Before you publish your first book or launch your book’s Kickstarter campaign, you first need to warm-up your audience.
Marketing experts talk about audience warmth and how warmer audiences have much higher rates of conversion (meaning, they see your post or ad and buy your book right away).
How important is it to warm up your audience?
Cold traffic usually sees 2% conversion rate vs. warm/hot audiences with 65%-75% conversion rates.
Ooh, la la! How can we get more of that hot traffic?
I don’t know about you, but if I’m spending money on Facebook ads, I want the best conversion rates possible.
Many authors haven’t a clue as to how to build OR warm up their audience. Fortunately, conducting audience education will do both.
Don’t underestimate the amount of effort required to build an audience
It’s easy to underestimate how much work is required in building an audience. We often see successful authors launching their next books with ease and a minimal marketing strategy with great success.
Established authors who have published multiple books have built a devoted following of hot or warm audiences.
Their readers are already familiar with their work and are hungry for the next book to come out. As a result, they don’t need to do a fraction of the education that we need to do as first-time authors.
They already did the work and developed trust over time by consistently delivering high-quality books and content.
These authors don’t necessarily need to do a book launch campaign that spans several months with each new release because their audience is already warmed up.
In this article, I assume that we are all working with zero audience and need to build from scratch.
Here are some tips for building and warming up your audience before you launch:
Cold traffic: These people have never heard of you or your book(s) before.
Direct cold traffic to things of value:
- a podcast where you discuss the origin story behind your book
- a blog about the important topics your book addresses
- an infographic about something interesting about your audience, book, or topic area
- research findings that support why your book is so important to read
- a survey asking them questions that are related to your book’s topic
- a behind-the-scenes look at creating the book
At the bottom of each of these ‘destinations’ invite them to subscribe to your newsletter so you can continue to engage with them in a meaningful way.
Warm traffic: These people know of you and follow you on social media or subscribed to your newsletter.
Direct warm traffic to next-level stuff:
- download a lead magnet: free e-book, excerpt of your book, or a companion PDF
- informational webinars
- invite them to in-person events
- special offers or discounts on your book(s)
Hot traffic: These people have purchased from you in the past.
Direct hot traffic to your books/offers:
- straight to sales pages like your book’s Amazon link.
- Pay-per-click ads on Amazon and Facebook
Keep in mind that only a fraction of your audience will be hot but be sure to segment them from the cold/warm readers so you can send them the right messages.
Learning from Mistakes
I’ve made a TON of mistakes and didn’t realize why my Facebook and Amazon ads weren’t converting well.
The problem was that I was treating cold traffic like hot traffic and was directing people straight to my sales page in my paid ads.
I ended up wasting money on ads that never converted and even worse, I missed opportunities to engage with my audience.
I want to make it clear that I’m still learning and experimenting with all of these techniques. I don’t think that will ever stop.
As you grow and engage with your audience, send them different content and see what resonates.
Maybe your audience loves to read blogs, maybe some love to listen to podcasts, maybe they love infographics. Who knows?
Discover what your audience likes, what you like to create, and either strike a compromise or do one or two formats really well.
For example, I really enjoy making videos and I think they allow a lot of my personality to shine through. But, I also know that due to my time zone, my audience doesn’t see my live videos until hours later.
Because my audience (you all!) love to read, I write blogs and occasionally include videos at the bottom. I also include a link to the related blog in the videos that I post to YouTube. (Subscribe to my YouTube channel here.)
It took me time and some professional help to figure out a marketing strategy for my business. Here’s what I did to improve my conversion rates.
Bring in Some Experts
Overall business strategy help
I had no idea how to strategize the marketing plan for my business, so I invested in small business marketing coaching with Stephanie Ward at Firefly Coaching. We did a deep dive, six-month coaching plan where she met with me 45-minutes/month and gave me a huge to-do list at the end of each session.
Stephanie was great at analyzing my strengths and steering me toward bolstering my weak areas. Our sessions gave me the confidence to step outside of my comfort zone and take bigger risks.
Click here to visit Stephanie’s website to see if she can help you.
My website was somewhat of a mess and my marketing friend, Amel Derragui, kept giving me tiny pointers here and there. It was clear that I needed to fully hire her services in order to improve the navigability of my website and grow my audience. After making her suggested changes, my website now receives TONS of compliments from visitors and my newsletter list is growing.
Click here to see if Amel can help you optimize your website and grow your audience.
Improving my cold traffic conversions
When it comes to cold traffic, you need to have the right keywords and ad copy in place. I’m currently working with Laurie Wright on my Amazon keywords, book blurbs, author bio, and ad copy.
Improving your business requires investment, constant education, and involving experts when you’re out of your depth. Don’t be afraid to hire experts.
You can still learn everything on your own, but be prepared to spend a lot of time and money while you are experimenting and figuring things out during the learning process.
Crowdfunding Authors Often Overestimate the Warmth of Their Audience
Don’t make the mistakes I did and send cold traffic directly to your sales pages (i.e., your book’s Kickstarter page).
I see this all of the time with authors who run Kickstarter campaigns.
Crowdfunding authors will often direct people to their campaign page, which has a much lower conversion rate than if they directed them to a blog, video, or infographic, throughout their entire campaign.
Also, most readers are unfamiliar with crowdfunding and don’t know what’s happening or how to proceed.
Instead of asking you, your readers feel overwhelmed and close their browser’s tab without doing anything.
Educate your audience first
You need to educate your readers about your book, send them to blogs, podcasts, and articles to warm them up before you can send them to your Kickstarter sales page.
Once they are there, you need the right copy, graphics, and engaging video to convince them your book is worth backing.
Not sure if your campaign page will convert? I’m happy to review your campaign page before you launch.
Here’s an external marketing-specific article on How to Warm and Convert Your Cold Traffic.