We at Weaving Influence pride ourselves on our ability to help business and leadership authors launch their books into the world, but the book launch process is a partnership. Yes, we can do all the heavy-lifting around public relations, social media, email marketing, and more. But you, the author, have something that can amplify our efforts, something that is critical to our combined success — that something is your personal network.

What is a personal network?

A personal network is all the people you know, really know, in the real world and online, your friends and family, your co-workers and clients. It’s organizations you belong to, schools you attended, all the places where you have connections. We like to begin our book launch efforts with a deep dive into a client’s network — creating an actionable list of all the people and organizations who can help support the book, spread the word about the book, or potentially buy it. It’s an exercise we encourage you to do, too.

Then what?

Once you have a list of all your connections who might be able to support your book launch in some way, it’s time to figure out how they can help. First, you might analyze your network to see if you know any journalists or others with media connections. You might consider asking these connections if they are interested in a potential story or book review, or if they could help connect you with others who might be interested.

  • Business connections might be interested in a bulk buy for their staff. You could consider offering them a special bulk buy discount or incentive.
  • A friend in marketing might be able to help you create a press release.
  • An alumni association might run a brief article about your book.
  • Your local coffee spot might host a book signing.

The majority of your network will probably support you in smaller — but still very impactful — ways by:

  • Sharing on social media.
  • Posting reviews on Amazon.
  • Purchasing a copy for themselves or as a gift.
  • Sharing via word-of-mouth.

Now ask!

People love to help, but they can’t help if they don’t know about your book or what you need. The most critical step in leveraging a personal network is simply asking for help. It’s also the hardest step, and where we see most people falter. If you can move past the uncomfortableness, you may be surprised at the unexpected support you receive when you ask.

One client of ours had been slowly growing his email list over the course of several years. He had made slow and steady progress. Together, we created a lead magnet, an e-book compilation, to accelerate list growth. He reached out to some of his personal and professional connections to share the offer with their email subscribers. Several of his connections did — in fact, they were excited to help — and his list grew by 6x in just a month.

That’s the power of asking your network for help!

Our challenge to you: write down the names of the people, businesses, and organizations you’re connected with and see how you might bring them into your book launch efforts.