My Top Five Tips For Building Your Romance Writing Business
You're an accomplished writer. You don't need the bullshit of losing time inside the rabbit hole that is Facebook. You're tired of diving into Pinterest and not coming up for air for days, and you're ready to sell your books to more than just friends and family.
I'm a digital marketing coach, and I've coached over one thousand entrepreneurs along their path to success and I'm a contemporary romance writer. I've combined these skills to create a unique coaching business, specifically designed to help romance writers create rabid fan bases who snap up all of your work! I get tons of questions about marketing each day, but I've compiled my favourite five tips to help get you started marketing your latest release, and growing a business so you can have more time to do you!
Tip #1 - Always be working on your list. Always. Here's the thing. One of my favourite sayings is: You can't build a business on property you don't own. You never know when the rent is going to rise, or your landlord is going to evict you. Make no mistake, I love me a good social media platform, but I never let it be the only piece of my strategy, for any release, or promotion. Every romance writer knows someone who's either been in Facebook jail or had their account temporarily suspended? Or been afflicted with the dreaded, shadowban on Instagram. Then you're hands are tied and no one at the other end gives a damn, that is, if you can find someone at the other end.
This is specifically why I'm always working on list building. Oh, well and lists also convert a bijillion times faster than social media. Most lists convert at a rate of around 35-40%. That means for every 100 people on your list, 40 of them will take the action you want them to. Social media's conversion rate? 2%. If that. Read on to see how to properly use social media to grow your reader base, but also read on to learn how to grow that business, period.
Tip #2 - Learn how to advertise inside Facebook's Power Editor. Let's face it. Facebook has become a pay to play environment. Facebook sure had us suckered. For so long we heard stories of dynasties being built organically inside Facebook. That means, huge followings, for free! Who wouldn't want to jump in and give it the old college try? They got us good. We thought that would never end, but ladies, I'm here to tell you, it's ending. Now that we've built up these large fan bases, if we ever want to access them again, we'll have to pay inside the power editor.
There are many different types of ads you can run in the ads manager. There are engagement, my favourite kind to create a warm market from a freezing cold one. Typically I use engagement ads to build up my saved audiences. These are the audiences you use to re-target your ads to at a later date.
Traffic ads send people to a website where you want them to read, click, or do something. They are great if you have your own website and want to direct people to your new release, blog or something else. These work well when you own the platform they're landing on, as you can install the little gem called the Facebook Pixel. This thing is magic, ya'll. It can keep track of anyone and everyone who visits your website and where they go once they've paid you a visit.
Conversions Ads are somewhat more complicated and labour intensive, but really worth it if you're selling direct, or you have an upsell, like accessories or you're looking at branching out to speaking engagements or writing courses. Conversions ads track how many clicks come to one web page and then the thank-you purchase page.
Finally, as an author, a good video views ad on your book trailer can work it's magic on creating a rabid fan base. Set it to a 3 second view and you'll gain a large, warmed up audience really quickly.
Tip #3 - Pinterest. This right here? This is my secret weapon. Before you dismiss this platform, which by the way, is not a social media platform, hear me out. Change how you think about Pinterest. It's not a social media platform, but it is a search engine filled with beautiful imagery. People come to Pinterest to find things. Why can't they find love as well? Or books on love? Or love quote? Or links to your blog? On average, I get 15,000 views a month on Pinterest across all sorts of industries.
Tip #4 - Treat your writing like a business and it will treat your bank account to a bigger bump more often. There are five pillars to a business.
Marketing & Sales - this one is obvious regardless of the industry you're in. You need to market your book, then sell it in order to earn money.
Distribution Channels - how are your readers going to be able to download your books? Or order them?
Operations/Technology - Do you have a website? Where is it hosted? What does it contain? Are all your channels set up to direct deposit? What social media will you engage in?
Financial - how much does it cost you each month to run your business and how much will you earn? If your earning needs to increase, how many more books need to be sold or are there expenses you can decrease?
People/leadership - who's on your team? Are they on payroll or contracts? Editors? Designers? PR? How much do you pay them and what will they do for you?
Tip #5 - Schedule, schedule, schedule. Take your vision for your writing and sales for the year and divide it up into 4, 90 day segments. Then, for each segment, give your business one single goal to strive for that feeds into your annual vision. Then, come up with projects to help you accomplish ONLY that goal. Seriously. Choose projects and tasks that move your needle forward. There's a term called context switching that's a real issue. How many times when you're writing do you switch to check your email, your social media, get a drink, check your email again, check your book sales? Enough that you're not getting enough written, right? Here's my flow chart:
Goal - pick one.
Projects - think about the most impactful projects. If you're goal is to finish a second draft, then projects could be, Daily chapter rewrites - tasks would be 4 pages per hour. Another project would be get cover art complete - tasks - send ideas to designer or create your own.
Tasks - these are the little things that you do every day to move the needle closer to the cash
Do not check your socials, do not check email, do not respond to email, just get it done!
These tips are only the tip of the iceberg and really, can be applicable for almost any business. Need some help staying on track? I've got a digital marketing mastermind just for you! Click the button below here to learn more.
Rather learn like a Netflix binger? The Romance Writer's Marketing Academy opens in March! It's a full on in depth course on marketing just for romance writers! Get on the waitlist now!
That's all of our top tips! Tune in next week for more great modern marketing topics!