Monday, April 28, 2014

X Steps to Promotion Success #atozchallenge

Staff selling IITA promotional items during Op...
Staff selling IITA promotional items during Open Day 2010 (Photo credit: IITA Image Library)


Here's an overview of the promotional process as I see it:

I.  Create and develop:  Come up with your idea.  Produce a workable prototype.  Write your book.  Have in hand whatever it is that you will be promoting.

II. Believe in your product:   Once you've got your product/book to the final stage ready to promote, then believe in it!  If you don't believe in it strongly enough you'd better go back to tweak it until you do believe in it.  Why would anyone believe in what you've got to offer if you don't believe in it with all your heart, mind, and soul.  Also, believe in yourself--this is sometimes the most difficult part.

III.  Dream into doing something:   Visualize how you might get this product on the market and how it might be marketed to success.   Dream productively, but don't waste too much time with idle pipedreams.   Dreams can hold you back if you let them consume you.  Instead, dream enough to inspire you and propel you forward.

IV.  Research your promotional steps and venues:  After the dream, focus on the realities.   Investigate everything you need to do with promotion and the channels you will need to pursue.   Read books and trade magazines, explore the internet, and talk to people who know.   Ask questions and seek advice.  Get all the knowledge you can arm yourself with before heading out into the fray.

V.  Plan your course of action and strategize:   Take the knowledge you have gained and map out your strategy.  Write out a plan of action and schedule everything so you can approach your targets in logical progression.  Don't try to schedule too much at once.  A steady long range promotion is usually better than a big bang that fizzles quickly and uses all of your resources at one time.

VI.  Act!:   Once you're fired up and have your plan laid out, then act on it.  Only stop if absolutely necessary.  If you've planned appropriately then things should go just fine.  Don't let setbacks throw you off course.  If you have alternate plans and detours built into your schedule then you should be able to deal with any changes.  Have a mind for improvisation as well.  Once you're underway, don't lose momentum.

VII.  Get others interested:   Now that you're fired up and a powerhouse of promotional force in action, draw others into the excitement.  Tell others what you are doing and find out what they can do to help you promote.   Word of mouth is the best promotion you can find.   When others are talking then more ears are listening.  Don't forget the blog action such as tours and reviews.    This step can also be started earlier or combined with previous actions

VIII.  Stay motivated:   Don't get discouraged if things don't start out well or start dragging.  Take breaks if you need to, but keep stoking the fire of enthusiasm.  Don't forget that what you are promoting is something that you believe in and want others to know about.   Align yourself with people who will help boost your spirits and keep you motivated.   Avoid the negative forces that will hold you back.  Keep smiling and hold your head high.

IX.  Follow-up and evaluate:   After a reasonable period--the first month for example--stop for a session at home or in your office to look behind you to see what you've accomplished.   This step should actually be built into your strategic plan.  If you have milestones to help measure your progress then it becomes easier to evaluate what you've done.   Be sure to follow-up with those you have contacted to see how their role in the promotion is playing out.  Call on those who expressed previous interest but were noncommittal to see if they are willing to help now.    Don't let the groundwork you've laid behind you get overgrown with the weeds of time.   Keep the past contacts up to date and evaluate the present to see where to go next.

X.   Review and renew:     After you've done your evaluation of efforts so far, it's time to review the data and renew your enthusiasm.  This is where you start asking the questions about what is working and what is not. Answer honestly and don't be afraid to ask others what they think.  Don't lie dormant too long.  If you're not happy about the success so far then it's time to forge onward.   Start back at step one and plan your new strategy.    By this time you're probably a pro at promoting and the job is much easier.

          What steps have I left out?    What steps might you eliminate or rely on others to do?   Have you approached promotional matters in this way or have you taken a different approach?

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18 comments:

  1. I think the only thing I would add is don't forget social media is your friend. The best way to generate interest in a product or book is by getting people chatting on social media. This expands your reach beyond the capabilities of word of mouth or even blogging!

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  2. Keep promoting - keep the ball rolling. Once promotions stop, it's hard to crank up again.

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  3. I think the second point is the most important. If you don't believe, then you can't convince.

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  4. If you don't believe in it, no one else will.

    I'd add make sure it is marketable. Make sure there is a need for it.

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  5. Have you considered being a marketing consultant???

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  6. CestLavie-- Social media is a must in our time. And it can be done so inexpensively with a relatively minor investment of time.

    Alex -- There's some kind of physics principle involved I think.

    Haddock -- You've gotta believe. Or be the best marketer ever.

    L.Diane -- Getting a feel for the marketplace is a must. Otherwise, you've got to be ingenious in creating a market for what you've got.

    Robin -- I've considered the idea. Maybe I should keep thinking in that direction.

    Lee

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  7. Confidence and keeping motivated are probably the most difficult parts of the proceess.
    If you truly don't believe in yourself or your product, you won't soldier on.

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  8. I'll just write these down on my bulletin board--the old-fashioned one that hangs on my wall. Each step makes all kinds of sense and I really do think you need to ask other people's opinion. Then you need to evaluated their opinion carefully.

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  9. Great steps, Arlee! I agree with Robin that you should consider being a marketing consultant. You sure know your stuff! :)

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  10. Good tips though I have been through many lately.

    Yvonne.

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  11. Interesting steps...we are just getting into this world with our blog...the steps sound really interesting and we would totally follow the advice! www.bayessence.com

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  12. You've pretty much covered everything already that I wouldn't add anything, except to say that I agree with you that spending one's time in the dreaming phase will kill promotion real quick if we remain there. There comes a time when it's important to put those dreams and plans into action. Otherwise, we'll never find out what works and what doesn't. We must constantly test out our dreams.

    Also, there is something to be said about keeping the momentum going once a promotion starts to gain some steam, which Alex touched on in his comment. It's much easier to keep something going and improve from there than to have to start over or try to recharge the boost that once was.

    ~Nicole
    A-to-Z Co-Host
    The Madlab Post

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  13. Jennifer -- I agree that for most the confidence and motivation are the most difficult to sustain and the most fragile when things aren't going well.

    C.Lee -- When others give it to you straight and are not trying to be negative for no good reason, that's advice we should heed.

    Chrys -- You all might convince me to pursue it.

    Yvonne -- Don't give up!

    Fran -- Keep me posted on your progress.

    Nicole -- I'm bad about getting stuck in the dreamer stage. Having to start everything over is a bummer if you've put a lot of work in, but sometimes it's what you have to do.

    Lee

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  14. It appears to me that you lay it out very well. Will I do those excellent steps? I hope so.

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  15. Hello Mr B I would like to add a gritty determination to make it to the top. It can be a long long way, if fact from somewhere the other side of 2000 blogs, but I have stuck to my quest and I have arrived at number one.

    Which means I have visited every (well those I could) blog on the A to Z and I bet not many folk can say that....

    It was an interesting journey and I have one more email to send.

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  16. I like that approach. Lists and putting things in order help me stay on track.

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  17. 8 is a tough one for me at times. I don't have the most optimistic of personality. ^^;;

    ~Patricia Lynne~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, YA Author

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  18. Susan Kane -- Thank you for checking them out.

    Rob -- You did an amazing job!

    Susan GK-- Lists help keep a mind organized and make the work at hand easier.

    Patricia -- I know it can be difficult. You are not alone in this.

    Lee

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