Writing a book is challenging enough, but marketing it to your audience is a whole different process. It can require a particular skill set that some authors might not have. That is where digital marketing experts like Vince De Benedetto come to the rescue with their services.
Vince joins us on the Interviews With Experts Podcast to talk about marketing for authors. He is the CEO of Automated Dreams, a marketing firm that focuses on creating strategies and building business systems for the modern day solopreneur.
In this blog, we’re going to discuss what it means to be a digital marketer, the solopreneur journey, and what authors have to keep in mind when promoting their book.
Vince’s digital marketing background
According to Vince, what led him to find his niche in marketing was his spontaneity.
Vince: “In college, I had four or five different marketing internships. I was doing market research for a security firm, market research in social media for an eastern medicine clinic, and got involved with a newspaper for a social media company. Right into my MBA, I also worked in what they call the experiential marketing department in Intel, but found out that it wasn’t for me. A week after I quit, they laid everybody off with a day’s notice.
I knew that big companies weren’t where I wanted to be, which is what led me to accept a great opportunity when a really close friend became CEO of a company called Planet Sark – Sark stands for ‘Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy’, who is an author of 17 bestselling books.
She’s best known for her handwritten books, and has her own font called ‘Sark font’. She has paintings, blankets and built a huge following. So I dived into a fanatical author universe.”
Find your happiness
Vince was able to find his way into the digital marketing world by helping a famous author develop her brand, but he also learned an important lesson about life through this experience.
Vince: “If I’m not happy with what I’m doing in my life, then I’m the only person who can change it. Authors are free spirits. They’re entrepreneurs. They do what they want, and so, it makes me think I should be happy.
For an author, there’s no such thing as work-life balance because their work is their life. So, I don’t believe in a work-life balance. I believe in a life balance. If you spend 40 hours a week doing what you love, then that is time well spent. Working with an author has brought out a greater sense of gratitude and appreciation for life, creativity, all of that good stuff.”
The wealth of marketing for authors
I was particularly interested to learn whether working with authors on their digital marketing was different to working with those in any other industries or professions.
Vince: “Depending on the author, and what genre they write in, the approach can vary. We dealt with a lot of creative writers, for example, and they want nothing to do with business. It was messy for them to adjust to the reality of marketing, but also a necessary evil for them to put their work on a platform and amplify it into the world.
I learned that authors were more willing to just trust the experts. They will find the digital marketing expert and ask them for help, while also asking what they need from them. So what’s really great with authors in particular, is that they will deliver you content when you ask for it, whereas if you ask for emails or landing page copy from people in any other industry, it’s like pulling teeth.”
When I asked Vince to explain what he does to help new authors promote their work, this is what he had to share:
Vince: “I really start with their business systems, because authors usually don’t have a team of people helping them. But in order to play in the digital marketing realm, you have to have that. You need these foundational core systems like your CRM, your mailing system, and if you have a large (or you plan to have a large) social media presence, you need to be able to track it somehow. So it’s really about starting to build those tools that will support them where they are now and then their growth in the future without having to manage a big team because that’s why they became authors in the first place – so they wouldn’t have to have a big team and build a big company.
From the get go, it’s about creating these simplified systems that streamline certain processes that should be automated and allow them to live and work in a creative space. The last thing authors want to do is bookkeeping, accounting and customer service.”
Customer journey mapping
After a little more conversation, Vince walked us through his “customer journey mapping” process (or “user flow mapping”). It helps Vince with the technical aspect of connecting readers to the author’s books, while also selling customers on other things they have to offer.
Many authors are not the most tech-savvy people out there. This is something Vince learned through his experience of working with these kinds of creative souls.
Vince: “I learned very early on that I should not overwhelm people with what technology I’m going to use, and what strategies I’m going to incorporate. I just ask simple questions. What do you want? What’s your dream business? What does your dream relationship with your clients look like? And then we build the pieces after that. I don’t start talking about technology until after I know exactly what they want their business to look like on paper.”
Are you already an author or are you working on your first book? If you need help promoting your work, you can reach out to Vince through his email firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you are an entrepreneur with a book idea, you can get in touch with us via the Write Business Results website.