Why automate your marketing? There’s a lot of work to marketing your book, and for most of us, we still have a full time job running our businesses and our lives. On top of that, if we start marketing when we should, we’re probably still writing or at least editing our book. So, how do we get our marketing done without losing our minds?
Start with a Reserve
Some marketing methods such as blogging, social media, or even podcasting take longer to build a following than others. So you need to put up about a month’s worth of posts or podcasts and then keep a steady drip going. For blogging, I want my clients to put up a minimum of three posts and five is better (and ten is better than that). Then they can post once a week or once every other week on a consistent basis. (In truth, you want to race to a minimum of 50 blog posts to start seeing traffic.) If you’re doing podcasting or starting a YouTube channel, you want to have a minimum of six episodes or videos ready to go when you start. (Again, ten is better.) Upload the first three or four and then post the rest on a consistent basis while creating the next batch. Having a reserve of content allows you to create more without feeling the stress of “I have to write a blog post and get it up TODAY!”
Batch Your Work
I like to batch my work. So if I’m writing a blog post, I like to write three or four at a time. (I pre-plan what I’m going to talk about on a monthly basis and then come up with the blog post titles.) What usually happens when I am writing a blog post is I go off on a tangent and I have finally wised up to the fact that a tangent is another blog post. I almost always end up with part of a second blog post when I sit down to write one.
You can upload a batch of blog posts and have them ready to go in draft form, just waiting for you to click the publish button. The same goes for YouTube videos. Depending on your podcast hosting company, you can upload episodes and either keep them in draft mode waiting for you to hit the publish button or you can actually pre-schedule the release of each episode.
Automate Your Marketing as Much as Possible
Once you have your reserve built up, you can start your marketing schedule. Whether it is posting twice a week or once a month, you want to automate as much as you possibly can. Automating your marketing means that life won’t “get in the way.”
The best way to keep a social media presence going without getting drawn into the time suck of social media, is to use a posting service such as SmarterQueue, MeetEdgar, or Hootsuite. You can upload hundreds of posts and schedule them to be shown on a regular basis. Brenda Ellison grew her Facebook page for Re-Scape.com, to over 400,000 followers without ever buying a single ad or boosting a post. She used a scheduler to post four times a day and asked people to share the posts. With the posting automated, she had time to reply to every comment and engage with her followers. It took time to get her following up to 10,000 or so, but after that, it just snowballed.
Keep in Touch to Stay Top of Mind
Autoresponders do the heavy lifting for keeping in touch by email. Once a person has opted in to your list, they can be sent a series of emails, usually between four to seven or ten, that are pre-written and go out on a schedule. I had two different autoresponder series that ran for over a year for my opt in people—both were “Tip of the Week” format and while it took time to write 50 or 60 short tips, I was definitely in front of my people on a consistent basis. (And yes, you can outsource the writing of those tips.)
Once people are on your list, you can send out a “broadcast” message once or twice a week to stay on their radar. I also use an RSS feed to my autoresponder that sends out each blog post when I publish it. Another feed goes to SmarterQueue which posts to my social media sites and then puts the blog post in rotation to keep being served up.
Make it Easy on Yourself
The marketing strategies that you can automate and schedule out lay down your baseline marketing. This is the stuff that goes out no matter what. That being said, you can’t automate everything. In fact, you shouldn’t. We all got sold on this idea of pressing some internet easy button and you could make thousands of dollars in passive income without talking to anyone.
People need to hear from you personally. They want to know that you are a real person and that you’re really there. You can’t automate caring about people.
So, automate your baseline stuff. With that out of the way, you have the bandwidth to work the more time-consuming strategies, those that require your personal input, such as networking, speaking live or on webinars, or doing one on one consults. The automation provides a foundation to let people know about you and bring them to you. Which leaves you time to do the important pieces in your business.