10 Things I Know for Sure About Book Marketing

February 26th, 2015

a woman holding a book
I am often asked what I know for sure in the book publishing, book marketing, and digital marketing industry. While there isn’t one magical formula for every author and every book, there are some specific steps you can take to carve out your niche, build your brand and create a community.

  1. You can’t just do social media. You have to combine your social media efforts with social networking. Social media is what we create and upload. It is a one-to-many communication approach. Social networking is about interacting and listening and it is successful when it’s done peer-to-peer. Create content to share, but make sure you are creating conversations as well. You can’t only post, you have to comment, read, listen, share and go for connection.
  2. Don’t try and do everything. Just because something can be done online doesn’t mean it should be done online. Don’t try and keep up with every new social media platform and app that is new or trendy. Think about your niche and what makes the most sense for you to do. Where do you think you can find your audience? Go there first. I always recommend that authors begin with a website because today’s readers expect that at a minimum. Start your author website and make it about you first and your book second.
  3. Don’t try to promote your book to everyone. There is no everyone.com. Knowing your audience is essential for authors in so many ways. When you can easily describe your audience you can find them online. You can make your book better because you know exactly who you are writing to and how you can provide value. (Hint: When identifying your audience, do it by thinking of one person. Let one person represent all the values and traits of your audience and then think of that one person as you create content.)
  4. The tortoise can beat the hare. An email marketing blast can seem enticing when your time is crunched and you can’t believe your overwhelming to-do list. But don’t do it. It’s better to take a few hours and write to one person at a time (to get a testimonial or to tell someone of your book) than to do a mass email. I’ve tested this and I know it to be true. You will get better results if you write one email at a time, even if it seems like a painstakingly slow process.
  5. The age of generalists is over. Find your niche, hone your skills, develop your audience and be brilliant. Be a specialist, strengthen your strengths and stay in your lane.
  6. Think long-term. The purpose of building your audience is to bring them along with you as you develop your projects. The feedback and encouragement you receive will make your book better. Use the questions you are asked as content ideas for your next blog post or chapter in your book. The questions your audience asks is an inside look at what your audience cares about most.
  7. Talking to people is a great privilege. Don’t waste it. Sometimes we are all so busy and our heads are racing to the next meeting or work project, and we don’t get present or appreciate the conversations we are having in the moment. Value every conversation and every person. Sounds cliché, but really, what you put in you will get back.
  8. Go for engagement. We all get caught up in social media numbers because it’s like a game. How many LIKES can I get? How many followers do I have? Watching your numbers grow can be an immediate gratification pursuit, but truly it’s better to have 1,000 engaged fans than 10,000 who don’t care about you. Go for interaction and engagement.
  9. Start now. Start developing your brand and platform as soon as you have an idea for a book. It’s never too early to create your audience and begin the conversation.
  10. Give value to your customer. It’s not enough to just know your customer. You have to create content of value for your customer. Then take a step back and watch, read, listen and respond.

Today sharing your expertise, ideas and stories has never been easier but building and keeping an audience has never been harder. Devote some time to your marketing plan daily and be patient. Results will happen.

© 2015 Fauzia Burke. All Rights Reserved.

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.

 

55 Digital Branding Tips for Authors

February 3rd, 2015
digital marketing puzzle

Digital Marketing Tips

To help you navigate the digital marketing landscape and build your audience for your book, I put together a list of 55 things that can help you establish your brand over the long haul. You just may be surprised at how much you enjoy the journey of connecting with your readers and how building your brand is not as daunting as you might think.

 

  1. Start developing your brand and platform as soon as you have an idea for a book.
  2. Identify your values and interests to shape your brand. What’s your reason for being?
  3. Find an audience with like-minded interests. Reach out. It’s okay if some of the popular social media platforms aren’t right for your brand. Your time is precious; only spend it where you will find your audience.
  4. Listen to your community. Successful branding is a two-way street.
  5. Clearly know your goals and strategy for social media.
  6. Your subject line of your emails to your list will determine the open rate and the effectiveness of your email.
  7. Answer this question: How can you inspire your audience?
  8. Use questions from your readers to inspire your next blog post.
  9. Have a website. It’s the only place in the digital world where you are in complete control. Your website is your home base for all other social media efforts.
  10. Word of mouth marketing is engagement. Talk to your friends about your website.
  11. Pay attention to what works. Social media allows you to make changes in real time according to what data and community engagement tells you. Constantly shift according to what appeals to your audience most.
  12. Ask for what you want with a clear call to action. Example: If you want your readers to leave their comments on a blog post, simply tell them you’d love to hear from them.
  13. People are mobile. Make sure your website is digital friendly.
  14. Build and nurture relationships consistently over time.
  15. Don’t ask people you don’t know for favors. Build a rapport and authentic relationships before you think about asking for something.
  16. People who love us, keep reading us.
  17. Post images. Posts with pictures create more engagement.
  18. Before you post something: Ask yourself if what you are about to post is of value to someone else.
  19. People buy from people they know, like and trust.
  20. Have one website—about you first and your book second. People like to follow people and not books. Good news: You don’t have to have multiple websites for multiple books.
  21. Being busy isn’t the same as being profitable.
  22. Build a reputation for honesty.
  23. Does it entertain, inform or inspire? If not, don’t share it.
  24. Offer your value in different ways without asking for anything in return: a tip list, inspiration, insight, ebook, webinar or video. You will build trust as you position yourself as an expert in your niche.
  25. Host a book giveaway. Have people sign up using a third-party social media app like Rafflecopter and collect names for your mailing list as you create buzz about your book.
  26. Don’t try and be everywhere at once. Be selective and find the best social media platforms for you.
  27. Study the competition. It’s smart to study what the competition is doing right and use it for inspiration or modify tips for your own marketing plan.
  28. Reach out to your fans. It’s okay if you have a small following and only family and friends are currently following you. Reach out to them and see if they will tweet your book title so it trends in the Twitter world. You can retweet those tweets.
  29. Use Twitter to chat. Set a time to chat with your audience and tell them a specific #hashtag to use. You can answer questions sent to you via tweets.
  30. Just because something can be done online, does not mean it should be done online.
  31. It’s better to take a few hours and write to one person at a time than to do a mass email. You will get better results.
  32. Talking to people is a great privilege, don’t waste it.
  33. The age of generalists is over. Find a niche, develop your audience, hone your skills and be brilliant.
  34. The key word in social media is You can’t pay someone to be social for you.
  35. Authors who listen to their readers, write better books and sell more copies.
  36. 1,000 core fans is better than 10,000 who don’t care about you.
  37. First impressions count.
  38. Don’t let your blog posts get old. Keep your website current with at least two blogs a month.
  39. Just because other people are doing it, doesn’t mean you need to do it too. Ask yourself if it’s right for your brand. Go where your people are.
  40. Keep it simple. Know who you are at your core—so you never dilute your brand with messages that aren’t aligned with your core focus.
  41. Make sure everything you create and share is an accurate reflection of you and your brand.
  42. What do you stand for? Be consistent and stay true to your brand.
  43. Think in terms of creating lifelong relationships with your customers or audience.
  44. Emails sent on Mondays have higher ROI.
  45. Don’t send emails, newsletters or pitches that look or sound spammy.
  46. Share relevant articles, videos, resources and books from other experts in your field. Be sure to credit the original sources of content you share.
  47. Don’t have a website if it is outdated.
  48. Make sure all of your digital platforms are connected and cross-market.
  49. Monitor your brand. Set your social media alerts (Google or Social Mention) are great ways to monitor your name and industry.
  50. Set your social media alerts (Google or Social Mention) are great ways to monitor your name and industry.
  51. Search conversations to study your niche and see what people are most interested in learning from you.
  52. Join groups relevant to your industry.
  53. If you want people to invest in you, invest in them.
  54. To build a following, you have to have patience and stay the course.
  55. Sometimes you have to hear crickets before you hear the roar of success.

© 2015 Fauzia Burke. All Rights Reserved.

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.

7 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

January 22nd, 2015
a woman looking shocked

7 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

People fear public speaking more than death. No one wants to make an embarrassing mistake—especially with rows of faces watching. Sure it can get your heart racing and your palms sweaty, but that doesn’t mean your fear has to stop you. As author Brene Brown says, Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen. It may be difficult to overcome your fear of public speaking, but isn’t it worth it if you can help people by sharing your knowledge?

As an owner of a digital marketing and publicity company, I am often asked to speak about publishing, marketing and entrepreneurial topics. It doesn’t matter if I am part of a panel of speakers, getting interviewed by the media, or behind a podium alone, feeling nervous is normal. And here’s the best part: The more I speak, the easier it is to speak. And, the more I speak, the more I want to keep doing it. Public speaking can really be a lot of fun. I hope these seven tips can help you conquer your fear of public speaking.

1. Just be who you are. 

“When I was in 10th grade I took a speech class. I thought because of my accent I would be terrible. I went to the teacher and told him I was really nervous. Hoping he would reassure me, instead he said, “You should be. The more nervous you are, the better you will prepare.” That was my first speech and I got the highest grade in the class. Yes, I had an accent, but I discovered that I had the ability to speak clearly and connect with audience. The audience in this case was a class of 10th graders in a public High School in Queens, NY. There is not a tougher crowd in the world and that class and those students provided the best boot camp for me. They taught me a valuable lesson early on that it was Ok to be me. Give yourself permission to be who you are. You can admire other speakers, but don’t try and be like them. Be you. You will connect with people if you show up authentically.

2. To compensate for being nervous, prepare.

You should know your topic so well you can talk about it all day. The more you feel prepared, the less nervous you will feel. When you are an expert on your subject matter, your mind transitions away from nerves and to thoughts like: I can do this. Ive got this. I know this topic cold. Prepare by organizing what you are going to say, incorporating a story or two, outlining your talking points and having smooth transitions from one point to the next. Yes, you can practice your speech in front of a mirror, but it’s better to try it in front of live people—so grab your spouse, friend or mom for a dress rehearsal. You also can prepare by filming yourself or recording yourself so you can see what improvements you’d like to make and ensure that you are talking at a conversational pace and the flow of your talk works well.

3. Prepare but dont memorize.

Just like those wonderful one-on-one conversations you have with friends or family, you want your talk or speech to feel natural. Avoid word for word memorization or reading to your audience. Remember key points of your speech and then talk and share stories. Make your talk a two-way interaction with audience participation or questions so your audience feels included and you can speak with ease.

4. Talk to one or two people.

I try and focus on one or two receptive people in the audience and pretend I am only talking to them. I glance everywhere of course, but mentally, I am only talking to those two friendly faces in the audience. It’s a technique that makes my talks a lot easier and more conversational.

5. Be okay with nerves.

The one thing that can make you overly nervous and trigger your fight or flight response is thinking that you need to be completely calm to deliver a wonderful speech or talk. You don’t have to get over your fear before you start speaking. It’s okay to be nervous. Even professional speakers get nervous or jittery before a big presentation, but they don’t let it stop them. If you get any of the signs of nerves including a rapid heartbeat, blushing, sweaty palms, a queasy stomach, shaky hands or dizziness, know that your symptoms and your state of panic will not last. It’s better to just know and accept that you may be nervous. Maybe you will get into a panic, but you can talk yourself down from it. Give yourself permission to be nervous for the first sentence. Soon you will transition into what you have to say and you will stop focusing on your fears.

6. Start small.

You can start with your mom or best friend and work up from there. Then speak to small groups until you find your rhythm. Find business organizations, networks and clubs in your area (like Toastmasters) that can afford you the opportunity to practice. And then you can move on to larger groups. Most speakers who start small soon realize that the size of the audience isn’t relevant, the most important thing is to be an expert on the topic you are speaking about.

7. Fake it until you make it.

For the most part, audience members can’t see how nervous you are, so smile, have good posture and exude confidence even if you aren’t feeling it in the moment. If you have stand confidently, look at your audience, and own your place at the podium or microphone, your brain will follow and you will start to feel confident too. The right body language can really get your brain to follow along too. Now you can focus on what you have to say and not on how you will come across.

Try showing up and being seen. The only way to chip away at your fear of public speaking is to operate as if you don’t have it. Put another way, you have to power through it to gain a sense of personal empowerment. Visualize a positive outcome and soon your fear won’t be stopping you from making a difference in other people’s lives.

© 2015 Fauzia Burke. All Rights Reserved.

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 Do’s and Don’ts of Digital Marketing for Authors

January 14th, 2015

FacebookWe all complain about social media because it takes so much time, but there is nothing we can do about it. It’s the way the world has changed and we have to adapt. Social media gives authors an unprecedented opportunity to build a brand and create community—especially with a plan for your digital marketing efforts. Here are some dos and don’ts as you create your digital marketing plan and embrace social media.

Don’t get attracted to the first shiny object.

I tend not to get attracted to the first shiny object online. I consider: Is it the right thing to do for my client? Will it be effective? Does it work? I like to look at it from every angle. Don’t do something just because other people are doing it. Make sure it’s right for you, your brand and messaging.

Do follow the data.

Data-driven marketing is a trend we all should be focusing on. In publishing people will say to authors you have to go and tweet. You have to have a website. Or you have to be on Pinterest. Without a plan those efforts become unsustainable. Everything we do now we have a data footprint. We can look at Facebook insights and see traffic to our blogs. There is data and analytics to everything we do in social media. We can see what’s working and what isn’t and adapt accordingly. We don’t have to work in the dark and we can do the things that are effective, efficient and are worth our time. Data helps us do that.

Don’t forget it’s a privilege to talk to people.

We can connect with our readers and audience like we never could before. It’s an intimacy and privilege to be able to talk to people. It’s an amazing opportunity.

Do go for engagement.

You can’t be a bullhorn. You have to go for engagement. You want people to talk on your page. You want a smaller community that’s engaged as opposed to a large audience that’s not engaged. Look at ways to engage the audience you do have. Take very good care of the people who have given you their permission to talk with them—whether that’s a newsletter, blog, or on Facebook. Give them your best.

Do write about what flows naturally for you.

Don’t write because it’s the thing you think you should write about or post. Look at the numbers, see where people are commenting and sharing. Where is your engagement? Evaluate the data. Be natural, but ask: What is your audience telling you?

Do be authentic.

When you share things about your life, it resonates. When we share ourselves, when we are more alert and present (authentic) we attract people more. People can see through that a little bit.

Do have your digital house in order.

Have a website. Send out a regular newsletter. Engage with your community. See what works and what doesn’t work.  People who sign up for your newsletter are your super fans. They deserve a special place in your community.

Don’t get overwhelmed.

You don’t have to be on everything, but you need to invest in one or two or three of them. Double down on things that are working and ditch the things that aren’t working.

Do know your audience.

Internet publicity is very customized. Don’t do this or that because it worked for someone else. You have to know your audience and what works. Write down everything you know about where you are getting business from. Take a step back and assess what you need to do.

Don’t spam.

Don’t send unsolicited emails or tweets … none of those efforts work. We all delete them.

Do personalize.

You might feel like you accomplished something by sending an email to 100 people but then there is data that says no one opened it up. Maybe it feels like you got it off your checklist.

Don’t forget social graces.

On LinkedIn people think it’s okay to just email people. You have to have permission before you bombard people with things. “The time to build a relationship is long before you need it.” – Lois Frankel. It isn’t okay to forget social graces because of the anonymity of online communication.

Don’t have a website that is not updated or current.

For a business author, a lot of times when we are pitching them, the media will look at them and they aren’t looking at the number of followers, they are looking at the content they are sharing. Everyone is looking at our websites. Build social capital. Give first. Have a helping mentality long before you need a favor.

Do have a website that is mobile-friendly.

Our websites should be where people can learn more about us. And they have to work on mobile devices. Is your website well-functioning?

Do realize there is no everyone.com.

Your audience is specific and determined by your shared values.

Do target your pitching.

You can’t write one pitch for everyone. I learned this the hard way.  It’s far more effective to email each person individually. We all want to be spoken to, respected, and heard. No matter how easy mail merge is, at FSB everyone is pitched individually. I learned that lesson through my own mistakes. Customize your pitch for an individual audience.

Really think about your digital plan holistically. This is the new normal. Think about your online branding on an ongoing basis. It is well worth the time and investment. Learn it, enjoy it and amazing opportunities will happen. Take the journey.

© 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. 

 

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.