21 August 2017 will forever be etched in my mind. I survived my first day of school as a school counselor (praise the Lord!). I also got to experience the epicness of the total eclipse. According to The State newspaper, my city alone welcomed visitors from at least 30+ states and 10 countries. This roughly two and a half minute event caused quite a stir in the United States, to say the least.
I didn’t want to maneuver through traffic with an extra almost million people in my town. So, my daughters and I enjoyed the festivities in the comfort of our backyard with our blankets and snacks.
After this momentous occasion ended, I started thinking about what we writers can learn when building brand awareness and marketing.
If there was any lesson to be learned from this event, it would be the reminder of how powerful marketing early is. I spoke with several people who said they had booked a hotel room or paid for a campsite at least one year in advance. Yeah, you read that right. ONE YEAR IN ADVANCE, people.
Astronomy lovers aren’t the only ones who take advantage of marketing early though. The film industry has been doing a phenomenal job of letting viewers know about upcoming releases, too. It’s time we writers do the same.
Even if you’re not ready to release an exact date, I don’t see anything wrong with saying “Coming Fall 2017”. In fact, that’s what I’ve been telling my readers about my upcoming writing prompt book.
Marketing your book, workshop, and speaking engagements in advance gives readers the opportunity to get excited and it creates a buzz! This is exactly what every writerpreneur wants, right?
The solar eclipse also taught us about the power of promotional materials and supplemental items. None of us wanted to go blind looking into the sun. Fortunately for us, we could grab one of those nifty eclipse sunglasses.
When’s the last time you thought of using a “stand out” promotional or supplemental item? You don’t have to break the bank, dear friends. Think about offering your readers something that aligns with your book or event’s theme.
Publishing a book about money management? Why not offer an editable budget template? Maybe you’re writing a book about teens who get lost in the woods. Think outside the box and offer a unique candle scent to draw your readers in. The power of smell is nothing to sneeze at, friend.
Have you ever walked by someone wearing the same cologne as your grandpa? Didn’t it take you back to the times he used to bounce you on his knees? Don’t underestimate the power of a good smell! If you need help with creating just the right scentsation, our friends at Book Scents Candle can help! (no affiliate, just passing along a great resource!)
What’s the use in having an event if you don’t have someone to share it with? Many families, friends, and co-workers got together to celebrate this festive occasion. Hundreds of thousands of pictures floated throughout the interwebs. Many of these pictures used eclipse-related hashtags.
As writers, we may not be able to host an event that captures millions of readers at one time (we can still keep our fingers crossed though!). Yet, we can host Cupcakes and Conversation events to spark some discussion about our latest release. We can create a hashtag for our book or event, too. Readers can share selfies with our products using our hashtag.
Creating a community helps bring readers together, too. How cool would it be to have your readers share their excitement with fellow fans?
Unlike a total eclipse, every writer will not draw in a one million plus crowd to an event. That’s okay.
Writers can instead use the power of marketing early and creatively to build a community of raving readers who will bring life to the creations we’ve birthed.