I saw it again last week. An author encouraging more random people to ‘like‘ her page so they can reach 500 fans. I thought OK, so then what’s your plan?
This was not the first time I’ve seen a new author shouting ‘follow me‘ or ‘like my page‘ in some hope that simply having more people means that the author will miraculously sell loads of books the next time they spam the wall with “Buy my book, it’s now available for 0.99c“.
I have news for this author. She’ll be lucky if there’s 10 people that actually click her link. Period.
Why? Because she’s not engaged with her followers. She’s not connecting with them. She’s completely forgotten the fact they are not just ‘fans’ and ‘followers’ but REAL people.
People only listen, invest or purchase from those they ‘know, like and trust’. You’ve probably heard me say this before.
You would never buy a used car from some stranger off the street would you? No, you would either take their card, call them back or meet them at the garage to chat and see whether they are genuine. Then if you are comfortable, you’ll be more warm to the idea of buying their car.
It’s the same thing on Facebook and Twitter for authors selling books.
In fact it’s the same for businesses as well. At the time of this writing I currently have 181 Facebook fans for Book Cover Cafe. It’s not 10,000 and you know what? I’m totally fine with that. I get to interact, help and assist many of those fans every day, via email, projects, meetings and social media interactions. I love the engagement. I’m helping real people, reach real goals with real results. A 27 hour day would be nice though!
So how do authors do it? Give value to readers first. Ask them questions, give free content such as article or story tips, free downloads, books in progress, videos and giveaways. Give them a reason to follow you. Give them value and start engaging with them. People want to connect with people, so let your personality come through a little. Tim Ferris of the Four Hour Body and Kim McCosker of the 4Ingredients are two examples who continually do this well.
Then over time when you have something to offer or present to them, they’ll be far more receptive of listening and taking action, in this case buying your book.
Authors will see far more results from engaging with 100 fans or followers that look forward to every update, than having 10,000 who have forgetton about you because you just spam ‘buy now’ posts and become another forgettable face in the social media crowd.
So the numbers don’t really matter, because it’s the quality of the people you connect with, not the quantity.
3, 2, 1 … Engage!