Friday, September 30, 2011

10 Rules of Social Marketing (Guerrilla) Engagement

Editor's Note: Today I have a special guest blogger with some terrific insight for every writer. I hope you enjoy Wendy's article as much as I did. Terry

By Wendy Montes de Oca, MBA

As the social media landscape grows with mainstream and niche sites, so will the innovative ways to get marketing messages to members of these social media sites.
However, before you starting posting away with your guerrilla marketing tactics, it's good to keep in mind my 10 rules of social marketing engagement:

1. Be aware.
Know each social media community's law of the land. Each network, forum, blog, chat room, and bulletin board has its own set of rules that you are required to abide by as a member. Read the rules and stick to them. If the site has a specific area for promotional or marketing messages, keep your posts of this nature restricted to those areas. If rules dictate what type of messages are allowed (such as no overtly self serving, defamatory, illegal, elici
t, or pornographic material), follow the rules. Any deviation will prompt a warning by the site's moderator or a ban from the site.

2. Be active.
Don't just go in a few times and hit members with your marketing message. Get involved. Participate in discussions. Interact with members. Read and respond to engaging posts with no hidden agenda.

3. Be relevant. Make sure you're posting in areas of the site that are relevant to the topic you're discussing. Many forums have segmented subareas by category and interest level. This helps the members easily find the topics they're interested in and keeps you from muddying the waters in unrelated areas of the site.

4. Be genuine.
Let the conversations flow organically. Contribute real, thought-provoking comments that members will find interesting.

5. Be useful.
As a member, your goal is to participate in intelligent, useful discussions. Make sure you're adding value to the site in some way. Your comments should also be valuable to the reader and not random posts. Nothing gets under members' skin more than messages that appear to be blatant spam.

6. Be subtle.
Don't overlink. Many marketers embed their entire message with URLs to whatever page they're trying to drive traffic to. Less is more here. Some sites even have rules about not allowing links in the body copy of a post, but keeping them only in the auto signature field where your username is. Links should be relevant to the post (such as a great article that you want to share with members-then enclose the link so they can read for themselves). Use links sparingly.

7. Be balanced.
Mix up your messages. Don't just go into a site and start spamming away with your marketing messages. Go in. Hang out for a few weeks. Get to really know the members and the site. See which areas of the site have topics and discussions that vibe with you. Mix up your posts. Find balance with the editorial and marketing messages you're posting. The idea is to provide value and engage. If you overmarket, it will be transparent, and you'll be labeled a "shill." That will affect your credibility with other members.

8. Be informative.
Don't limit your article uploads or links to your own publication. Be aware of what's happening in your area of interest. Be able to have intelligent discussions about different news, events, and publications under your subject matter. If you see other related articles that you think members would find interesting-even material from other publishers -share the knowledge. After all, that's ultimately what social media is about.

9. Be personable.
Develop relationships with the community on both a "friend" and an expert level for your area of specialty. Let your personality and credentials shine through with the information you share. Offer free expert advice. Share funny stories. Have witty discussions. Start to truly develop a memorable presence and bond with the community.

10. Be respectful.
Don't spam your fellow members. Many social communities (such as Facebook and LinkedIn) post user email addresses on their Profile page. This leads to a flurry of unsolicited emails to the unsuspecting user from social networking barracudas that use this personal information for their own self-serving purposes. Remember, just because an email is posted on a user's profile page doesn't mean that person opted in to receive solicitations, promotions, or similar email communications. Sending unwanted and unsolicited emails is spam, plain and simple. Don't exploit community members' personal information.

Wendy Montes de Oca, M.B.A., has a diversified background that includes nearly 20 years of
experience in marketing, media, financial services, and law. She has a proven track record with both acquisition and retention efforts, as well as has both editorial and copywriting success. Her specialties include multichannel marketing (print, Web, email, direct mail, radio, and TV), with expertise in Internet marketing. You can learn more at: Precision Marketing Media.com

Excerpt From
Content Is Cash: Leveraging Great Content and the Web for Increased Traffic, Sales,Leads and Buzz By Wendy Montes de Oca, MBA [Que Publishing, Paperback]
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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Questions to Ask When Rejected

It is no fun to receive those rejection notices from a magazine or book publisher or literary agent. Almost everyone uses standard form letters in this process. Because of the high volume of submissions at some places, you are fortunate to even receive a rejection notice.

When you receive a rejection, there are some questions that I like to ask myself about the submission.

First, did I send it to the right editor and the right place? The publishing world is constantly changing and I've heard Sally Stuart say that at least 90% of the entries in The Christian Market Guide change each year. It's one of the reasons seven years after Howard Publishing changed to Howard Books, that I continue to receive submissions to the Fiction Acquisitions Editor at Howard Publishing (a role I've not had in years).

Second question: Do I like and believe in what I sent out? When it returns, you have an opportunity to adjust your pitch. Most of the time, it's probably ready to go out to someone else but it's a good question to ask. My much published journalist friend Kelly James-Enger calls rejections a bong and encourages you to get it right back out into the market in her article here: http://bit.ly/pupeLa Look at #10.

Third question: Can I take my material in a different direction where I can get my material into the market and earn the money directly (instead of a once-a-year royalty payment from a book publisher)? In the past, I've encourage you to look at your material differently. Recently I've created a new product to teach you how to create your own course. Everyone has something to teach others. It's the model that I used to create my proposal course and now I've pulled it together into an affordable--yet robust program for any writer: Simple Membership System

For every writer persistence and perseverance is a big part of this work. You need to be on a continual search for opportunity. When you find it, latch on to it and run toward it. The search may take a while but you can get there with continued effort.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Cut Your Learning Curve as a Writer

The world of publishing is constantly changing. There are many different ways to learn about these changes such as blogs, online newsletters, books and audio recordings.

None of these ways will replace face to face exchanges and sitting in a workshop learning from professionals. In the many years that I've been in publishing, many of my educational moments came at a writers' conference. I've formed relationships which have lasted many years and many other benefits from my investment to attend a conference. I know it has cut down my learning curve as a writer and propelled me down the road to publication.

I've heard many bestselling authors tell me that their career went rapidly forward after attending a writers conference.

This week I've convinced Rick Frishman, the founder of Planned Television Arts (one of the largest Public Relations firms in the U.S.) and publisher at Morgan James Publishing, to sit on the hot seat of a live teleseminar about the importance of writers conferences. Rick is the founder of Author 101 University, which has been held multiple times in various cities.

In this free event, Rick will be answering your questions about why you should make the investment of time and money to attend a writers' conference. I hope you will go over to the site and ask your question.

If you can't make the live event on Thursday evening, I encourage you to still sign up for the event. It will be recorded and everyone who registers will receive the link to the recording.

I look forward to asking your questions to Rick Frishman on Thursday.

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Write A Memoir That Sells

Without fail, it happens at almost every writers conference.

Some writer will come to me with a memoir or personal experience book. I can see it in their eyes and expressions. They've already met with the literary agents and editors who have told them that they can't publish this type of writing. Discouraged with such pointed news, they want my advice about what they can do with their work.

Each of these writers has invested countless hours on their writing. Some of them have blogged their experiences while others have simply cranked the words into their computer. Their stories are driven with their desire to help others who can learn from their experiences.

Because I've been in the publishing industry for many years, I can see both sides of the situation. The editors have good reasons behind their reluctance. Many of these writers are inexperienced, unpublished with no visibility in the marketplace (readers or fans) yet they want to tell their story. Others are trying to write a book too soon in the normal cycle of events for an author.

I have a number of concrete action steps these writers can take to change their situation and produce a memoir that sells.

1. They need to practice their storytelling and writing craft through producing personal experience magazine articles. Many publications take personal experience stories. Look at the magazines which you see frequently. Study the publication and note the articles which are written in the first person and include personal experiences. Notice the big pattern of the story. These types of article are each driven to a single point or take away lesson for the reader. When you are published in magazines, it will give you publishing experience and more visibility in the marketplace. Also you will reach many more people with your shorter magazine articles than you will probably reach with your books.

2. These writers need to set up a blog to capture their raw writing and get it into the marketplace. The search engines like blogs and it's a place to build an audience and group of readers for your work—provided you do more than write the blog. You have to have a goal for your blog and write with a purpose. I suggest you get a copy of my risk-free guide, The 31 Day Guide to Blogging for Bucks because it will help you make money from your blog and also focus it.

3. A key to reaching the literary agents or editors is to have an excellent book proposal or pitch. Take my Write A Book Proposal online course or read my Book Proposals That Sell to help you learn more in this area.

4. Get more ideas and tips from this excellent article by Mary DeMuth in the June 2011 issue of The Writer called A Smart Approach to Memoir. For example, this article points out a National Association for Memoir Writers. While I was unfamiliar with this group, I know the power of organizations and from looking at their website, believe they have many solid resources to help your memoir writing.

5. Read memoirs on a regular basis. One of the questions that I regularly ask these memoir writers is, “Do you read memoirs?” To my surprise, they often answer that they do not. Just look at the memoir/ autobiography section in any bookstore or your local library and you will be surprised at the variety of books and topics in this category. These books do continue to sell on a regular basis.

Recently I read David and Nancy French's excellent book, Home and Away: A Story of a Family in a Time of War. The book is well-written and full of practical take away messages for every reader. It's the same type of material that I recommend you build into your own memoir. If you do, then you will write a memoir that sells.

Don't let the naysayers get to you. Memoir continues to sell and be published. You have to persist to find the right place for your writing.

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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Reviews : A Missing Piece For Many Authors

For many authors, book reviews are a mystery. They have no idea how book reviewers select the books that they write about. Nor do they know how to get review copies of their books into the right hands of the decision makers. Many authors have no idea that they can do anything about book reviews. These authors wrongly believe that if they write a great book, then it will be reviewed in journals and magazines. Yet they are simply hoping that because they've written it, the readers will come to their book. It's simply not true.

In 2010, there were over 3.1 million new books that entered the marketplace. This large number does not account for the books published before 2010. Just follow the link and review the numbers. Every author has to take action and be actively involved in the various aspects of promoting and telling people about their book. One of those aspects is book reviews.

To help you know more about the details of book reviews, I'm hosting a live teleseminar on Thursday, September 8th with Dana Lynn Smith. You can ask a question and register for this live event at: http://yourbookreviewed.com. Also you can pick up a copy of Dana's free report, The Real Truth About Getting Book Reviews, when you sign up for this event.

If you can't attend the event, then go ahead and sign up because it will be recorded. Everyone who signs up will receive a copy of the recording following the event.

Dana has a new Ebook, How To Get Your Book Reviewed. If you check out her Ebook, you will notice several bonuses—including my 32–page report, Why Book Reviews Matter. You will get the inside scoop through the free Ebook, the teleseminar, Dana's Ebook and the bonuses.

This information will add a missing piece for many authors to your plans to market your book and get it out to the reading public. Hope to speak with you on Thursday.

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