Today’s guest post is by social media expert Chris Syme (@cksyme), author of The Newbie’s Guide to Sell More Books With Less Marketing.
Authors often ask me what the best marketing strategy is for selling more books. That is an easy question to answer: write more books. But what if you have a solid production schedule already—whether it’s writing two books a year or ten books a year? All you really want to know is how you can sell more of those books. That drive will contribute to your success. But it also produces one of the biggest enemies to your author business: marketing FOMO (fear of missing out).
FOMO chokes your productivity
FOMO is an energy-stifling state of mind. Some psychologists theorize that FOMO is driven by the pressure to have a perfect life. Theoretically, this is fueled by the false depictions of the perfect lives of authors you see on social media. Everybody there is in the know, having a great life, and selling tons of books. You are not, so the pressure starts building.
Are you suffering from marketing FOMO? Let’s find out. See if any of these sound familiar.
- When you are on Facebook or other social media to do marketing work (posting, responding to comments), do you drift away and start reading posts and clicking on links unrelated to your marketing tasks?
- Do you have your phone set to sound off when there’s a new notification on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram?
- Is your RSS feed or inbox cluttered with blog posts from marketing sites?
- Are you a member of more than ten closed Facebook groups for authors?
- When you read a blog post by an author who has found a way to sell thousands of books with Facebook ads, do you have a burning desire to copy what they did? Even though you’ve never run a Facebook ad and don’t really have the budget?
As it relates to marketing, FOMO hampers a person’s ability to reach realistic goals and stick to a defined course of action. It is not a product of attention deficit like the lovable dog in the cartoon yelling “squirrel.” Marketing FOMO is more debilitating than distracting.
There are only so many hours
If you suffer from marketing FOMO, your marketing tasks will never be done. Your goal of dedicating one hour to marketing each day turns into four hours on Facebook, one hour on Twitter, 15 minutes writing a book description for your new novel, and two hours trying to figure out how to copy another author’s successful promotion on Pinterest. Pretty soon you’re spending more time marketing than you are writing. You may not question the why of what you’re doing. If somebody succeeded at it, it must be worth my time. Believe me, it’s not.
Fail to plan, plan to fail
Nothing ever happens without a plan. Start today and begin kicking your marketing FOMO to the curb.
1. Designate one primary social media channel for engagement and sales. I am a firm believer (from my years of marketing experience) that most authors need only one social media channel for engaging fans and selling books. The rest should just be outposts that redirect readers to the location where you are connecting with fans. According to the latest Pew Internet research, the majority of people have multiple social media accounts. You do not need to be everywhere to catch your readers, just the right place. Here are a couple resources to help you with this:
- My four-part series on why less social media equals more engagement
- My book: The Newbie’s Guide to Sell More Books With Less Marketing
2. Schedule and optimize the time you spend on social media. The biggest contributor to marketing FOMO is the failure to separate your business social media interaction from your personal social media interaction. This may be complicated by the practice of using your personal Facebook profile to promote your author business, but your first step has to be to schedule a time for marketing-only tasks and stick to it.
The best tip: monitor your social media, blogs, and other online media through notifications. For instance, when you go to Facebook business page to monitor comments and posts, check your “notification globe” at the top of your page on the blue menu bar. Do not go scrolling through all the posts to see if there are any new comments. Instead, on the notification pull-down menu, check to see if anyone has posted, decide if you need to respond, put up a post if that’s what you are there for, and move on. Don’t get caught up in going through every post on your page looking for new comments. Apply this same thinking to all your other channels. The object is to spend your time engaging, not browsing.
3. Market by goal and not by tips and tricks. Have a master plan behind your book marketing. That is the best deterrent to keep you from drifting and following every fly-by-night tip that comes along to sell more books. Marketing is not a guessing game. While there are times for testing and experimenting, that shouldn’t be your strategy. My book, The Newbie’s Guide to Sell More Books With Less Marketing, has a free online course that walks you through the process of putting together a personalized marketing plan based on your time, resources, budget, skills, and backlist.
4. Declutter the amount of marketing advice you take in. Book marketing advice is so abundant online that my head spins just thinking about it. Find a handful of reliable sources and don’t worry about the rest. My website has a resource page to help. Start with a few and build as you have time. Make an effort to pare back the sites that are not necessary to your marketing progress. Don’t worry—if it’s necessary to your success, the resources you are following will talk about it.
5. Track the results of your marketing. Make sure you are familiar with the data each online marketing resource gives you. Make a plan to check only the data that informs your marketing decisions and do it on a weekly basis. Keep an ongoing document with your results.
Beware: Most data dashboards have way more data than you need. Track only the data that matches the objectives of your marketing goals. For instance, if you are trying to identify possible street team members or influencers to help sell your books, look through your weekly posts in Facebook Insights (posts page) and track who comments, shares, and likes. This is the beginning of a list of possible reviewers or advocates that can join an insider team to help sell your books.
Marketing FOMO can cripple your book production. Keep this truth before you: the best book marketing strategy is to write the next book. Spend less time marketing and more time writing. Get your plan in gear today.
If you enjoyed this post, take a look at The Newbie’s Guide to Sell More Books With Less Marketing by Chris Syme.
Chris Syme is a 20-year veteran of the communications and marketing industry and is the founder of CKSyme Media Group. She is an author and speaker on the topics of social media marketing and reputation management. She is a former university media relations professional and crisis management consultant for college athletic departments, businesses, and sports event venues. Chris also co-hosts the popular Smarty Pants Book Marketing Podcast with her daughter, USA Today bestselling author R.L. (Becca) Syme.