^^ technology makes “exposure” pretty easy. So, what’s the REAL problem?
“Everybody thinks there's an exposure problem. But it's just not true. Sure, there's a problem with the type of exposure you're getting - but it's not what you think it is.”
There’s an obsession today with instant gratification. In business terms, that translates to a hunger to see results RIGHT NOW, instead of laying down foundations for future success.
In reality, this means most authors get so hung up on “sales” and “ranking” they miss the whole point (eg – growing an audience of superfans they can use again and again and again).
Everybody wants growth like this:
But in reality, that only happens 0.01% of the time (or less). Actual growth looks a little something like this:
^^ two years in my business – notice the HUGE spikes and dips? But where is it trending?
The biggest problem with focusing on the “hockey stick growth” in the top diagram, is you get obsessed with SELL, SELL, SELL.
This is a big problem. When 85% – 95% of the people who land on your book page from an ad don’t buy, you’re leaving a lot of potential on the table.
What if you could convert those 95% from “vaguely curious” into “loyal fans”?
We’ll get to that. But first, everything you’re going to be doing is dependant on your exposure. In simple terms, the number of people who are aware you exist, who click your links, who land on your book pages…
In short, the total number of eyeballs on your and your work.
Getting exposure isn’t terribly difficult. There isn’t a traffic shortage on the internet. It’s what you DO with the traffic that matters (trying to get cold audiences to BUY BUY BUY is a shortcut to financial burnout and a chronic case of exploding-head syndrome).
And what you DO with the traffic is coming up in the following parts. But for now, let’s look at some simple ways to get exposure.
Putting all your time and money into “brute force” marketing (like relentless ads, emails, posts, and the like) can sound tempting. After all, “Even if only 1% buy, if I send 10,000 people to my book page I’ll still make sales!”
I know, that sounds stupid, right?
But that’s what thousands of authors are doing. Spending money on ads, relentless posting on social media, pitch after pitch after pitch after pitch...
All in the hope that “If I send ENOUGH people to my books, SOMEONE will buy!”
Now, there’s nothing wrong with ads, social media, and pitching people. All of that is essential. But when it’s done without a strategy, you’re throwing time and money down the drain.
Let’s contrast that approach:
That little sales graph represents two things – one book’s evergreen sales (eg – sales happening all the time without me doing anything) and promotional sales (eg – I’m pitching people).
There were no complicated funnels involved. No two-week-long email campaigns. No convoluted ads strategy or retargeting campaign.
I just sent one email.
And the REASON people bought isn’t because of brute-force marketing attacks. It’s because I used a system to carefully attract the RIGHT people, and then NURTURE them in a way that leaves them pre-disposed to buy.
This all starts with EXPOSURE.
Essentially, what I’m talking about is a “push” versus “pull” approach.
The old way of doing things has you “pushing” people towards something YOU want (eg – a sale). The new way focuses on “pulling” people towards you by providing something THEY want.
This means providing something of value that draws readers to YOU. Then, making sure as many people as possible know about it.
This is where tactics like permafree books, KDP free promotions, Reader Magnets, giveaways, joint promotions, multi-author events, and, yes, your Facebook ads, AMS ads, and Bookbub ads come in.
These are all fantastic ways of getting you in front of people. But the goal is not the sale. Not yet. The goal is exposing the VALUE you provide to the RIGHT people.
Give up the idea of the “instant sale” and work towards building something sustainable and meaningful. This means tweaking your objectives (more on that on the next page).
There is no exposure problem. Or, at least, it’s easily fixable (eg, those examples above). The biggest challenge is “what to do with all that exposure”.
And that’s where most people fall down. Hard.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not particularly excited about the prospect of working my butt off to get eyeballs on my work, only to lose up to 95% (or more) of those people forever.
So, I want to show you “what to do next” to avoid this, build a loyal audience, and nurture them into buyers.
Here’s a quick suggestion:
Leave everybody else to worry about what will happen to their sales when their ads stop working.
Instead of thinking “how can I make more sales today” focus on “how can I grow trust with my audience and attract the right people”.
This is all about understanding your audience and what they want, BEFORE you try to sell to them. It’s about building a lasting career as an author, instead of living month-to-month on the whims of Amazon and the big advertisers. It’s about taking back control of your own business.
So I want to share what I discovered when all this fell into place. Because what happened next completely shifted how I approach growing an audience and sales online.
It changed everything. And I think it can help you, too.