The Association of American Publishers reported that in the first quarter of 2012, adult eBook sales were up to $282.3 million while adult hardcover sales came to only $229.6 million.
In last year’s first quarter, hardcover sales accounted for $223 million in sales while eBooks logged $220.4 million.
This is great news for any self published author. Now, more than ever, you have the freedom to write what you want and make a great living doing so.
However, there’s one fact that remains; you must know how to market in order to optimize your efforts.
Before we talk about marketing it helps to know what genres are most popular.
According to Michael Mace of Mobile Opportunity Blog the following is a list of genres by popularity
-General fiction, 31%
-How To 25% (but #1 over Christmas)
In knowing this, you can determine where your efforts will most likely pay off regarding what you write.
Once that has been established, now comes the fun part: marketing.
No matter how you slice it, an author must take responsibility for marketing their works. The more proactive you are the better.
One of the most important aspects of marketing is to think in terms of “beyond the obvious.” What this means is, readers may buy your eBook, but what do you have planned for them beyond their initial purchase?
To continually position your expert status and create a steady stream of revenue from your eBooks, you have to have an extremely targeted approach. Not only will a systematized marketing approach help you make money directly from your online offerings, but can enhance your offline offerings such as with live presentations, consulting, and coaching.
An important aspect of your marketing is consistency. Commit to doing something every single day. An on again, off again approach won’t work. Your results are directly proportionate to your ongoing efforts.
A great goal to have is to get your low ticket buyer into your sales funnel. In essence a sales funnel is more of a process than a thing. It is where you bring potential buyers into a system where they are initially a lead, turned buyer.
There are different levels of their purchasing decision including a low priced eBook all the way up to a high priced coaching program, consulting package and/or speaking engagement.
Customers enter your funnel by way of something that is very low risk such as a free or very inexpensive item. For the purpose of this conversation, we will assume they have come in your funnel by way of a low priced eBook.
Based on their experience with you, they decide what their next course of action is.
What you do every step of the way, including someone’s initial introduction to you and your way of doing business, determines how likely it is that someone will become a loyal customer.
To get potential buyers into your funnel it is best to use what is referred to as Push-Pull marketing.
Push/pull marketing is exactly what it sounds like. At times you are “pushing” information out to your market and at other times you are implementing strategies to “pull” consumers to you.
In the past, push marketing was the norm. Now, due to social media marketing, pull marketing is a huge aspect of successful marketing. Regardless of whether you are selling someone else’s product (affiliate sales) or your own, the push/pull philosophy can reap better results with less work.
Online push marketing is literally “pushing” information to your market. Push marketing includes interviews, articles, blog updates, videos, ezines, daily tips, special reports, postings on social networks and forums, and invitations to teleseminars and webinars. The idea is that once someone is on your list, you send valuable information to them on a consistent basis so they become familiar with you, your name is recognizable, and you build trust.
The more your market knows, likes, and trusts you, the easier the sales process is. Equally important is perceived value. The more value they perceive, the easier it is to make a sale – that is, if they are your target market (your ideal client).
All the value in the world to a mismatched market will do you (and them) no good. On the other hand, the more value you create for the correct market, the more your subscriber list and revenues will grow.
As the name implies, pull marketing is persuading consumers to visit your various online locations to get them to either buy something or subscribe to your opt-in list. It is about generating traffic to your website, blog, and landing pages.
Most people will not buy something on their first visit to your site, blog, or landing page unless it is incredibly low-priced and low-risk. Thus the beauty of low-priced eBooks.
When you minimize the risk to your visitors, they are more inclined to take an initial small step. The less risk, the more likely it is that you will engage your visitor.
Be careful not to overwhelm your new buyers with too much unnecessary email. Consumers have become so overwhelmed with the amount of follow-up email they receive when they buy something they are apt to opt out of your list as soon as they download their purchase.
This means your offering must be of such high value that buyers will want to continue to receive whatever follow-up information you offer.
Offering something of extremely high value will easily set you apart from the countless others trying to accomplish the same thing that you are – increasing you customer base and revenue stream. Adopting a long-term perspective on what you have to offer can create the kind of value consumers have grown to not only want, but demand.
The best part of pull marketing is that it both builds your subscriber list, revenues and raises awareness through your promotions.
Making push/pull marketing a part of your everyday efforts optimizes opportunities. The more consistent you are, the quicker your results will be. I welcome your thoughts in the comments below…
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