Category Archives: Marketing

Social Media and the Speaker

by Gail Z. Martin excerpted from 30 Days to Social Media Success

Speakers today face tough competition. Economic uncertainty has led many companies and organizations to scale back on events and to renegotiate speaker fees and reimbursement. Despite those hardships, speaking to groups is still an important income stream for many experts, and a way to gain recognition for coaches, consultants and authors.

Much of the advice for authors in the previous chapter can also be applied for speakers. Many speakers also have books or info products they’ve written, so they can benefit from promoting both their books and their availability as a speaker. Social media can lend a hand.

Provide a free sample

Event organizers are understandably reluctant to book a speaker they’ve never seen. You can use web video to help overcome that reluctance by providing planners with a free sample of your speaking technique. Planners may check out your web site before contacting you for a full demo DVD, so a couple of short clips that show your strengths as a presenter may be enough to encourage them to move further with the process of booking you for their event.

Don’t stop with posting clips to your main web site. Utilize video on your Facebook and LinkedIn sites, and Tweet about new YouTube videos when you post them. You can also include your new videos on your blog, with the opportunity to add extra commentary or insights.

Event planners like to see evidence that you’re in demand as a speaker. Blog and Tweet about your upcoming events, and update your Facebook and LinkedIn status when you’re heading out for events and when you post photos, video or a recap after the event. When you speak, invite listeners to become your social media friends, fans and followers, and encourage them to post comments on what has been most helpful about your presentation.

Work with event promoters before and after the events where you speak. Offer to provide guest blogs or articles related to your topic, and be sure to send them your YouTube video. Always ask for recommendations, and post these on your sites.

Audio samples are also great previews of what you offer as a speaker. When you do a teleclass or a radio interview, include a link to the audio on your web site. Choose a snappy segment of a teleseminar to keep it short, but be sure to showcase both your knowledge and your delivery style.

Now through December 31, 2015 the Kindle edition of 30 Days to Social Media Success is specially priced at just $5.99!

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Filed under Business Planning, Coaching, Gail Z. Martin, Marketing, Uncategorized

Take It To The Street

by Gail Z. Martin excerpted from 30 Days to Social Media Success

Radio stations have long used “street teams” of interns or volunteers to post flyers, stuff mailboxes and raise buzz about upcoming events and new artists. You can create your own street team and leverage the social media power of your most avid online friends and followers by offering them the opportunity to promote a cause or product they believe in.

This works especially well for products that have a highly targeted niche audience, passionate users and a sense of mission. For example, authors and bands often recruit street teams to help spread the word about a new book or CD. Nonprofits and cause-related organizations frequently recruit street teams in the context of grassroots-level fundraisers, whether they are 5K races, cookie sales or jump rope marathons.

Street team success requires you to have a highly developed knowledge of your core audience and most devoted fans, and to know what motivates them. Meaningful motivation can be surprisingly inexpensive, and can include recognition, coupons, t-shirts, photos posted online, or the ability to contribute content or input. Authors have sometimes rewarded dedicated street team members by using their name for a character in an upcoming book. Bands give away t-shirts and CDs, or special song or video downloads.

Street teams can be especially effective when their members have credibility within an audience that may be distrustful of traditional advertising or are too small to reach effectively through normal advertising channels. The effectiveness of the street team lies in its members being bona fide members of the target audience or having credibility within the audience as informal leaders and trendsetters. For example, a company selling to college students could recruit street teams who would be able to pass out coupons and promotional items on campus and in dormitories, where traditional advertising might not penetrate. Jewelers or clothing manufacturers who sell to an ethnic minority or recent immigrant audience could leverage the credibility of street team members within a difficult-to-reach audience where relationships and word of mouth have high value.

Social media becomes a key component in keeping touch with your street team members and recruiting new members. It’s important to remember that street teamers only participate for as long as being part of the team is fun and personally rewarding. Turnover is high, and street teams should be handled gently to avoid burnout. Always remember that they are doing you a huge favor by passing along your information for free, and treat them graciously. Be lavish with praise, recognition and whatever freebies you can offer. Make it fun and easy for them to share your message without compromising their credibility or integrity.

With today’s growing variety of social media choices, your sales promotion possibilities are limited only by your imagination. When you involve customers in creating the promotion, they’re eager to pass it along to their friends.

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Social Media and Sales Promotion

by Gail Z. Martin excerpted from 30 Days to Social Media Success

All sales take place within a community of some kind. That may be a small town, a big city, a region, a country or the global marketplace, but the community is an essential part of the sales process.

Sales occur because the buyer perceives an urgent need. Sales promotion can’t create that need, but it can stoke the sense of urgency, and it can overcome objections by making it easy to buy under very favorable terms.

    Social media offers powerful new ways to provide unique promotions to your friends, fans and followers. You can create special sales or packages just for your social media audience, and get feedback from customers and prospects on what kinds of sales or promotional offers they’d most like to receive. You can also use social media to create incentives for your online friends, fans and followers to become your virtual sales force and help you spread the word.

The power of promotion

Everyone loves to be “in the know.” People are attracted by the opportunity to be a VIP and to be inside the inner circle, receiving special benefits not available to everyone. Social media creates a new way to offer coupons, discounts and advance information on sales and specials to the people who have become your online friends, fans and followers. By combining the best features of opt-in email marketing and direct response mailings (without the cost of postage), social media promotion can augment your existing promotional strategy and win a loyal following.

One form of social media sales promotion is the rise of web sites (with internal social media components like blogging and Tweeting) that help customers shop for bargains by maximizing their use of coupons. Sites like teach shoppers how to get the best value for their grocery dollar while sharing coupons and strategies to reduce costs. These sites create loyal followings and also provide rich territory for marketers to find out sales and product preferences.

If you offer daily or weekly specials, use social media to let your friends and followers know. Tweet about your flavor of the day or about special pricing on limited-quantity items. Blog about upcoming sales with an insider’s eye toward getting maximum shopping value. Provide real user benefit by helping shoppers learn how to get better value and stretch their dollars by sharing savvy shopping strategies.

Build on the tried-and-true idea of a VIP membership with social media. Create a Facebook or Twitter page around your VIP specials. Sure, everyone can read the page, but only your VIPs get the specials, creating “results envy” and encouraging non-members to join the club. Or, create your own membership site for your VIPs with a .Ning site. If you have a VIP area on your web site, add a blog, photos and web video. You can even encourage your members to send photos or video of themselves as testimonials.

If you sell from your web site, Tweet, blog and post to your social media site as soon as new items are uploaded to your online store. Offer special deals for buyers who shop within the first few hours after a new product is put online. Create early-bird specials that you publicize only on social media to increase the interest in being your social media friend.

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by Gail Z. Martin excerpted from 30 Days to Social Media Success

Everyone wants results from marketing and social media. In my experience over the last 25+ years, there’s a recipe for results that separates the winners from the losers. Just like in the kitchen, it’s a recipe you need to follow in order to get the outcome you expect. Leave out an ingredient and it won’t work as well. Skip a few steps, and you’ll be disappointed.

Here’s my list of ‘secret’ ingredients:

The RESULTS™ approach stands for:

R = Recommit to marketing

E = Expect success

S = Seek partners

U = Understand your audience

L = Look for win-win scenarios

T = Take strategic action

S = Stay visible

In the next 30 days, you can see your social media marketing go from zero to full speed by applying the RESULTS™ formula.

Recommit to set aside at least 30 minutes each day (yes, weekends, too) to devote to developing your social media marketing strategy for the next 30 days. (Thirty minutes is a minimum. Once you get started, you’ll want to spend an hour, so block out the time now.)

Expect success by throwing yourself whole-heartedly into this 30 day commitment. If the little voice in the back of your head keeps saying, “this is ridiculous. This isn’t going to work,” you are programming yourself for failure. Program yourself for success by writing down 30 things you would like to achieve from your social media strategy. Some ideas include:

  • Reconnect with old colleagues, friends, neighbors and contacts to broaden your active circle of contacts.
  • Attend the world’s biggest 24/7 business networking event with a global audience and put your best foot forward
  • Take advantage of all the free information, education and competitive intelligence at your fingertips

Now that you’ve seen those three examples, come up with your own list of 30 Success

Expectations and keep them handy to check back on.

Seek partners. Social media is “social.” You can meet amazing people on sites like Facebook, and get access to experts you might not be able to reach any other way. Sites like LinkedIn are particularly good for finding out what friends and colleagues are currently doing, and who they know. Make a list of 30 friends, colleagues and associates whom you’ve lost track of, and commit to finding them and touching base via social media.

Understand your audience in more profitable detail than ever before with the exercises in chapter three. Make a list of 30 things you wished you knew about your best customers—and create 30 questions you can use for quizzes, surveys and social media discussions.

Look for win-win scenarios by posting valuable content on the right social media sites to attract more of your best prospects. You offer solutions, and they become your best clients. It’s a win-win. Write down 30 ideas for useful tips, articles, videos or other content you could post right away by re-using information you already have.

Take strategic action by putting what you learn in this book to work for you. As you read, be sure to do the exercises at the end of each chapter. Complete all 30 chapter exercises in the next 30 days and watch your social media soar!

Stay visible by keeping your social media sites fresh and relevant. Create a list of 30 upcoming events, newsworthy items or announcements you could make to your new social media audience to get them talking, create a dialogue and demonstrate your credibility.

Most people put off doing marketing because they think it’s too difficult or too time-consuming. By using the principles in this book, you’ll do more in 30 minutes a day for 30 days than most business owners do all year. That’s the “Get Results” secret weapon—strategic, consistent effort in pursuit of clear, measurable results.

Remember: Planning + Effort + Consistency = Results

Here’s a key question to ask yourself: How many times are your messages “touching” prospects prior to making the sale? How close is that number to 30? That answer will give you a good idea of what you need to do to move your marketing forward successfully!




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Why Most Marketing Fails

by Gail Z. Martin excerpted from 30 Days to Social Media Success

Marketing horror stories. You’ve probably heard them. You may have one yourself. These are the stories about how someone tried a marketing technique, sent out a press release or ran an ad and “it didn’t work.”

I’ve heard plenty of these stories. And as with most urban legends, there’s usually more to the story than meets the eye. If you’re reading this book, you’re a coach, consultant, speaker, author or owner of a small business and you want more from your marketing than you’re currently getting. You may not be marketing at all because your business is new, or because you’re afraid to fail. Or it may be that your marketing is chugging along with mediocre returns or muddled measurement.

Take heart. Marketing isn’t mysterious, and once you understand how the pieces fit together, you’ll be in a better position to market your own company or to oversee someone to handle marketing for you. Take the first step in the RESULTS™ model and Recommit to marketing. Let’s start by looking at the seven most common reasons that marketing plans fail.

  • No Planning. This is true in both large and small businesses. Many marketing efforts fail because there is no link between the marketing actions and the bottom-line business plan goals that drive revenue. This happens because decision makers get caught up with a vivid, creative idea that isn’t accountable to the bottom line, or because they take a “great deal” offered by a salesperson for a media buy. Marketing without a plan is a disaster waiting to happen.
  • Inappropriate Actions. If there is no plan, then whatever marketing actions that are taken may conflict with each other. It’s unlikely they’ll reinforce each other or support a business plan goal. Disappointing results come about because of a “ready-fire-aim” approach where actions aren’t anchored to business objectives and target audiences. Attempts to copy what a successful competitor is doing without understanding why (or whether) the action is working for them is also a dangerous approach.
  • Lack of Clarity about the Target Market. Mass marketing is dead. Blasting out marketing without a clear target is wasteful and unsuccessful. You can’t hit a target if you haven’t identified it. There is a “sweet spot” of potential customers who could become your ideal clients. You’ll need to get to know them to win them.
  • Lack of Clear Goals. If you don’t have an upfront understanding of what success will look like, you won’t know when you achieve it. Not only do your marketing actions need to be linked to specific business goals, but each marketing action should be measurable. Build in measurability up front so expectations are clear.
  • Unreasonable Expectations. A single press release isn’t likely to create a big spike in sales. One ad probably won’t save your company. Many people become disillusioned with marketing because they don’t understand the benchmarks for successful programs. For example, most direct mail professionals are thrilled to get a 1% response rate. One percent! Yet many small businesses send out a postcard mailing and quit in disgust, expecting a response of 20%, 30% or more. It’s important to have realistic expectations so you recognize success when you see it.
  • Unclear on How Marketing Works. For many people, marketing is a lot like a DVD player. They don’t know (and don’t care) how it works. Your odds of creating successful marketing are slim without some knowledge of how the pieces function and the process required to pull the pieces together. With the Internet, new tools are emerging almost daily. You’ll need to know how to blend New Media and Web 2.0 tools with traditional marketing to succeed in today’s marketplace. Understanding what makes marketing tick is essential whether you’re doing it yourself or delegating it to someone else.
  • Insufficient Patience. “We ran an ad once and nothing happened.” We’ve all heard that. But did you know that marketing research shows that it takes between seven to 30 “touches” to make a sale? Customers won’t buy until they have an urgent need. Until then, all you can do is create name recognition and a good reputation. That’s the value of the Rule of 30™. Marketing has a lot in common with farming. You wouldn’t plant seeds one day and go out the next and dig them up in disgust because full grown plants hadn’t sprouted overnight. Seeds take time and you can’t hurry that. Marketing seeds also take time to grow.






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Blogging and LinkedIn for Professionals

By Gail Z. Martin, author of 30 Days to Social Media Success

Looking for more professional visibility and a more prominent professional platform, with a way to connect with a steady stream of potential new clients?

Time to take a second look at blogging and LinkedIn.

I want to show you how blogging and LinkedIn can enhance your professional visibility and build a strong professional platform, which can produce a steady stream of qualified prospective customers. But before I get to that part, let me knock a few misconceptions out of the park so they don’t get in the way.

Out with the Old

Misconception #1: My type of clients aren’t on the Internet.

Answer: Unless they’re dead, incarcerated or incapacitated, they are on the Internet. According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Internet Project, 87% of Americans use the Internet. And no, they’re not all teens. The report says that 93% of adults ages 30 – 49 are Internet users, 88% of those 50-64, and 57% of those ages 65+. Usage increases with education level and income, so 97% of those with a college education are online, as are 99% of those earning over $75,000. (Details here:

Misconception #2: I can’t be on the Internet because I can’t give free advice.

Answer: What’s free advice got to do with it? You have a phone, and you don’t give free advice over it. You have a mailbox and you don’t give free advice. The Internet is a communication tool. You choose what you communicate.

Misconception #3: I prefer to get warm referrals from clients.

Answer: Who doesn’t? But are you getting enough of those warm referrals to pay your bills? If you could use some more business, increasing your professional visibility and creating a solid professional expert platform goes a long way toward bringing in new paying customers.

Misconception #4: Internet referrals wouldn’t be as high quality.

Answer: Professionals advertise in magazines, on billboards and bus boards, in newspapers, on TV and on the radio. The general public sees those ads. In contrast, online readers must possess expensive technology in the form of a smart phone, tablet/laptop/desktop computer and Internet connection—a form of filtering you don’t get in other types of advertising.

In with the New

Now that we’ve gotten those misconceptions out of the way, let me tell you what social media—in particular, blogging and LinkedIn–can do for you.

Let’s start with blogging. Blogging is like a cross between a newsletter and a website. It’s like a newsletter because you can easily update it with text and photos without needing a programmer to make the changes. It’s like a website because it’s on the Internet and searchable by Google and other search engines.

Most blogging platforms are free, although you’ll want to check the terms and conditions to make sure the site accepts commercial content. WordPress is popular because it’s easy to use, free to use, and doesn’t have restrictions on commercial usage.

What do you do on a blog? You educate. And by educating, you show yourself to be an expert. Readers come to like your voice and trust your wisdom. They may even share links to your blog posts with their friends (referrals) and when the time comes to hire someone, you’ll be first in line because you’ve created a relationship.

Isn’t educating the same as free advice? No! Educating means talking in generalities about topics related to your profession, sharing links to research studies and news of interest to your audience, reflecting on the general impact of new technology, trends and other issues. Have you ever given a talk to a local Chamber of Commerce or community group about your specialty? If so, then you’ve created the kind of content that is perfect for a blog—useful information that is not revealing confidential information or commenting on an individual’s situation. In fact, if you’ve given a lot of those kinds of talks, you can re-use your old speeches for blog posts and save yourself some time.

What about the comment section? Won’t people ask questions you can’t/don’t want to answer? Well, does that ever happen to you when you’re out in public or at a social occasion? How do you handle it then? See, you already know what to do. I would suggest having a permanent header and/or footer disclaimer on your blog making it clear that you cannot comment on individual situations, are not dispensing individual advice, etc. Then if someone oversteps, politely but firmly point them to the rules and go on with what you were discussing.

What do you talk about? Start with the types of general questions you get most often. These will seem basic to you, but if people already knew the answers, they wouldn’t keep asking. Depending on your type of xpertise, these Frequently Asked Questions are pretty general. Think education, not advice. Readers will self-filter as they read through the information to determine whether or not they need your area of expertise.

What about referrals? How long do you have to blog before you start getting new business? I recommend clients view blogging the same way they view membership/attendance at community organizations and the Chamber of Commerce. You might get lucky and get a new client or a hot prospect the first time you attend a meeting, but more than likely, it will take several months for people to get to know you or to have a life event that requires your services. Blogging isn’t a magic bullet, but neither are the other types of real-world relationship-building/meet-new-people events you are already doing. It’s one more power tool in your toolbox.

Worried that you’re going to get prospects from outside your practice area? Don’t be. After all, you have a phone but you aren’t getting swamped with long-distance calls from China. Make your practice specialties and coverage area clear on your “About Me” page, and that should avoid the issue.

There are a lot more visibility strategies I share with professional clients about blogging, but in the interest of covering ground quickly, it’s time to move on to LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is the most powerful professional networking tool on the Internet. It’s not a site where you go to meet new people; instead, it’s the perfect way to keep your network of connections warm and updated, so you can be more valuable to each other.

Have you ever needed an introduction to someone or a piece of information and you know the perfect person to ask, but it’s awkward because you haven’t spoken to that person in a couple of years? LinkedIn solves that problem, because the site makes it easy to get a constant stream of updates about all the people you list as Connections, so you can congratulate them on promotions or awards, comment on their professional news, and keep your name top of mind in a warm, friendly way.

LinkedIn is also a great way to generate warm introductions to people you need to meet. Suppose there is someone in the business community you’ve wanted to meet but whom you don’t know. LinkedIn will tell you whether that person is known by any of the people you’ve accepted as Connections. Now it’s simple to ask the person you already know and whom you’re connected to on LinkedIn for a warm introduction to the person they know and you want to meet. You do this all the time in real life, but offline, you don’t always know who knows whom. LinkedIn may surprise you by showing that the people you want to meet are closer than “six degrees of separation”!

LinkedIn groups are a great way to join or start a forum to discuss professional topics. (Again, in an educational sense, not advising.) It’s no different from showing up to a lecture or professional association meeting on a topic except that you don’t have to drive, park and waste an afternoon or evening in a drafty hotel ballroom. Not only can LinkedIn groups be a great way to meet professionals related to your field, they can also be a source of referrals as people get to know/like/trust the expertise you show through your posts and responses.

I recommend to clients that they not accept anyone as a LinkedIn Connection whom they do not know well enough to meet for coffee and refer to colleagues. The quality of your LinkedIn networking lies in deepening existing relationships and keeping those relationships warm. Not only that, but your Connections can see who else you are connected to. They can also ask you for a warm introduction. You wouldn’t be comfortable introducing a total stranger to a trusted colleague, or asking a stranger for an introduction. That’s why you want to make sure you know the people with whom you connect well enough to share that kind of information.

Don’t feel pressured to have a huge number of Connections on LinkedIn. Remember: quality counts more than quantity. Your network of trusted colleagues with whom you have built warm reciprocal relationships is much more powerful than a hodgepodge of total strangers.

Once again, this brief overview can’t cover all of the relationship-building/referral strategies I suggest to clients who use LinkedIn. However, I do hope that what I’ve shared in this short introduction has changed the way you think about using the Internet as a tool to increase your professional visibility, extend your personal branding and expert platform, deepen your networking relationships and create a new referral stream.

Just remember—your ideal prospects are already using social media to find information and connect with professionals like yourself. If you’re not engaging them in a relationship-building conversation, odds are that your competition is.

Gail Z. Martin owns DreamSpinner Communications and consults with professionals and businesses in the U.S. and Canada on strategic social media. Gail has an MBA in marketing and over 25 years of corporate and non-profit experience at senior executive levels. She is the author of three bestselling books on new media marketing: 30 Days to Social Media Success, 30 Days to Online PR and Marketing Success and 30 Days to Virtual Productivity Success (Career Press). 30 Days to Social Media Success made’s Top 5 Business books, was chosen by Fed-Ex Office and Office Max to be among a handful of books featured in-store, and has been mentioned in media including Inc., The Wall Street Journal, Worth, and Fox Business News. Find her online at, on Twitter @GailMartinPR and blogs at or on email:


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What is Your Outrage Distracting You From Doing?

By Gail Z. Martin

In the book “Meditations from the Mat,” the author asserts that when we allow ourselves to be caught up in outrage over something external (such as politics, neighborhood gossip, or the behavior of celebrities or the stock market) we are using outrage to keep us distracted from the problems in our real life.

Wow, that explains a lot.

I thought it was a valid point.  When we rant and rage about something that we can’t control, we keep our minds off the things that really matter, things that we could do something about if we would face up to them.

I can remember times in my life when I was consumed with outrage over something I couldn’t do anything about.  And if I’m honest, I can also remember that there were problems closer to home that I was just as happy not to think about, either because I didn’t want to take the action necessary or because action would require change I wasn’t ready to make.

We seem to live in an age of perpetual outrage.  If you can’t manufacture enough on your own, there are talk show hosts, columnists and blogger who can stoke your fire.  So what issues are we using all this outrage to avoid facing?

Odds are, it’s different for different people.  It might be health problems, getting financial matters in order, addressing relationship problems, or taking responsibility for upgrading skills.  It might be dealing with old baggage, forgiving or asking to be forgiven, taking a risk, or accepting limitations.

Whatever the issue behind the outrage, it won’t go away.  Not only that, but the outrage itself is bad for your health, damaging to relationships, and toxic to productivity.

Maybe it’s time to turn off the TV, stop reading, watching, listening or hanging around with the outrage mongers, and get down to business becoming the change we want to see in the world.

What could you do with all the energy you’re wasting on outrage?  This is one “energy crisis” you can solve all by yourself.

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Are You “Beyond” Help?

By Gail Z. Martin

I recently talked with a couple of prospective coaching clients, but had to sadly admit they were “beyond” help.  It’s not that I couldn’t address their issues, or that I wasn’t confident that I could develop a strategy that would enable them to overcome the obstacles standing in their way.

They were “beyond” help because they spent the entire interview call assuring me that they knew everything there was to know, and that, despite the fact that things weren’t going the way they wanted them to, they really weren’t open to suggestion.

I felt very sad for them, because it’s entirely likely that their problems will persist.  The problems may even get worse, leaving these people frustrated and worried.  These were smart people who had accomplished a lot.  Something had even driven them to inquire about help.  But in the end, their egos wouldn’t permit them  to actually accept that help.

I think at one point or another, we’ve all been like that.

If you’re a parent, you know the frustration of having a toddler–or a teen–resist asking for help because they’re convinced they can do it on their own.  At a certain level, that’s an opportunity for growth and learning.  But in the cases where you’ve given it your best shot, done everything in your power, and it still isn’t working, you’ve got two choices: keep beating your head against the wall or shove your ego out of the way to get the help you need.

What are the places in your life where your progress is stalled?  Might it be because you’re resistant to asking for help?  Is your ego worth whatever it’s costing you to achieve less success than you could attain?  It’s difficult to humble ourselves enough to ask for help, but the rewards far outweigh the embarrassment of admitting that we don’t know everything.

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Six Things to Think About Before You Self Publish

By Gail Z. Martin

With the rise of ebooks, many writers are going the self published route.  Is it right for you?  Before you decide, here are some things to think about.

#1 Is your book fiction or nonfiction?  In general, nonfiction is easier to sell because many nonfiction authors also speak on the subject or are in a business related to the subject.  That provides a natural avenue for sales outside of bookstores that fiction authors don’t have.

#2 How much do you like to do marketing?  Even traditionally published authors shoulder most of the burden for marketing their books.  Self-published authors do it all.  If you don’t like it, aren’t good at it or won’t get around to it, better think twice.

#3 Can you deal with snobbery?  There’s still a lingering stigma in some corners (mostly fiction) about self-published work (at least, until you sell a gazilliion copies, which is more the exception than the rule).  Bookstores won’t stock you, and even genre conventions may not roll out the red carpet.  There’s little enough glamour left in publishing even in the traditional manner, so if you’re in it for the ego boost, better think twice.

#4 Can you sweat the details?  If you’re going the self-pub route, you’d better be obsessive about details.  That means paying for editing (no, you can’t do it yourself), formatting, cover art, ISBN numbers and similar details, shopping cart workings, etc.  You are essentially launching a new business.  Are you up for it?

#5 How will self-publishing this particular work affect your brand?  Again, in some  corners of non-fiction, like Internet marketing, there are people earning seven figures off self-published home study courses.  In other industries, there’s still a bias toward traditional publishing credits.  Make sure you help, not hurt, your brand with how your book represents you.

#6 Are you really angling for a traditional book deal?  Yes, a few people gotten invitations to publish their originally self-published book with a traditional publisher, but many others have lost the ability to sell that work to a publisher because it has had prior exposure.  The verdict is still out on this, and publishers aren’t consistent.  Make sure you can live with your decision.

Self-publishing is more acceptable than ever before and technology has closed the quality gap.  With the Internet, you can reach a global audience.  But to succeed, you need to ask yourself six questions and be honest with your answers.

Writing a book is a fantastic step toward achieving your dreams, promoting your business and exploring your creativity.  Make this the year that you make your dream come true!

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Keywords Are King

By Gail Z. Martin

Consumers and reporters often turn first to search engines like Google for their news. When they look for information that is relevant to your products and services, how likely are they to find your Web site and your press releases? Think of your own behavior as a consumer. It’s rare for someone to look further than the first page of search results.

“Keywords” are the terms customers use when searching for information with a site like Google. Many companies make the mistake of focusing solely on getting their company and product name onto search engine results and forget that prospects may not yet know the name of their company or product. These valuable prospects are going to search on more generic descriptors, “used car” instead of “Ford”, “plumbing services” instead of the name of a company, or “color printers” rather than a brand name product.

Choose the keywords carefully for your online content to make it easy to search.  Your content will work harder for you when search engines serve it up in the first page because you’re using strong, popular and relevant keywords.

(Excerpted from the brand new book 30 Days to Online PR and Marketing Success: The 30 Day Results Guide to Making the Most of Twitter, Facebook, Linked In and Blogging to Grab Headlines and Get Clients by Gail Z. Martin)

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