Friday, May 13, 2016

Building a Dream Team Part 3

Let’s continue with your Dream Team building tips and suggestions. Let’s review for a second shall we? What is a Dream Team? A Dream Team (also known as a street team) promotes your book with unabashed enthusiasm and support. These are the people that are always going to say a good word about your book. Are always going to be willing to promote and put your name and book out there. We started out with this first post that talked about how to build a Dream Team and the people you should think about having in this group. The second post was all about building structure into your promotional strategy so it gives your team a targeted and focused approach.

Today, I want to spend a little bit of time camping on how to empower and reward your team—and why I believe that is important.

How should you empower your Dream Team?

Never, never, never nag you team for the results you want to see, the reviews you wish you had or the social media promotions that you think are lacking. Ask for these things, of course, remind your team, in a loving way that these are things that are helpful to you, but never harp or hound to get these results. You’ll have the opposite effect.

Praise, praise, praise. Be grateful. Be encouraging. Make sure your Dream Team knows they are a part of the publishing process and team—because they are vital. Keep your praise to honey-do requests on a 2-1 ratio. This is not a hard and fast law, but a good general rule of thumb.

When your publisher or PR or marketing team notices the efforts of your Dream Team, share this with them. Your Dream Team wants to feel as though they are part of a bigger purpose.

What resources should you provide your Dream Team?

Your team can’t simple promote your book on their own power. No one knows your book like they do and giving simple guidelines for your team to either color inside the lines with (or for the really creative go-getters—outside the lines), this gives anyone on your team a starting point.

Your team at a minimum needs:

·         Your book to review
·         Websites (even links) of places to leave reviews
·         Ready made tweets and Facebook posts. (We talked about this in depth on the second post)
·         Pinnable images
·         Ideas for social media promotion
·         Bookmarks

How much should you expect from a Dream Team?

How do you know when you’ve asked too much or too little from your team? I get it, you don’t want to put anyone out and these are busy people, but they did sign up for a certain amount of work by being on your Dream Team.

You should expect them to be honest with you if they don’t like your book.

You should expect them to give it a 100% positive, honest, genuine review.

You should expect them to spend time promoting your book. But you also need to be realistic that everyone’s time demands are different. Be realistic and patient. You are the driving force of energy in the group—either for the negative or the positive. Silence from your team (or you) is deadly and excited energy (think Energizer author bunny hyped up on sugar) is awesome, but hard to maintain. Strive for something in the middle.

How much should you reward a Dream Team?

Here is where we hit the controversy of the post and not all authors are going to agree with me. That’s ok! This is my opinion from working with Dream Teams that do both: rewards and no rewards for their team and how I’ve seen the people on each team respond. Here is why I encourage you to offer a reward to your team.

Your Dream Team is putting in effort that you on your own, could never pull off. They are reaching readers that you most likely would never be able to contact. This is valuable real estate. You are investing in your writing career through these people. They are part of your marketing plan. And marketing plans need investment to truly succeed.

Every Dream Team member needs a copy of your book. They can’t do their work without it.

Offer incentives throughout promotional weeks—and this will look different for each author, so work within your budget. But some 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
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.  

Does your brain feel like it’s about to explode? Take a deep breath, building a Dream Team is a lot of work, but it’s not complicated work. These are just breaking down some of the steps so the knowledge is attainable to you.

Have questions? Leave them in the comments. Next time, we’ll talk about growing that Dream Team after your last promotion, and before the next one.

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...

excellent post, Carrie, and so timely for me! i've a team, called Robin's Little Flock, and i just randomly asked friends to join. i'll be restructuring soon and setting up guidelines.... so yay! much needed info!

Robin E. Mason said...

oops, i meant Casey... #colormeembarrassed