I’ve been on a book marketing tear in my blog lately and so far the focus has been on personal marketing, which was the topic of my most recent book. Your Personal Marketing Playbook. I co-authored this book with referral marketing expert Paula Hope, and we were looking at the impact personal marketing can have on a professional service provider’s business. Personal marketing is where referral marketing and your online content marketing initiatives connect. So it’s also very important for people who have written books.
But let’s take a step back for a moment and look at what marketing actually is.
It takes only three-quarters of a second for nearly one billion results to show up in Google in response to the question, “What is Marketing?” Many of those definitions are complicated and, quite frankly, very boring, so I’ve developed my own definition based on decades of practical experience in the marketing field:
Marketing is the process of starting conversations with the people
with whom you want to do business.
You might start those conversations at a networking event or a trade show. You might start those conversations by giving people book marks, business cards, newsletters or key chains. You might also start those conversations through your website, Linked In profile, Instagram feed, or your blog. There are unlimited opportunities out there for starting conversations with people.
But you want to make sure that you put your time, money and energy into starting conversations primarily with people who might want to buy what you are selling. In the context of book marketing, that means people who might want to buy your book.
Marketing Supports the Sales Process
In my model of the world, Sales picks up where Marketing ends. Once you have generated an opportunity for a conversation through your marketing, you are into a sales process that honest in on how that conversation should play out. When should you follow up? What collateral material do your referral partners and prospective clients need in order to help them make a decision? And so on. If you are focused on generating and leveraging your social capital, the answers to those questions are easier, as your referral relationship will guide you on next steps.
As Paula and I pointed out in our book on the topic, Relationships, and most certainly the strong relationships that create referrals, do not happen overnight, and in most people’s worlds, strong relationships do not occur often.
When you combine a trusting relationship with a deep knowledge of your business by a motivated network member, add in your partner’s confidence in you, plus knowledge of referral marketing, you will receive very well-qualified, easily-closed, beautiful referrals.
Stay tuned for more about that in the next blog in this series!