Do you have a best friend? That special someone you’ve had stand by your side for years and years and years? Well get ready to nudge them to one side because you’re about to get a new one…the foundations of your Marketing Strategy!
That’s right welcome back to the How To Build An Author House Series. In this post we’ll complete the Aims & Objectives of the Marketing Strategy, creating a set of pointers to aim for in the coming months and years. In the previous post (Author Marketing Part 5: Are You As Strong As Your Writing) we looked at the individual strengths and weaknesses, as well as the market you’re looking to get into. We will now complete this process by considering these aspects, your Brand Identity, and the Vision Statement created earlier in the strategy.
As I mentioned in the previous post there’s often some confusion to certain terms at this point, these being:
Aims = What you hope to achieve
Objectives = The plan in how you’re going to achieve it
Tactics = The elements you’ll use to make this happen
You can disregard Tactics for now because these come later, but the Aims & Objectives are absolutely key at this stage because it’ll determine what you wish to achieve and an idea of how you’re going to achieve them. Before I show you my Aims & Objectives though let me give you one more rule to stick to, that of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time Bound). I’m sure there are a few of you vaguely remembering this from school now, but it’s an absolute must when creating your aims in my opinion. It helps keep them realistic and relevant, which in the long run is rather important.
After carefully considering my strengths, weaknesses, brand identity, vision, and general market, I’ve come up with the following Aims & Objectives for my author platform:
1- To publish my first Fiction book in January 2013
- To have at least 3 Beta Readers look at my book in the next 4 months
- To approach at least 30 Literary Agents in 2012
- To approach at least 20 Publishers in 2012
- To create a Marketing Plan for this book by December 2012
2- To achieve 5,000 Blog views in a single month by October 2012
- To complete this Marketing Strategy (Author Platform) by April 2012
- To have at least one guest Blogger per month, with a total of at least 15 by December 2012
- To grow my Social Media Network by at least 500% (including at least 1,000 Twitter Followers and 100 Facebook Likes) by January 2013
- Produce at least 2 Blog Posts per week, as well as daily interactions on the other social networks involved in.
3- To improve my knowledge of writing, publishing, and self-publishing throughout 2012
- Attend at least 1 Writers Conference in 2012
- Join a book/writers club by May 2012
- Read at least 25 Books in 2012
As you can see I haven’t gone overkill because I’ve always thought less is more. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to the number of Aims & Objectives, but I always use the rule of 3-5. There’s no science behind this, but it’s always treated me well and helps focus on the important things.
With regards to you choosing your Aims & Objectives you need to consider everything you’ve gone through so far:
- Look at your vision statement and decide what you really want.
- Analyse your Brand Identity and how to use this to enhance your author platform
- Delve into your strengths, weaknesses, and the market you’re looking to get into, and how you can position these to grow your author platform.
If you do this then you should come up with a few BIG things you want to achieve, and a few BIG ideas on how you can go about achieving them.
If you go back and look at my previous posts you should hopefully see some links between my Vision, Mission, Brand, Strengths, Weaknesses and Market. I want to become an established writer and marketer, so publishing a book and establishing my Blog is a large priority. I also consider my writing and publishing knowledge to be a weakness, so this is again another key aim of mine.
Turn to the objectives and you’ll see them centred on building on my strengths (social media, marketing, communication etc), and improving my weaknesses (don’t take criticism well, so send to lots of agents and editors).
By creating these you now have an identity and direction to base your author marketing activities around. Whenever you come across something new, start doubting yourself, or become confused at where you’re going wrong, you can look at these and ask, “Does this fit?”
You can look at your Vision and see if you’re being true to yourself, consult your Brand Identity and ask if you’re still spreading the right word, and glance at your Aims & Objectives to make sure you’re still on track. Without these it’s easy to get lost, but with them you can head down on this crazy journey and be safe and happy along each step.
So there you have it, we‘ve finished the first layer of the Marketing Strategy and we can now kick on to the more exciting things of the author platform (aka Your Audience & Tactics). In my next post I’ll organise all the key points covered so far in a nice and easy to use document. This will come in handy when things go wrong, get dark, or generally need reminding about what’s going on. With a foundation now set you’ll forever have somewhere to turn, and your author marketing activities can flourish instead of stuttering along.
Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million
> How’s your author marketing going so far?
> Are you able to see all the links from your Vision, to Brand, to Aims & Objectives?
> What are the Aims & Objectives you’ve set?