Time, we all need it and as a company where we also have day jobs, time is very important. When K J started on her quest to publish, she knew nothing about marketing. If you ask her, she’ll say “I don’t know what I don’t know, but I do know, I don’t know much.” We may make a cushion for her that says just this. Like with anything, it is important to break massive tasks into smaller peices.
This is the point of this blog. Make self publishing managable.
It is important to also set yourself goals you can measure. K J’s first marketing goal was to increase the number of book sales from TikTok in a six-month period. She posted twice a day, most days for the first three months and got exhausted by it all. She dropped back to once a day and used existing content sometimes. K J focused on TikTok for six months and did not go out of her way to promote heavily in any other social media location, so she would be able to measure the effects of her campaign.
During that time on TikTok, she engaged with readers, she posted regularly. K J reposted videos with low views and videos with high views. She attempted to change things up, but lost followers so stopped doing that. She discovered at the end of her trial that she gained followers by doing nothing except engaging with other posters.
The end result of spending over two hours a week on one advertising platform was that K J did not make a measurable increase in sales. She did not increase sales at all.
When you market, it is important to apply basic business principles to your marketing. If you spend too much (time and money wise) and get no return, then your business is not going forward, no matter what you want to think.
We encourage every author or budding author to spend time researching how to set goals. We use SMART goals – although can’t always remember what the acroyms stand for, we know that the goal has to be specific, measurable, achievable, R??? and timely.
K J’s goal, whilst we didn’t elaborate on the specifics and what measurements she was after from TikTok fit a SMART goal.
Her next goal is about learning how to interact with people to sell books. She will be attending author events and markets. Here is her SMART Goal
“I will attend a minimum of five local markets over the spring/summer season. I will give out 200 bookmarks at these events. I will track the clicks on the QR codes from the bookmarks to determine if there is a statistically significant increase in book sales through Amazon.” (you have to love an ex-math teacher – we are informed that a statistically significant increase means she has to sell at least 5% more books.)
This goal is specific and timely. It tells you how many markets she has to attend and in what time frame this will occur. She can easily measure how many bookmarks she hands out (because she got 200 printed). She has a spreadsheet that tracks clicks on the QR Code and can link most of these clicks to Amazon sales shortly after the clicks. Also, 5% is not a large number of books for her, so is achievable.
Feel free to comment if you want feedback on your own marketing goals. Remember, we are not experts – very far from it, but we are goal-setters and achievers.