Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Marketing 101 -- Tricia Goyer


About Tricia:

Tricia is the author of 30 books and has published more than 500 articles for national publications such as Focus on the Family, Today’s Christian Woman and HomeLife Magazine.

She won the Historical Novel of the Year award in both 2005 and 2006 from American Christian Fiction Writers and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mr. Hermon Writer’s Conference in 2003. Tricia book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion Book Award in 2005. Tricia’s co-written novel, The Swiss Courier, was a nominee for the Christy Awards.

Time Management: Marketing and Speaking

Just a few quick tips that worked for me...

Marketing:

1. I’ve hired a nearly full-time assistant to help with marketing. She posts my blogs, formats my newsletters, sends out packages, etc.

2. I fit my radio interviews, etc. into my calendar. I also schedule in things like e-mail interviews, mailing signed books, etc. I don’t have specific days but rather specific slots to meet the need.

Speaking:

1. I used to speak two times a month. Now I limit that to four times a year. It takes me days to prepare, days to travel, days to “get back into life.” At this season in my life I need to give time to my family first. This is out-of-town stuff. This doesn’t count in local engagements, which I will take if they fit.

I’m an Author. Do I Need a Newsletter?

Many authors have newsletters. I have one that goes out about every other month. I share an inspiring story, news, and information about me and what I'm up to.

Every book signing, conference, or speaking event I do I hold a drawing. In addition to their name and address I include three other things:
  1. I would like to receive Tricia's email newsletter [ ] yes 
  2. I have another event I'd like Tricia to consider speaking at, please send me a press kit.
  3. Comment:
The majority of people click yes to signing up for the newsletter, which is great! Building a dedicated readership, I've discovered, is worth giving away free books.

As for whether it's worth the extra time and effort, people who are signed up for my newsletter are people like older friends from church who don't spend time on social media or reading blogs. I also encourage readers to pre-order my novels and it seems to be working!

Your Audience

We've talked about marketing and publicity before, but I'd like to discuss how you reach your audience.

1. Let's talk about who your audience is.

2. Let's talk about unique ways you reach them.

According to Alexa.com, here is info on who is visiting my website the most: "Based on internet averages, triciagoyer.com is visited more frequently by females who are in the age range 25-34, have children, are college educated and browse this site from home." Looking at other information Alexa told me, the websites they visit before and after my site is Facebook.

When I think of my reader, I often think of real women I know to help me picture "her" in my mind. One is Alana. She's a friend from church who's married to a great guy from Guatemala. They are involved in missions outreach in his home country. She's college-educated but put her career aside to raise her two kids. At church we chat about my new books and the research behind them. She's invited me to her home to talk to other young moms about homeschooling. She posts adorable photos of her kids on Facebook, and she works at a preschool part-time, mostly because she likes the connection with other moms and kids. I have readers from other age groups and lifestyles, but I know that I have a nice following from this audience.

There are obvious ways I connect with them:
-By doing guest blogs on mommy and homeschooling sites
-By blogging about marriage and family on my blog (I throw books stuff in now and again :)
-By posting about my writing (which is following my dream), life and family on Facebook and Twitter
-By hosting Facebook contests

I also try to be aware of other places my core readers and followers are congregating. One of those places is Pinterest

I've discovered that you can pin anything to your "bulletin boards" that has a photo. I "pin" my books under subject headings like "World War II" or "Amish." I also started spending five or ten minutes each day finding old blog posts and "pinning" them. For example, recently I pinned a blog post from July 2010 on "How to Be a Better Lover" to my Marriage board. In the first few hours I pinned it, more than 250 people went and viewed that old blog post. It's continued to get a few hundred views each week. If people like your pins, they repin them on their boards. And then people look at their boards and repin them, too. Sweet!

Recently, because of things like Pinterest and Facebook parties, the daily views on my blog/website have jumped from an average of 6,000 page views a month to more than 11,000 in November. I've also seen my book sales numbers growing, too. Yeah! And the best part is it's fun for me! (Yes, I find Facebook and Twitter fun, too.) Because I like it, I don't feel like I'm marketing (so much), and readers don't feel that I'm only concerned with trying to sell them something.

Even though the majority of books I write are fiction, I'm making a connection with my main readership who connect with me over family and real-life issues, and then run out to buy my novels. They also buy my books for their parents and grandparents, too, which I love!

All that to say, instead of casting a wide net and attempting to reach a variety of readers, I've been doing more to connect with those who respond most positively to me and my books.

Twitter It!

Are you sick of hearing about Twitter yet?

For three months I put off checking it out. I already had a presence of MySpace, Facebook, and ShoutLife, and I didn't understand how this new social marketing opportunity would be any different.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing? You have 140 characters (letters) to answer that question. You can “tweet” once a day or twenty times a day. It's up to you.

You may wonder who reads these twitters. They are your “followers.” People follow others they know, those they respect, or those recommended by other.

In the six months since I started tweeting, I accumulated 3,600+ followers, and I get twenty or thirty new followers every day. (I received five new followers in the time it took me to write this article!) My follower count now is more than 56,000. Not every follower reads each of my posts, but many of them read most.

Throughout the day I send updates about my devotional time, writing, editing, and even my errands. People follow the progress of my books, and they are often eager to spread the word about my project. They comment back, which gives me a sense of community. I’ve also used Twitter when doing research. I post questions, and I ask for feedback. I’ve even asked for suggestions for chapter titles or character names. Fun!

Twittering may sound like work, but it takes less than one minute to post 140 characters—about two sentences, or as much as this paragraph.

As a writer there are benefits to Twittering
1) People do enjoy hearing about everyday lives of interested people. As a writer you are one of them. (This is the reality television generation, remember?) As you’re working on a book, you can become interesting to a wide variety of people—many who may later be readers.

2) Seventy-five percent (or maybe more) of the people I've connected with are those who I haven't connected with before. Score! My followers include radio hosts, television producers, editors, and many potential readers.

3) My Facebook account is also connected with Twitter. When I update the status of one, the other is updated. Because of this, my Facebook network has grown, too.

4) When I promote my interviews or articles or books, I have a wide variety of people who are eager to hear the newest news. For example, when I was recently on Focus on the Family radio, I tweeted about it, and many, many people responded, telling me they turned into the radio. It was a great feeling!

Following back
Personally, I follow thousands of people on Twitter. No, I do not keep updated with this many people all day long. Rather, I have a select few that I follow via my cell phone. The rest (those I don't follow on my cell phone) I keep updated on by scanning on the web four or five times a day. If I see something interesting, I may comment on their post.

The people I follow closely are writer friends and professionals in our industries, such as Michael Hyatt (CEO of Thomas Nelson), Sheila Walsh, and Ed Stetzer (CEO of Lifeway). I can honestly say I know more about what’s happening in the publishing industry today than I did a month ago. I also follow a few “non-famous” closely. One is Kristen, a farm mom. I’m writing a series of books set on a farm, and it’s free research!

So if you are interested in connecting with people, building relationships, and spreading the word about your writing, Twitter might be worth checking out. Go ahead and try it. It’s not hard to dip your toe into . . . since it’s only 140 characters at a time.

24 comments:

Carla Olson Gade said...

Tricia, this is a wealth of marketing information that you shared! This is stuff that has really worked for you, practical. Thanks for sharing and I will start to implement some of these things now that I am finally published. You inspire!

Carla Olson Gade said...

Tina, you are a doll for hosting this series! Thank you!

Maria I. Morgan said...

Loved the interview ladies!Great marketing ideas here, Trisha - thanks for sharing! God bless~

Tracy Krauss said...

These were great tips, but the first thing that jumped out at me was the 'I hire someone almost full time'... I'm not at the point yet, unfortunately. :( Congrats to Tricia, though on her success

Laura Hodges Poole said...

Thanks for sharing such good information. Much of this I'm doing, but it gave me insight on a few new things, like Pinterest I'm not doing yet.

Patricia PacJac Carroll said...

Such a timely post. Thanks for the information.
Blessings on all you do.

Patricia PacJac Carroll said...

Such a timely post. Thanks for the information.
Blessings on all you do.

Julie Lessman said...

Tricia, this is hands-down, the BEST Marketing article I have ever read and I am embarrassed to follow you!! YIKES!!

I am going right now to FB and Tweet this baby, because as Internet illiterate as I am, I DO know how to do that, thank God!! ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Donald James Parker said...

What????? Writers need to know about marketing??? Time to hit the panic button! Seriously, any writer who has been around the block once realizes that marketing is tougher than writing. And unfortunately, if you don't do it well, the writing may go unnoticed. Kudos for helping the writer community to learn some new tricks to improve their bottom line.

Connie Arnold said...

Thank you for sharing the wonderful interview and Tricia for the great tips and advice. Blessings to you!

Tina Pinson said...

Carla,

thanks so much, I just figure I'm not the only one out there struggling with promotion.

thank you for stopping in.

Tina Pinson said...

Maria,

welcome. Glad you liked the information. I know I'm looking at marketing ideas with new twists because of all I've read.

Tina Pinson said...

Tracy,

wished we could all say we hired someone full time huh?

Tina Pinson said...

Laura,

I have done a lot of this as well. I'm looking into ways to use Pinterest more.

Tina Pinson said...

Patricia,

appreciate your visiting, I hope everyone who stops by goes away with more ideas.

Tina Pinson said...

Julie,

you're a doll, letting others know about this series and stopping in. I can honestly say, that what you have to say is just as pertinent. I know I read it.

Thank you

blessings

Tina Pinson said...

Oh and if anyone is interested. When Julie shares on her day, she's also planning to do a giveaway. You don't want to miss it.

Tina Pinson said...

Donald,

You are so right. Marketing is necessary and tough. And a lot of books go unnoticed because they don't market as well as others.

Tina Pinson said...

Connie,
Thanks for stopping in, glad you're liking the series and learning more ideas.

Tricia Goyer said...

Tina! Thanks so much for having me. I'm so pleased to offer my experience. Just wanted to clarify one thing - I didn't hire someone full time right off the bat. After I received my third contract I hired someone for just a few hours a week. THEN as I was able, I increased her time.

Happy writing (and even happier marketing) to you all!

Tricia

Tricia Goyer said...

Thanks for hosting me, Tina. I'm so glad I could help!

I'm writing this from Prague, sitting here looking at the Charles Bridge. Amazing!

Anonymous said...

I'm envious now... Are you researching a new book?

I'm deeply appreciative of your help. A lot of good stuff.

Have a lovely time. I send my souvenir list soon

Blessings

Tina

Author Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Tricia, I'm in total agreement about Twitter! It has been an awesome place for me to connect with people that otherwise would have never heard of me. Many of them click on over to my FB page and follow me there as well. Great article!

Deborah Heal said...

I'm wondering what program(s) you use to create and mail your newsletters. The one I tried briefly was impossible.