notenoughhours-03

Not Enough Hours: Marketing Priorities for the Author Without a Team

Marketers love to list out tons of promotional ideas and build them into comprehensive marketing plans that hit all the launch phases and all the platforms and all the audiences and give away all the bonuses and all the purchase incentives, and… phew! It takes a lot of work.

Marketing plans of that caliber are awesome, but without a doubt, they take a small army to execute well.

So what about the author without a team? I often hear frustrations and concerns from authors who want to market their books well, but who feel there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to hit all the “perfect marketing plan” check boxes.

I get it.

The truth, though, is that you don’t need a team. You just need to prioritize strategically.

Not every author needs a team. Every author needs to prioritize well. Click To Tweet

Instead of trying to do it all, focus on a few key items that are guaranteed to grow your platform and build trust with your audience.

Here’s a list of five priorities that are “musts” for every author.

If you’re a one-(wo)man show, focus here. Everything else is just an extra.

Landing page

Invest in your book’s website. In terms of graphics and functionality, make it rock. It’s worth it to work with a strong designer and developer for this project alone. As I often say, the book landing page is your central product hub, the place you send all online traffic, and a consumer’s first impression of you and your product. Go big here and ensure excellence.

Content production

Provide valuable content to your audience. This means you should be churning out audience-relevant content consistently and frequently through whatever avenue is yours: blog, podcast, etc. Regardless of medium, make it a priority to give your audience information that enhances their lives. This is content marketing, and it’s the only way to build a brand–and eventually to sell a product–online. If original content production is tedious or too time-consuming, repurpose and reuse what you already have.

Social media

You don’t have to be fancy across all social media, but it is important to be active and engaged on one or two top platforms. Social media is key because it’s an easy way to point traffic to your book’s landing page and that awesome content you’re creating. I always encourage authors to use Buffer or a similar scheduling tool. If you’re short on time, these are great productivity drivers.

Email list

Email marketing works. It’s an important asset for you to build because (a) it means you have received an invitation to be in someone’s inbox, and (b) it means control. Twitter can change, Facebook algorithms can morph, your blog server can crash, but email stays steady. It’s a highly reliable communications tool that truly belongs to you, so focus on its growth. Use a lead magnet to grow your list and give value to your people. Then, leverage that list creatively for sales.

Image creation

Learn how to create images on your own. For everyday social share and blog images, you don’t need a designer; you just need a great tool. Canva is a killer resource for people who aren’t designers but need a little quick DIY design power. Statistics show that images are game-changers when it comes to marketing. They up views and engagement big time, so use them–but do it yourself!

As an author without a team, it can be intimidating to think about marketing a book, especially with a full-time job or a family or the million other tasks that compete for our attention. The truth, though, is that there are strategic ways you can use your time wisely to market your brand and book well. Be thoughtful in your actions, focusing on the few key items above, and always be open to tools like Buffer and Canva that are designed precisely to make your working hours more productive.

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  • Thanks Chad! We (my husband and myself) are first time authors, a few weeks before pub date, and this is a reassuring read! Loved your Street Team Ebook too.

    • Lisa, thanks so much! I’m honored to be a resource for you both. Very exciting that the book is about to launch. What’s the book? Best of luck to your launch!

  • Tam Hodge

    As always, invaluable.

    • Tam, thanks so much. What was most valuable to you?

      • Tam Hodge

        Content Production, for sure. And then the rest are most valuable, too 😉 But content production has been a struggle the last few years for me. But this helped a ton!

      • Tam Hodge

        Content Production, for sure. And then the rest are most valuable, too 😉 But content production has been a struggle the last few years for me. But this helped a ton!