In the last segment we talked about establishing your brand as an author. In this segment we are going to talk about brand prospecting and public relations.
As an author, when branding your name or promoting your books you need to be on the lookout for hot prospects and opportunities at all times. These need to be taken advantage of whenever possible. It is important to use every opportunity to get your name and your books the exposure they need--using the right methods of course. These methods may include going to conventions, writer's workshops, book sellers, stores, networking events, libraries or other public events. In the online world that means visiting other forums, websites, blogs, Facebook pages and other social networking sites to promote your book and your name as an author--but do so considerately! No one wants a guest blogger or comment that clearly has no purpose other than self-promotion!
When you attend trade shows and other events the goal is to look and be professional. If you just have a table set up with a few products on it then customers may not take you seriously. Attending events like this require professional flyers, banners, signs, and other things to get the attention of attendees. It is important to look prepared and professional.
Decide what you want to achieve on the day. It may be to launch a new book, make sales of prior books, gain leads for new customers or simply to establish your brand. You may want to meet the media through interviews or a press release. Whatever your objectives set yourself targets to work towards.
Remember the more events you attend--both online and off--the more your name gets out there and the more you establish your brand.
Promotional venues, both offline and on, also offer you a chance to get some new ideas. You can see first hand what other authors are doing, what technologies they are utilizing, or marketing method that had not occurred to you before.
Know who the audience is going to be, before you decide to attend an event. Before you even book a booth at a show or event you need to consider the people who will be attending and how to target them. If you offer a number of books, decide which one will be of most interest to these potential customers.You want to reach out to the targeted audience. AND...you always want to provide some sort of promotional item for them to take away to remember you by. If a potential customer stops by to talk, but doesn't make a purchase then make sure when they walk away that they have a bookmark or some small token with information about your book and how and why they should come by and visit you online. I.E. Visit our blog for complimentary Regency Romance era books and puzzles.
Don't attend events that your target audience would not attend. If there is no way that a younger crowd will be interested in what you are offering then you are only wasting your time making a big presentation to them at at a sci-fi convention or mixed martial arts tournament.
Now let's talk about using public relations to establish your brand even more.
Media attention needs to be used to your advantage. There are many ways to do this. One thing to keep in mind is that your books and your brand do not have to be fully established yet to gain the attention of the media. What is important is that you use the media to help you get established.
The media can be used in many ways. Press releases are one of the best things you can do to get the exposure you are looking for and help you establish your name as an author.
A press release is generally used for announcing for announcing the release of new books, guest appearances and promotional events--online and off--or anything else new that is happening in your career as an author.
The elements of a press release should include the event itself, why people will benefit from attending, the location, date, and time of the event. If you don’t tell people where to go it will do you no good. You should also provide your contact information (email, phone) in case the media wants to call you to get an interview or even write a story on you or otherwise get more background information. Customers may have questions. Without contact information it could cost you a lot of potential customers. Also, always include your website, Facebook, blog and purchasing URLs in a press release so people can go to your site and learn more about who you are or even skip the preliminaries and purchase your book. This is also important in case the entity releasing the press release wants to feature their affiliate link to earn money from purchases.
Press releases are sent out to as many media outlets as you can send them to for the targeted audiences you are trying to reach out to. These media outlets include news stations, newspapers, magazines, radio stations, and more. When a media outlet receives a press release they may do a few things. They may immediately respond and use it for the next big story that hit the press and tell the public all about it. They may put it aside for when they are waiting for a slow period and then use it as a story or they will do nothing at all.
Sending out press releases doesn't cost a business anything. It is cheap and you do not need to worry about cost. It never hurts to send out press releases even if the media is not interested. The point is that you have to at least try to use public relations to your benefit. It may be that one event or announcement you have about your business that is used by the press. That one small bit of exposure could go a long way for you.
Make sure you look for your next segment soon. We will be talking about establishing your public identity as an author.
Smiles and Good Fortune,
Teresa Thomas Bohannon
It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one’s
dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent.
– W. Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965) Of Human Bondage, 1915