Hello Creators of the Imagination.
I thought I would open the discussion to online presence in the virtual marketplace and ask what are some of your tricks?
I lived a career in marketing and advertising as a TV commercial and online producer. There are tricks that companies don't want clients to know because they couldn't rape, er, woo them of their prowess if they revealed the simple truth. I know these little tricks of the trade work because I've employed them myself with zero budgets on my own websites, other works and remarkably proven successful for each.
These SEO techniques you can do very easily to raise your visibility in nano speed.
- Don't pay Google anything, ever. And watch out for the kind of content you share with them. If it doesn't serve your needs, don't serve Google's.
- Same goes for Yahoo, Bing, Firefox and any other search engine. Be discriminate, be selective, be a snob but don't be afraid to be controversial. Take a risk.
- If you have a question about something or want to learn something, Google it. So many times you will find, then decide, that money you were going to spend to boost your presence can be done for free.
- Google, Bing, Yahoo search your name, your website, your blog, your book, whatever it is you do want exposed in the netosphere, search it every every day, as many times in the day you can. This will raise the profile of your site, your whatever, heads above the others with similar names. I recently did my latest one. A nubile, just birthed website this past winter and in 4 days it was on the 2nd page of Google. By 7 days it was on the middle of the first page and by 10 days max it was #2 when googled by title. I had some serious stiff competition with some very famous old timers I never thought I would pass.
- Use spider-attracting elements that support your "brand" because you are making a brand for yourself. These elements are banners, buttons, Favicons, and yes, book trailers. Mingle with everyone and all and be consistent. Continuity sells. Learn how to do an email blitz or design a unique ecard to announce yourself and your book. Not as an attachment like in Yahoo and Gmail. Get inside your cable internet or phone company email program like Outlook Express and open a real email account just for marketing. In those formats your creative material can be embedded in the body of your email. Much more effective because people don't click links or open attachments unless they're expecting them or know the person. The downside to dedicating yourself completely to Outlook is many times you can't check your inbox or use the connection remotely. Check with your carrier on network capabilities.
- Spamming sucks. That's not the way to build your brand. It's also not cool to search out others like the whole self published crowd is doing. Find a way to get them to look at you which I think is JA Konrath's point. His writing is not that great but I don't think the guy sleeps. He brings people to him like he's spun the web of dopomine.
- I've always wondered how did Octomom get in the news? Who would hear of her at the doctor's office then put her out in the world? These small little stories get momentum. We can do it too. Of course I don't want 8 babies crawling around inside me. Talk about momentum. I think that's how she got to the hospital.
- Tie in traditional components that could generate online press announcements like public appearances, community efforts, create the buzz and make sure it gets online. I know this is the hardest. I'm a total recluse and not a social butterfly at all but things have been coming my way that have been great for my brand.
- Call your local book reporters yourself and schedule personal meetings to talk about your story. Bring them a subway sandwich and a Sprite. They make very little money, can't afford takeout and have no time to leave their desks. It's news that a local kid is taking on the publishing industry or your story is meaningful because ...
- I have zero zero budget. I've been mostly un-earning for 2 years but I've been opportunistic, on the hunt for possibilities. Volunteer efforts have paid off. If you have the time you can get involved with things that interest you and pester a local reporter to come cover it. This summer I'm hoping to give some time to Habitat for Humanity. I love hammering things.
I noticed a trend a few years ago with traditional agents and publishers. The old true editors are gone with the dinosaurs. They don't sit with red ink pens any more marking up your text. They don't build websites for you unless your "one of the big names" because they would have to employ a staff to webmaster it (you don't think Stephen King or James Patterson or Anne Rice actually build and maintain their sites and Twitter feeds, do you? Sometimes they Tweet, most the times they don't. Their assistants do. Who pays the assistants? Not publishers.).
In other words, publishers are not going to fully market for you the way you dreamed they would. This chatter of how the times have changed comes down to less effort, more money for them. So our writing is on the wall. We will do this work with or without them. They will take our percentages and production costs to hook us up with their marketing team or they will tell us, lone wolf no names that we are, to go create a blog, create a presence, do all this work ourself then maybe they'll come seek us out. That's the trend now because their days are numbered and their staffs are dwindling.
Why would I want them then? By then I would have found a kick-ass whatever that was there when I needed them and did me "special favors".
After all that hard work I would then be focusing on getting a chef, a housekeeper, a masseuse, a personal trainer, and a road manager that can call the travel agent.