Issue #825 June 10, 2014
Publisher: Joan Stewart
“Tips, Tricks and Tools for Free Publicity”
In This Issue
- Your “About” Page
- Book Marketing for Under $1
- How to Promote Locally
- Hound Video of the Week
This Week in the Hound House:
My feet hurt. My lower back aches. Even my butt is sore. But 35 more plants, nestled safely in the ground, are acclimating to their new home in my flower beds or in giant pots after a weekend marathon. My peonies will be popping within hours. The fern look like something out of “Little Shop of Horrors.”
1. Your “About” Page
Your website is a marathon, not a sprint. And it seems like you never cross the finish line.
It dawned on me yesterday that I’m missing a huge opportunity with an ill-conceived “About” page.
That page is really a bio page. It includes three versions of my bio in different lengths, plus some fun facts about me. It’s the type of information you’d expect to see in a media kit.
The perfect “About” page–whether it’s for your website or blog–promotes you and your expertise in subtle ways when it:
–Introduces you to visitors.
–Helps them understand what’s there and why they should stay.
–Highlights your best work. You can link to your most popular blog posts, articles, even your social media profiles.
–Tells your story.
–Links to a Contact page, although I’ve preached for years that your shipping address, phone number and email address should be on every page of your website.
–Tells them how to stay in touch with you.
Beefing up my page is on my to-do list, thanks to the excellent tips from PRNewswire’s Amanda Hicken in her blog post “Tips for Writing an About Page When You Hate Writing About Yourself.”
If you’re an author who needs a media kit, I’ve done most of the work for you by creating 12 templates you can use to build your kit. Find out which templates it includes and watch book publishing expert Joel Friedlander use one of them to build his own bio page.
2. Book Marketing for Under $1
Book marketing doesn’t have to be expensive.
Grael Norton, acquisitions manager for Wheatmark book publishers, offers 15 tips for marketing your book for less than a dollar. Here are 5 of the best:
–Create simple homemade bookmarks that will attract more attention than slick ones. You can use a stick figure if you can’t draw. Include basic information about your book and slip one into a library book or even into a magazine in a doctor’s office.
–Post a notice on Craigslist. It’s free, and you can include a photo, info about the book and even offer to autograph it.
–Sell it on eBay. Lots of bookstores and authors do this. It costs nothing to place an ad and you might be surprised to make a few sales.
–Contact your local college, high school, senior center, etc. and offer to teach a course on writing. The exposure of having your book mentioned in the curriculum catalog or on the events board is great free advertising.
–Create flyers for your book and take them with you as you run errands. Post them on bulletin boards in grocery stores, senior centers, and activity centers, and leave one in a barber or beauty shop.
Read his other 10 tips on how to market for less than a buck.
Once you have some impressive sales figures, it’s time to court the big retailers. The webinar I hosted with book distributor Amy Collins walks you step by step through the entire process of pitching Costco, Walmart, Target and other big chains. It comes with a giant bonus package, including a very detailed sample book marketing plan. Read more about the kinds of insider tips Amy will teach you.
3. How to Promote Locally
You’ll recognize some of the websites in Entrepreneur’s article on “15 Sites for Promoting Your Local Business.” Some are free and some are paid.
These sites are especially important if you own a bricks-and-mortar business.
4. Hound Video of the Week
Watch these two Dachshunds keep a balloon afloat at the park, but only if you promise to watch it to the end. Thanks to my assistant, Christine Buffaloe, for this one.