There are certain lessons in life that I seem to need to learn again and again. Last weekend was one of those repeat lessons. (Sigh.)
As you may know, my friend Arla and I run an online paid accountability group. An opportunity came up to participate in a giveaway program that would be seen by (hopefully) thousands in our target demographic. The fee to participate was nominal and we had about 5 days to create a downloadable something to give away.
We spent a day and a half going back and forth on what to offer and defining the deliverables. I spent another couple of days writing the downloadable product, then building out the tech—mailing list tag, landing page, automation sequence, while Arla created the private Facebook group, did graphics, and gave me feedback on the product.
The Best Laid Plans
We had just about everything done with a day to spare: the freebie was uploaded, copy was written, image set, all ready to go on Tuesday morning. It looked like it was approved and we finished up an email, set everything to active and congratulated ourselves on our sprint. Tuesday morning we checked the giveaway site and our freebie wasn’t there. I logged in to find it. Arla logged in. Nada. Nothing. Zilch. Adding insult to injury, because we both logged in a couple of times, we were locked out of making changes in the back office due to “fraud.” (They had an IP tracking software to make sure people weren’t sending fake clicks.)
So, support ticket sent. Email to the organizer sent. Crickets.
A day later, we could go in and we tried to upload our gift again, since it had disappeared from the back office. (Fortunately, I had saved most of the copy.) The site wouldn’t take our input. Not happy campers were we. There was a support ticket response, which we couldn’t access, along with a popup that said they were having trouble with their support system emails. Gee, thanks.
In short, the whole thing was, as we used to say on the ship, a Charlie Foxtrot. We had missed the opening push of the giveaway.
I was incredibly pissy. (Me, pissy. Imagine that.) Arla felt bad because it had been her idea. (Nevermind that it was a great idea and I had happily hopped onboard.) But the whole thing had been a waste of time.
Or had it?
Giveaways—whether they are for your book or product, are very effective list builders. While that particular giveaway didn’t work out (and in truth, it was aimed at a target market but not our ideal target market), we are now set up to do giveaways to market membership in our accountability group. And while I had looked at giveaways in the context of books, I hadn’t looked at them for other aspects of business. So now we have a marketing strategy set up and ready to launch and we got it done in five days.
Déjà vu All Over Again
In some cases, I use book giveaways as a launch strategy. I had told a client to look through the upcoming book giveaways on BookFunnel and ProlificWorks to see if any were a good fit for her book in the fantasy/sorcery genre. She emailed back saying there were several, one in particular looked perfect but it started in two days. Should we go for it?
Immediately my mind started spinning with the tech: Upload the book, the cover needed to be redone so I did a (not good) mock up, we’d have to tie her email platform in with the giveaway platform and it didn’t take me too long to realize that this was déjà vu all over again.
I emailed her back. “No. Let’s not rush. There will be more giveaways.”
In the meantime, we’ll have a work session where we get her set up on the platform, take care of the tech, and position her to take advantage of future opportunities.
Nana’s Bus Wisdom
My Nana, in her thick Italian accent, once gave me some excellent advice on love: “Men,” she paused with a dramatic sigh, “are like buses. There’s always another one coming around the corner.”
Some opportunities truly are once in a lifetime. Others come at you on a regular basis once you know what opportunity looks like. Sometimes you have to pass on something because the timing isn’t right. Use that as a catalyst to make sure you’re prepared the next time an opportunity shows up.
Need a freebie to take advantage of giveaways and other promotional opportunities? Little Books are the go-to product for this. Do-It-Yourself with my course, Big Profits in Little Books or contact me to discuss a custom, Done-For-You content marketing package: Barbara@BarbaraGrassey.com