Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Let's Talk Niche Marketing: Part 2

Today, I'm continuing the conversation about niche marketing because my last post was getting way too long :) To refresh your memory, we talked about identifying potential niches for your book/platform, and today I'm going to share a little bit about reaching said niches along with a refresher on common marketing etiquette because I can't resist.

Whether you're branding yourself as a pre-published author, reaching out to new readers as an established blogger or someone with a few published books under your belt, or you're starting a new business/project/venture, there are several avenues you can explore to find the people who will best benefit from what you have to offer.

Let me preface this by saying it's important to have a good handle on your ideal audience and to be intentional about who you reach out to before you begin. You don't want to be like that guy who sends daily mass emails full of clickbait and optimized keywords. Just no. You don't want to be associated with a certain processed "meat" that comes in a can.

Once you have this down, you're in luck. Because you live in 2015, and it's easier than ever for like-minded groups to congregate online, for one, and also relatively simple to find them. You can look for:
  • Facebook groups
  • Twitter labels
  • Hashtags across multiple platforms (Don't forget Instagram!)
  • Online groups, including book clubs, support and special interest groups, blog communities, etc.
You can also find groups like this through your local library and community organizations. Though you may reach a smaller sample of people, it can still be beneficial to seek out groups in your area.

Specialized publications and media outlets can also lead to great opportunities. I've had clients garner attention from a quarterly quilting magazine to an allergy-friendly support network. And these days, there are podcasts that cover pretty much every subject. You'd be surprised.

So, say you're coming out with a children's story about pugs (what?) and found a few groups that you think would be interested in your book, a local gathering of preschool moms that hosts a weekly storytime and a Facebook group for pug fans with 10,000 members. What next?

Find out who runs each group and try to contact an individual before you leave a blanket message on a Facebook wall or an answering machine. Try to discern if it's appropriate to reach out to that individual directly, because if so, tailoring a pitch personally instead of making it look like a mass email is always the way to go! Have a good sample of your work at the ready if they request it so they can make an informed decision.

I will repeat my marketing mantras at every opportunity: 
  • Remember that potential readers, editors, followers, and clients are human beings and deserve personalized communication when at all possible. I would recommend keeping detailed notes to avoid getting your people mixed up. It happens!
  • View your interactions with them as conversations, not blanket sales pitches.
  • Focus on what you have to offer that can serve and benefit them.
  • Be gracious with every yes, and know when to take no for an answer.
  • Be intentional and do your research before you make contact.
I think that about covers it! Hope this has given you some good food for thought. 

Super helpful pug book example aside, I'd love to discuss what projects you're working on and any new niches you'd like to reach!


Laurie Tomlinson is a wife and mom from Tulsa, Oklahoma, who is passionate about intentional living, all things color-coded, and stories of grace in the beautiful mess. Previously a full-time book publicist, she owns a freelance copywriting, editing, and PR consulting business called 1624 Communications

She's a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a two-time Genesis Award winner, and the runner-up in the 2015 Lone Star Contest's Inspirational category. 
Her work is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary.

You can connect with Laurie here:
Twitter - @LaurieTomlinson


kaybee said...

Laurie, just wanted to congratulate you for being in the top three of the Lone Star with me. It's always more fun when it's someone you know! Way to go!
Kathy Bailey

Jill Weatherholt said...

This is great information, Laurie. I recently started a marketing file, so both posts are filed for future reference.
Congratulations on being selected as a Lone Star finalist. It's great to see such a nice and talented person win! :)

Laurie Tomlinson said...

@Kathy - I can't believe I just made this connection! Congrats to you! So exciting :) Are we Facebook friends?

@Jill - Thank you! And feel free to come back and comment or contact me directly when you're ready! I'll set it to notify me!