Inspiration, Writing

Digital marketing 101: Tips for a modern age

I hate sales. I always have. I don’t like when people try to sell me things I don’t want or need. I find it absolutely infuriating. And I always thought marketing was about sales, so I thought I hated marketing.

Then I started to do marketing. I wasn’t selling. I was writing copy, telling stories, and joining in the online conversation.

The key to marketing is starting a conversation with your people, whether you have followers or not.

That’s the whole reason we’re writers, right? To start and join conversations. We have a story to share with the world, or at least a few people in the world. We need to not only learn how to tell our stories, but to also market them and ourselves.

I know, I know. Marketing myself as an author sounds way more intimidating than marketing businesses for my job. I think that’s partially why I hide behind my editing and procrastinate on my goals – the fear.

The fear that others will judge our stories. Not just editors and critics, but regular people, too.

The things is, your story is not meant for everybody. Just like a product is not meant for everybody. That’s why so many businesses can be successful simultaneously.

If there’s room for multiple, similar businesses, there’s room for multiple, similar authors.

So don’t be afraid to tell your story. Tell it the best way you can. Then share it with others. Critique partners and editors, and then the world. Because it’s okay to share a piece of yourself with the world. You will survive.

Modern marketing is all about getting personal.

You don’t need to share your deepest, darkest secrets. But you do need to be honest, raw, and real. You do need to be vulnerable – as much as you can handle. The right people will respond favorably to your story, to you.

Yes, there will be some haters. But there will always be the jealous ones. Learn from them, if you can, but otherwise ignore them. Stick to your story and with your people.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Even though you can publish an eBook or social media post in a few minutes, digital marketing isn’t instantaneous. It takes time. Most people don’t gain a large following in minutes or even a year. Most people take years to amass followers and create their tribe.

The key to digital marketing is patience and consistency.

Consistently share quality content – and I don’t just mean your books. That’s why most modern authors have author platforms with websites, social media pages, private groups, and email lists. They communicate with their readers to continue the relationships and reader loyalty.

Your people will respond to your story and personality, not your sales pitch.

Your people might love your product, but that’s after you market it. You first must add them to your community and show them around. You must provide them value, a peek into what your story entails.

Whether you’re starting a business or hoping to market your latest book, don’t view marketing as a necessary evil. It is necessary, but it’s actually a wonderful part of the process. We get to join the conversation in so many ways. Just choose your conversation and your platform.

Challenge: Market yourself this week. Nothing salesy. Just share a tiny piece of yourself with the world. This could be on your blog, social media pages, or in-person.

Resources: I’m currently reading NEVER LOSE A CUSTOMER AGAIN: TURN ANY SALE INTO LIFELONG LOYALTY IN 100 DAYS by Joey Coleman and A TRIBE CALLED BLISS: BREAK THROUGH SUPERFICIAL FRIENDSHIPS, CREATE REAL CONNECTIONS, REACH YOUR HIGHEST POTENTIAL by Lori Harder. I highly suggest you read them if you’re interested in marketing and finding/creating your tribe. I also suggest listening to the RISE podcast by Rachel Hollis and Christy Wright’s Business Boutique podcast; both women also have books.


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