Book Marketing, Author Publicity, Branding

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Guest Post: Sell More Books Using Center of Influence Marketing

 Today's guest post is courtesy of Lynn Baber, author of Amazing Grays, Amazing Grace and He Came Looking For Me.  You can find out more about Lynn at   

Survey says…… most books are discovered through Center of Influence or Relationship Marketing.
AllBusiness is Personal
After my first business book was published in 1989 I started shopping a second title, All Business is Personal. Simon and Schuster was reviewing the proposal when I had an abrupt career change and left the board room for the barn. End of project.
The simple truth I hoped to communicate in All Business is Personal is that effective marketing is to individuals and not statistically defined groups. Whether the buying decision is for a stick of gum or a fleet of company cars, there will be some one who will approve the purchase order. That one person is the focus of successful marketing.  The simple truth of relational marketing has not changed one iota since 1989.
Authors quickly learn that selling a book is far more difficult than writing a book. Once upon a time I was a business consultant with an emphasis in marketing. Center of Influence (COI), or relationship marketing is an old concept that is becoming more and more relevant in the online world we live in.

Center of Influence Marketing

Simply put, COI is the process of identifying and targeting the people whom others look to for information, answers, and opinions. We live in a tribal society of sorts, where folks listen to the same music their friends do, read the same books as their peers, and share similar belief systems and spiritual leaders.
If you haven’t noticed the increase in tattoos you must be legally blind. Gender, age, and economic status appear to be irrelevant. Tattoos are the in thing. Why? Because the folks a man, woman, boy, or girl hang with or wish to emulate have tattoos. Skin art isn’t an expression of individuality but the desire to join the “tribe.

Market Your Book to Real People Not a Nameless Faceless Audience

The mechanism of Center of Influence marketing is simple. This is the place where I remind you that ‘simple’ is not synonymous with ‘easy.’
  • List the characteristics of one person who would most benefit from your book. Describe them in the most detail possible as if they were the protagonist in your new novel.
  • Research to determine who that one person (by name or description) would most likely look to for advice, information, and truth. Who would they trust? Which tribe do they belong to or aspire to?
  • Make a list of the folks (real people now) who are at the center of tribal influence.
  • Personally approach those people with an introduction, the offer of a review copy of your book, a meeting, or some type of further contact to at least get on their radar. If you don’t know the person establish a beginning and make it personal.

What Not to Do When Contacting Center of Influence Prospects

I love you and want to marry you. I want to raise children with you and grow old together.” – a note addressed to Occupant
Relationship marketing using generic terms and targeting is just as obvious and doomed to fail as a pledge of lifetime fidelity to Occupant. Social media only works when it is personal.
  • Don’t be impersonal. Learn about your COI target and his or her “tribe.” Do enough research to know why others look to them. Make your approach personal and relevant.
  • DO NOT send out a blanket email or letter to “Dear Center of Influence”
  • All Business if Personal. Ignore this truth you may as well quit now and use your books as fuel for toasting marshmallows. You must earn the opportunity to get a hearing with each Center of Influence unless you already have an established relationship.
The next step will determine the success of your book. Use your new relationship with each COI leader to get a review, speaking opportunity, or invitation to do an article for their blog, newsletter, or other media or group outlet. If the COI loves your book make it easy for them to share that discovery with the members of their tribe. If a COI does not love your book, ask why. Feedback from a tribal leader is a priceless gift for the purpose of refining your marketing plan.
Creativity is essential to writing a great book and equally necessary to market it successfully. If you have any questions please ask. I would be pleased to help you in any way I can.
Now go out there and find the movers and shakers who can carry your message to their tribes!
Click on the first two words of this post to visit the Goodreads Survey details. If you want more, check out this link as well


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