^^ Watch the video above for an introduction to this lesson, and what else is coming your way.
1. Watch the intro video above for a breakdown of how everything fits together
3. Join me for an on-demand webinar where we’ll cover the entire strategy (and how it all fits together) start to finish. Click the button below to choose a date and time that suits you:
“At its core, a fully functioning business is basically a set of systems and processes.”
Building your own marketing “system” (or, in other words, a series of largely automated activities that work together to bring in new readers and sales) means figuring out where you are in your journey.
Everybody’s different – and that’s fine.
Over the course of the previous six lessons, we’ve looked at several proven methods to figure out where you need to be and how to get there. We’ve looked at examples of authors who have doubled (or even tripled) their sales, grown huge email lists, and improved their results with email marketing, many of whom have gone on to write full-time or even hit the USA Today or NYT Bestseller list.
What do all these authors have in common? They’re not superheroes (or somehow genetically modified) – they all started from zero. Just like everyone does.
What sets these people apart is they figured out where they were, where they wanted to be, and used a proven roadmap to get there.
Let’s consider that for a moment – the difference between the “start” of the journey and what it looks like when you get all this set up:
Author A might be working on his or her first book, or might have a couple of books out there in the wild but isn’t seeing the results.
Author A knows “something” needs to be done, so Author A tries “everything” in the hopes that something will stick – but by trying a dozen different things at the same time, it’s impossible to keep track of what might be working.
Very quickly, overwhelm sets in – as a hundred different “shiny red balls” present themselves, and Author A gets distracted from the marketing activities that will actually move the needle.
This author also knows his or her books are GOOD – they have good reviews, after all – if only more people knew they existed. But how can you grow an audience without getting a ton of sales first? How can you get a ton of sales without an audience?
Author A quickly gets disheartened by the whole process – and struggles to focus on figuring out what needs doing next. After all, where can you find the time on top of “everything else” you need to do during the day?
Author B has released several books over the years, but it’s only recently that things have really started to “work”.
Unlike before, when Author B would just “do marketing” whenever it felt like it needed doing, Author B now runs a scheduled promotion for one of his or her backlist titles each month – and knows exactly how many clicks are needed in order for it to be profitable.
Author B also understands how many clicks are needed each day and week in order to hit his or her financial goals – and knows in advance which promotions can be scheduled and run in order to hit that (or exceed it).
With a set monthly budget to spend on advertising, Author B also knows exactly which campaigns are working with a quick glance at his or her ads dashboard each morning – and within fifteen minutes, any campaigns that need tweaking are set up and ready to go.
Author B knows he or she can spend 20-30 minutes per day checking and maintaining the marketing systems, because all the hard work is already done – and instead of getting distracted by a million “other things”, Author B only worries about marketing activities that bring in measurable subscribers or sales.
Now, with the rest of the day free, Author B can schedule in some writing time – knowing in advance exactly which scene or chapter he or she needs to write, what needs to happen, and how it all links in to the rest of the book.
And with the launch of this latest title coming up, Author B has a selection of pre-written emails that were used for the previous launch, that can be updated and tweaked in a matter of minutes. And with a proven launch plan already bringing in record sales, Author B can relax and concentrate on writing the best book possible.
These examples are at opposite ends of the journey – and, in fact, in most cases Author A and Author B are the same person. It’s just that Author B made the decision to focus on “building a marketing system” rather than relying on a “hit and hope” approach.
So, how do we build that system? I’ve laid out the framework for you in this free course, but exactly what you need to do next depends on where you are in this journey:
Working on your first book? Get that first draft finished – see Blank Page to Published for help. While the manuscript is with the editor, you can start working on the marketing side of things – starting with Lesson One. Take the time to write a short Reader Magnet so you have an incentive to get people on your list, and then start with Lesson One and implement as you go. When your first book is ready to launch, you’ll have some fans already on your email list, ready to buy it. And remember – each launch gets bigger and bigger with time – follow the plan and you’ll get there.
You have a book (or books) out there, but sales aren’t coming in – lack of sales boils down to 2 issues. Either the books aren’t presented in a way that’s appealing enough, or not enough people know the book exists. In many cases, both these things are true. Your focus should be on auditing your catalogue to make sure its optimised to convert (see Lesson Two) and you should choose 1 or 2 traffic options to kick start those clicks (see Lesson Three).
You’re getting SOME sales, but you want bigger launches and more reviews – assuming your books are optimised for sales and you have a traffic plan (if not, see above), then your focus should be on audience growth – specifically, your email list. Your email list is what brings in those big launches and those campaigns that bring in hundreds of positive reviews. Follow Lesson Four onwards and you’ll have everything you need to grow.
You’re already making good sales, but it’s time to scale up – as we’ve said, scaling up only succeeds if you’re scaling up something that WORKS. Work through the material in Lesson Five onwards to understand where paid advertising can get you, and ensure you’ve already implemented Lesson Four (particularly the automated email campaigns) to ensure you’re showing love to your backlist, too. With boosted launches and read-through, you can spend more on ads, get more exposure, and scale up profitably.
Now, it’s impossible to lay out EVERY scenario. But I believe if you’re reading this far, you understand that there is no “magic bullet” that works for everyone in all circumstances – sometimes we need to tweak and refine a strategy to suit YOU.
And that’s normal. In fact, it’s necessary. What works for one author might not work for another. That’s why, throughout this series, I’ve presented you with a “menu” of options – but they all follow the same principles:
When all these things are working together, you will see growth. But “building that system” means understanding how all these phases work together to get you where you need to be.
That’s why I put together an on-demand webinar for you – where I’ll take you through the entire process from start to finish, and explain how it all fits together.