3 S.R. Johannes: Sometimes, it's O.K to Mouth-Off!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sometimes, it's O.K to Mouth-Off!

First Thing First
Huge thanks to Elizabeth Bird at School Library Journal Fuse 8 for the special
"shout out" to my blog. :) Check out her blog for other book business recommendations.

Marketing Tip for the Day
Some of the best Internet marketers in the world are hosting a series of free teleconferences where you can learn a ton of great tips for marketing your books via the Internet.
Upcoming: Wednesday evening: John Di Lemme; Thursday evening: Bob Burg
More speakers next week as well.
You can find out about the entire free teleconference series by visiting:

Mouth-Off! Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM)
Word-of-mouth marketing spreads from one person to another outside of a formalized setting, without push from any advertisers.

A recommendation from someone familiar and trust-worthy is the easiest path to a sale, link or new subscriber. Why? Because recommendations are generally perceived as incentive-free, there is no obvious motivation.

Here are a few Easy WOMM strategies from Marketing Profs:

1.Target Talkers. Focus on Industry Influencers. I said target not stalk. You want to really build a relationship with them with the hopes of marketing through their existing sphere of social influence. Examples of influencers include celebrities, power users on social websites like Digg and popular webmasters or bloggers with many loyal supporters. I am a true believer that when you build relationships, it begins on "what YOU can do for them" not "what can you do for me" attitude.

2. Topic. Find discuss topics that are interesting to your talkers. Think about ways to create a positive response by enhancing your audiences experience in unexpected ways. Make your readers feel like an insider to an unique situation that encourages them to share or recommend your book. This could be to get them talking about special offers, freebies, information.

3. Tools/Technology - Use social networks to spread the word . This can be existing networks you already have (alumni, sorority, clubs or organizations) or joining large online communities. The existing ones you are already a part of are a quick hit. There is already a connection. Joining new ones takes a while to build so its not something that is as easy.

4. Take Part - Join in on message board or blog conversations. Again, contribute to discussions because you want to and because you care. Don't just contribute to use the board for advertising. It will have a negative effect. Also be sure to respond to phone calls, emails and comments on your blog.

5. Track - Keep up to date on what works for you and what doesn't. You only have time to focus on a few great things so don't waste your time with the things that don't work for you. Let them go and move on to something that does work.

  • More often than not, you will need to kick start some promotional method to initialize word of mouth buzz.
  • WOMM can include written testimonials, reviews, resource links, asked for expert advice

  • Focus on producing an excellent product -this will greatly facilitate the word-of-mouth process.

  • Honest word of mouth marketers live by earning the respect of their customers

  • Talk powerfully and naturally about what you do

  • Appreciate and acknowledge those who talk about you.

  • Treat everyone with respect.

  • Anything that breaks trust will backfire.

  • Negative word-of-mouth especially on you as a professional or as an author can hurt just as much as positive word of mouth can help.


Carrie Harris said...

I think it's particularly interesting to see how word-of-mouth is changing with the Internet. You really DO have to watch what you're saying all the time, because now, anyone can access it. Like you said, that can really hurt you just as much as it can help you.

In a former life, I worked in market research. Can you tell? :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, it's awesome that you have these things spelled out. Really helpful.

Anonymous said...

Okay even though I'm the last person who commented on this post, I did so AGES ago (maybe a week), so I hope this comment still counts. Your post reminds of a PSA where a girl goes off on a friend with the meanest things possible. Everybody stares at the girl with mouths agape. The commercial ends with--"If you wouldn't say it to their face, don't send it online." [or something somesuch.] One of my favorite time-wasters had a little post about these PSA. The blog is jezebel.com, a feminist blog I adore for its sensibility and humor. But now I'm realizing I have to slack off on jezzie and focus more on blogs related to my industry...