Today’s guest, Sharmeen Akbani Gangat, takes “marketing expert” to a whole new level. Read on, as she reveals the shocking truth about online marketing.
One of the buzzwords of creativity sales is online marketing. Artists and authors break a cold sweat over it: they struggle with social media, virtual blog tours, and you name it – without knowing the cold and harsh – almost shocking – truth about online marketing: that it is not any of that.
Rather, marketing (especially online marketing) is all and only about value-creation. Yes, you read it right: online marketing is about creating value. Massively and repeatedly. Besides and before the book or any other product.
This means, you need to know:
• What is valuable to your audience?
• How can you create that value for them?
These two questions are central to your value-creation strategy. Once you have it nailed, selling books will be a piece of cake because:
• Your brand name will sell your products – on its own, without much effort.
• Your super fans will buy from you – and even promote it for you.
So, What Is The Principle Behind Value-Creation?
It relies on the following premises:
• You are a service provider, not a product creator.
• The focus is on the audience, not you. And not even on your product.
• Your buyer’s perception determines your value, not the quality of your content.
This principle is in complete contrast to what you’re used to in the name of online marketing. Isn’t it?
In traditional online marketing:
• It is about value-communication, not value-creation.
• The focus in on you and your product.
• Audience is persuaded to buy what you have to offer.
Case Study In Online Marketing With Regards To Value-Creation:
The recent best example in this case has to be David Siteman Garland.
(Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with David or any of his products in any whichever way. Whatever I am saying is based on personal observations and to drive home an example of what needs to be done.)
Those who don’t know him, David helps mediapreneurs dominate the online space. Through his online show, The Rise To The Top, where he interviews successful entrepreneurs on their business strategies and outcomes, he provides rich and practical information that entrepreneurs can apply to their own businesses. And, oh boy…he has some serious interviewing skills. He almost grills his guests. I would say he is the Barbara Walters of the online world. Therefore, it is no surprise that he has super fans. Including myself.
He probably didn’t know this until recently — because I never emailed him or commented on his shows. But, I was probably the first one to buy his new product before its launch (within 5 minutes of me learning about it) at a premium price without batting an eyelid. And, I didn’t even watch his sales video since I was already sold on the value he has had been providing for so long – without hard selling anything.
In the online space, it is all about perceptions and trust.
• Perceptions are developed instantaneously.
• Trust can be destroyed in split seconds.
• Buying decisions are made after knowing, liking, and trusting.
As An Artist, How Can You Create Value For Your Target Audience?
• Aim for something lasting – something that gives them more than just momentary informational or entertainment value Create impact.
• Place a premium on solutions and experiences Be a problem-solver-cum-entertainer.
• Demonstrate warmth and relatability Build Connections, Not Followers.
What Is The Best Format To Communicate Value To Your Audience?
It can be through a blog, a web show, or simply through a newsletter. It does not need to be anything fancy. Whatever is simple and doable should work. But, it has to be consistent and not dependent on book launch dates. Remember, people sniff sales. Your value has to come from an overarching philosophy of writing, genre, or goals.
For instance, as a romance writer, you should be able to answer the following questions when looking to create value for your readers:
• Why do you write romance fiction?
• What do you want your readers to take away from your book/s?
• What is your romance message?
How Value-Creation Helps Your Creative Pursuits, Ambition, and Life?
It helps with the following four Cs – and in that order:
Career: You don’t want to be a one-book wonder. Writing is your career. Thus, you should be planning for books vs. a book – the one you’re writing next or looking to sell now.
Credibility: The publishers, agents, studios look for the credibility of the creator as much as the quality of the creative content.
Community: A strong and passionate community is the sign of a credible creator and a passionate value-provider.
Cash: Value builds sales and brings in the cash through your product line-up and other revenue streams such as speaking or coaching. There is no dearth of cash for a credible creator with a community backing.
Find out what your audience needs, and how you can help. This will jumpstart your online marketing and sales process.
Feel free to comment, ask, and share whatever you’re struggling with and looking to learn about promoting and profiting from your creative works.
Got a question for a marketing expert? Let’s hear it now!
On Monday, July 8, regular columnist RUTH HARRIS returns. Join us!
Sharmeen Akbani Gangat is a marketer who specializes in the publishing and entertainment industries. In her 12+ years of professional experience, she has sold millions of dollars worth of creative products: from radio shows and entertainment event sponsorships to everything in between. She is a certified filmmaker and has a master’s degree from Columbia University.
She is also the creator of the
Glocul Mag blog, where she teaches how to promote and profit from creativity. You can subscribe here to receive even more premier content and access – including a free, weekly, actionable tip that you can learn and apply on your own to receive maximum exposure and increase your work’s sales chances.
While people recognize her as a book marketer, most people do not know that she is the easiest person to sell a romance book to. Simply light up the dopamine-rich areas of her brain or hit her emotional buttons and she is a customer – for life.
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