This past year has been a bit of a continuing epiphany for me with regards to the amount of time marketing takes up. It’s a constant battle getting the word out about my books to an international audience when I’d rather be spending that time writing the next one.
After doing some research, I gradually introduced some new tactics to my marketing strategy, so that it doesn’t encroach on all the other things going on in my life, and I’m already seeing some great results.
Here’s what you can do:
1. Use a scheduling tool for social media
- I work full-time and I don’t want to annoy the boss
- I’ve got readers all around the world I want to reach out to, without having to stay up all night to do so (see first point above)
- I want more time to write this coming year, so a scheduling tool has been the logical next step for my marketing strategy. The one I use enables me to post across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
All I have to do is spend 5-10 minutes in the evening looking for articles I think the people I interact with will be interested in, save it to the schedule I’ve created, and forget about it. While I’m having my morning coffee before I leave to catch the train for work, I go onto those social media sites and respond to any comments people have left for me regarding those articles that the scheduling tool has posted, and I do the same in the evening when I get home.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is an automaton tool that means you never have to interact in person on social media – it’s not. Neither should you use one of those Twitter-related tools that automatically follows and retweets, because that’s dangerous (you should always read an article before retweeting it).
A scheduling tool simply enables you to post the articles you want to draw people’s attention to during the week so that when you are on social media, you’re got more time to be social and interact in person.
2. Allocate specific times to do your marketing
If your writing is more productive in the morning, do your marketing in the evening/weekends. You only need 10 minutes a day to respond to notifications on social media. If you have got spare time, you can participate in more lengthy conversations.
Set aside one hour on a Saturday morning to catch up and respond to emails. Spend one hour researching about marketing channels. Too busy? Get up before everyone else does.
I email articles to my own email address that I find during the week and then spend an hour on Saturday mornings going through those and highlighting anything of interest to me.
You might also find this article I wrote of use to you in this regard (How To Find Time To Write Without Upsetting Your Family And Friends).
3. Get smart, get ahead
Use analytics on your social media and website to find which posts worked and which ones didn’t.
Use your newsletter analytics to find out where your readers are, so you can tailor articles specifically to them. Don’t waste time publishing content that doesn’t attract readers.
Jot down ideas for blog posts and newsletter updates in a notebook/notes app during the week so you don’t have to panic about what to write when the time comes to publish.
For example, if I’m struggling with a scene one day during my specified ‘writing time’, I put it aside and sketch out a couple of blog posts instead – this habit serves a double purpose. It gets me into that ‘writing zone’ so I’m more likely to settle down and hit my writing quota for my novel that day, and it means I have an extra blog article or two up my sleeve, ready to polish for publication.
With the above tactics now in place and ticking along well, it means that next year my writing output will increase – which is what we all want really, isn’t it?