Let’s say you want to double sales of your book this year. That’s a great goal, but probably impossible, right?
Not really. It’s actually quite possible if you break things down a bit and then focus on essentials.
The Three Phases of Marketing
Over the past year or two, I’ve written columns in this e-zine several times about the three basic phases of marketing:
1. Attraction—people who never heard of you become aware that you exist.
2. Engagement—they then learn enough about you to know that you have a book they might want.
3. Conversion—they then pull out their wallet and buy your book.
The important point is that these three phases must happen in that exact order.
You have to attract a new potential customer before you can engage them. You have to engage them before you convert them. You have to convert them to get paid.
If ANY of these three phases is broken, then your entire marketing plan is broken.
So let’s assume that your marketing plan is actually working. You’re actually selling copies, and you just want to be selling twice as many per month, this time next year.
How do you do that?
How to Double Sales This Year
The good news is that you have many options to get there.
If you double the number of people you Attract, and if you continue to Engage them and Convert them just as effectively, you’ll double sales.
OR if you Attract the same number of people but double the fraction of those who become Engaged with your work, then you’ll also double sales.
OR if you Attract and Engage the same number of people, but double the fraction of those who are Converted, then you’ll also double sales.
You might also choose a balanced approach. Let’s say you Attract 26% more people, and you Engage 26% more of those you Attract, and you Convert 26% more of those you Engage. Then you’ll also double sales.
I did the math. 1.26 x 1.26 x 1.26 = 2.
That’s starting to sound more doable, isn’t it?
And you have a whole year to boost each of those phases by 26%.
That means that each month, you need to boost each phase by 2%. There’s a compounding effect here. A 2% gain each month compounds into a bit more than 26% in a year.
2% per month is very doable, isn’t it?
How could you get there from here?
Make a list right now of all the ways you could Attract more people who never heard of you to your web site. I bet you can think of a dozen. Write them all down, even the bad ones. Get creative. Do a little research. Talk to some friends. Try for two dozen.
Now make a list of all the ways you could then Engage those people once they get to your web site. Again, I’d bet you could easily think of a dozen ideas and with a little work you could stretch it to two dozen. Sure, some of them will be bad ideas, but that’s OK. The point is that some of them are bound to be good. Just focus on getting them all written down somewhere.
Finally, make a list of all the ways you could Convert those people to paying customers. Good ideas, bad ideas, get them all down on paper.
If your mind is stalling out on any of these, remember that there are all sorts of books out there on each of these phases. There are all sorts of articles on the web. I’ve written a large number of articles on each of these phases over the years in this e-zine.
Now here’s the key thing. Sort each of the lists from best to worst. If your lists are very big at all, you’ll find some excellent ideas. Put those at the top. The bad ideas can drift down to the bottom where you’ll ignore them forever. A bad idea costs you nothing if you never try to execute it. A good idea earns you money forever, once you start executing it.
On the first Monday of the month, pick ONE idea from each list. You have three lists, so that means you have three tasks for the month. Do those tasks. That’s all. You don’t have to do anything else for the month.
Measure Your Results
For extra credit, figure out a way to measure the number of people you Attract, the number you Engage, and the number you Convert.
Measuring Attraction is fairly easy. Google Analytics is your friend here, or any other web statistics tool. You’re interested in page views and number of visitors. You want to see those numbers rising over the next year. All you need is 2% more per month.
Measuring Engagement is quite a bit harder. Google Analytics has some tools that might help—you can count how many people stay on your site longer than five minutes, for example, or you could count how many people view more than five pages on your site. Or you might just count comments on your blog. You’re interested in measuring whether people are actually interested in your web site. Again, all you need is a 2% rise per month.
Measuring Conversion is easy if you’re an indie author, because you can see your sales numbers directly on Amazon and all the other major retailers.
It’s harder if you’re traditionally published, but you do get a royalty statement twice a year, and some publishers are now making sales data available online. And Amazon Author Central will show you weekly sales of paper books as measured by Bookscan. If you compare the Bookscan numbers to your royalty statements, you can figure out what fraction of all sales that Bookscan is reporting.
Now Go Do It
Attract, Engage, Convert. Improve each of these by 2% per month, and you’ll double sales in a year.
Want to give it a try for this coming year? You’ve got nothing to lose, and plenty to gain.
Give it a whirl and let me know what happened, next year at this time.
This article is reprinted by permission of the author.
Award-winning novelist Randy Ingermanson, “the Snowflake Guy,” publishes the free monthly Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine, with more than 7,000 readers. If you want to learn the craft and marketing of fiction, AND make your writing more valuable to editors, AND have FUN doing it, visit www.AdvancedFictionWriting.com.