Friday, March 4, 2016

Building a Dream Team Part 3

Welcome back to building your Dream Team. Let’s review just a little bit shall we?

If you are new to this series: what exactly is a Dream Team? A DT is a group of people (most often referred to as a Street Team or any other fun catch phrase that works well with your branding) that goes out and promotes your book. They are an extended force that will promote, encourage and shamelessly tell other people how great you and your books are.

We’ve talked about building this team, and who you should ask to be part of it. We’ve also talked about how to work best with your team and some of the resources you should use in social media structuring.

Today I wanted to delve into how to empower your team and why it’s important.

I wanted to debunk a myth that is going around the world of book promotion lately. This myth says: receiving a free copy of my book is reward enough to promote my book in exchange.

Sadly, this is no longer the case. If a reader really wants your book for free, with no strings attached, trust me, there are many ways for them to make this happen. They can review through your publisher, request the book on trade sites, wait for it to go on sale or free—which publishers are known to do. So really, getting your book for free is no longer incentive enough. So how do you work with this, because you’re probably now suddenly seeing dollar signs flash before your eyes—I get it.

Here’s a few tips for working with your team on the day-to-day:

Never, never, never nag your team. Period. Ask them to promote something for you and stop there. Don’t waste your time and theirs checking each of their profiles to see if they did something for you and then hounding the group as a collective (or individually) when you don’t see results.

Praise, praise, praise the work they are doing. They are already reaching more people than you EVER could on your own. If you need to critique the work of your team to see who stays and who goes on the promotion of the next book, do that in the privacy of your own working environment. For now: praise your team’s efforts. They are all taking time out of their busy lives to help you succeed. Always keep this truth at the forefront of your mind anytime you work with your Dream Team.

When your publisher or PR or marketing team notices the efforts of your Dream Team, share this with them. And trust me, I’ve worked on teams where the publisher has taken notice of the work of a great team, because they are seeing results on their end. Both in numbers and in word of mouth spread about your book.

Your Dream Team wants to feel as though they are part of a bigger purpose

So now you know the day-to-day encouragement places to start. But what else should you do to reward your team for their efforts?

 I want to note something before we dive into this section: having a Dream Team is a marketing investment. And I understand that most authors don’t have a very large budget. I’ve worked on teams that give one large prize that everyone is working to try and earn (ie: one gift card) and I’ve worked on teams that give a little bit to everyone. This post isn’t designed to make you feel inferior or overwhelmed with what you can or can’t do. What it’s designed to do is give you some practical ideas to spoil your people. While you don’t want your Dream Team in it only for the compensation, the truth of the matter remains that you’ll have more committed followers when they know their worth to you.

How much should you reward a Dream Team?

A copy of your book—this goes without saying, right? : -) Any book your team is promoting for you, needs to be provided by you or your publisher.

Incentives throughout promotional weeks—and this will look different for each author. Work within your budget. What I have done on teams in the past is give my team players their social media information to share, ask them to share and then come back to this post and tell me they did to be entered to win a gift card for XX amount to XX place. Again, work within your budget. If this isn’t an option for you, then do something to give your members at the end of the book promotion cycle. Or maybe buy small $$ amount gift cards and randomly send them to people as a surprise thank you.

Other end-of-promotion gift ideas include:
o   Gift cards
o   Thank you notes (mailed to their home kind of cards, not just an email)
o   Lots and LOTS of verbal affirmation (this needs to happen ALL throughout the promotion)
o   One final gift (again work within your budget, something you can purchase and mail to each member of your Dream Team) to say thank you for all of their efforts—yes, even to those who didn’t do a lot of work, they still put in effort for you. Effort you couldn’t do on your own.  

We’ve covered a lot of information today! Hopefully it hasn’t been brain dump overload. :- ) Next time we will be talking about growing your Dream Team and when you should let someone go.

Do you have any questions you’d like answered on upcoming posts?


Casey Herringshaw is a homeschool graduate and has been writing since high school. She lives in colorful Colorado where she gets to live her dream stalking--er--visiting with her favorite CO authors. 


Robin E. Mason said...

hullo Casey! thanks for great info on the topic. i need to revisit my own team and perhaps regroup. (not seeing much participation from some of my peeps) I'll save your post and add to others i have, and write up a set of guidelins to share with my group.
ps, my name for my team? Robin's Little Flock!

Rachelle Rea Cobb said...

This is so good, Casey! One of my favorite parts of authordom the last year has been growing my team! Thanks for the great tip as far as incentivizing goes. :)