Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. ~ Luke 6:38 (NIV)
Marketing. Branding. Promoting. Platform. These are all important considerations for those in the business of writing and selling books. However, as Christian authors, the foundation you build on is not all about you, is it? Here are a few tips to help you develop a balanced and spiritual marketing plan.
BE ENGAGING: Engage others in conversation in person and through email and social media. And not just to get them to buy your book, support your cause, or attend your event. Try sending a handwritten note or card to encourage someone. You know, on real paper with a real pen; it’s not done often nowadays, so it means that much more.
GET PERSONAL: People respond positively when they feel that someone cares about them. Keep it simple:
- Learn their name and use it.
- Ask about their family.
- Show interest in their job.
- Praise their achievement.
- Address their concerns.
Who knows, some of the people you engage may be potential friends, others potential readers, and a few could be angels. Start now. What are you waiting for?
- First don’t avoid people in the grocery store or post office or hurry to the parking lot right after church. (Gotcha, didn’t I?)
- Spend maybe 10-15 minutes a day to see what your Facebook friends are up to and comment when appropriate. Keep it light, be honest, and use your own voice. For instance, “Sounds like fun!” “Great idea!” “What a cute grandchild!” Please, if someone posts that their grandmother just died, do NOT click “Like.”
- Unless you write books about politics, try to stay away from political posts. True, some may agree with you, but your political rants won’t change the mind of those who don’t.
LIMIT SELFIES: And I’m not just talking about the pictures you post of yourself on Facebook. (But, really, do I need to see your duck face for the umpteenth time?) By selfie, I mean “it’s all about me” posts—your book, your problem, your success, your kids, your awards, your cat, your dog (no matter how cute or cleaver you believe they are). More people will listen to you once you listen to them.
PAY IT FORWARD: Point out the good that someone else is doing. Recommend a book you’ve enjoyed. Post information about an interesting event totally unrelated to you. Boast about the good work of a certain ministry. Brag how God has blessed you with a particular friend. Do all this and don’t expect one thing in return.
PRAY ABOUT THIS: If you’re sincere in your efforts to reach out to others, I believe God will honor the desire of your heart.
What’s that you say? You’re afraid all this do-gooding will give you a big head? I’ve got a fix for that. Try doing something for someone anonymously. And don’t tell a soul, not one soul, about it.