Timeline For Book Publicity and Promotion

If you’ve been lucky enough to sell to a traditional publishing house, you will need to discuss with your editor and the publishing department what you kind of promotion is being done to publicize your book.

Call your editor and discuss the promotional plan and remember to always keep your editor and publicist advised of what you plan to do.

What should you consider doing? Besides having a website and social media pages, you consider the following when deciding how to market your book and also when to think about doing these things:

12 months prior to publication:

You know the publication date of your book and should already be brainstorming ideas for your marketing campaign. Do you have any useful contacts in publishing or outside of it? What authors could you approach for cover quotes? What are you willing to do to make your book a success-send galleys, get a Web site, finance a small or large contest? Will you be doing book signings or running ads?

Make a list of all of these things and plan ahead to avoid a last minute rush. It’s always more expensive to do things at the last minute and what you do may be less effective if you don’t get the word out in time.

9-10 months prior to publication:

Before doing anything, discuss your marketing plan with your editor. Editors present upcoming titles to our promotions/sales staff generally nine months prior to your book’s publication, and it is at this point that your editor should be able to relay what you have planned and what you’re willing to do to promote your title. This way, your marketing department will know what support you will require and can plan accordingly.

Also, your editor can let you know what they’ve got planned for publicity so that you don’t duplicate what’s already being done.

7 months prior to publication:

Your plans of whether to embark on a sizable promotion or book signing or to place advertising should be finalized. In addition, your editor and publicity department should be fully aware of those plans so that your company’s sales staff has the tools necessary to present your book to their accounts. If you intend to send advance galleys to booksellers, you should do so now.

3-4 months prior to publication:

Send ARCs or galleys to reviewers. If you don’t have bound advanced reading copies, a photocopy of your author galley plus a cover flat and a short letter is sufficient. Also remember that the reviewers can be very busy and may not get to reading your book right away. Patience. They will get to it, but if you’re writing a category book, you may want to send the ARCs even further ahead so that the reviews will be available before your book is off the shelves.

Last but not least, remember to keep your publisher’s publicity department informed of your promotion efforts, whether big or small. The publicity department can take what you’re doing and help get the word out. Also, you can avoid duplicating efforts and save money by keeping them informed.

It’s a tough marketplace out there, but you can help your career by taking a proactive approach and planning a sound publicity plan.

Media Coaching Critical to Book Marketing and Book Publicity

Book marketing experts know that authors who get excited about landing an interview may lose sight of the goal, which is not to gain media interviews but to sell books. And it’s sad but true that an interview does not automatically generate sales. Effective interviews generate sales; ineffective interviews merely produce idle talk.

The author who can generate sales from a television or radio interview is the author who knows how to relate to the specific audience listening to that show. A book is sold when one listener “clicks” with an author because there is recognition of a common need or experience. Multiply those clicks of recognition, and you multiply sales.

The challenge for all book marketers is that authors are skilled in interviewing other people; they are not skilled in being interviewed themselves. The skills needed to generate sales from interviews are best obtained through media coaching or media training.

Media coaching will give authors the skills to learn how to use the media, not just to convey your message but to compel people to buy your book. As a book marketing expert, I can pitch an author’s story and line up a TV or Radio interview. But most authors won’t be able to amaze listeners and compel them to buy without being trained by a media coach.

A media coach will show authors how to leverage interviews to create book sales, how to feel more comfortable on air and how to relieve the stress and anxiety that can come with interviews. A good media coach also will teach the secrets behind creating effective sound bites conveying the benefits they would get by buying the book.

Specifically, a media coach will reveal tips and let you practice these tried and true techniques, including:

 How to control the interview

 How to insure your message will be effective

 How to employ bridging techniques to get back on track

 How to deal with pitfalls that come up during an interview

 How to answer the tough questions

 How to look your best on camera

 How to sound your best on radio

 How to pitch your message to the host and listener

 How to pitch without sounding like you are

 How to compel the media to discuss your book

 How producers and media people think and how to use that knowledge to your advantage

 How to relate to a specific audience

 How to leverage an interview into book sales

 How to get free publicity on TV and Radio

 How to get the media to hate you (by not returning their phone calls)

 And, how to get invited back

Media coach Jess Todtfeld, who is a former producer for Bill O’Reilly of FOX-TV’s The O’Reilly Factor, says that every interview is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to connect with an audience, to get your point of view to the masses. Most people don’t realize that it must go beyond that. You must motivate the audience to take an interest in you and “do something.” Whether it’s buying your book, going to your web site, or just finding out about you, you must compel them to take that next step. Todtfeld has seen many people use to media to get what they want, but many authors and amateurs make some of the common mistakes. He should know, he’s booked more that 4,000 TV segments with politicians, celebrities and actors on two networks. http://www.successinmedia.com

Radio Interviews provide a tremendous opportunity for authors or anyone with a story to tell. Radio interviews are great because they can be done anytime out of your home, office or automobile (if you aren’t driving). But like any successful marketing venture, radio interviews don’t just happen. Here are some very useful suggestions:

 Be on time. Call the station exactly at the time they tell you, and be at your phone waiting if the station is going to call you.

 Disable call waiting: dial *70 and then call the number. This disables call waiting for the duration of the phone call. As soon as you hang up, it will be reactivated.

 Be self-assured. Remember you know your topic inside and out. Be confident in your ability.

 Smile, smile, smile, whether on radio or TV – SMILE. You’ll feel better, and for TV you’ll look better too.

 Research the show and tailor your message accordingly. Just Google the host’s name and station. Is it a national audience or a small town in Ohio? You need to know.

 Practice your sound bites. Communicate your main points succinctly.

 Be prepared for negative comments, from the host or listeners.

 Be informative and entertaining without directly pushing your book. Make the audience “want more.”

 A kind word about the host can go a long way. It’s good manners and good business.

 A persons name is sweet music to them so commit to memory the name of the host and use it throughout the interview. When taking calls, use the names of callers too.

The last time I talked with Michael Dresser, a well-known media coach http://www.mymediacoach.com Michael told me that there are some realities he makes sure all of his clients know about the media. Dresser says “an interview is an acquired skill. It is a process with a strategy working toward a fixed finish line. Bring your message to the audience in a way that is real for them. Do this by using stories and anecdotes that allow your audience to see themselves in your interview message. Interact with your audience on a one to one basis. Think of a radio interview as an intimate conversation with a friend and not a conversation with thousands. If you stay with the process, the influence and effect of your message will match the intent you had going in. It’s important to go into the interview with a positive attitude and energetic manner. You must be entertaining, informative and persuasive, or you will talking to an empty microphone.”

I pay attention to Michael Dresser because he has been a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for 23 years, and has interviewed thousands of guests. He understands what it takes to be a great guest and understands what prevents someone from achieving that level of success in the interview process. Dresser helps people he coaches to keep their answers short, to stay focused, and to develop a message that will produce results. If you invest in a media coach, use someone like Dresser who was in the game and knows how it’s played.

Media coach and speech trainer TJ Walker [http://www.Speakcast.com] says that because talking to the media is like no other conversation you will ever have, it requires your full concentration and all the skills you can muster. Because of that demand, Walker puts his students through a live interview that he videotapes for instructional purposes. “The camera doesn’t lie,” stresses Walker. “You will learn how to look your best on TV — if not on the first take, then by the 20th take. There is no way to ‘fake it’ in my one-on-one training course. You will be in the hot seat, the lights will be shining in your eyes, and the microphone will be stuck in your face. Although not always relaxing, the videotaping will turn students into a media pro, ready for any type of media situation.”

Among the types of opportunities an author should be trained to face, says Walker, are live television and radio, ambush interviews, TV and radio talk shows, celebrity appearances, in-studio interviews, newspaper interviews, editorial board meetings, radio talk shows, Internet interviews, edited news programs, training videos, phone interviews, infomercials, press conferences, spokesperson training, and book tours.

Walker’s views are based on 22 years of training CEOs, Prime Ministers and Nobel Peace Prize winners in addition to training managers and staff in client companies such as Microsoft, Bank of America, Unilever, and McDonalds. TJ is the most widely published and produced media trainer in the globe, with more than 50 books, training videos, CDs, and software programs to his credit. I consider TJ Walker’s book, Presentation Training A-Z, to be a must-read.

I’ve heard TJ Walker say many times, and I agree with him that the successful author will carefully analyze what radio or TV shows to book. In book marketing, a book cannot be promoted without first identifying who the readers are in advance of a single sale. Find the reasons why that reader will read that book and then craft a message to be conveyed to information sources that reader relies upon.

Don’t bombard the market with propaganda but send out promotional information to selected streams that reach specific persons. That approach has always worked and always will. Salesmen know that you can’t sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo because he has no need of one, but you’d have a shot at selling him thermal underwear. So follow Walker’s advice — know your niche and then select the TV or Radio Show that your niche audience listens to or watches.

To successfully market a book, determine who will read it and then target that media directly. By way of example, one of my clients has published a book of poetry. Now the average person won’t buy a collection of poetry. However, certain people love poetry, so we aim our book marketing efforts for this client to poetry magazines, poetry web sites and poetry societies.

What Authors Need To Know About Public Relations

The book world is seeing an explosion in books coming out each year. Self-publishing has changed the book world forever. No longer do a few publishing houses control who gets published and who doesn’t. More and more people are achieving their dream of being an author. Yet the challenge for authors to stand out is even greater. There is a greater demand for book publicity than ever before. Yet for many authors book publicity can be daunting and frightening. They don’t fully understand it. Here are some essentials that authors need to know about book publicity for it to work for them.

1. Publicity does not equal sales. One of the biggest things I hear when speaking to an author is how many books will I sell based upon an interview. I tell them over and over again, there is no guarantee of sales. In today’s world book publicity allows you to reach a target audience and stand out from other authors in your genre. There is no guarantee that viewers, listeners, or readers will purchase your book based upon an interview or review but the chances of it happening increase. Many authors have heard about the sales authors have received by appearing on Good Morning America, Ellen, and of course the now defunct Oprah. Yet there is no guarantee that you will see the sales. I had one author who did FOX & friends, Good Morning America and appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today at the same time and did not see a dramatic increase in sales.

2. A publicity campaign takes time. Authors spend months and even years in writing their book and pour their heart and soul into it. A successful book publicity campaign doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and dedication. Most successful authors spend between six months to a year in publicizing their book. Sadly many authors think they can become a bestseller and get the publicity they need in a matter of days or weeks. Remember it takes time.

3. All media is important. Everyone wants to be on the Today Show, Hannity, Ellen, or The View or in the New York Times, Redbook, or Vanity Fair. Yet smaller shows or publications are just as important. First a smaller show allows you to practice your interview skills before you are on national and hone your message. Even more importantly you never know who might be listening. I had a client once who had appeared on all the major networks and seen mediocre sales. Yet he appeared on a small Miami station and sold over $40,000 worth of books because the Vice President of FedEx was listening. Every media opportunity is important.

4. Remember who you are trying to reach. Many authors when they are doing an interview forget that they are trying to reach the audience and instead try to make the interviewer like them. They react as they see the interviewer reacting. The interviewers interview hundreds of guests a year. Chances are they will forget the author and the book the next day. Authors need to remember they are targeting the listeners, the viewers, or the readers not the reporter.

5. Incorporate your social media component with your publicity campaign. Social media is important and essential to the success of any book publicity campaign. Yet many authors fail to utilize it effectively. They forget to post upcoming interviews or post the interviews after they happen. They also fail to interact with their followers and sometimes have a message different from that they are doing in their interviews. Or even worse they post the same thing on Twitter, blog, and Facebook. People know when something is programmed rather than done by a human. Always have the three different but conveying the same theme.

6. Realize you need professional help. Despite the popularity of self-published books, the industry still has a stigma with some of the media. The worst thing an author can do is add to the stigma by trying to do their own campaign. It comes off as amateurish. Seek out a professional who understands book publicity and the components of a campaign from interviews to media kits to trade shows to speaking engagements.

Publicity is a daunting and challenging proposition for anyone. For an author unfamiliar with it, publicity can be overwhelming. To ease on confusion and to ensure success, an author needs to prepare for it like they did when writing their book.

Build A Business From Scratch

My passions have always been gardening and painting. The two seem to go together and this was born out when starting a business in landscaping. It was natural to paint a picture of the finished design in my head. This led me to undertake counseling for those who could not imagine what a garden should look like. My long-standing interest in the outdoors held me in good stead as my little fingers were always in dirt from the time I could toddle.

Once advertising started and my first consulting job came to me it led to other things. The lady was so impressed with what she was offered that she paid me $400 to draw a plan of it. This was something right up my ally.

Putting my imagination to work the plan was a great success and before long there were some 2-3 per week along with consulting jobs. The main requiring for doing something like this is confidence. If one shows that they know what they are talking about and can satisfy their client with quality work, then it has to be a success.

Of course my enterprising didn’t stop there. The main point of this article is that people need to step out of their comfort zone and use their hobbies and interests to build a business. They have to start from scratch to do it but if they have enough confidence and knowledge they will success.

Mistakes will happen and that is the learning curve one has to go through. Costs of consulting work doesn’t have to be over the top as there is no outlay to doing it. Start small and build up. For consulting my charge was $75 and that is more than affordable when most landscape designers might charge 10 times that much for the same advice.

Norma Holt has knowledge that enables her to understand many issues. Political, social and behavioral problems are usually on her list for discussion as well as anything to do with the Spirit of the Universe and reincarnation, which she experienced. She is happy to hear from any of her readers.

Bring Your App Business on the Right Track

Every entrepreneur seeks to know the secret recipe for success. What strategies are made to increase the conversion rate? What are the exciting ideas that can be implemented to make the company grow? It is super strategies that create opportunities for a company. There are always some brand new ideas that you can implement to grow your business. However, not all the existing tricks will give your business a boost. It is only when the right strategies are followed at the right time and the right place that you end up having a revenue-generating business.

If you have an app business, here are 5 strategies you can follow to make sure that your business climbs the ladder of success. Let’s take a closer look:

1. Know the Purpose

To start with, in your mobile app business, it is vital to know the purpose behind the creation of an app and the audience for whom the app is created. The advantages and the true value of the app shall not be confined to the number of features it has and rather on how the user experience is. One of the most significant factors in creating compelling apps is close collaboration among developers, the quality analysis team, and designers.

2. All About Planning

It is the business plans that earn you profits. Only with clear objectives can you come up with the most suitable solutions required by customers. When it comes to creating successful apps, it definitely requires sharp focus. The complexity of a mobile app can be huge but fundamentally, an app must be designed by having an understanding of the real world. Moreover, to come up with engaging apps, it is also important to identify the exact expectations of users. So you see that accurate planning is vital for creating successful apps.

3. Choose Your Platforms Wisely

A significant part of sales depends on how you reach out to your target audience and you basically have to connect with them in the best way possible. Unlike websites, mobile applications are designed for various platforms. These days, there are multiple devices and multiple vendors. For instance, most smartphone users make use of iOS devices and others go for iPhones. Thus, the process of app development completely depends on how customer engagement can be carried out on different platforms.

4. Cross-Check the Intuitiveness of the App

Do you think that the app that you design will help in making your client’s life easier and happier? Once you design an instinctive app, it can end up giving an amazing experience to its users. Apart from integrating notable UX designs and streamlined functions, it is equally important to check whether an app is responsive enough and provides suitable performance to cater to the needs of the user. Also, ensure that the app is free from bugs.

5. Promote Your App

Promotion plays an integral role in boosting your app business. One of the most significant factors behind the popularity of an app is the way it is promoted. Adequate promotion of an app through reviews, ratings, video teasers, recordings, and social media posts helps to create a buzz among the target audience.

When it comes to the app business, the competition is stiff and if you fail to follow the right strategies, you may end up causing your app to lose its visibility among an extensive range of audience. So, follow the sure-shot strategies stated above and ensure the success of your app.

The Ways to Improve Fundraising

Donor management is never easy no matter how easy it may seem; there is always some information that you will need to get and some that you will need to impart in order to learn some of the best ways of it.

In the many things about donor management the one that counts to be the most important of all is improving fundraising and getting into the skills of it all for the best results. Here in this article are the ways you need to follow and imbibe to improve the fundraising program for your nonprofit or church.

1. Be Transparent with Your Donors – Though this might seem like an obvious point, it is usually the one that is most ignored, and the most important of all. What is important about transparency is your donors being able to trust you with all – from your plans to our ideas and ideologies. Also, this is an important point to note because only when they trust you will they be able to steward their money well and you must be able to show them you are doing so. By ‘transparent’ we mean both financial and program transparency.

Financial Transparency: You might not be considering financial transparency to be an important point but this should definitely be on your list of important things. It is considered important to release a note time to time which would show how you are allocating your funds, but your donors are not going to sit and read through that long document. Make sure you give your donors an easy way to digest how you are investing their money. Create a graph, chart, infographic etc. And if it looks like you spent more in say, fundraising, than expected, explain why. Your donors love your mission and giving them a peek behind the curtain creates a sense of belonging and teamwork.
Program Transparency: Program transparency is all about the IMPACT. If you can show your donors the impact their money has made in changing the lives of those you’re serving or where the money has impacted, you can be sure you’ve done your thing right. Create annual reports showing the graphs of how far you’ve come with the support, meanwhile mentioning exactly where you want more changes and where you’re striving to achieve more.

2. Optimize our Donor Experience – Your donors shouldn’t be there for just one years or only a period of time, and that is possible only if you manage to optimize the donor experience convincing them that there are things that’ll help you stay in contact for more than one donation period. Try personalization (which definitely does no longer mean just hey and the first name); it is always recommended to stay in touch with the donors through emails, letters and phone calls. You can segment based on last gift amount, last gift date, a specific campaign – anything. And then create fundraising messaging around each category.

3. Audit Your Systems – Thought this is not important? Wrong!!! One of the most important points to be considered to improve fundraising is to audit your system – audit on your end – use the right set of tool and the right techniques. Keep the audit impartial and keep it clear – this will help you understanding how far you’ve come with your fundraising program and exactly how far you will be able to go with it.

Fundraising for churches, charities and non profits is the thing that does the most benefit and an increase in the finds over a stipulated period of time is exactly what they’re striving for. It is therefore recommended that you use these set of tips mentioned above and create a draft accordingly of you new ideas and plans for an increase in the funds.

Different Applications Of An Industrial

An industrial oven is like a heated chamber that is used for a number of applications and also considered as thermal processing machines. A number of industries demand for the device and their need varies as per their application. Every single person when heard about the oven, so, they think of baking food in the kitchen, but, no it has many other applications other than just baking, which increases its demand in the market and especially in the industrial sectors. In case you are not aware of any of its applications, so, here we are to help you out. Read the article below and get to know about its wide applications that help you know a bit more about the device and its requirement in the different industries.

Here Are Some Common Application Of Industrial Ovens:

Powder Coating: Powder coating is important to create an extra layer of protection to the object and powder coating ovens are used for such coating, as it helps in heating to fuse into a layer when the desired temperature is reached.
Drying: The application of drying means removal of moisture from products before packing them, which ensure their long-life. And Drying Ovens are the ones that are designed for the same purpose and very helpful in removing the moisture.
Baking: Baking application here means the baking of the final products, which is performed by the industrial oven by incorporating the function of curing and drying as well. The device successfully performs this function because of its heated chamber that is meant to use for such purposes.
Curing: Another application for which an industrial oven used is curing. The device mainly coated the material to a specific temperature and holds it for a longer period.
Sterilizing: Last but not the least is sterilization. Yes, Industrial Ovens mainly the Hot Air ones are used for the purpose of sterilizing laboratory and surgical equipment like Scalpels, Spatula, Surgical Blades, and Glass Syringes, etc. The device uses dry heat to perform the process of sterilization.

Each of its application requires a specific amount of heat and different type of industrial oven and therefore, considering your application is important before investing in the device. To get a quality and feature-rich device, you should buy it from a reliable company that offers only the quality solutions. The device is available at reasonable price and offers you plenty of benefits and aids you attain your industry requirement.

Business Package Become A Casualty

Every holiday season, from late October through January, finding a reliable courier or shipping company can become a nightmare. Time sensitive packages are not always given top priority by the big courier services because of their high demand for deliveries during the holidays.

Businesses who rely on courier services throughout the year know the holiday season will become a problem for them due to the overwhelming of daily consumer shipments. Whether it’s a gift being delivered across the country or a medical lab needing sensitive packages transported a few miles away, all packages are treated the same. That means without proper care!. How many times have you seen “FRAGILE” on a package only to receive it smashed. It almost seems some courier services enjoy damaging packages. They think tossing it into the back of the truck is careful. Or rolling it like a bowling ball is fun. Well, not to the medical labs, dental offices, hospitals or other businesses that hope their package is treated with care.

Unlike a consumer who can pre-schedule their package to be delivered, many businesses do not have that luxury. Flexible delivery dates are not part of the business world. Too often a special delivery package needs to be sent within a few miles. It could be within a 100 mile radius or just a 10 mile distance. No matter how far, the package needs to get there NOW.

Don’t wait for your packages to have these issues with your existing courier service during the holiday season. One reason why this happens is they hire temporary drivers and those drivers might not be familiar with the area. And more than likely, they are paid by the hour, so what’s another hour or two on the road to them it’s more money! Managing time-sensitive packages like medical supplies, medial lab tests, or legal documents can get lost easily during this busy season. Local same day courier services are small enough yet large enough to give you the personal care for all same day deliveries.

Isn’t it be time you find a local courier service that is reliable and doesn’t hire temporary drivers? If your business has packages that need to be delivered within 100 miles, ask your business friends on who they use for their deliveries and if they are satisfied. Be sure they have a solid reputation with medical labs, hospitals, pharmacies, dental labs and other businesses that require sensitive packages to be delivered on-time. Many businesses require same day delivery!

Using Advertising Flags to Increase Your Sales

If you are going to establish a new business, know that it is not going to be an easy job. Starting a business is not about setting up a new office. As a matter of fact, the most difficult part of running a new business is getting it promoted the right way. Nowadays, you can use advertising flags for the promotion of your products and services. You can find a lot of promotional tools in the here and now. As far as choosing marketing tools is concerned, you have a lot of things to choose from. One way is to use advertising flags. Let us know more.

Advertising flags

Since technology has introduced so many ways of promoting products and services, the conventional methods have experienced a drop in popularity. They have not lost their usefulness but new methods have rose in popularity with the passage of time. Flags for advertising were used in the past and they are still very effective.

If you have made your mind to make use of this marketing tool for your business, we suggest that you learn to use them well. Given below are some tips that may help you.

Offer discounts

You can make your customers glad by offering special discounts. And for this purpose, this tool can work in an effective manner. All you have to do is put these flags on the sales counter or other areas of your office or store. The thing is that you have to place them somewhere where they can catch the eyes of the visitors.

New products or services

Another way to use them is to put them outside your physical store like the car roofs, hotels, shopping malls, busy streets and restaurants, just to name a few. if you have a new product or service to promote or you want to give a huge discount, this marketing tool can help you a lot. Just put them somewhere where you know that a lot of people see them.

Online business

The use of advertising flags is not limited to new launches and deals. You can also use them for improving your web presence, and endorsing different contests, just to name a few.

Trade shows and exhibitions

If you are going to take part in a big exhibition or show, you may be excited to see a huge audience. You may want to let the people know about your presence or participation in the event. If your prospective customers don’t know about you, they are not going to get in touch with you. Therefore, what you need to do is make them aware of your presence in an easy way. And one way of doing so is to use a promotional flag. All you have to do is put them up at the right place so that others could see it.

Business Growth Leveraging Your Personal Brand

Marketing is like sex. Everyone thinks they’re good at it.

– Steve Tobak

We are in a golden age of solopreneurs: independent, innovative experts who are turning the traditional working model on its head. No longer content with working under layers of organizational management, workers around the globe are increasingly making the decision to take full control of their careers. To carve their own niche and capitalize on their skills. To join the solo revolution.

And you are one of them. A revolutionary!

Creating your own brand has never been easier. With the explosion of social media, solopreneurs have immediate access to billions of people around the world. You can speak directly to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Likewise, the number of services and products consumers have instant access to is infinite. Neither business nor buyer is bound by location anymore.

It is an incredibly liberating age. But it’s also one that some entrepreneurs and businesses find overwhelming.

We’re Living in a Digital-First World

In his book Ctrl Alt Delete, Mitch Joel discusses the term “digital first”. He reveals the five key movements that organizations must embrace to future-proof themselves – or go out of business. One of these shifts is the fact that now, the first place your brand and business are validated is online. Essentially, the internet and social media have the power to make or break your chances of success.

Serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk is a great example of how to cultivate a successful business by leveraging digital media. Born in the Soviet Union in 1975, Vaynerchuk immigrated to the United States in 1978. From humble beginnings, his father went on to own a liquor store in New Jersey. In the early days of the digital-first world, Vaynerchuk could see the burning potential of his father’s business. After graduating from college, Vaynerchuk transformed the liquor shop into a retail wine store, which he named the Wine Library. In 2006, he started a daily video blog, Wine Library TV. This hugely popular webcast turned him into an internet celebrity. It attracted 90,000 viewers a day and led to a flurry of TV and speaking engagements. In just six years, Vaynerchuk grew the family business from $1 million a year to a whopping $50 million a year.

Not too bad for a small family business, right?

So, as you can see, traditional marketing has been blown out of the water. We’re no longer restricted to cold calling and setting up meeting after meeting to generate leads and sales. Digital marketing has opened an array of cost-effective avenues for self-promotion and lead generation. Sales are now about leveraging your social networks, engaging with people online and educating.

This is, essentially, the social sales model: (see link below)

Today, the businesses and entrepreneurs that make the most impact on their audiences are role models. They’re trusted advisers who create tribes – powerful online communities that help their brands grow. They educate and provide solutions. They’ve jumped on board the social sales train and embrace the connection economy whole-heartedly. Because if you don’t, you get left behind.

But we can’t rest on our laurels. We must build on this massive sales reform and look to the future. We must become industry ambassadors. We must become thought leaders who engage meaningfully with our followers, share generously of our expertise and regard our audiences not just as leads or dollar signs, but as lifetime partnerships.

Why Stand Out from the Crowd

Solopreneurs are the way of the future. They account for 61% of Australian businesses[1]. And with the advent of freelance sites such as Upwork, 99designs, Freelancer and Airtasker, an increasing number of Australians are freelancing. According to freelance marketplace Elance-oDesk, 30% of the Australian workforce – or 3.7 million people – undertake some sort of freelance work[2].

Digital marketing presents an enormous opportunity for solopreneurs. According to Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange, the average person spends two hours a day on the internet. Furthermore, IBM’s Global CEO Study found that CEOs believe social media utilization for customer engagement will increase by 256% over five years. This means social media will become the second-most popular way to engage customers after face-to-face communication.

Social media has created a level playing field. It’s cheap and readily available. You don’t need large amounts of money to build a business. You don’t even need an existing client base – you can start one from scratch online. The internet has given everyone the potential to create a successful solo business.

But there’s a downside to this equal opportunity. Despite the accessibility of social media, one of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs continue to face is finding leads and retaining clients.

The digital marketplace means you’re competing against everyone else with a business like yours. You can’t simply create a LinkedIn or Facebook account and expect clients to come to you. How will they know you’re there? What makes you stand out? When everyone else is pushing their own unique selling point, what will make people choose you?

In a world where customers have immediate access to information on every kind of business around the world, it’s hard to cut through the noise. To gain that competitive edge, you must create a connection.

Being a solopreneur is not enough. You must bond with your audience by offering more than your products and services alone. You need to educate, lead and gain trust. You need to make a real difference to the lives of your clients.

Position, Position, Position

Positioning is fundamental to creating trust and having influence. It’s more than just creating an image. It’s about owning your space in your industry. It’s about flexing your expertise, starting conversations, changing the game, creating engaging content and enlightening others. It’s about being the go-to expert for peers and clients needing guidance.

And it’s what leads to sales.

When you have a rock-solid positioning, your return on investment is second to none. Digital media and technology company Burst Media’s 2014 Influencer Marketing Benchmarks Report found that on average, marketers who implemented an Influencer marketing program in 2014 received $6.85 in earned media value for every $1 of paid media.[3] The primary tools used in Influencer marketing were:

Blog posts
Social syndication and branded content distribution
Influencers and influential content

Blogs. Content. Social media. These are indispensable, cost-effective tools if you want to elevate your positioning from business owner to leading industry expert. And they are what will build your audience’s trust in you.