Does your platform need help?
Platform is one of the biggest, if not the largest, hurdles you face when trying to publish and sell your book. With limited time and energy, what’s the best thing an author can focus on to grow their platform? In today’s post, we want to introduce you to the highest point of contribution when it comes to platform building.
Have you ever missed a big announcement from your favorite band? Maybe it was a chance to buy tickets for their upcoming show in your town? Maybe you didn’t even know they were coming to town?
It never feels good to miss out on something you care about.
That’s why collecting email addresses is so important for your platform. That mailing list is what saves your readers from missing out on the next big thing.
Too often, authors focus on growing other parts of their platform when their highest point of contribution is focusing on nurturing and growing their email list.
This blog post is about the importance of email and the one thing you can do to start building (or enhancing) your list.
But first, a story.
During a recent exploratory call with a potential client, when asked about their email list, they said, "Yes, I have one." Game changer. Now we know they are serious about their marketing strategy.
Too often potential clients will get really quiet when asked about their email marketing. “I have one...but I don’t email often” or “I’ve been meaning to do more there.”
When you have an email list that you are actively growing, the entire conversation shifts because we know that you have taken the most important element of platform building and are doing an email signup for potential customers.
Having an email list signals to us as literary agents that you take your platform building seriously. You are investing in your career as a writer and author. You aren’t walking - you are running!!!
“Email > Social Media”
Too often in conversations about platforms, writers focus on followers on a variety of platforms. Mark Cuban said it best when he described why this is a problem: “You wouldn’t build your home on rented property, so don’t build your platform on social media.”
Email is the foundation you want to use when growing your platform.
It’s the social proof that people are reading the things you are writing about.
Everyone has an email address. Not everyone is on TikTok, Instagram, etc. Building your platform on email is the best investment you can make when it comes to investing in your platform.
And here’s the great news about building an email list: Everyone starts at the same number of subscribers: Zero. Where you go from there is all about asking for email addresses.
“Everyone has an email address, not everyone has a profile on Facebook.”
A lot of authors will say, What’s the best service to use for email marketing? Easy answer: The one that works best for you today. So many authors get stuck on finding the perfect platform that they never start. Don’t get lost in planning for tomorrow when you can take action today. Action beats perfect every time.
Once you’ve done that, the real challenge begins: Building the list. And this is the fun part that people miss a lot: They don’t ask people for their email addresses. The best tactic is to ask. Let people know the good stuff is in your email. Save that gold for subscribers, and then tell everyone where they can get the best of your writing.
If you never ask, the answer is always the same.
This is the trick that changes everything: Ask people to subscribe. people you have an email list that they should subscribe to is a game-changer. Ask them on Facebook. Tell them about it on LinkedIn. And don’t forget to ask people to sign up for your email when they visit your website.
But don’t ask once and be done. The trick is to continue to make the ask. This will help you with lead generation.
Set a reminder to make sure you are frequently reminding your followers on other platforms that you have an email list and that they should sign up for it.
In order to build a great list, you have to keep talking about it.
When you ask someone to join your email list, you are inviting them into your inner circle. This is where the best of your content is, and you should tell them that. “If you aren’t on my email list, you are missing out.”
Calls to action like that give potential readers a reason to sign up.
Another secret weapon for growing your email list is a lead magnet. Give them a gift for signing up. Oftentimes the best lead magnets add value by giving the reader a solution to a problem.
Many times content that doesn’t make it into your book might be the perfect thing to offer. With a little repurposing, suddenly that chapter that cut can be repurposed as a lead magnet.
Adding a lead magnet will help your conversion rates!!!
When it comes to your landing page, make sure it’s simple and clear. Make sure they know where the signup form is. Don’t try to do too much. Your main goal with the landing page is to add them to your email list.
Once you have their contact information, create a welcome email for them to receive. Let them know how often they will be hearing from you. Setting a reasonable pace for sending emails to your subscribers makes a huge difference. Telling them what to expect sets the table.
Email is crucial for marketing campaigns. When you have a list you can rely on for support, it makes launching new books and big announcements that much easier.
Doing nothing to grow your email list will garner disappointing results. But just taking one small step, like making the ask, can begin growing your list and gaining momentum. Start there!!!
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