This guest blog is by Meg Geisewite, author of Intoxicating Lies. She shares her experience marketing her book through social media and being a guest on various podcasts.
Congratulations! If you have finished writing your book, you should be proud of yourself; it’s a huge accomplishment! Now, the real work begins by promoting your hard work. When I launched my marketing plan, I found two effective tools that helped me connect to my target audience: podcasting and social media. Both mediums cost very little and have the most significant return on your investment.
I consider myself a podcast junkie. I love gaining insights and inspiration through good podcasts. Therefore, I made a list of all the podcasts that my target audience listens to. If you need help deciding what podcasts to contact, go to Apple Podcasts and type keywords that align with your book’s message.
Podcasts have the broadest reach to your core market with zero cost other than your time. To begin, create an Excel spreadsheet with the potential podcasts you want to be on in the first column. Next, put the hostname in the second column. In the third column, put the outreach date. Lastly, put the actual date to be aired or a follow-up date if you have not heard back. This working document will help keep you on track and organize your schedule.
Now that you have a list of potential podcasts that your readers listen to, go on social media and follow those shows or hosts. Doing this will give you a better perspective of the show and the host. I recommend listening to at least one podcast episode before contacting the host. You can email or contact the host via DM (Direct Message) on social media. Check out the Happy Self-Publisher’s Podcast Pitch Template as well.
Introduce yourself and your book in the message. Compliment the host and the show by telling them what you love about their podcast. Briefly outline what your book covers and why your audience may want to learn more about it. Offer the host a copy of your book to see if you fit their show. Once booked, keep in mind the host rarely sends you the questions they will ask you on the show beforehand, so be prepared to answer anything about your book!
When I started my social media account over a year ago, I had ten followers (most of whom were my friends and family). As I write this blog, I am approaching three thousand followers. I say this because social media can be daunting. I get it.
To keep it simple, I decided to focus on Instagram and have it linked to my business page on Facebook. Therefore, I could spend all my time on Instagram, knowing everything was being duplicated to Facebook. There are many platforms to choose from; of course, you can do them all or hone in on the social media platform that feels right for you. No matter what you choose, my greatest advice is to make sure your posts are engaging, inspiring, and educational.
To do this, first, make a list of fifty to a hundred quotes from your book. Next, create your branding in Canva for these quotes. Canva is a graphic design platform used to create social media graphics and presentations. It’s relatively inexpensive, and Canva offers many templates to make it easy. Your posts should include your logo, colors, and a photo of your book cover if there is room for it on the post.
You want to have a good mixture of different types of posts. Reels are great for attracting new followers; they should be fun and inspiring. You can get creative using free videos/photos, or have fun and make videos of yourself with your book. A simple reel is doing a book giveaway where you ask your followers to tag a friend and post a comment about your book. Posts/Carousels (posts with a series of slides, photos, or videos) are great for your quotes or educating your target market. These posts should speak to the heart of your book’s message.
Now that you have your posts created, make a profile on Instagram. I used my book cover as the photo for my profile picture. You can also add a Link Tree in your profile, which allows your followers to find links to your podcasts, book signing events, and where to buy your book.
Lastly, there is a place for stories on Instagram. Stories are the rings at the top of the Instagram page. This is a place for the reader to get to know you more personally. Again, have fun here showing your readers the personal side of your life, allowing them to feel more connected to you. In Instagram stories, you can ask your followers questions and even take polls. Instagram stories are the place to engage with your readers; you may even get testimonials here.
In summary, podcasts, and social media cost little other than your time yet give you the greatest return on your investment to grow your readership.