Bless the Lord, Christian Writerpreneur,
I pray you are well.
Welcome to another Empowering Post. I am confident that today's article will give you some powerful tips to help you improve your marketing practices as a Christian Author.
If you are new to my ministry and blog, let me briefly introduce myself.
I am Felecia Killings, the Founder and CEO of FKMinistries. Our mission is to help Believers like you engage in this end-time revival and national reformation using the written and spoken word.
Since 2011, I have worked as a writing coach and ministry strategist to new, aspiring, and seasoned authors and speakers, sharing with them advanced lessons on building a powerful virtual ministry that will change the world.
And right now, you have a chance to receive one of my many lessons from my online school, LiyahAmore University.
I want to begin today's empowering post with this question: What do you feel is the biggest challenge to your authorship in terms of marketing?
We both know the need to create an effective marketing plan, one that will enable us to sell our books and products with our audience. But for many Christian Authors, ensuring that sales are made is one of the biggest obstacles.
In today's post, I want to spend some time on this topic, and by the end of the article, you will have some strategies to help you create a more effective marketing plan.
I want to preface this article by stating that what I present here is not something based on my opinion alone. Research as well as the experience of others will back it up. So, you can rest assured that you will have some actionable content to use to inform and empower your authorship.
Just recently, I started re-organizing a portion of my marketing plan. Not only have I added content marketing to it, but also another strategy that I believe will be the key to propelling my business and widening my audience.
I’m talking about establishing a brand partnership strategy, one that will allow me to connect with influencers from across the nation. I first discovered this as a powerful marketing tool when I came across Navid Moazzez, a virtual summit expert, who uses his skills to help entrepreneurs generate larger audiences.
Recognizing that we all have the power to help others prosper, he and other virtual summit leaders work towards creating empowering events that transform lives.
I share this same desire, mostly to empower Christian Authors like you, and have made the choice to use brand partnerships to enhance your learning experience while expanding my brand and business. As I typically do with all my posts, I will use my own story to show you how you can employ this same strategy as a Christian Author.
So, let's dive in.
What are Brand Partnerships?
In case you’ve never heard this phrase, brand partnerships involve two or more businesses coming together to contribute value to each one’s audience. Bloggers will readily do this as a way to connect their content with another blogger’s audience. The benefits, as I mentioned previously, are enormous, both for the consumers as well as the entrepreneurs.
For example, if one writer creates content that will benefit another writer's audience, the former writer can make a partnership with the other in order to help build each one's brand.
Here's how I implement this within FKMinistries, particularly in the ministry of Christian Writerpreneurship.
Just recently, I reached out to a handful of successful indie authors and coaches, asking them about their experiences with new writers. I called upon this select few because I respect what they have to offer to the industry. These authors have worked as mentors to other new authors, and their knowledge concerning the independent publishing industry is exceptional.
In sharing with them my vision for helping you and others in my audience, I mentioned that I wanted to host a virtual summit in which we all came together to provide immense value and expertise to new and aspiring Christian Authors. And they loved the idea. I also mentioned that the purpose of the summit was to make it a part of my launch sequence for my online school, LiyahAmore University, as well as my mini-training package, The Christian Writerpreneurs ToolKit.
I wish I could say that I wasn't a bit nervous to ask them for their participation. Rejection is never easy to take. But thankfully they were elated by my offer to become an expert panelist for my annual summits, and I couldn't be more excited.
One thing I want to highlight about partnering with other brands is that it's not just about one expert's business. In other words, it's not all about me and my company increasing in wealth and prominence as a result of these connections.
It's about developing powerful relationships with other experts in the industry, and giving them an opportunity to share their knowledge with people outside their audience. Working together is far more beneficial than working alone.
That’s the power of brand partnerships.
And this is what I want to teach you in this article: that connecting with influencers in your niche is a powerful way for you to market yourself and your works.
Connecting with Influencers as an Author
Unless you understand that as a Christian Author, you are also a business person, then this post won’t mean much to you. But if you know that as a Writerpreneur, you also employ entrepreneurial skills, then connecting with influencers needs to play a major role in your marketing plan. And here’s why.
One of the most difficult challenges for new authors is carving a space within an already-crowded industry. You aren’t simply competing with other new writers. Your competition includes seasoned veterans. And if you write on a topic that a veteran writer has perfected, it’s like overcoming ten giants at once. (Certainly not impossible, but stressful and extremely challenging.)
So, instead of trying to compete with these established authors, consider sitting under them to learn from them. Think about how you can network with their brand so that you not only receive from their expertise, but maybe one day you add value to them and their audience when it's appropriate.
Yes, it’s intimidating because it makes you vulnerable. But in truth, those who have been writing and publishing for years love the idea of sharing their wisdom with others. This is why teaching is becoming a profitable venture among online businesses.
Back in May 2016, I attended a virtual summit sponsored by Teachable.com. One of the expert panelist, Jeff Goins, shared that before he “made it big,” he did something unconventional. Instead of him trying to compete with the top influencers in the industry, he connected with one such individual for the purpose of learning from him. After much time, when Jeff was prepared to launch his first book, he asked his influencer friend if he could basically endorse the book.
That influencer honored Jeff's request.
And it didn’t cost Jeff anything. His influencer’s word-of-mouth referral put Jeff’s name out there to a larger audience, one that would have taken him years to build. When he first reached out to his influencer, Jeff didn’t have selfish motives. He genuinely wanted to learn from the influencer. And when Jeff asked for a small favor, he received it.
Make Those Connections
Think about this marketing strategy for your brand. Don’t simply connect with someone to see what you can get out of her. That’s not going to work.
Connect with her because you want to share her knowledge, resources, and gifts with others. You want to help her as much as you want her to help you. And in due time--guaranteed--that influencer will return the favor and will assist you in fulfilling your dreams.
The challenge, however, is determining how you will make that initial connection. So, here's one such strategy to get you going.
Begin by identifying key players in your niche or industry. You can accomplish this successfully by jumping onto social media and finding the ones whose message resonates with you well. Let me use LinkedIn, for example.
LinkedIn is the best place to find professionals in a field. If you wanted to write a book about leadership, for example, you can certainly find an expert on LinkedIn, and follow him or her.
You can also take to Facebook to find your influencers. Connect with them; follow them; and engage with their content before asking for their help. Make the relationship meaningful, because if they feel you are wasting their time or only want their connection for selfish reasons, then you will fail.
If you have never met them personally or do not have any resources to offer them in exchange for their time, then consider what Jeff Goins did, and simply come to them as a student, ready to learn. But your connections must begin at the beginning, and it will build over time.
I realize that employing this type of marketing method might make you uncomfortable, because it does the same for me—mostly because we are acknowledging our vulnerability—but you’re never going to know what will happen unless you engage.
So, just do it! And you can start today.
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