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Tuesday, September 20, 2016


How To Handle A Marketing Mistake


Ever made a marketing goof? Not just a little error but one where hundreds of people instantly see your mistake (but you didn't)? It's one of the realities of publishing: everyone makes mistakes. I've recently started a Colorado chapter of the Nonfiction Authors Association. The NAA has over 13,000 members and is a growing organization. There are no other chapters in Colorado and our first meeting was last month. 


On September 21st, our chapter will have our next meeting and I've scheduled our first speaker, Sandra Lamb. I've known Sandy for many years and she has written a number of nonfiction books and has a recent book, Writing Well for Business Success (St. Martins Press).

The Nonfiction Authors Association uses meetup to promote and organize their meetings. I've been learning how to use this tool. Last week I used meetup and invited over 200 Colorado writers to attend our meeting. Unfortunately the headline (and subject of my invitation read): Please accept my invitation to Sandra E. Lamb Will Speak at Our June 21st meeting. The body of the email clarified the date for the meeting was not June but September 21st. A couple of people responded and called the error to my attention. I corrected it on the website—but the emails had been sent and probably many people didn't open it with my error.

From this marketing mistake, here's what I learned:

1. Acknowledge the mistake. Yes you can deny it and other actions but the best way forward is to acknowledge the error. I quickly fixed it on the meetup page but the emails had been sent and the damage done.

2. Understand it happens to everyone. In the process of learning a new program or a new method, mistakes are made. It is a normal part of the learning curve.

3. Resend the emails then keep going (learn from it). PT Barnum said, “Without promotion, something terrible happens! NOTHING.” It is true. Writers can't come to the event that I've organized unless they know about the meeting. I will fix the error and resend the emails so hopefully a number of people come to this session.

While these lessons were key, here's some additional points: Notice my proactive stance with the mistake. I didn't just shrug it but I'm actively continuing to work to get the message out about this meeting. One reaction is to cross it off your list and do nothing. Such a reaction helps no one. If you want to achieve success, you have to face the bumps in the road and keep going.

In the journey of your writing and marketing, you will make mistakes. One of the easiest paths is to give up and stop writing and marketing. It's the action I've seen many writers take. They send out their submission and get a single rejection and assume no one wants it. The writers who get published take a different course of action.

They persevere and continue writing and looking for that right place to get published. They continue growing in their craft and reaching their audience and readers.

I hope many of you have learned something for your own writing and marketing life from my experience. If so, let me know in the comments. If I can help you, reach out to me.

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2 Comment:

At 3:33 PM, Blogger Stephanie Chandler Left a note...

We have all been there, Terry! So glad your chapter is under way!

 
At 9:22 AM, Blogger Terry Whalin Left a note...

Stephanie,

Thank you for this comment and the encouragement. Yes our chapter is growing every month and had a wonderful meeting this week. I've seen all sorts of encouragement for the writers who are coming and their writing lives are improving through the chapter.

Terry

 

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