4 Ways To Develop Your Authentic Voice For Book Marketing Success
Welcome to Artist Entrepreneur Fridays, where we focus having a successful author career from the business and strategic perspectives. This week I have another guest post from Matthew Ashdown, Book Promotion Specialist with FriesenPress. FriesenPress is a fee-for-service self-publisher. Matthew offers 4 ways to develop your authentic voice for your book marketing success.
The price of inauthentic marketing is high, especially to yourself. Think of how you would feel, walking around every day trying to be someone that you are not. Many people have done that in the name of making money, but times are a-changin’. It is possible to make any amount of income as an honest, value providing author. Integrity and authenticity are what the buying public is looking for. I am not saying that you have to regurgitate your emotional baggage on to your readers and tell them about your bad days, but let them get to know who you are.
Your audience demands the authentic you. With the advent of social media and direct author-to-customer relationships, you are out in the open for the world to see. And many of your fans are gifted in sniffing out untruths. ( I learned this working with teenagers).
I remember when I started out in public speaking, and I learned some back-of-the-room sales techniques that were apparently guaranteed to have people running back to purchase my products. It did not sit well with me. And I remember using the techniques for the first time. I remember having to sit down in the middle of the sales pitch because I felt so inauthentic. I was hating myself for being something other than who I was. I did not fear making sales, I feared making them in that particular way. After that experience, I tried my darnedest to find ways of promoting and selling my wares without sacrificing who I was. I had to look around a great deal, but now I feel much more comfortable selling to people because I found mentors whose approaches worked for me.
Here are four steps that you can take to find the authenticity you desire to share with the world:
- Let yourself off the hook for any time where you feel you have been inauthentic and let yourself down. This happens on our journey. We make mistakes from time to time. We lose our way, and we lose ourselves temporarily. Be willing to trust yourself again and forgive yourself for your errors. The more you trust yourself, the more you will emanate that trust to others, and the more that you will be sharing your authentic self with the world.
- Find people out there who are not just selling their books, but who sell and promote in a way that you would enjoy doing — a way that feels authentic to you. You may have to do some research, but there are people out there to learn from. There are many ways to sell without being slimey, or making up things to make that sale. When you are authentic to yourself, sales will not feel like such a daunting project. Hint: Your mentors may be people that you have bought from.
- You will not be able to please everyone. There will be those who like you, your work, and the fact that you are sharing your book with the world. But there will be those who will not approve of what you do, and may voice it. And as Bill Cosby said, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” When you feel truly happy with the work you are doing, do not let others make you feel bad for that. There will be those who can never be pleased. You want to focus on those who are happy with your book. Develop a humble immunity to the good opinions of other people, whilst remaining open to feedback, and you will be able to go far.
- When you are on social media sites, think of who you genuinely want to reach with your message. Be yourself in your posts. It may mean being vulnerable to a certain extent, but people will relate to you better when they know that you are real. Share videos of yourself. Share experiences that you have had. Make up any lies to make a sale, and somewhere someone will catch you. Find your authentic self and share it with the world.
These are some simple steps that you can begin to incorporate into your approach to be more authentic. Don’t expect that you will find your way immediately. Like me, you may make mistakes as you are feeling your way around to your authentic voice for your marketing success.
What a fascinating post. I like the advice that you gave here. I agree that it is important to be true to yourself and I think it is important that you said not to beat yourself up if you stray. So true! Thanks for a refreshing and inspiring post.
Thanks Jess 🙂 I am passionate about this topic.
Reading this post is balm to my inner anxiousness. I worry at times that I am not being authentic enough and being able to figure that out and move on is important.
A few other authors and I began talking in December about creating quality marketing instead of quantity. Quantity is an easy trap to fall into when there are so many social media and online opportunities. Instead, we’ve decided to put a spotlight on what we are doing and carve out the parts that make the most sense on which to concentrate our best efforts – to not get sucked into the mindset that more is better.
We decided to have writer getaways every month to talk about this in depth. We each put together a mini-seminar on what our marketing efforts currently are and why we are doing them. The purpose is to surgically remove the parts that aren’t working. We want to reach our potential readers without compromising ourselves in the process.
The other aspect in reviewing how we are doing our marketing is to figure out ways to allow ourselves time to do the actual writing. This is a big issue for independent authors as well as authors who have publishing houses that do some of the marketing.
We’re videotaping our progress and working on being as honest as possible in them. We want to see what we can do and what we can’t. What works and what doesn’t. We’re calling it The Authors Roundtable and the group The Writers Marketing Collective. We will distribute the videos in various video communities to help other authors stuck in this same situation.
It’s not easy to be an author while also being the sales and marketing person which is why this post is beneficial for all authors to read and share.
Leigh Anne Lindsey
Publisher & Writer
Audiobooks, eBooks & Video Productions