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Create If Writing - Authentic Platform Building for Writers & Bloggers

Create If Writing is a weekly podcast for writers and bloggers dealing with authentic platform growth. Kirsten Oliphant interviews experts to find out how they are building email lists, connecting through Twitter, and using Facebook groups. These practical episodes are balanced out with inspirational interviews from successful writers and bloggers who have made it big and want to share the struggles, the creative process, and tips for reaching your goals whether you are an author publishing books or creating an online presence through blogging.
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Now displaying: May, 2017
May 30, 2017

There are so many ways to publish a book these days that when it comes to publishing tips, it seems okay to say: choose what works best for you! But it's great to trust those who have found success before us. Honoree Corder just released her FIFTIETH book and shares practical launch strategies, whether you should use a hybrid publisher, and more publishing tips in this episode! Read more or listen below!

Connect with Honoree

Official bio: Honorée Corder is the author of dozens of books, including You Must Write a Book, The Prosperous Writer book series, Vision to Reality, Business Dating, The Successful Single Mom book series, If Divorce is a Game, These are the Rules, and The Divorced Phoenix. She is also Hal Elrod’s business partner in The Miracle Morning book series. Honorée coaches business professionals, writers, and aspiring non-fiction authors who want to publish their books to bestseller status, create a platform, and develop multiple streams of income. She also does all sorts of other magical things, and her badassery is legendary. You can find out more at HonoreeCorder.com.

This post contains affiliate links!


Must-Know Publishing Tips with Honoree Corder

Tips for Your Launch Strategy

  • Start building your list from the time you consider writing a book. It's the one thing you need for short-term and long-term success.
  • Each book launch may look different. It depends on the outcome.
  • The launch starts 2-3 or even 6 weeks before the book with the formation of an advanced reader team. This will be made up of your ideal readers, not just friends or random people who say yes.

PRO TIP: Make sure your ideal reader team is targeted to the audience who would be likely to actually BUY your book because of interest. Not just friends or your mom. Probably NOT your mom. When these people buy your book, it can skew your also-boughts underneath the sale area on Amazon, which means that your book may not get shown to the right audience!


  • You can gift a free advance copy to your reader team, but also ask them to buy and review and explain WHY it matters.
  • If people cannot afford your book, consider how they might help you out in another way.

Should You Try Hybrid Publishing?

For a moment, let's define the terms. Traditional publishing is when you have one of the big five publishers or a small press publish your book. They pay you an advance and royalties if you sell more copies than the cost of the advance.

Indie publishing is the new term for what we used to call self publishing. It means that the author takes control for all aspects of the book (though often this means hiring an editor, a cover designer, etc) and publishes the book without an outside publisher.

Hybrid authors is a term NOT to be confused with hybrid publishing. These authors may have some traditionally published books and some indie books.

Hybrid publishing is when a company asks for an upfront payment from authors in exchange for publishing, printing, distributing, or other aspects of the publishing process. The contracts and terms vary.

Why Hybrid Publishing Might Not Be the Best (or a Good) Choice

There are horror stories. Many. I hear them all the time from authors who paid thousands of dollars to get hundreds of copies of their book that may or may not even look professional. At best, you may end up with a book that has been formatted and have a cover designed...both things that you could do yourself or pay someone to do for MUCH less.

For more warnings on companies to avoid, here is a great site! Hat tip to Elle Mott for this one!

But one of the big points to consider is WHAT ELSE COULD YOU DO WITH THE SAME AMOUNT OF MONEY? (Or even less.) You could hire a top cover designer, editor, and even pay for Facebook ads or AMS ads for less than you would pay a hybrid publisher.

Other Publishing Tips for Authors

  • For non-fiction authors, consider how you can intentionally network. (See Business Dating.) Find 11 other professionals who serve the same client or ideal reader, but are not your competition. Then you can support each other and share clients. Intentionally seek them out. Then if you REALLY like them and connect well, ask for referrals. Practical tip: offer them copies of your book.
  • For fiction authors, consider making a square cover that you'd be using for ACX (audiobooks) and have your followers and readers change their profile image to your book cover on launch day or as they finish the book. Consider having stamps made with this same image and use them to send mail.
  • Ask yourself if you could spend your money in a wiser way.
  • But don't think about trying to be CHEAP. Consider the way you send money as an investment. Your covers will be helping you sell books and bring in money for YEARS.
  • Hire a professional copywriter or invest time to learn this. A cover gets people's attention. Copy converts people into buyers.
  • You must write a book. Even if it's ONLY for your family and the people that follow you.

Can I just say that I LOVE that Honoree burned her own books? There is something freeing there. And humorous.

Links from the episode:

You Must Write a Book 

Amazon's Media Breakfast Honoree attended

The Prosperous Writer's Guide to Finding Readers

May 22, 2017

Whether it's a podcast or a blog or a book or a course, launching can make or break you. Break is a LITTLE extreme, but your spirit can definitely feel broken after a not-so-hot launch! According to Jenny Melrose of the Influencer Entrepreneur podcast, it's all about the strategy. In this episode we are going deep to learn tips for a successful launch!

And don't miss a live workshop with Jenny (and me!) on May 24 at 9am CST where she's going to teach us how to run a successful challenge-- a key component to her launching success. Register HERE!

Connect with Jenny Melrose

The Influencer Entrepreneur Podcast

Jenny Melrose dot com

The Melrose Family

Tips for a Successful Launch with Jenny Melrose

There are so many kinds of launches. You can launch tons of different products, first of all, and then you can choose to launch just to your list or do a joint venture (JV) launch with someone else. You can launch with affiliates. You can use ads. You can have open and closed cart or evergreen. You can use webinars. You can go on podcasts as a guest. YOU CAN DO ALL THE THINGS.

But what really works? 

It will vary depending on what you're launching and what your goals are, but here are some great tips for a successful launch from Jenny Melrose, who has done a number of launches for different products and in different ways.

If you Build It, They WON'T Come

I've busted the Field of Dreams myth with books, blogs, and even podcasts that I thought would naturally bring in the right audience in DROVES because they were quality. Nope.

Without a strategic plan, your launch is not likely to be a huge success. It seems obvious, but I think most of us have done this at least one time. Do NOT build a book or product that you assume everyone will want and find without strategic planning.

Note: If you have something you truly love and want to build it for the sheer love of it, go for it! Just realize that this is not the most strategic path for launching success. 

Launch with Challenges

Jenny creates evergreen challenges so people can come as they want to. The challenges up engagement, give people a taste for the content and quick wins that make them feel successful.

To promote her challenges, Jenny utilized Facebook groups, but not in a smarmy way. (Read my full post on how to not be smarmy in Facebook groups.) She searched for questions that people were asking related to her challenge, answered the question as fully as she could, then let the person know she had a challenge and invited them in a no-strings-attached kind of way. After some time of this, even group owners started tagging her as the expert when people had questions related to her topic.

The purpose of the challenge is to show them that the next step is your product, whether that's your tripwire or your bigger course or product. You don't overwhelm with information, but give just what people can handle in a 5-10 day period. 

Evergreen challenges connect to evergreen products or that add people into a group in your email list that you target with a related launch. Another option is to have a live challenge that runs during the launch of a course where every person in the challenge starts and ends the challenge on the same day. 

Another place to use this same kind of strategy is Quora. See this post from Teachable for ideas!

Use a Tripwire Product

Jenny recommends using a tripwire product, one that's less than $20.This could be an ebook or a video training that's evergreen. Many people fear selling too much, but this early introduction to an affordable price gets people primed as customers. Once people have given you money once for a product, they are much more likely to give you their money again (assuming you're creating quality content). 

Work Backwards with Aligned Products

Start with what your final product will be and work backwards to the smaller, tripwire product, and then to the challenge (or other kind of funnel you'll be using to attract people). For an evergreen launch, you can pitch your larger product sometime after the time after the challenge (or email series) ends.

Evergreen or Open-and-Closed Cart?

Jenny has found better results with the open-and-closed cart, where there is a limited time for the sale. This urgency results in more conversions. People (like me!!!) wait often until just before the cart closes to make that decision. Other people know going into a webinar that they are planning to buy something. 

When Launches Aren't Working

The first failure you have can really keep you from doing more (read about my failed launch and thoughts on this), but you should consider where you can fix things.

  • Were you using a strategy?
  • What could you tighten up?
  • Can you ask your audience?
  • What tweaks and changes affected the sales from one launch to the next? 
  • Were you in front of your audience enough? 

Jenny found that doing more Facebook lives and webinars really helped with her launches. People don't expect Facebook live videos to be perfect, so you can put less pressure on yourself. Instead, they help people see the REAL you and are often winsome and attractive to people because they see the real person behind the product. Being authentic builds trust. 

Jenny's Big Tips

  • Find a way to engage with your audience as soon as possible, whether through a challenge, welcome sequence, or live videos in a group 
  • Remember people purchase because of the WHY (see the link to Simon Sinek below), so show them YOUR why

Links mentioned in the interview: 

May 15, 2017

If you've been around for a while, you know that at Create If Writing, I'm all about growth without the use of smarmy tactics. The kind that make you feel gross in your SOUL. Who better to talk about non-smarmy marketing than Nathalie Lussier of Ambition Ally, one of my favorite companies, both in terms of products and values. In this interview, Nathalie shares about starting her company, what's working in list growth right now, and how she commits to non-smarmy marketing.

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase something after clicking through, I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you!

 

Links from the Show:

Non-Smarmy Marketing

Nathalie recently shared a post on her blog about the dangers of income-claim marketing. This is essentially selling your product based on the success you've had in the past, not the value or service or outcomes they've provided.

These numbers CAN be a good thing because we are curious. We'd like to know what goes on behind the curtain and behind the scenes. But those same numbers may not be the best way to get people to BUY. It can be a trap for both the consumer and the producer because neither may be able to replicate those numbers. The consumer may be disillusioned or dissatisfied and the business may find themselves trapped trying to go bigger or repeat the same numbers. It's not a sustainable way to grow a business. 

Whatever we are offering needs to solve the problem that people are having. Go back to your core values. For Ambition Ally, the values are solving problems through software.

(PS- I LOVE how simple that description is. Can you describe what you do in this concise, clear way??)

Tips for Non-Smarmy Marketing

  • Start by solving problems
  • Test and find what works before you market it (like Nathalie did with the 30-Day List Building Challenge)
  • Consider marketing by sharing the outcome, not based on your own past successes
  • Don't lose sight of your core values & your WHY

What's Working in List-Building Right Now

Exit Intent Pop-Ups - Since Google has made its update penalizing sites that are using intrusive pop-ups on mobile, it may be a good idea to consider that desktop might be next. An exit intent pop-up shows up when someone moves to click away from your site and doesn't impact the user experience while reading the post.

Scroll-Based Pop-Ups - On mobile, these don't show up until someone has scrolled through 80% of your post. This keeps you Google-friendly and is great also for the reader. 

Content-Based Pop-Ups - Using a tool like PopUpAlly Pro, you can choose for certain pop ups to show up on certain categories of pages. This gives a more targeted invite to your email list. 

Mistakes That People Are Making

Vanilla Calls to Action - When you run across a sign-up form that says "Sign up for my newsletter," there is no REAL incentive. Write unique copy that is inviting and clearly shares the incentive for signing up.

Make It PERSONAL - Your language should speak to a person so they read it and KNOW it's speaking to them. Being specific and speaking to exactly to what people are looking for really helps. 

 

Don't miss the Idea Sanctuary, the newest video series from Nathalie Lussier helping you sift through all your ideas and refining and polishing them so you can launch them. (I just finished the first video and love it!)

What is YOUR biggest non-smarmy marketing tip? Share in the comments or hop into the Facebook community so we can discuss! 

May 8, 2017

This episode is sponsored by Ambition Ally, the makers of PopUpAlly Pro! Learn how you can target subscribers by category and page on your site, rather than just throwing a random freebie at them. Learn more here: http://ambitionally.com/kirsten

Thanks to Jasmine Commerce for the tunes for this show. Find more here: http://www.jasminecommercemusic.com

 

And sign up for my workshop on automated email series: http://createifwriting.com/auto 

May 1, 2017

This month, I'm running a case study on how my list grows over social media with the same freebie! I'll return with Part 2 down the road to share my findings. 

Thanks to my sponsor, Ambition Ally, the makers of PopUpAlly Pro! Find out more here: http://ambitionally.com/kirsten

Can you help with my survey? http://createifwriting.com/2017survey

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