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Welcome to The Book Marketing Action Podcast with Becky Robinson and Christy Kirk! In this episode, Becky and Christy guide you through overcoming resistance with network mobilization, where to start, and what to do once you’ve captured your network.
We’ve jokingly called network mobilization the scariest topic when launching a book. That’s because clients are often afraid of reaching out to their networks. Why do we think this is? In general, we are reluctant to ask people for help and no one wants to feel like they are selling to their close contacts. However, we consider network mobilization to be one of the most important elements for a successful book launch.
Why is network mobilization so vital for a successful book launch? In our culture, there is an extreme amount of noise. In order to cut above the noise, you really need something special. To create early momentum for your book, the easiest place to start is with the people who already know and value the work you put into the world. Mobilizing those people to become ambassadors for your book is critically important.
One of the ways we try to help authors overcome their resistance to network mobilization is to use an analogy. The analogy we often use is comparing a book launch to a wedding. The reason we use the wedding analogy is because in the same way people want to come alongside you at such an important milestone in your life (your wedding), people also want to be alongside you as you launch a book into the world.
Most people are honored to be included in helping you with that important milestone. Not everyone knows an author, so if you’re the first among your circle to write a book, those people around you are going to be so thrilled to watch and learn from you. Now if you’re an author surrounded by other authors, those other authors know how important it is to have support. So you don’t need to be afraid to ask them either!
When people can see you have passion and excitement about your message, they will want to support you.
The place you want to start with network mobilization is with brainstorming and capturing a list of the people who may be able to help you. In the same way you make a list of people you want to invite to your wedding, you can make a list of all the people who may be able to contribute to your book launch.
If you have trouble thinking of names, think of all the different connections you have in the world. Think about what clubs you’re involved in, whether locally or nationally. Who are your neighbors? Who is your family? What friends do you have who may be able to contribute? Who are your current clients or past clients? Who are the people you’ve interacted with and received value from the work you have done?
We recommend starting with a blank spreadsheet. To download the template spreadsheet we give to our clients, click here. When you’re brainstorming, collect information like the name of the person (first and last), type of contact (media person, influencer, business leader, friend), and up to date email and mailing address. Then you want to think about two columns on that spreadsheet: asks and offers.
When it comes to “asks,” you want to think about: what are the ways that person could uniquely contribute to your book launch?
When it comes to “offers”, you want to think about: is there something you could offer to that person as a way of thanking them for participating in your book launch?
Here are 6 example “asks” you can make to your network:
- Buying your book during your launch week/day
- Leaving an Amazon Review
- Bulk purchasing your book
- Sharing your book in a personal or corporate newsletter
- Sharing your book on their social media
- Being a guest on their podcast or webinar
You want to ask for the most influential action they are able to take on your behalf.
After outlining your asks and offers, the next step is personal outreach to every person on your list. Don’t take the shortcut of bulk emailing your list. The more personal the request, the more likely people are to follow through. You can use a template when emailing, but make sure you personalize each one specifically for the person you are emailing, including their ask. Check-in with them and acknowledge that person personally, especially if you haven’t been in touch with them in awhile.
It doesn’t matter how many people you end up putting on your list, but it does matter how many people you follow through to contact. We would rather see a list of 10 people, where you follow through with those 10 people in a personalized way than a list of 500 and you didn’t contact anyone. Be realistic with the number of people you can follow through with in a personalized way.
The more personal the outreach and email, the higher likelihood someone will participate.
If you are in the process of preparing to launch a book, here are this week’s action steps:
- Think about your own network. Set a goal of a number of people you are willing to reach out to as you launch your book. Remember, it doesn’t matter how many people are on your list, but be sure you can follow through with contacting them.
- Access our free template. Access our free spreadsheet template for your network mobilization outreach and start to fill it in with names and contact information.
- Draft an email. Create a sample email so you can begin to feel and see how you can express your passion for your book in those messages to your network.