn and to be wiser in the future. Where did we get the notion that pursuing our dreams should happen flawlessly and orderly? Perfection thinking can lead to procrastination. Progress and success look messy behind the scenes. Accept setbacks as part of the journey and learn to adapt.

5. Risk showing up for your biggest dream.

I work with so many authors who put their souls into 300 pages for the whole world to see. Authors have to be vulnerable and show up. If you want your biggest dream to come true, you have to put it all out there. Show up. Put your name on the line. Share your story to connect with people. If you try to pursue your dream while controlling what every person thinks of you, you will be frustrated and your dream will elude you. Go full throttle toward your biggest dream. My husband and I are moving to Southern, California to expand our company. We are taking a risk by moving away from New York City when we are in book publishing, but we know there isn’t reward without risk. We try to chart our own course by listening to our intuition and not our fears. You will experience tremendous joy when you live full tilt despite any fears. New opportunities await you in the arena. Happy New Year. May it be your best, most fearless one yet.

21 Ways to Give Back this Holiday Season

December 12th, 2014

 

a snowflake design

Give yourself entirely to those around you. Be generous with your blessings. A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.―Steve Maraboli

When you share small acts of kindness, you are giving back more than you might think. You spread cheer to someone else. You elevate your own mood. You inspire more giving. Giving can have a ripple effect. The recipient of your act of kindness benefits, and so do any witnesses. Oh, and you just may enjoy the feeling of giving so much that it turns into a giving spirit that lives on well past the holidays. So here are some ideas:

  1. Call a friend you haven’t talked to all year.
  2. Spread good news about someone.
  3. Collect cans of food and donate them to a food bank.
  4. Gather up your old coats and donate them to Goodwill or a homeless shelter.
  5. Pay for someone’s layaway anonymously.
  6. Run an errand for someone.
  7. Buy books for strangers. Books can change lives.
  8. Give an unexpected generous tip to make someone’s day.
  9. Buy someone in your family a journal and inscribe it your best life lesson on the first page.
  10. Bake some holiday cookies and share the sweet merriment with your neighbors.
  11. Leave a note of cheer on someone’s windshield.
  12. Sign up for a holiday 5K because the money goes to a good cause.
  13. Donate possessions you no longer need to the Salvation Army.
  14. Bring a box of toys to a children’s hospital.
  15. Have a beautiful photo framed and send it as a gift to someone special.
  16. Smile at a stranger.
  17. Give a genuine compliment every day.
  18. Bring treats to the office to share with coworkers.
  19. Donate blood and save a life.
  20. Bring some blankets, dog food or pet toys to the animal shelter.
  21. Write a note or send an email of appreciation to someone who has positively impacted your life.

What are some of the special ways you give back during the holidays? Let’s add to this list. Share your act of kindness in the comments section below. Happy Holidays.

© 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. A nationally-recognized speaker and digital branding expert, Fauzia writes regularly for Huffington Post, MariaShriver.com and MindBodyGreen.  For online publicity, book publishing and social media news, follow Fauzia on Facebook and Twitter. To talk with FSB and ask publicity questions about your book, please join us FSB on Twitter and Facebook. 

 

The Age of the Specialists

November 4th, 2014
The Age of Specialists

The Age of Specialists

Get specific. Those two little words mean so much. Get specific is a great writing tip, and a great way to write a To Do list. When you get specific in conversation, people know precisely what you are talking about. As a business owner, I’ve learned that you can provide the most value to your customers and clients when you are a specialist and not a generalist. The old saying that you can’t be all things to all people is true.  Most of my clients today prefer to have a team of specialists—with specific strengths in which they excel—rather than a team of generalists. At my company, FSB Associates, we specialize in online publicity. We find being focused helps us deliver better results for our clients. Here are five ways that focus will make your work better:

 

The Age of Specialists

  1. Position your strengths.

    Marcus Buckingham has several books on identifying your strengths and the value of spending your time honing your strengths and disregarding your weaknesses. Put another way, there’s not a lot of value in being a well-rounded person. There is more value in honing your strengths—or becoming an expert in a specific niche. Imagine what you could accomplish if you take an area where you are naturally strong (where you already excel) and you work on those skills and abilities? For example, as online publicity specialists, we get results for our clients because this is our specialty. We don’t try and do it all or go outside our lane of expertise. When you stick to your strengths, you will like the results.

  2. Target your pitching.

    When we work to get publicity for our clients, we don’t write a blanket pitch for all media outlets. And we don’t approach the same media outlets for every client. We target our pitches, and we make sure each media outlet is the right match for our clients. (You have to match the message with the right audience.) You will have far better results when you build relationships individually and then customize your pitch to a specific person. Yes, it’s easier to write a boilerplate pitch and send it out in a mass email, but it won’t work. It may feel good to cross it off your To Do list, but it’s not effective. Tailoring a pitch for a single person or specific audience is far more effective.

  3. Know your audience.

    Internet publicity is quite customized. Before you sit down to write a blog, pitch yourself, start a website or agree to a speaking engagement, you have to know your audience. I always remind authors that there is no everyone.com. The best authors have one person in mind (who represents the traits and interests of their specific audience) when they write. You provide a specialty and you have to match your expertise with those who need it. Know what your audience cares about. What adjectives describe your audience, client or customer? Don’t do this or that because it worked for someone else. Instead, ask yourself: Will it work for my audience? If you want to build your client base, take a step back and write down everything you know about where you are getting business from. Then you will know your audience and can assess what you need to do next.

  4. Never fly blind.

    As online publicity specialists, we help our clients with their social media campaigns, but not until we do an intensive sit down to know their interests, values and what they like and don’t like. The faster way is usually not the better way. Take time to know your clients and with that knowledge you can provide your clients with exceptional service.

  5. Build relationships one person at a time.

    Build social capital. Give first. Have a helping mentality long before you need a favor. As author Lois Frankel said, “The time to build a relationship is long before you need it.” Don’t use the anonymity of online to spam people or send unsolicited emails. You should still have the same social etiquette online that you have offline.

Whether you are an author or entrepreneur (or both), getting specific will accelerate your success. Get specific about your strengths, your audience and your value. The more of a specialist you become, the more people will need the services you provide.

© 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. A nationally-recognized speaker and digital branding expert, Fauzia writes regularly for Huffington Post, MariaShriver.com and MindBodyGreen.  For online publicity, book publishing and social media news, follow Fauzia on Facebook and Twitter. To talk with FSB and ask publicity questions about your book, please join us FSB on Twitter and Facebook. 

How to Give Someone User Access to Your Google Analytics

November 1st, 2014
two people talking

Google Analytics

If you outsource your website analytics or you want someone on your team to be able to access your Google Analytics, here are the steps you need to take:

Step 1                                                                   

Sign in to your Google Analytics account at google.com/analytics.

Step 2

Click on the website Analytics profile you’d like to invite a new user to under the “Account Home” section.

Step 3

Click the “Admin” button.

Step 4

Click the “Users” tab under the “Profiles” section, and then click the “+ New User” button.

Step 5

Enter the email address of the user you’d like to invite, and click the radio button next to either User or Administrator. A user can view analytics data, while an administrator can make edits to the account.

Step 6

Click the Create User button to complete the process. The user you invited will be sent an email invitation with a link. New users just click the provided link and sign in to Google using an existing Google account.  There is no need to create a new account to view your Analytics data.

Wondering if you should connect your site to Google Analytics? Read about why you should here.

Want an overview of Google Analytics? Read it here. 

© 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. A nationally-recognized speaker and digital branding expert, Fauzia writes regularly for Huffington Post, MariaShriver.com and MindBodyGreen.  For online publicity, book publishing and social media news, follow Fauzia on Facebook and Twitter. To talk with FSB and ask publicity questions about your book, please join us FSB on Twitter and Facebook. 

Your Website and Google Analytics 101        

October 29th, 2014

A sign with a question mark that asks: What are you goals?As an author, you need to have a website so your readers and community can learn about you. In order to know if your website is attracting traffic and is working for you, take advantage of free Google Analytics and connect your website. Google Analytics can tell you so much information even at a glance. If you are new to Google Analytics here’s a little overview to help you get familiar with the data you can collect and review.

Google Analytics 101

Number of visits

Your number of visits is the number of times someone comes to your site. If the same person comes back more than once, that’s tracked as two visits.

Unique Visitors

The number of new people coming to your site. Each unique person is counted once.

Page views

Page views are the number of pages on your site that were viewed. Each link on a website takes you to a new page. An increase in page views indicates that more content is being viewed across your website. You can see where people are going on your site and how many pages they view per visit.

Bounce rate

The bounce rate is the percentage of people who see one page and then leave the site or bounce off the page. Aim for a decreasing bounce rate. It means people are finding content they like and you are likely achieving reader engagement.

Average time on the site

This indicates how long someone stays on your site. This is a good number to track to see if it’s improving or declining.

Top content

Track the content that gets the most page views and best traffic to show your high-performing pages and then you know what works and you can do more of it.

Social visits

Find out what social media sites send the most traffic to your website by going to the Traffic Sources section of Google analytics and click on “All Traffic.” You will be able to see the websites that send traffic to your site.

Traffic source keywords

Track the keywords people use via search engines to get to your site. Keywords people use that have a low bounce rate, high time on site and lots of page visits are the ones you should use in your blog post titles, and as tags and categories. Your keywords also can be a good indication to you of the content that resonates with your readers.

SEO

Keyword search engine optimization (SEO) is important, but so is sounding like you. People expect authentic communication not marketing copy. Make sure your site isn’t so optimized for SEO it hardly reads well.

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.

© 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. A nationally-recognized speaker and digital branding expert, Fauzia writes regularly for Huffington Post, MariaShriver.com and MindBodyGreen.  For online publicity, book publishing and social media news, follow Fauzia on Facebook and Twitter. To talk with FSB and ask publicity questions about your book, please join us FSB on Twitter and Facebook. 

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.

© 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. A nationally-recognized speaker and digital branding expert, Fauzia writes regularly for Huffington Post, MariaShriver.com and MindBodyGreen.  For online publicity, book publishing and social media news, follow Fauzia on Facebook and Twitter. To talk with FSB and ask publicity questions about your book, please join us FSB on Twitter and Facebook. 

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.

© 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. 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.