First-time authors ask about “marketing” and they are often scared, clueless, or defensive. The first thing I say to reassure them is to think of marketing as simply allowing your book to be found by those people who are already looking for it. Yes, you’ll need to be appealing once they see you (“branding”) but first, they need to know you or your product exists; i.e., step one is to become visible.
You may know about a model (VCP) created by Dr. Ivan Misner for use in referral marketing—it parallels the reasoning behind and benefits to writing a book. Misner is the Founder & Chief Visionary Officer of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization. Basically, he says that as a business professional, you first must achieve visibility, then work to establish credibility— if your goal is profitability.
With information overload and dense competition out there for your target market’s attention, being seen—in person, online, in the media—is essential. In your marketing efforts, when you focus on becoming more visible to your target market, it takes the pressure off feeling like you have to be a pushy promoter. Visibility is a key first step in business relationship- building, but credibility and trust must be established before you will earn someone’s business.
The word “credibility” comes from Latin and means “belief.” If you are believable and trustworthy, people will believe that you can add value—that you can help them.
Having a book is a proven, fast way to build credibility. Not only will you attract more of your target audience through higher visibility, a larger number of people will “convert” to the level of commitment where they contact you and buy from you.
One of the first foundation-building steps in your quest to write a book is to understand the reasons why. Generally, it is understood that you want to get your message out there and gain the instant credibility that comes with being a published author. With your published book in hand, you can sell it or leverage it to get more business. What are your personal reasons?