Sharing is Caring!
By William Ballard
Everybody is strapped for time. Between the normal hassles of life and the shiny distraction syndrome of the Internet, it sometimes feels impossible to get anything accomplished. Putting time into your marketing never feels urgent, but it’s extremely important for building a writing career.
In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (AFF), author Stephen Covey wrote about the importance of doing non-urgent but important activities. These are the types of actions that allow you to grow in your writing business. If you only ever spend your time on the most urgent tasks, you’ll miss out on the opportunity to make giant leaps forward as an author. These tasks don’t always take a long time, but they do require that you put in a little bit of effort every day for many weeks, months, or even years.
Here are four non-urgent items to put on your daily to-do list that can help you to sell more books in the long run:
1) Step Into the Writing Place Where Anything and Everything is Possible
Mark Levy, the author of the book Accidental Genius (AFF), is a major believer of freewriting. Most often what you read or hear is how to get ideas for writing, but very seldom do you hear or read tips on how to use writing to get ideas.
You see, the process of freewriting is getting the logic side of the brain involved (or engaged) with the creative side. This practice is one way to push through seemingly insolvable problems and come up with ways to go beyond the limits that are minds create for us (and which are really not even there).
Napoleon Hill said something along these lines, “There are no limitations except the ones we create in our own minds.”
The idea with freewriting is to be intentional and set 15 to 30 minutes as a brainstorming and problem solving writing session. One line of questioning that will help you to make more profit from your books is to ask yourself what you need to do to get more readers. But you’re not going to stop there. At the top of your sheet of paper or word processing document, place the following question:
How can I give 10x as more value to new readers?
Take this question and expound upon it in as many different ways as you can think of. Never limit yourself. Instead, let your fingers fly and allow your brain to answer the question for you. There are no barriers or obstacles here. If you decide that getting on the Today Show will give you the opportunity to make the impact you want to make, then let yourself brainstorm how you might encourage such a thing to happen. There’s no dream too big for a brainstorming session.
Not all of the ideas you come up with will be feasible, but there’s a strong possibility that you’ll get something tangible and effective for your efforts. Your brainstorming session shouldn’t be a one-time thing. Schedule out 15 to 30 minutes a day every day for freewriting. If you successfully block off that time, then there’s no telling what you’ll be able to come up with in each cumulative session.
And if thinking in this way is not something that you are not used to, then I encourage to get copy of John Maxwell’s book, “Thinking for a Change” (AFF). It can really give you a new perspective on the power of thinking, dreaming, and the gift of imagination.
2) Employ a Virtual Assistant
One secret of many full-time authors is that they use one or multiple virtual assistants to help them complete some of their marketing tasks. It’s easy to recruit a VA to help you make more profit from your books as well. Use a site like ODesk or Elance to post a job listing for your assistant. In many cases, you’ll be able to find someone who can complete basic tasks for you for under $5 an hour.
By hiring a virtual assistant to work an hour each weekday, you can quadruple your productivity. Spend 15 minutes organizing and explaining the daily tasks for your VA. Your assistant can research reviewers and bloggers for you to contact, organize parts of your website that need a little sprucing up, and/or look up opportunities for you to expand your brand.
However, you shouldn’t expect miracles for such a small hourly rate, but you can definitely feel like you’re getting more hours in the day by having someone available who can lend you a hand.
And you have to keep in mind that you get what you pay for. If you are able to put a little more towards this type of service it would really benefit you in the long run. Consider finding an expert in this area, it will be an investment, but it will provide a high return in book profits.
3) Share Something of Value Everyday
This point could’ve easily been replaced by something as typical as “tweet out a link” or “post something engaging on Facebook.” But instead of thinking of social media as a chore to do, you should concentrate on sharing something of value on a daily basis.
You should consider social media as a place to micro-publish something your proud of. The idea here is finding something you’re passionate about that you can share with the world.
If you are novelist, you could create a Facebook-only story while sharing 100 words of the tale every day. Or if you are a non-fiction writer, make it a priority to post some words of wisdom that can inspire potential readers.
Whatever you decide to share, make sure it’s a part of you. Don’t just put something out there because you read about it on some blog. The more you care, the more your readers will care about you sharing it.
4) Nurture a Relationship With Successful Authors
Reaching out to other authors is easy. All you have to do is find them on social media or shoot them a message on their contact form from their website. That takes significantly less than 15 minutes. However, what may take you some time is formulating how your message can stand out from the rest.
The best way to get an author’s attention is to offer something he/she needs or wants. Zig Ziglar is famous for quoting this statement: “You can everything in life that you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
It’s as simple as that. J. Thorn used this method to get to the top of the horror genre on Amazon, by offering to format box sets for other authors. You can use your particular skill set to help another author make more profits from their books and in the meantime, you’ll cultivate an important relationship with someone who may have insight into how you can make progress in your own writing business.
Time is Money...How Will You Spend It?
It’s easy to get swept away by the most urgent tasks. That’s why it’s a necessity to lock in at least 15 minutes per day of non-urgent work. It doesn’t seem like much, but you can make a lot of forward progress if you log over 50 hours a year.
Whatever you choose to do with that block, you’ll find yourself miles ahead of your peers who struggle to get any marketing in whatsoever. They might even start asking you, “How’d you ever find the time?”
Now Over to You....
Do you have some tips that you add to this list? Or do you have a success story from using one of these tips in the past? I would love to hear them. Join down in the comments!
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About William Ballard
Freelance Writer, Copywriter, Blogger, Inbound Marketing Specialist, and Author, William Ballard, helps small businesses and entrepreneurs, like you, broadcast their message across the Internet (and offline through direct mail response) and be seen as experts in their field. He has been dubbed the Expert Marketer of Writing.
William, a writer and blogger since 2007, enjoys sharing with others his experience on how to become a successful writer, blogger, and author. View more about William Ballard →