Issue #898 March 10, 2015
Publisher: Joan Stewart
“Tips, Tricks and Tools for Free Publicity”
In This Issue
- IRS Phone Call Scam
- Landing Pages That Sell Books
- Money-making Tip for Bloggers
- Hound Video of the Week
This Week in the Hound House:
My friend and I were all set to watch the first episode of Season 1 of “Downton Abbey” on Saturday night. Then we discovered that Netflix doesn’t offer it anymore. So it’s off to the library to rent the DVDs. We ended up watching one of my favorite movies, the 1974 private-eye mystery “Chinatown” with Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway and its complicated plot. I’ve seen the movie at least a dozen times to make sure I can connect all the pieces of the giant jigsaw puzzle.
1. IRS Phone Call Scam
Here’s a way for authors, speakers and experts to generate publicity: comment on the IRS phone scam.
The most recent one has resurfaced again, as the income tax filing deadline approaches.
An overbearing IRS “agent” calls to tell you that you’re the target of a lawsuit from the IRS. I found this message on my voicemail last week. Instead of calling the phone number they left, I did a quick Google search and learned it was, indeed, a scam.
Unsuspecting people are told the agency will drop the lawsuit if you pay them with a credit card. Once they have your credit card number and your Social Security number, they process the card, close up shop and resurface someplace else. They can also steal your identity later.
I had never heard of this particular scam. But I know this is the perfect time of year–as the April 15 filing deadline approaches–to contact bloggers, newspaper reporters and TV stations and offer tips on how consumers can keep from being robbed. If your expertise is in consumer issues, tax laws, phone scams, phishing, identity theft and similar topics, start pitching!
You can find the full list of this year’s “Dirty Dozen” scams at the IRS website.
You can borrow from that list and create a handy tips list of your own, post it at your website, and share the link with the media.
Tips lists should be a staple in your publicity toolbox. You can access the paid replay of a webinar I hosted on “17 Ways to Use a Tips List to Make it More Powerful Than Ever.” It comes with three templates for tips lists, and a Cheat Sheet listing 6 important parts of the author resource box that appears at the end of the tips.
2. Landing Pages That Sell Books
If you’re selling a book, ideally, you’ll have an author website with all the bells and whistles.
But that can get pricey.
Without a website, you’re left to depend on Amazon. But that can prove risky and disappointing.
Here’s an alternative even for authors on a tight budget. It’s a book landing page, an attractive placeholder on the Internet that tells visitors all about your book. The presentation is so much more interesting than your Amazon page. Once you’ve caught the visitor’s attention, you can then link to Amazon.
On Thursday, March 12, I’m hosting a free webinar with Ben De Reinzo from 4 to 5 p.m. Eastern Time. He’ll introduce you to a powerful new technology that gives you more control over the sale of your books, even if you can’t afford a webmaster and have zero techie skills.
The stand-alone sales page even allows for social sharing and collecting email addresses. You can do all this in a fraction of the time, and for far less money than what you’d pay for the typical author website.
During the webinar, Ben will explain why sales pages are trending up for authors, the 10 essentials of a book landing page, and how to take your sales page to the next level. He’ll also demonstrate the easiest, quickest way to create professional book sales pages on a super-tight budget.
3. Money-making Tip for Bloggers
If you blog as a way to promote your expertise, but your blog doesn’t indicate that you sell your time to people who need your help, you’re leaving money on the table.
Set an hourly rate. Let people know at the end of your blog posts that you’re available to consult via phone or Skype. Then link to a sales page where they can buy a set amount of time and pay by credit card of through PayPal. You can get back in touch with them to arrange a time and date for the consultation. Or you can use a program like TimeTrade that lets them choose from a variety of slots you make available.
Or do what I do. Include a “Rent My Brain” icon in the side margin of every page at your website. I link mine to an internal page that describes more about the consulting and gives visitors an idea of the types of problems I can help them solve.
That was one of the ideas I shared during the webinar last Thursday on “27 Ways to Monetize Your Blog.” If you missed it, you really haven’t missed anything because you can buy the video replay and the bonuses. If you have questions while reviewing the video, please feel free to email me.
I’ll be happy to help.
4. Hound Video of the Week
This adorable puppy may be the most chilled canine on the planet as he blissfully settles into bath time. The two-week-old was close to death when he was found abandoned in a dumpster with his two sisters. They were found by Dallas Animal Service and referred to the DFW Rescue Me animal shelter where volunteer Claire Fowler looked after them.