Thank you Back-Pain-Relief-Person for the lovely comments about my blog. I know you didn’t read my blog, and have cleverly commented in a generic, yet faintly personal, way in an effort to get me to post your link pimping your product. With fans like you, the NYT bestsellers list can’t be far in my future. It used to be I had to look out for oppressed Nigerian princes looking for a place to stash their millions, free V!@gra to enhance my nether regions, or super low mortgage rates. Now I need to read between the lines of seemingly legitimate blog comments.
What about people on Twitter who pimp their products? Should we be reminded of their product every ten minutes? Every hour? Once a day? The problem with Twitter is it’s a snapshot in time. Let’s say a person has five thousand followers. They are not all on Twitter at the same time, and most are not on all day long. Even if they are, a bathroom break, a quick cup of coffee, a blink, and 200 tweets have passed them by. Tweets can be targeted for peak hours, but everyone else has that same great idea. Again, someone blinks, and they’ve missed a huge volume of tweets. Another wrinkle is that followers have different numbers of people they themselves are following. A person following a hundred people is going to get mighty annoyed with that “check out my xxx” every hour, where someone following ten thousand won’t even notice the frequency. It makes finding a balance very tricky.
My personal take is to go ahead and tweet product offerings on a varying schedule, no more than once an hour. Make those tweets interesting and different. If someone is doing six auto-tweets a day on a product for the next three weeks, six different tweets aren’t enough. With 126 auto-tweets, make 30-40 percent of them original. Yes, I know that means coming up with fifty different tweets. Them’s the breaks dude.
**Most important of all, please show you’re actually a human being and not a bot by replying to other’s tweets, and frequently tweeting something interesting and personal. Bots don’t sell product, people do.
Back in the late 80’s (yep, old woman here) my company paid a ridiculous sum of money for me to take the Xerox Sales Training Course. This was the holy grail of sales training back then, and it was a significant investment for my company to fork out for this. The multi-week course ended in mock sales calls to gauge your grasp on the technique. Basically, the method was to badger and bully your potential customer by “addressing” all of his or her objections to buying the product and steamrolling them like, well, like a steamroller.
I was a star pupil. I had record sales in the mock demos. I parried objections with the skill of Zorro. With my opponent helpless before me, I lunged to deliver the killing blow. Errrr, I mean I sold the wonderful product to my grateful and excited customer. And when I left the course, I never used the method. I don’t’ feel right shoving my product down my customer’s throat. Or any other orifice for that matter.
Stop with the eighties style sales and marketing techniques. Your product needs to:
- Be of necessary quality and needed by the customer
As a writer, this means your book needs to be good. Market crap like a crazed possum and you may have a spike in sales, but no tail. And in the publishing world as well as the corporate world, it’s all about the tail (or ‘renewals’ as they call it in my day job). The product should be a good fit for your potential customer too. Did I mention the product needs to be good?
- Be at a price point that provides value
Watch other products and make sure that yours is priced accordingly. Never underestimate the ability of a well publicized promotional price, or even a contest for a free copy to get your sales moving.
- Created/sold by a company or person who the customer trusts, and feels reasonably connected to
Yes, we all buy products from asshats, sometimes because the products are really good, or we simply have no alternative. Everyone would rather buy product (books included) from those they like, those they identify with. Books are not a commodity purchase. Readers love knowing that the author of the book they love has a Manx cat too, or enjoys photographing historic barns.
We are ultimately social creatures. Go make friends, and use social media to be one, not to be a spam sending, impersonal bot. And the sales will come. . .