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Welcome to The Book Marketing Action Podcast with Becky Robinson and Christy Kirk. We are excited about this month because we decided to do a deeper dive into the topic of network mobilization. We had an earlier episode about network mobilization, but there are so many aspects we want to make sure authors are thinking about. The authors we work with that are the most successful, purposely cultivated collaborative networks so they could both give and receive help.
One of our favorite things to think about is always being generous and giving to others before you need help yourself. Quick shout out to team buzz builder, a network of influencers and bloggers who help with our book launches. Many of those people later go on to write their own book. The Team Buzz Builder community is an amazing example of individuals who learn from being a part of launch teams, observe how their reviews and promotion contribute to the success of other authors, and then benefit from the support of those authors they’ve been so generous to.
We’re going to dive in today and share the importance of follow-up when you’re thinking about network mobilization. In a previous episode, we talked about the importance of identifying the people in your network who can help with your book launch, and how to reach out to them with specific asks. That is an important first step, and in this episode, we’re going to talk about what happens after that initial outreach.
What happens next…
After you send the initial message, the next step is to record the responses you receive. Many people will respond and tell you how excited they are for your book. Others will respond with how they can help you, or they will ask how they can help. It’s important to record those responses because you will need to send a personalized follow-up message to them.
Network mobilization is one of the key elements of a successful book launch, but it’s not just a one and done event.
For successful network mobilization, you need to let people know when their book is in the mail, send social graphics to share, send email copy so they can reach out to their lists/networks…and don’t forget to thank them for their help!
Investment in network mobilization will pay off for your book and business now and into the future.
What stops a lot of our clients from doing network outreach and being as successful as they could be is the worry and fear of bothering people. Here are our recommendations for overcoming that resistance when it comes to following up.
If someone did not respond to your first message, it’s possible they didn’t see your email or message at all because people have full inboxes, or they just haven’t had time to respond yet. The assumption that your first message was absolutely delivered and they rejected it and don’t want to participate, is false. More likely it’s because they haven’t seen it yet and that’s why we recommend resending the first message, or sending a second message/email saying, “Hey, I reached out, but I’m not sure if you saw it.”
You’re not bugging people, you’re just bringing the topic back to mind. It’s very similar to social media. We’ll have people say they don’t want to bother people on social media or don’t want to post too much. Not everyone is seeing your posts because we live in a very fast information society. Thus, your initial assumption should be, “Oh they didn’t get my first email/message, let me try again.”
Keeping people engaged
Once you have people willing to help you, the next step is keeping them engaged. You have to keep people excited about your book, informed about milestones, and you have to give them materials to allow them to help you. If you ask someone to share about your book on social media, you need to provide the social copy and graphics for them. It’s not enough to just say “thanks, please share,” you need to give direction. If they are going to write a review, share the link so they can easily find where to leave the review. However, we do not recommend sharing sample review copy. You want reviews to be as honest and genuine as possible.
Keeping people informed keeps them from getting distracted. Giving them an outline of what you’re trying to achieve gives them a plan and the materials to follow through. Give each person a specific task that responds to what they’ve agreed to, so that no one feels overwhelmed. You can’t expect everyone to do everything.
Following through with your follow-up
Authors go into their book launch with a ton of plans and then face the reality of time, money, and energy. The same thing happens when it comes to network mobilization. One thing that is energizing about network outreach is when authors start seeing the replies and the activity. But it really comes down to having a plan, knowing what you can achieve, and having a target audience you’re reaching out to.
- Create a strategic plan and follow that plan.
- Send follow-up emails and resources to people who are willing to help.
- Thank them for their efforts! People are going out of their way to help you, so it’s important they know that what they are doing is appreciated.
- Reciprocate when other authors need help. Start helping before you need help. Leave reviews on Amazon or share books you’re enjoying on social media. It’s not just what can I get from these people, it’s how can we support one another.
- Webinar recording. Watch the webinar recording for tips on how to expand your reach by tapping into your personal network and asking them to support you in this exciting chapter of your life. You can watch the recording here.
- Free ebook. This free ebook will give you ready-to-implement tools to effectively build and rally a support network. Download your free network cheat sheet here.
We hope you take advantage of the resources above and let us know if you take any action steps today. If you have any questions or topics you’d like us to cover, please email Becky Robinson here and Christy Kirk here.
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I am the founder/CEO of the Weaving Influence team, the author of Reach: Creating the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause, and the host of the Book Marketing Action Podcast. I’m a wife and mom of three kids, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, coffee, and dark chocolate.