I am not a naturally organized person.
Left to my own devices, chores and most other forms of adulting would take a bus length back seat to writing, quilting and other types of creative endeavor. And I wouldn’t mind.
But the thing is, even if my husband were down for letting them slide, doing the chores is necessary. It keeps the house liveable and both of us from getting a terrible disease of some kind. Let’s face it. No one wants to live in a dump.
A similar situation exists when it comes to marketing. From posting on social media to creating and scheduling ads, marketing remains the bane of my writerly existence. If I could afford to hire a marketing firm I would do it in a heartbeat.
However, that isn’t currently an option for me. For better or worse, I’m a one-woman show at the moment. So – I need to put my priorities in order and get it in gear.
But marketing is a huge endeavor – and it never ends. If you stop marketing, your sales tend to tank, right along with your bank account. Conversely, trying to do too much at once robs you of writing time and limits productivity. So what is an Indie Author to do?
Getting Your Marketing Show on the Road
Create your plan with achievable goals. A helpful concept here is the SMART goal. SMART goals are used in education, but they work equally well in business. Set goals that are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-oriented and Time-bound. For instance, a marketing SMART goal might be: I will raise my writing income to 1K per month by March 31, 2018. Under that goal, you will write the steps or actions, you will take to achieve the goal.
Prioritize your Action Steps
Create a working list of the things that have to be done. The list is going to be different for each writer depending on your genre and work style. Brainstorming is a helpful strategy here. Pretend you DO have a marketing assistant. What would you have them do? Write it all down. Make a list. Now organize your list. I like to break mine up into sections – Extremely Important, Important and It-would-be-nice-but-no-one-will-die-if-it-doesn’t-get-done. You do you.
Take a look at your list. Are there things on it that you could pay someone else to do? Can you afford to delegate? If you can, do it. Preserve as much time as you can for writing, but don’t forget, if you want your business to succeed financially, you have to market too.
Schedule – Realistically
Now comes the real fun. Assuming that you are going to have to do the lion’s share of the work yourself, how will you schedule it? Some writers devote an amount of time each day. When the time is up, they take off the marketing hat and put on the writer hat. Done deal.
That doesn’t work for me. I get so caught up in what I’m doing that the next thing I know, it’s lunch, and when I blink again, the day is over. So, I devote Mondays to marketing. Do what works for you, but arrange your schedule in such a way that you can realistically expect to meet the goals you set for yourself.
Schedule tasks in a realistic manner. Trying to pack all your marketing work for a month into an hour and a half is unrealistic and sets you up for failure. Whatever your allotted time is, fill it to the point that it is challenging but achievable.
Execute Your Plan
Now you have a plan of attack, all that is left is to execute it Commit to completing your tasks as scheduled. Mark them off as you finish them. I find it very helpful to have a partner here to help me maintain my accountability and to crow over my successes. Each finish task is a success.
Measure Your Results
Measure your results, but don’t limit your success to a monetary standard. Did it raise your visibility? Did it increase your mailing list? Did it earn you some super fans? Did it sell books? All these, along with a host of other options, spell success. For any given action, what is the outcome? Once you know the outcomes, you’ll know whether the action is worth repeating.
Marketing is my least favorite thing, but it’s entirely necessary if my business is to thrive. What are your favorite marketing tactics? Let me know in the comments. Until next time – Happy writing.