How Building Relationships Is The Ultimate Sales Strategy
You've released a few books, or perhaps you’re a mid-list writer who’s wondering if there’s more to this writing gig than applying for BookBubs. You haven’t seen the increase or sales you’ve been used to and are re-considering your decision to give this “writing thing” a go. Or maybe you’re seeing moderate progress, but you need to find the one thing that will propel you to the next level of success.
This week, I've been on rant, after rant, after rant. And yes, I'm in a serious menopausal well of emotion, and as a close friend has just told me, it's like a dark raincloud is doing my evil bidding every time I open my mouth this week. But, I'm here to tell you, there is a way to win on ANY platform, but you have to take a leap of faith: You simply CANNOT post time, after time, after time a picture of your hero and heroine, a cover, a teaser with a buy link and expect it to work. Especially if you’re going WIDE!
Nope, not gonna happen! All this is doing is teaching your followers to skip over your content because it’s predictable and spammy. And even more detrimentally, you’re telling the algorithms to suppress your content because you either always post something with links leading readers away from the platform, or what you’re posting isn’t interesting to your followers. Neither of these situations are good and can lead to authors blaming the platform instead of their content.
Want to know what romance authors who are winning the long game are spending their marketing time doing? It’s not Facebook ads, it’s not blogger tours, promo spots, newsletter swaps, or deciding to go exclusively to KU. Granted, they are doing some of those things (look forward to a future blog on all of the things inside this list I think are a waste of time and money), but they’ve done one thing before they’ve done anything else.
The one thing they’ve done differently is know their readers inside and out.
They've taken the time to become of one mind with their readers and it shows on their social media. These authors are BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS and they are cultivating a community of evangelists for their work. And these relationships are built on the one thing all great relationships are built on: trust.
Those authors you admire? Their readers will snap up any chance they get to order their books and tell their friends about them. Why? Because they've intentionally gone transparent in their marketing efforts.
This means they are showing up on their platform of choice as themselves. This can be as much or as little as they decide, but they are showing up, in some way, shape or form, every. single. day.
Take Jill Shalvis, for example. She consistently shows on social media that she is a wife, mom of three girls (whose names she doesn't share), who owns a lab or two, and lives in the mountains. And she occasionally lets you know she's got books coming out.
Lauren Layne intersperses pictures of herself and gorgeous Instagram-worthy layouts with incredible copy, while offering us an inside view of her personal life via her stories. Lauren occasionally shows us what she’s working on, all the while we fall in love viewing her travels and daily life.
Finally, Alessandre Torres fills socials of "days in the life" pictures. Her FB pages are riddled with marketing strategies and writing do’s and don’t’s learned from her personal experience. She intentionally shares her life with her readers, and sometimes shows us the books she’s selling.
What I want you to notice is that these writers rarely post teasers. They don’t consistently post “buy this book” posts, share multiple links to try to entice their readers to purchase, or do the dreaded newsletter swap. They never let their reader land on their page and read something that isn't consistent with their brand or try to push their book on their reader. They make sales based on relationships, and they know that relationships are all about trust.
So, tell me, are you ready to be brave? Are you ready to lose the posts asking readers to click a link to download or head to your website? The next time you post on your socials, no matter what channel it is, ask yourself if you're ready for your huge transformation. Ask yourself what you want to happen after a reader checks out that post? Resist the urge to post a teaser or a link to buy, and post something that gets your fans fired up, engaged, and interested in who you are. Post a series of behind-the-scenes pictures or videos or a picture of yourself in your natural habitat… the writer at wild. Be brave. You’ll be surprised at the results.
Need a support group to get through the anxiety? You know you can always find it inside the Romance Writer's Marketing Academy Facebook Group. We’re a group of dedicated romance writers ready to grow with you as you create a high converting marketing strategy!
Holly, The Socialvert