Thursday, December 17, 2015

Marketing

When I think about marketing my book to people (which I know I'll have to do when it's ready), I can divide everyone into 4 categories:

1. My close inner circle. This includes my immediate family and close friends. Most people in this group have been super-supportive and are even helping me edit the book in its early stages.

Most people in this group also know me very well and have been reading my blog and/or listening to me talk about these issues for years, so nothing in the book will shock them in terms of not knowing that I was I like that.

Everyone in this group will get a well-deserved free copy of my book, so there is no need to market to them. In a way, people in this group are part of my marketing team and will probably tell other people about the book and help get the word out. (I'm not ordering anyone to do this, but I suspect that it will happen based on how supportive all my friends have been :-)

2. People I have clear, consistent relationships with, but whom I purposely do not share everything with. This includes my extended family whom I don't see very often, and the people in my department at work, who are very nice. The only reason I don't share everything with my extended family is because we just don't see each other or talk often enough to get into everything. I don't feel comfortable having people see my Facebook wall and my blog and knowing everything about me when we don't hang out and talk regularly. I am not purposely trying to give anyone in my family a false impression of who I am, and if we ever do start hanging out and talking more regularly, I will definitely share everything. Work is work, and obviously I can't share my blog with anyone from work because there will always be the barrier of "I have to keep my job," but the barrier is starting to come down a bit and I've become much more honest in recent months.

People in this group do not know everything about me and might be very shocked by some of the things they read.

People in this group have strong enough relationships with me that they would probably buy my book as a way of supporting me, but I do feel the need to promote the book to them so that they will buy it and pass the word on to other people. Since I am in regular contact with people in this group, especially at work, someone could connect me to people who are extremely interested in the book. I have a huge network in this category.

3. Friends of friends. Friends I know through other friends, whom I'm not close with and whom I don't actively seek out. We may or may not be Facebook friends. We may or may not run into each other often. I don't purposely avoid sharing anything with these people because I'm only interested in being friends if we can potentially become close friends - I would never purposely choose to keep someone at a casual-friend distance, unless there is a reason that I need to like with my coworkers.

People in this category may or may not be shocked by what they read in the book, but most likely not because they either have seen my Facebook posts or we never knew each other very well to begin with, so there was nothing to assume. Again, I am not concerned about how they will react to me because I'm only interested in being friends if we can be all-the-way friends.

I definitely want to market to people in this category, but in terms of reaching the most people, this group is not as important as Group 2. People in Group 2 have a loyalty to me where I think they would help me promote the book, whereas people in Group 3 don't have that added loyalty, and whether or not they'll pass it on depends entirely on their reaction to the book. Don't get me wrong - this is a great book that people will love, but I need to hit the right people first, and it helps a lot to have the Group 1 and 2 people who will promote the book no matter what, even if it isn't their personal cup of tea.

4. Complete strangers. Obviously I will need to market the book to people I don't know in order for it to be successful, but my initial word-of-mouth marketing will start with people I know.

Here's the issue - Group 2 is the group I'm the most concerned about in terms of how they'll react to the book and whether they'll be less friendly to me and treat me differently as a result of reading the book. Group 1 people already support the message in the book, and I don't care what people in Groups 3 or 4 think about me. But Group 2 is also the most important group I need to market the book to. Group 3 people don't have that added loyalty to me and our relationships are inconsistent in terms of how often we'll see each other. Group 1 is extremely loyal and will definitely want to share the book, but the number of people in this category is so much smaller than Group 2, a lot of the people that they will market the book to are people in my own social circle, and I simply don't need to market the book to them because they're already insiders who have their own motivation to get the book passed on. It's Group 2 that I need to market to the most. And it's Group 2 that I'm scared of.

I need to look my supervisor in the eye and say, "You should buy my book - you'll love it!" knowing full-well that they may or may not support my project and may end up treating me differently as a result. I'd like to think there's no risk, but I know better than that. It will be scary. But it's what I'm going to have to do.

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