Secrets to Converting Through Engagement will help authors and businesses understand why social engagement is important to help spread your message and grow your following as well as exposure to you and your product or service.
Rachel: Hello and welcome back to episode two of the marketing whisperer podcasts, and this is your host, Rachel Calderon.
Kathryn: And I’m your co-host, Kathryn Calderon. Hey guys, what’s up?
Rachel: How are you guys? Today we’re going to be talking about marketing for authors.
Kathryn: Yes. This is going to be a really fun topic.
Rachel: Yes, it is.
Kathryn: And this is going to be very interesting because you’re coming in from the business side,
Kathryn: As somebody who has seen businesses write books, um, we know a few personally and I’m kind of going to bring in the fictional author side of it and explaining ways that you can use their methods and how they’re number one sellers and how they’re getting all of those pre-orders and all those sales based off of some stuff that they’ve done and stuff that I’ve partaken in,
yes, you have.
Kathryn: to help get them to that spot. And businesses can be using this, obviously it’s different target audiences and target markets, but you can still use these methods to push your book further.
Rachel: Right. And, and the thing is that, what we’re trying to show you is the power of these, sometimes these are just simple tools, but the power that they have, if strategically planned out correctly, you can certainly be a powerhouse and have major presales. So, we’re, again, we’re not telling you this from, you know, non-experience, we’re telling you this from experiences, and how we’ve seen it really take flight in a lot of these authors and some of them, are published by publishing houses, but some of them are also, not all, but some are also self-published. And they, and they use these tools and techniques which is, I think that’s even more genius because when they go to a publishing company, the publisher is really in charge of all their marketing and I think that if they’re on a budget or whatever.
Kathryn: Yes and no because the publishers still use like these fans and these, these incentives that regular self-published authors use.
Kathryn: I think it’s just an all-around thing that they all use, but obviously just someone who’s under publishing house probably has a bit more money backing them. But you know, they still pretty much all use the same tactics help push their books.
Rachel: Okay. So let’s dive right in. And the one thing that we’re going to talk about is you wanted to mention bookstagram It was or?
Kathryn: Yeah, that’s one of the things that I’m gonna talk about, but I actually want to talk about first, did something that I partook in the or partaken? Yes. Something that you have partaken. Yep. I’m partaking in so that, you know, our audience can really see how this was firsthand experience. So I saw this author on twitter, her name was Amanda Foodie and she was the author of daughter and smoke and bone, but she had a new book coming out called ace shades.
Kathryn: So, she wanted to start this kind of like marketing campaign to promote her book. And so what she did was she created this thing called the shadow gang. And so in the book there’s different gangs and all that. So that’s where the name came from, actually, it has to do with her story. And so with that she had all, you know, just people from all over the world sign up via email, fill out a questionnaire and she was going to, I think she got like 100 plus people to fill this thing out so she had to end up going through all of them and choosing who to be in each gang. And so what we did was for three months each month we, you know, we tweeted, we may blog post, did creative, I made makeup looks because I do makeup art as well.
Kathryn: So, I did makeup looks that had to do with the book, people took photos of the book,
Rachel: People got very creative.
Kathryn: Yeah, each team was super creative. Some people made fan arts, some people made a deck of cards, really awesome stuff to compete each month to get the most points. And so she counted up the points in each month, we got, you know, prizes actually. And so
Rachel: Whoever was the winner,
Kathryn: Yeah. At the end of each month, whatever team had the most points, so my team won twice and she’s actually right now tallying up the final points to see who won the final month to see who’s going to get the biggest prize. But it was like really cool stuff, you know, we got pre-order stuff. Then we’ve got these gifts and stuff and so basically what that whole thing did was hype up her book for three months before the book came out.
Rachel: So, from each team or for what she called them gangs, she basically, even if she was, she was doing is she was engaging you guys by giving you guys creative autonomy. But, what she was also doing was, I guess she split it up in four teams. You said three. Oh, three teams. But those are three teams that were marketing her book this whole time.
Kathryn: Exactly. So, she got three months obviously her, whatever company publishing that, you know, they’re helping market her book, helping promote her book, but that was three months of basically free promotion and these are people from all over. I made friends with. I’m actually a girl, her name is Victoria from, from Greece. Oh, interesting. Yeah. There was people from. I made friends with a girl name, Reg from Sweden, so all over the world. Her book was promoted for three months globally, globally.
Kathryn: That’s the face of this simple thing. Yeah. Because. Okay. Well, what do fans like to hear? They love to hear free stuff. Do you know what I mean? People love to hear the word free. Even if it’s something simple and small, even if there’s a. A list. Yeah, a pdf file. People. I’ve had authors who they’re like, if you, which is something I want to get into in a minute, if you pre-order this book and show proof of your pre-order, you’ll get a free you know, like novella from the story. Okay. Do you know what I mean? Like that’s something that only you can get. Okay. If you pre-order, so, but this promotional thing that she did is something that I think where that I know authors can really benefit from because the fan, we as fans got to benefit from it by winning prizes.
Kathryn: Making friends, enjoying ourselves and being creative, as silly as it is. You know, our blogs are our Instagram accounts that are numbers rose. Okay. Because people, you know what I mean, because your followers gained as well. And then this was promotion for her and her book is like being hyped up and, and it was a great book.
Rachel: So, your blog was, was also your blog has also have gotten more followers. Correct. Because you are a reviewer as well. A book reviewer. Yeah. Okay. So yeah, you see, you see this is, this is the thing, is that for why I thought this was a perfect topic was because what we’re doing here is you’re creating or we’re showing you what the creation of social engagement really is all about. See everyone wins here. The fans when a gift, as well as the fans wins followship, because now they’re, they’re creating fans. They’re creating friendships. You know, who wouldn’t want a friend from another country.
Kathryn: I got the author to actually follow me.
Rachel: Look at that. So she’s talked to her. She’s really cool. That’s great. And her name is
Kathryn: Amanda Foodie.
Rachel: Amanda foodie. Okay, you see, so this is the power of audience engagement and this is why it is important that we socialize and we use these techniques because, you know, the thing is that your, and this is like free promotion. This is free, totally free promotion. Many people have asked me, you know, do you pay for Facebook ads? No, I don’t pay for Facebook as I use the engagement of the audience. I use the engagement of, of I have even had friends and family who have been able to share and like and things like that and, and really get my, clients work or my work out there even further. So, you see this is the power of social media, so continue. Kat.
Kathryn: And the thing is it’s such a simple, it’s such a simple thing to do. You know what I mean? It in a, she was, the author was creative and coming up with this idea and she figured out, okay, so how can I use the fan base that I. Because the first book daughters one of them and that was her first novel. That was our first one. So this was her second one. What was the name of the first one? Daughter of smoking bone. Okay. So she was basically like, okay, what can I do to promote the second one? How can I use the following that I’ve gained?
Rachel: How can I up the ante?
Kathryn: Yeah, to make people excited for my second book. Right. And, and she, she did that. So you know, it’s going to take creativity on our side as owners of businesses.
Kathryn: And. And the thing is, what I think is that you can do this in anything. Do you know what I mean? You can do this with a product, you can do this with the service, you can do this with your books. That’s what’s so amazing about this idea. You just have to be creative on your side and figure out how can I be creative enough to make people want to join in on this is what I mean. She made it sound really awesome. Like, Oh, you know, be a part of the Shadow Gang. You gotta compete and prizes and you know. Then she explained what each of the gangs from the book were like and how you got. I got put in the dove gang and I was like, Oh my God, I’m a dove. Like where the gang, the assassin gang. We sound awesome. I want to be a part of this. This sounds awesome. I need to join this.
Rachel: Right. So she gave you a platform, a place
Kathryn: Basically. And what’s really. This is the coolest part about it was that actually I never read that first book. I had no idea who this author was, but this was retweeted on my timeline on twitter. I saw it sounded awesome and I was like, oh, this sounds cool. I want to whatever. I want to be a part of this, this, this sounds cool. The book sounds good. I want to join in on this. So do you see how something as simple as that, she gained a fan in me. Never heard of the author, never read the first book, but she gained a fan simply by being creative. And making this sound like something that I just, I couldn’t miss. Right. I was like, I need to be part of this. Don’t know who this lady is. Don’t even care what the book is about.
Kathryn: I want to be a part of this. If the book sucks, oh well, at least I had a good time. The book was great. So that was what was great about it as well. But it was the fact that it, I, I had no idea who she was. I wanted to be a part of this.
Rachel: So, you want it to be a part of something, something big that was getting on the Internet.
Kathryn: You know, business owners and stuff can do this too. You can gain fans by being creative and people will be like, okay. You just kind of make it sound like something that people just can’t miss. Right? I mean, she had an overlap. Actually. I think I was one. I think it was like over 200 people around the world that all said the same thing. I cannot miss this. I need to be part of this.
Rachel: And let me just explain something to you guys, you know, we say 200 fans or 200 people that signed up for this, but you know, what, those 200 grew her following that much more so don’t get caught up in the quantity as much as the quality because what it created was longevity and the longevity because you didn’t read the first book you said, but, did you every go back to read the first book.
Kathryn: No, I haven’t gotten it. Yeah, I probably will at one point, but she definitely has me hooked for the next one and whatever she released after that, I will be there.
Rachel: Okay. So you’re in other words.
Kathryn: Yeah. That’s basically what you see, that longevity now. It was something so simple and easy that she created got me hooked. Now that I’m hooked now I’m like, okay, everything after that I’m going to read.
Rachel: Yeah. I am a part of it I am buying into it.
Kathryn: She can write about, you know, she’ll, she can say I’m writing a story about a boy who turns into a Pumpkin and I’m going to be like, yeah, well I’m reading it and that’s the same thing with products, you know, like makeup. You know, I do makeup art. So, I found this company called Juvias Place. All I got introduced to one product and now everything that they come out with, I’m like all, yeah, it’s all in my cart just waiting for me to purchase because all based off of one good thing. They just need one good thing to show that your product is amazing, that this is something you can’t miss out on. Everybody is talking about this. You need to be a part of this. If you’re not a part of this, you’re like a loser.
Kathryn: Lame. Nobody wants to talk to you because you’re not, you’re not using this to see what I mean. So, it’s like that company and that company Juvias Place actually started off like as barely anything. It was like an, it was word of mouth that that company is now being used by some of the biggest YouTube makeup artists and that company now is huge. They started off with just eye shadow and they’ve expanded to lipsticks. They’ve expanded to now they’re expanding to foundation. Do you see how it all started off with one product yet? All they started off was with like this small little eyeshadow Palette now.
Rachel: What was the hook that. What was it that hooked you to that one product?
Kathryn: Actually, it was their packaging. Their packaging is phenomenal. It is so cool. I mean the colors for the eyeshadow was absolutely gorgeous, but the packaging was really unique because they base off of their stuff all Egyptian, not just Egyptian like the Middle-eastern, Yes. It’s an Asian and African stuff. That’s what all their eyeshadow names and everything is based off of. Okay. Yes, I’ve seen so they’re absolutely gorgeous and like that packaging. I was like, okay, this product could suck, but I need this eyeshadow. Whatever’s in it. It’s, it’s everyone owns it. I can’t be the only one. I need it. I got it. It was amazing that that was a needed everything else after that.
Rachel: So, what you’re saying is that not only social engagement room, but they all, you know, packaging, all these little things are, and, and obviously being creative. It’s being creative guys. You see the thing is that when you’re creative and you come up with something that people need, they absolutely need it. Okay. And they can’t live without it. This is, this is the persuasion part. This is what we have to be creative on is how do we get our audience to want and need our product or service a read our books. You don’t want our business. Yeah. How is that?
Kathryn: Yeah. And so, you know, using a really creative promotional idea, that’s one. The second thing that I would say is pre-order incentives or slash gifts. So, every author that you know is around in the fictional world, a lot of them use this thing called pre-order incentives. And what it basically is, is they say, pre-order my book by such and such a date, you know, emailed this by this date with, you know, proof of purchase wherever you put, you know, so it could be a screenshot, it can be a picture, whatever you should show you, email it to that thing and they send you a gift. Okay. So, one book was called Children of Blood and Bone. I’m really fantastic book. And I got a pre poster from that one. For the Amanda Foodie Ace of Shade, we got bookmarks, a quiz, stickers, a free, you know, a fake tattoo. Another one was a book mark, another one that I pre-ordered called Legendary, it’s a deck of cards, like a full deck of cards based around the book.
Rachel: And, and guys, I want you to see how, how creative they were so creative that they were able to get, or gain leads from these promotions. They got their address, they got there or pretty much all their social,
Rachel: identity, right? Because you’re, you’re friends with. Some of these authors go on LinkedIn and on Instagram, Instagram, on Facebook. You, you started liking everything. So now they have a connection with everywhere as well as your address.
Rachel: Yeah. So like, you know, so this is this big, what, that’s, that’s something that every business owner wants or anyone who is, is selling when you’re collecting leads, you want to get as far as their address so that you can send them something because that is going to be your way to market and your way to continue promoting to them. You see this is, this is very a very powerful tool. So, they were creative just on books and they were able to hook their fans into new books or a makeup, like you said, this, the one person was all about makeup.
Kathryn: The pre-order incentive is something that just gets people super excited for your buck. I mean, I’ve signed up for a couple of books that I didn’t even know what the book was about, but I heard that it was a free thing and like the pre-order gift was so cool.
Kathryn: And then I went and looked up the book and I was like, well, this book actually sounds amazing, so. But do you see how they hooked me? So seems like a, you feel like a loser because you’re like, I don’t even know what this book is about, but it’s free. This looks so cool. I want this. Everyone else has pre-ordering I can’t be the only one, not pre-ordering, and so that’s what’s really awesome about it. And that’s what something that is like a really excellent marketing tool that authors use that everyone should use.
Rachel: Everyone should be using everyone when we say everyone, we mean everyone in business. Again, this is coming from, you know, a perspective of a person who reads books and has found or has experienced the hook.
Kathryn: There are like color pop when they come out with new products or people that have been, you know, a customer for a super long time that you, you can get free stuff from there all the time.
Kathryn: Spent $10, you get this makeup brush, spend $20 you get this thing free, spend $50, you can get free shipping. So what’s the incentive of keeping you come back? Repeat customer? They’re always, sometimes I’ll have money and, I don’t always do it, but you know, sometimes when I’m just like, man, I really want to buy, you know, makeup or something, but I’m like, Eh, I don’t feel like spending anything. It’s like colour pop knows me right there in my email pops up, I see a big flashing sign like free. And I’m like, oh, okay. Well, I mean if you, I mean if you say so, you know, you click, I click on the email and I see that. It’s like, Oh, you buy this, you can get this free or this free. And it’s like, you know what, I’m sold, I’m a slave, whatever.
Kathryn: Okay, I’ll do it. You’ll just seeing to keep his. Yeah, that, that free thing. So for authors it’s a pre-order incentive. If you pre-order, you get this free for makeup companies, sometimes it’s, you get things free if you ordered this, it just using like that incentive of that free gift that’ll, that’ll hook people lately
Rachel: and again, we’re talking here creativity. These are not people who are just, you know, throwing a book together.
Kathryn: You’ve got to be creative with the free thing and you also got to be creative. That means that’d be a good product because you’re, you know, just because it’s free, I’m not going to get it just because, just because. Right. But it’s definitely going to get me interested, right.
Rachel: Whatever their, their marketing plan or a strategy, to pull you in has certainly been pretty creative enough that you don’t know what to expect, but you know, you have to be a part of or you want need and want that and it doesn’t really matter what it is.
Rachel: And that’s the power of, of social engagement. I always go back to.
Kathryn: Yeah, and the, not the final, but like the third slash sort of final thing that I think is really important is reaching out to the fans and you know, just using their social media and how you do that is by publishing companies, authors have specifically reached out to me via my blog and have asked me personally to review their books. They’ll send me the book for free and all because they see the following may have. And so, you know, of course there’s a little selective but I mean, but they’ve got to be smart as well. So they’re not gonna, you know, it’s not an, it’s an a no offense way, but they’re not going to go for the person who’s got like three followers to review their book based off of somebody who’s got a little bit more.
Kathryn: But that’s why you have that engagement. If you have that engagement with them and you have that connection with your fans or. Okay. So for our business, you wouldn’t call them fans, right? But you know, just your, your, your target audience. If you get that connection with them, you can use word of mouth. Word of mouth is literally the biggest. And you know, what is so important. People don’t realize how important word of mouth is. That’s how I said like that, that company color pop, Juvius Place to makeup companies that word of mouth have become huge.
Rachel: Right? And, and, and word of mouth is actually a very old technique. Yeah. I mean it’s, this is nothing. This is not new guys. The thing is, is how they’ve used technologies which is now social media and instead of going from door to door like we used to, and you know, how the sales reps, you know, used to sell vacuum cleaners and, I remember, his is dating me a little bit, but I remember, companies coming in selling dishes, knocking on our door, selling dishes, selling vacuums.
Rachel: Selling Amway, selling, cleaning pro products door to door. And what will we do? They would say, do you know of anyone else that would be interested in this product? And we would say, yeah, you know what? As a matter of fact, and you would pick up the phone and call, you know, so and so, hey listen, you know, and that was word of mouth.
Kathryn: Okay, this is the biggest example I can give you as a blogger. I’m as a blogger, reviewers and bloggers that are friends. They trust each other. They just, their judgment in books. They trust their judgment and their reviews. I mean, I don’t know how many times I can tell you that some of my smaller indie authors that I’ve, like, there’s, I have one, her name is Alice. I’m actually very good friends with this author. She lives in Australia and just based off of my review, I’ve gotten people interested in her book.
Kathryn: So, like if you see the, if business owners and authors who are maybe not fictional, if they use stuff like this, connecting with their fans, that word of mouth is you. I mean, look at JK Rowling. She started off with her book, like on a napkin. She didn’t, she didn’t get there.
Rachel: Now she’s, she’s the author of the Harry Potter.
Kathryn: I mean, and look where that woman is now, right? Do you see what I mean? Right now she didn’t get there by. I mean if it started off on a napkin and they didn’t even believe in all her other books, they just took the one. They weren’t gonna do the other. So, if they just took the one, do you honestly think she got big because they pushed her or book? No, probably not. They, they didn’t. If they didn’t even believe in the whole series, they probably barely believed in the one, but they were like, okay, well we’ll take the one.
Kathryn: That sounds better. It sounds interesting. We’ll take this one. We’ll put it on the market now via word of mouth. That has become one of the biggest series. I mean there’s nowhere that I go on my blog where some somebodies not mentioning that book. Okay. Do you see what I mean? And, and, and, and now look at that author. She’s, she’s huge. Anything she puts out, people will buy it, right? So, and that was all word of mouth. One person was like, Oh man, you got to read this Harry Potter book, this is amazing. And another person was like, oh, okay, I guess I’ll read it and it just. So, word of mouth and you know, these authors reaching out to bloggers and you know, asking them to, you know, on Instagram as well. Bookstagram is, it’s basically, it’s Instagram, so it’s just your Instagram, but you call it Bookstagram because it’s basically your account is just dedicated to books.
Kathryn: So, mine is kind of Bookstagram slash personal because I post personal stuff as well and like my artwork, but I also post books and I post book pictures. Um, so, you know, which are creative by the way. Yeah. Which, so, you know, author’s using that and using people and not in a bad way. So like I don’t want you to think I’m saying using people like in a bad way, but it’s basically just knowing your audience and knowing your fans and knowing how to engage them and how to, how to use their talents and use their creativity to help push you further.
Rachel: Right. And, and, and that’s the thing, is that what I find so interesting is that you know, you, you as the author or you as the business owner, you be creative. Okay. And how you can use the creation basically of others, which is what those authors or that one author did, she used all of them create, she created an incentive. She was very creative on, creating an incentive. She made them part of a team. She, wrote out there, you know what they were going to be a part of, but she allowed them to have creative autonomy. And then because you guys were giving her great reviews as well, she was also engaging. Exactly. So therefore, now here, we are, we have all these things that are helping the author as well as, giving her, you know, spreading her word out of her, book out through word of mouth.
Rachel: Which I think I don’t think there’s no other way to be that is like the ultimate way to be super creative and use your audience because we only have so much creativity in our minds. But then if we can possibly pull from others, it can be beneficial. It could be a win win because you’ve created friends at, as, a fan, you look at it, well, I’m creating a fan, I’m getting an incentive. I’m creating and developing friends around the world. So these are all these things that is a win win for everyone. Exactly. So I think this is a great topic and I really think that you guys need to be thinking creatively on how to market your books. If you are an author or even your products, you know, again, audience engagement is powerful and especially the word of mouth.
Rachel: And if you can get your audience to do this for you, you have no idea the power that this can take an and, and I tell you from experience where I’ve been able to use, my client’s audience and have them get involved and it is, and it does work. Again, we’ve, t’s completely different what I’ve done. I mean, you’re giving me the perspective from the books and stuff like that. But look how powerful it is. Yep. You know, so again, I want to thank you guys for joining in on our episode of the marketing for authors and also this is again for business owners as well. If you have a book out there, please take these creative ideas and begin to, use the audience, and certainly your target market.
Kathryn: Obviously since they’re not obviously targeting the same people as like a fictional author, but it’s these tools you can still use. You can still use word of mouth, you can use tools, you can still use creative promotional ideas. You could still use pre-order incentives. I mean, you can give them, if it’s like a book, you know, on the the psychology of persuasion, let’s say that’s your book, that book, and let’s say that author decided to do a pre-order incentive. They can do something simple like, you know, you can get a free book mark, you can get a free quiz, you can get a free, a free snippet of the story, just something that has to do with the book that will get people excited. Or even if they even want to get even more creative, let’s just say they’re like, oh, pre-order persuasion, you know, your pre-order incentive could be, psychology of persuasion. Let’s say they’re pre-order incentive could be something cool like, oh, we have a hundred something metal brains that you can put on like a book end. Imagine that was a pre-order of incentive for something like that. People will be like, oh, that’s really cool, right. Do you know what I mean? Right.
Rachel: So, again, I want to thank you guys for joining in on today’s episode and we will see you back to get the on demand. Please go to RachelCalderon.com, and we will see you on next week’s show. Bye Bye.