I have the “webabilities” of the average person: I research things I want to know, shop online (as if I need another venue for that!), and often experience an entire day disappear while I follow one interesting link to another.
That worked fine for Web 1.0, but now that I have a book to promote in a noisy world that is embracing the technology of Web 2.0, I realized I was hopelessly behind and faced with a huge learning curve.
My memoir, The Break-Up Diet will be out in October, so that didn't allow much time to figure it all out.
I knew I needed to learn about Internet marketing to get the word out about my book, because it was up to me to make it a bestseller. That's what every author wants, right? And let's face it: the publisher can't (and won't) promote a book as well as the author can. It's also a known fact that using the Internet is the best and most cost-effective way for authors to promote themselves and sell their books.
So, I jumped in with both feet. At the beginning of this year, I began reading marketing books, subscribing to marketing newsletters, joining marketing associations, and listening to marketing teleseminars.
That's when I struck gold. I stumbled across information about a free teleseminar: The Truth About Making Money On The Internet hosted by Kathleen Gage.
Within the first few minutes of the call, I was scribbling notes furiously and thinking, “Wow. This lady definitely knows her stuff.” Every suggestion Kathleen gave was backed up with her personal experience and the successful outcome. I was so impressed by the concise and easy to follow presentation of her Internet marketing techniques, and the thoroughness of her information, that I decided to sign up for Kathleen's month-long Fast Track Street Smarts Marketing Mentoring Program.
I just completed the program last week and I can't even come up with a superlative that properly conveys the value of the information Kathleen provided.
I wanted to write this review because I know there are authors out there who are just as overwhelmed as I was by the thought of trying to step into the Internet marketing fast lane. I want to tell you that, in four weeks, Kathleen Gage brought me up to speed.
My driving metaphor may sound corny, but I guarantee, if you go through Kathleen's program, you'll thank me profusely. In lieu of sending cards and flowers, I suggest you pay it forward and tell someone else about Kathleen's program.
Here's the skinny:
Fast Track Street Marketing Mentoring Program
What you're getting:
Four consecutive, weekly, 90-minute teleseminars with Q & A, scheduled for a set time and day of the week. (My class was Thursdays at 4pm (PST) for the month of April.)
A call-in phone number and access code are provided to program registrants.
Learning Guides covering the weekly topics are available as pdf documents for downloading and printing prior to each teleclass meeting. The Learning Guides average 40 pages, are formatted to follow the lecture, use for taking notes, and include an extensive resource list, direct links, and step-by-step techniques for implementing each weekly topic.
At the end of each teleseminar, Kathleen opens the line for Q&A. Members of the class ask questions; Kathleen provides answers until no questions remain.
Each teleclass is recorded as an mp3 file that is available after the session and can be downloaded and saved to your computer. The information is so comprehensive that you'll want to listen to it more than once. (I've put the audio files on my iPod and re-listen to them when I'm driving, walking the dogs, or doing housework.)
Kathleen offers a 1-hour, one-on-one, private consultation to each program participant which is scheduled for a mutually agreed upon date and time, either during the program, or soon after its completion. During that private consultation, Kathleen is open to brainstorming solutions to specific problems, critiquing and offering suggestions to improve an existing website or marketing plan, showing participants how to apply her techniques tailored for their specific marketing needs, or to answer any additional questions.
- Developing Websites That Are Customer Magnets And Moneymaking Machines
In the first teleclass, Kathleen explains the steps to developing a website designed to sell your book; how to use search engine optimization; the importance of creating opt-in lists to build a customer database; the use of automated responders; how to choose a shopping cart and set up a merchant account; ways to drive traffic to your site through blogging, article distribution, and chapter sampling. This topic is imperative for authors of fiction and nonfiction books.
- Develop Powerful Money-Making Partnerships
In the second teleclass, Kathleen explains how to create affiliate marketing campaigns for your book; how to make money becoming an affiliate for someone else's book, product, or service; how to develop joint venture partnerships; how to secure sponsors. This particular topic seemed to be best suited for authors of nonfiction books.
- Develop Products That Make You Money, Get You Noticed & Build Credibility
In the third teleclass, Kathleen explains how to expand a book into electronic and audio products (without having to use a recording studio); how to develop teleseminars and workshops; how to market a book with zero out of pocket expense; how to reach niche markets who will buy your book. This topic is equally useful for both nonfiction and fiction authors.
- Create Events That Put “Butts In Seats”
In the fourth teleclass, Kathleen explains how to determine the type of event that suits your audience; how to schedule, organize, promote, and execute a successful event; how to use the event to promote and sell you and your book. This topic applies to nonfiction and fiction authors.
In addition to the Learning Guides, Kathleen also provides the bonus e-books: Street Smarts Making Money with the Internet (205 pages) and The Truth About Making Money on the Internet (193 pages) which contain the details about what is covered in the teleclasses (which is great for inconsistent note-takers like me). Kathleen also includes the Directory of Resources for Internet Radio Interview Opportunities (111 pages), which provides an extensive list of contact numbers and show information for Internet radio programs seeking authors to interview.
A brief Q&A with Kathleen Gage:
WOW: Kathleen, what do you see as the biggest marketing challenges faced by new authors?
Kathleen: The greatest challenge faced by both new authors and seasoned authors is knowing how to market themselves cost effectively while obtaining a high return on investment. A lot of people are under the impression that if they have a book it will somehow magically sell itself. Nothing could be further from the truth. You absolutely must know how to market your book.
There are several ways this can be done. With the power of the Internet you can, of course, market online. The market reach online is absolutely limitless if you know how to reach your market.
Some very effective methods for offline marketing are through book signings, live presentations, conferences, and media interviews.
One method to get media interviews is with well-written press releases, also known as media releases. They are very effective and they offer a great deal of credibility when published. Again, you must have a well-written release that is pertinent to the media source you are sending it to and to their listeners, viewers, or readers. The great thing is you can distribute press releases both online and off.
A great resource for online distribution is PRWeb.com. There is a small fee to use their service, but in my experience it is worth the investment. Not only does the release get distributed to many online sources, it also can be picked up by lots of traditional media outlets.
Another option is to do a quick Internet search under media resources in your city. This will bring up radio, television, newspapers and magazines in your area. To find online resources do a search under “free online press release distribution.” Numerous listings will come up. Be sure to utilize the free services when on a limited budget.
Prior to writing a press release, determine the following:
- Who is your target market?
- What is your target media?
- Who is the contact person at the media outlet?
- What is the timeframe for submission?
- Do you have an attention-grabbing headline?
- Do you know the who, what, when, where, why, how?
- Do you have good quotes, research and technical date if appropriate?
Another great option is to write articles. Writing articles is a great way to gain recognition as an expert in your field or specific industry. By providing practical information, you can reach targeted audiences. This can create exciting opportunities for you and your book.
There are thousands upon thousands of locations online that look for well-written articles. A quick google search on “article directories” will bring up ample locations for your work.
At the end of the article add in what is referred as a resource box. The purpose of the resource box is to tell the readers a bit about yourself and possibly drive them back to your website.
WOW: What would you say is the most important aspect of Internet marketing?
Kathleen: There is a lot of “noise” on the Internet. People are becoming more and more overwhelmed everyday with the amount of information they receive. We are on information overload. One way to get around that which is specific to your marketing is to create incredible value for your market.
There are a few things to know when looking at your market. One, who are they? Two, who do you want to do business with?
Something else that is important is to diversify how you market. There is not one perfect way. Your marketing should consist of several things.
WOW: What would you say is the difference in marketing theory between promoting a book and selling a book?
Kathleen: Marketing is what you do to gain visibility for your book, selling is when you get the money.
I know a lot of authors who have incredibly well written books, but don't sell very many. Besides not have effective marketing strategies in place, they fail to ask for the sale when the opportunity presents itself.
I have sold anywhere from a few hundred dollars worth of books to a small group on up to five and ten thousand dollars worth in an hour to larger groups.
During a live presentation or a teleseminar if part of your purpose is to walk away with money from book sales, you need to be really clear on that. Selling by way of a live presentation or a teleseminar includes letting people know about your book and how they can buy it. It also involves practicing your close.
I'll tell you, the people who make money selling books don't leave the process to chance. Again, lots of people live with the belief that the book is going to somehow sell itself. 99.9% of the time it doesn't. And most authors don't have the kind of budget that a book like say, Harry Potter, would have. We have to use creativity that doesn't involve a ton of money, which involves creative ways to ask for the sale.
One such way is to bundle a number of books together and offer a “special” price to those people who buy the bundle of books at one time rather than individual books. Often you will offer anywhere from 10 - 50% off the regular price when you sell books in a bundle. This is often used with live presentations.
If you are selling from a web page or squeeze page you have to make the purchase process easy. One way to do that is to have the “buy now” button visible. Make the button bright. Don't be shy.
Another very effective way to sell from the Internet is to offer a few bonus gifts to someone who buys your book during a specific time period. Lots of books have gone from total obscurity to bestseller status by partnering with what are called Joint Venture partners.
There can be a fair amount of prep work that goes into one of these campaigns, but the results can be phenomenal.
The main thing you want to keep in mind around selling your book is that you will be the main driver behind your sales. It's as simple as that.
WOW: If you could share only one piece of Internet marketing wisdom with our readers, what would it be?
Kathleen: The one piece of wisdom I would share is to do some research before you jump into buying stuff from people who claim you can get rich quick or make a million overnight. I can tell you, there is money, and lots of it, to be made on the Internet. However, you absolutely must lay a solid foundation.
It saddens me when I see how misled many people are. They will buy stuff without researching the person selling it. Do yourself a favor, don't buy on impulse. Although you absolutely must invest in your knowledge and training, set a budget and guidelines for your buying habits. Otherwise you can nickel and dime yourself into a deep hole that will be difficult to get out of.
Look at what your goals are. Determine what you are willing to do to accomplish your goals. Then be willing to invest in yourself and your business to achieve your goals.
For example, I invest in my professional development. But before I do, I look at what that investment will give me. I also know a lot about the “experts” on the Internet. Many are friends and Joint Venture partners of mine.
I would be very hard pressed to invest in someone who does not have a substantial track record or presence on the Internet. Why would I spend money on someone who doesn't have a good presence if what I want to learn is how to get good presence? What can they teach me? And what can they teach you?
Don't buy just based on a well-written sales letter. Those letters are designed to get you to act on impulse. You can waste a lot of money that way.
Before you invest any money do your research. Check out the so-called “experts” and see if they are really who they say they are.
Before people invest money in my programs I invite them to check me out. Do some research so they can see I am the real deal. I have been around for a long time and plan to be around for a lot longer.
There have been occasions I have discouraged someone from buying my information because I know they are looking for that “quick fix” or magic bullet. It doesn't exist.
I would rather see someone apply the information from the other programs they have bought before buying something else. What happens is those who are looking for the easy way out buy program after program without applying the information and then claim it doesn't work. Well, duh! It's not going to work unless you work it.
Internet marketing is like most things in life; you get out of it what you put into it. Like I said, there is a lot of money to be made both as an author and in the world of Internet Marketing, but it takes work. It's not going to happen by wishing it to be so. It is going to happen applying the right information from the people who know what they are doing. Simple as that.
WOW: Thank you, Kathleen, for sharing some of your insights with WOW's readers. I hope they find your mentoring program as valuable as I did.
Fast Track Street Smarts Marketing Mentoring Program
Kathleen Gage, CEO and founder of Turning Point, Inc. and Maxwell Publishing is a bestselling author and an internationally recognized marketing and publicity expert. Described by many as one of the most inspirational speakers alive, Kathleen is known as the “Street Smarts” speaker and author. Kathleen teaches others how to use instinct, wit, creativity, and spirit to achieve their fullest potential.
Kathleen is the bestselling author of The Law of Achievement, which was released in May 2006. Some of her other works include: Message of Hope, Inspirational Thoughts for Uncertain Times; Workplace Miracles, Inspiring Stories and Thoughts of Possibility; 101 Ways to Get Your Foot in the Door: Success Strategies Guaranteed to Put You Miles Ahead of the Competition; Street Smarts Marketing and Promotions: Street Smarts Making Money With the Internet; 101 No Cost and Low Cost Ways to Market a Business; and her newest release; The Truth About Making Money with the Internet.
Kathleen resides in a small rural community outside of Eugene, Oregon. She has dedicated herself to assisting others in unleashing possibilities to create a life rich in spirit, passion, prosperity, self-assurance, and success.
Contact Kathleen Gage
Annette Fix is an author and spoken word storyteller based in Laguna Niguel, CA. An excerpt from her e-book, The Hungry Writer's Guide to Tracking and Capturing a Literary Agent was featured in WOW!'s September 2006 Issue. Annette's memoir, The Break-Up Diet will be available in October 2007. You can catch her next spoken word performance at The Every Picture Tells A Story Gallery in Santa Monica on May 16th.