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SPF-022: Using Facebook, Twitter and YouTube Ads for Effective Lead Generation and Book Sales

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Social Media Ads are a big focus of our work here at the Self Publishing Formula simply because the days when you could organically drive traffic to your website and book sales pages through normal social media interaction are gone. That’s not only because social media is becoming more and more crowded but also because platforms like Facebook are adjusting their algorithms to make that kind of reach virtually impossible. Why? Because they want you to use their advertising platform instead. In this episode James and Mark give a summary of social media advertising and why they feel it’s the best approach for every self published author to find and target a specific niche of readers.

Facebook Ads for Authors: Which came first, the course or the need for it?

You might expect that a guy who’s created a course called “Facebook Ads for Authors” would tout using Facebook Ads. It’s in his own interest, after all. But in Mark’s case, he didn’t create the course because he knew it would sell (though he did know that). He created the course because he understood the changes to social media landscape and figured out how to leverage those changes to his own benefit. If authors are going to be successful at building a mailing list and selling books through social media, one great way is going to be through social media advertising platforms. The course is one opportunity for you to make that pivot alongside Mark, gleaning his hard learned lessons without having to make the same mistakes he did. This insightful episode will have you thinking differently about your social media strategy as an author and help you understand the need to tweak your approach and how to do it.

Why not every indie author will get the same results from Facebook advertising.

You might think that once you learn how to use Facebook advertising as an author, you’re all set. But it’s not that simple. Every advertising campaign targets a particular niche or genre fan base. Your appeal to your ideal reader may be effective but they may not have the means to respond as you’d like. You’ll hear more insights about issues like this in this episode about social media advertising.

But there are other social media advertising platforms out there.

The Facebook Ads platform is the most mature of the social media options but that doesn’t mean it’s the only one that works. In this episode Mark and James chat about their experience using both Twitter and Youtube ads and give you some hard numbers on the results they’ve seen. Depending on your market those may be very profitable platforms for you to learn and apply to drive mailing list signups and sell more books by building a larger fanbase. Hear the basics of how these platforms work in this episode.

Driving opt-ins to your mailing list is just as important as selling books.

One of your goals with any advertising is to sell books. But keep in mind that it’s only ONE of the goals. Mark believes that even more important than getting that one time sale is starting an ongoing relationship with a fan who could not only purchase more books in the future but also become part of a community that supports your work over the long haul. That happens through fan conversations, word of mouth, online community interactions, and much more. Find out why Mark says that building your email list is the most important thing you can do as an author – and why he recommends social media advertising as the best way to do that.

Outline of this great episode

  • [0:40] Introduction to this episode of the podcast about paid advertising.
  • [3:52] The Facebook Ads course was created because Facebook works.
  • [4:45] Why organic Facebook interaction is not enough these days.
  • [8:03] Is Facebook still good for paid ads geared toward sales and list building?
  • [11:08] How lead capture is working on Facebook these days (2016).
  • [13:20] How Mark also offers a purchase option during his lead capture process.
  • [14:30] How Facebook works best for direct sales of books.
  • [17:24] Why every business needs a mailing list.
  • [19:12] How Facebook is working for selling books in Mark’s experience.
  • [22:43] The reality of how Twitter ads work.
  • [29:07] New experiments using Youtube ads.
  • [32:12] How to get a FREE conversion on Youtube ads.
  • [33:41] The different types of videos you can use on Youtube.
  • [37:25] The problems James had with getting Youtube videos U.S. to work.
  • [38:43] The up and coming social media ad platforms.
  • [41:15] Lead generation and remarketing on Youtube ads.
  • [44:26] The ongoing changes to social media ad platforms.

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SPF-016: From Police Officer to Gazillion-Selling Novelist: Clare Mackintosh’s story

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In this episode we’ve included a great conversation with the author of smash hit crime thrillers, Clare Mackintosh. Clare is traditionally published but the lessons she’s learned about rewriting, editing, and Facebook fan interaction have a lot to each Indie and Self Published authors, so we thought it would be a valuable conversation to bring you. There’s no doubt that lessons learned on both side of the publishing divide can benefit authors residing in each place, so please, make the time to listen – there’s lots to learn here.

A massively successful author talks about the agony of rewriting.

Clare Mackintosh is name that is well known in the UK and is just now coming into prominence in the fiction realm of other markets, most notably the U.S. Her success has been staggering to say the least, and she says that much of it comes from the hard work put in to rewrite her books even after she received a book deal. No less than 5 rewrites of her book between the time she accepted a book deal and it actually published, and she says that every step was one she would gladly do again because they were steps that made the book even better and more successful. You can hear Clare’s journey from Police Officer to successful author in this episode of the podcast.

As a self-published author, maybe you could use a little more rewriting.

Being self-published, you likely don’t have someone holding your feet to the fire, requiring you to rewrite or reorganize large sections of your book like Clare Mackintosh did. But that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be a good idea. Most of us could use some distance from our writing (taking some time off) and then come back to it with eyes that are somewhat fresh. That sort of practice could help you get the perspective you need to do some rewrites that would truly be beneficial, even if you don’t have an agent or publisher breathing down your neck. What do you think? Could you apply the same lessons Clare learned through her rewriting process to your own workflow? Hear her entire story in this episode.

Understanding the social media platforms is key to your success in using them for promotions.

Clare Mackintosh has established a very active, thriving community of fans on Facebook and has a very large following on Twitter as well. But she’s quick to point out that the two platforms are very different and as a result, her goals in using each of them is very different. While the majority of people she interacts with on Facebook have read one or more of her books, the majority she chats with on Twitter have not. That alone requires a different approach. Clare has great advice for self published authors about how to approach the various platforms based on their unique characteristics, and how to share in a way that fits the platform. It’s all in this episode of The Self Publishing Formula.

Once again, the power of the email list comes to the forefront.

It’s normal to hear self published authors talking about the significance of having an email list of raving fans to market new books and projects to. But today you get to hear the same story from the mouth of a very successful traditionally published author, Clare Mackintosh. Clare runs her own email list follow up with those who purchase her books and she uses many of the same approaches and tactics that Indie Authors use. You can hear the success Clare has experienced from doing personalized follow up with her readers and how she uses it to her advantage, in this episode.

Outline of this great episode

  • [1:34] James and Mark welcome you to this episode.
  • [4:19] Today’s guest: Clare Mackintosh.
  • [5:08] Clare’s journey from her police job to writing.
  • [7:07] The amazing amount of work going from self publishing to traditional publishing.
  • [10:24] The brutal process of going through numerous re-writes.
  • [12:35] The personal story behind the writing and transition to being a writer.
  • [14:08] The differences in payments through self publishing and traditional publishing.
  • [15:55] Writing lessons learned about how to tell a better story.
  • [18:29] The themes that carried through all the edits to the end.
  • [24:15] The way Clare handles her own mailing list and career.
  • [28:31] The type of platform Clare had in place when she first began.
  • [30:35] The success and power of Clare’s Facebook page.
  • [32:35] The importance of sharing native content to each platform.
  • [36:05] A typical day for Clare.
  • [39:11] Future writing plans in terms of genre.
  • [42:42] The odds of success are greater for self publishing.
  • [43:36] Get into the Facebook Ads for Authors course.

Resources & Links mentioned in this episode

The Facebook Ads for Authors Course (course closes 14th June 2016)

Clare’s books: I Let You Go and I See You

Clare on Twitter: @ClareMackint0sh

Clare on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ClareMackWrites

 

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