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Monday, 24 June 2013 08:07

Forget the Shoestring

Posted with permission.

If you’re an owner of a small business who wants to find inexpensive ways to promote your product or service, listen up. You have options. Download the attached for the full story!

Published in FCM Blog Articles

Are you a busy executive, a business coach, life coach, business owner that serves a niche or a medical professional who has a lot of information in your head that would help general consumers, people in your industry, business owners and executives? Do you have an idea for a book that would help you reach your marketing objective? For example, you have climbed to the top of your profession and want to mentor those starting out in your business, passing on information that you wish you had known early on in your career? Or maybe you work with medical patients, providing them with a much-needed service or product. Sharing your story with them helps them and your business at the same time.

 

Would the book be a great gift to your new clients or customers? Would it help spread the word about your business, products and/or services? If you own a franchise, is the book something that could help you expand more easily, and could be something you would include in the buy-in and ongoing marketing for each and every one of your franchisees? (For example, they may have to buy a certain number of these books to give to their clients/customers.)

 

Truth is that a book can help boost your business in a lot of ways. Once you understand the objective with the book, you need to find the right story to share and hire a good ghostwriter to help you complete the book. If you are a decent writer and have a clear outline of what you want the book to achieve, you can write it yourself. However, if you are busy running your company, it’s often best to have someone else write it. The review and editing process will eat enough time as the book comes together. You will be plenty involved. Your opinion matters. Your input in needed.

 

If you are stubborn and like to burn the midnight oil, you can write your book, but for Heaven’s sake, be wise and hire a professional editor and a separate proofreader (or ask the editor to find a proofreader). Why you want the proofreader is because we all make mistakes. Even the best editors can miss things. The time to find those typos is before the book goes to the printer.

 

Printing costs can be high, dependent upon the number of pages, the type of cover, the colors used in the book, the paper stock and so on. You will also need a good designer. We offer all the services you need and will walk you through the self-publishing maze. In short, there are two ways to self-publish. Do you know what they are?

 

You also need the book to be in downloadable e-book format. There are a variety of ways to self-publish an e-book. In fact, doing so takes little time. Smashwords is an excellent resource for online publishing, and you can’t beat the price. It is free to publish, but you need the book in the right format. Smashwords gives you a wonderful tutorial. At the time of writing this, Smashwords does not support Amazon’s Kindle. They are working on it, and they do support Barnes & Noble’s Nook. Smashwords also supports other platforms. For Kindle, go directly to Amazon and publish through the Amazon system. Again, the price is zero, and your book needs to be in the right format. The system tutors you on what to do. You want your book downloadable from your website and any social media pages you have, too. Otherwise, it’s not a very good marketing device. Rather you aren’t getting all you can from it as a marketing device. We can guide your in self-publishing your e-boor or do it for you for a fee (dependent upon the type and size of your book).

 

Gather stories from clients, customers, other professionals in your field, people in your company and your own personal stories to help support what you say in your book. Nothing works better as a marketing device than strong testimonials. In this case long testimonials or shared tales of the effectiveness of your strategies. Testimonials in brief are wonderful mechanisms for your website and social media pages, too. Use them as graphic components. It is advisable not to have a separate testimonials page. That can be irritating to site visitors. For your website, try getting video testimonials.

 

This is just a taste of what you might do to expand your company’s brand. The purpose is to get your brain percolating a little bit more about a book you might write or have written by a ghost that will help you in your professional marketing goals. There are nontraditional means by which to market, and a book can be part of that effort. Ask us how!

Published in FCM Blog Articles
Sunday, 07 April 2013 20:36

Does PR Work?

By Sandra Rea.
Authors complain about spending money on PR as a part of marketing their books. It’s a legitimate complaint. By the time a Full Circle representative speaks with an author about his/her PR needs, it’s often too late. The author spent a whole lot of money on traditional PR (a frequently quoted price seems to be $20K from all the authors I’ve spoken with about this) for limited or zero results, and the author is extremely upset. In most cases there’s a lot more the author could have done with the money with greater results.

Are you an author who spent money on traditional PR without getting the results for which you’d hoped? If so, keep reading.

Traditional PR goes something like this…

    • A professional press release is written and approved by the client
    • The PR rep sends the release out through a wire service with no tracking or with limited tracking
    • Good PR reps send the release out to specific and targeted editors and interested others
    • Even better PR reps provide tracking – whether the editor responded, when and what was said
    • The book is mentioned in the new books section of different publications (both online and in print); the best of all worlds is when the book is reviewed in publications!
    • REPEAT process (good PR is an ongoing effort – for new books, there is a “shelf life” to the initial PR and then the PR rep needs to get creative and explore new options)

Of course there is more to PR than that, but that’s a quick peek at the essentials.

A large PR firm can charge around $20,000 for services in just a short window of a few months. For authors on a budget that means hiring a smaller firm or a one-person show, a PR rep who signs on to provide a certain number of hours per month at an agreed-upon fee. Most individual PR reps will charges anywhere between $80 and $120 an hour, and that’s conservative. Rates are dependent upon experience and ability. (In our troubled economic times, you may be able to find a PR rep who would be open to working for $50 an hour, but you need to check credentials and experience before hiring. Try for a month-to-month contract, too.)

A large PR firm will typically lock you into a contract for a set number of months or even a year. Regardless of performance, you will be paying that contracted monthly fee until the end of the contract. Period. That’s another reason to consider a smaller firm or individual PR rep, preferably one that doesn’t lock you in. Month-to-month contracts are becoming more popular. No one likes to be locked into a contract. You can specify a trial period of three months, at which time you can walk or the rep can walk. Ask for options.

Typically a PR representative will not give you her contacts. Those are hers. She gathered them; you have no right to them, so don’t expect that she will send you a list of her contacts. In many cases, the rep paid for the contacts or developed her relationships with editors over the years. Again, you have no right to these relationships. Think about it… Would YOU give anyone your contacts in the publishing world? Probably not.

In short, you are paying for the PR rep’s ability to communicate your needs to the editors and book reviewers of the world. If your book has a farther reach, the PR rep may be able to land you guest spots on TV and radio talk shows. That said, radio will not sell many books. There is a reason for that, but you’ll have to read the article on that topic to learn more.

Have questions about PR? Give us a call: 949.613.2099.

Published in FCM Blog Articles

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