"Are We There Yet?" Set Proper Expectations for Platform Growth

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Guest Post by Rob Eagar

Too many authors short-circuit their marketing success by mistakenly expecting perfection from every promotional activity they attempt. For example, let's say you're an author who decides to send out your first monthly newsletter. You put a lot of time and effort into creating the content and wait expectantly for results to happen. Yet, after a few weeks, no one invites you to conduct a speaking engagement, booksigning, media interview, your Amazon ranking remains stagnant, and nobody orders your book. Based on this lack of response, you conclude that newsletters are a waste of time. So, you decide stop doing them altogether. This type of mentality is where the problem arises.

Sure, a lack of immediate response can feel frustrating, but it doesn’t mean that your newsletter was a failure. There are many variables that affect peoples’ buying behavior. For instance, consider the fact that most people need to hear about you 4 - 7 times before they ever decide to purchase or seek out your services.

Marketing isn't about striking it rich with every activity you do. That’s an unrealistic expectation. You can’t expect perfection, but you can expect success. Therefore, your marketing goal should be to build a "body of work" that generates momentum over time and draws readers to you and your books. Think of the process like building a large magnet that begins to consistently attract people. Your objective is show up where your reading audience congregates numerous times and in numerous formats. You want people to think, “Everywhere I turn, I seem to bump into this author’s material, advice, stories, or resources.” Does it take a little more work? Yes, but this magnetic approach also produces larger results over a longer period of time.

Building a body of work consists of all the various ways to let readers know that your book can help or entertain them. For example, you can send newsletters, post advice on blogs, speak in public, give out short stories, get articles published in magazines, conduct media interviews, keep your website updated, interact on social media, produce spin-off products, etc. When you do several of these activities on a consistent basis, then you position your author platform to grow. So, don’t put unrealistic expectations on yourself or your marketing efforts. Why expect perfection when you can enjoy success?

About the Author:

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Rob Eagar is the founder of WildFire Marketing, a consulting practice that helps authors and publishers sell more books and spread their message like wildfire. He has assisted numerous New York Times bestselling authors and his new book, Sell Your Book Like Wildfire, will be published by Writer’s Digest in May, 2012. Find out more about Rob’s advice, products, and coaching services for authors at: www.startawildfire.com

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