Most marketing coaches will tell you if you want to make money as an author, you are most likely never going to do it with sales of your books alone.
These well-meaning coaches and consultants advise you to use your books as a calling card, then put your talents to use creating information products based on your book to sell on the web.
This is good advice, as far as it goes. The only problem is, for most authors, it doesn’t work! Here’s why…
The Typical Author Turned Information Marketer
Let’s say you have written a couple of books on the topic of raw food dieting (insert your own niche here). You self-published them over the last year and both books are available on Amazon in both paperback and the Kindle format. And yes, you do make a few sales every month.
Encouraged by your modest success, and spurred on by tales of “easy internet riches” and “passive income,” you decide to create an information product on raw food dieting. You spend weeks (and no small amount of money!) getting your website set up to accept credit cards, and you go into a creating frenzy producing videos, templates, checklists, and more, careful to make everything absolutely perfect.
Finally, your product is ready and launch day arrives! You send an announcement out to your mailing list of some two hundred people and wait for your virtual cash register to ring. Hours pass and then days, but you don’t make a single sale.
Undaunted, you decide to ask your Facebook friends to buy, but no one even leaves a comment, much less makes a purchase.
Mortified, you slink back to your day job and decide you just weren’t cut out to be an entrepreneur!
If you identify with this scenario, don’t despair! Let’s analyze what went wrong here and what you can do to make it right.
Your Launch Won’t Work Without the Magic Ingredient
Now I’m not going to give you a long and detailed analysis of your launch because I can sum up why this didn’t work for you in one simple sentence. Sorry to be blunt but…
You don’t have any influence!
You don’t have any influence over the people who subscribe to your mailing list or the “friends” on your Facebook page or the other social media sites on which you have a presence.
If you did, your subscribers and followers and fans would have welcomed your announcement and would have naturally embraced your new raw food diet product with open arms. Plus, many of them would have encouraged their friends to purchase as well.
At this point, you might be saying, “Now just hold on a minute. Exactly what do you mean by influence?”
Here’s a little background. Internet marketers love the work of Dr. Robert Cialdini (say “cee-al-dee-nee”), a social psychologist who wrote the definitive book on the subject in 1984.
By the way, if you haven’t read his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, the latest edition is a must have for anyone interested in marketing. Basically, according to Dr. Cialdini, influence means the ability to change people…their attitudes, their perceptions and, most importantly to marketers, their behavior, so they will do what you want (namely, buy your stuff).
In his book, Dr. Cialdini outlines what he calls the six “weapons” of influence. One of these “weapons” is reciprocity.
Reciprocity simply means when you do something for someone, they feel they owe you something back. So for marketers, this often means giving something away for free, so the person feels an obligation to purchase something later.
Using Genuine Influence to Make an Honest and Honorable Living
If you are anything like me (and I expect you are), you’re not interested in hitting people over the head with “weapons” of influence. You are interested in writing, getting your work out, and serving people in the best way you know how. And you are interested in making an honorable living for yourself and your family, which means making sales.
Here’s where my own definition of what I call Genuine Influence comes in:
Genuine Influence is the ability to have a positive effect on the character, the development and the behavior of those clients and customers who come under your care and protection.
This is a far cry from using the “weapons” of influence to batter your potential customers into buying from you!
So now, the question is not, “How can I, as an author, get people to buy my books or purchase my information products or whatever,” but “How can I best form genuine, caring relationships in this virtual age?”
When you do this, a percentage of those people will purchase from you, naturally and without hesitation, when your offer is in alignment with what they desire.
This is a completely different emphasis than constantly strategizing, plotting and planning to generate leads and get the sale. When your focus shifts to building real relationships rather than extracting money from people, you are free to…dare I say it…love your list and your followers and fans.
There is a lot more to say about building real relationships, but you can get started by stepping out from behind your business persona and letting people see more of the “real” you. Yes, that means you actually post stuff on your Facebook business page (You DO have one, don’t you?) that until now, you have probably reserved for your personal Facebook profile.
To see how I am doing this on my Facebook Business page, click here.
Please “Like” the page, then introduce yourself, and join in the conversation. We are building an awesome community based on real relationships. I’ll be looking for you!