Book Launch Basics

Kudos to you for finishing your book! It’s a huge effort that is to be commended for sure, but don’t celebrate too much. There’s still work to be done. Here’s the thing about publishing: sales don’t just happen. You have to market your masterpiece and that starts with a book launch.

Start Early

The biggest mistake you can make when coordinating your book launch is waiting too long. The day you send your book to print is too late. The best book launch starts weeks or even months before your book hits the shelves.

Think about it. There are dozens of moving parts to coordinate and leaving them until the last minute is a recipe for disaster. Instead, give you and your team plenty of time and you’ll enjoy a profitable, stress-free launch.

Outsource

Now is not the time to DIY. You have enough on your plate just trying to get the book ready for publication, so let someone else handle the details. If you already have a project manager, this is a great time to put them to work. If you have a VA who can step into the role and help coordinate the rest of the team, that’s workable as well. But either way, start putting your task list together and get them scheduled:

  • Landing page creation: consider giving away the first chapter of your book before publication to build a buzz (and your mailing list).
  • Social media outreach: teasers are perfect for getting the word out about your upcoming book. Don’t be afraid to “leak” your book cover, create social graphics with quotes, and share your enthusiasm with your tribe.
  • Reviewer outreach: getting reviews on the listing is critical to your book’s success, so now is the time to reach out to beta readers with a review copy, so they have time to read it before you go live.
  • Interview scheduling: one of the best ways to get the word out about your upcoming book is to make the rounds of podcasts, blogs, and live events.
  • Blog and email: don’t neglect your own audience leading up to launch day. Be sure to let them know about your upcoming book by blogging about it and keeping them updated on progress through email.

Steady Radiance Design can help with a lot of these. Reach out to us to see how we can help with getting the word out about your new book!

Have Fun

This is by far the most important thing you can do during your book launch. Enthusiasm is contagious, and the more fun you’re having with it, the better the buzz you’ll build. Plan to step outside your comfort zone a bit too, to really get others talking.

  • Facebook events: if ever there were a good reason to schedule a Facebook event, a book launch is it. Consider setting up a live video feed the day your book launches so you can share your thoughts with your fans.
  • Book trailers: another video that’s well worth the effort is a book trailer. Just like a movie trailer, these short commercial style videos are great for getting the word out about your book.
  • Host a book signing: if you live in or near a large city, or already have a large following, consider hosting a live event. A reading, some hors d’oeuvres, and a few signed books is all it takes, and your fans will love it.

Steady Radiance Design can help with some of these too!

Of course, you don’t have to go to the trouble of launching your book formally at all. But if you do, you’ll enjoy a much better start to your new publishing career. Not only that, but done right, book launches are great fun. That’s something you certainly deserve after all your work.

 

Image from Pexels

3 Reasons We Love the “Peek Over My Shoulder” Style of Training

How compelling is it when you see this on a sales page? “Peek over my shoulder while I…”

It doesn’t matter if the seller is demonstrating how to bake a cake or how to build a website, we want to peek over the shoulder and see. There’s just something intriguing about the opportunity to see an expert do what they do best. And that’s just what makes these types of training products best sellers in nearly every niche.

We want our methods justified.

We very likely already perform the tasks this “over the shoulder” product teaches but we question if we’re doing it the best, most efficient way. Is there a newer method that works better? Is there a less expensive or time-consuming technique? Or do we know a better way (that feeling of smugness is its own reward)?

By purchasing the products that show us exactly how others work, we’re finding out how we can work better, while still building up our confidence.

We want the tried-and-true approach.

When we’re just starting out (or even if we’re not) it can be helpful to cut through all the trial and error and get right to what works. After all, if you can skip the months and months of learning—not to mention the expense—why wouldn’t you? If you trust that the seller really does have it all figured out, purchasing the over-the-shoulder training can be a great shortcut and you can always refine the methods as you go.

We want to know the “secrets” of the pros.

Occasionally, we fall into the trap of thinking that there must be a “secret.” If only we had the right template, we’d finally be able to write that novel. If only we had the right interview questions, we’d finally be able to find a VA. If only we had the right dating profile checklist, we’d finally get a date.

Of course, there’s more to success in any niche than a checklist or template, but when we can dig into what is proven to work for others, it gives us that boost of confidence we need to continue moving forward.

So next time you see a product or program that offers to share an expert’s proven system, ask yourself why it seems so compelling to you. What’s triggering your interest? Chances are, it’s one (or more) of these reasons.

This style of training or coaching has proven to be hugely successful. Whether you’re looking to learn a new skill, improve your existing skills, or put together a course of your own to teach others, the “peek over the shoulder” method is definitely worth some consideration! Also, if you are preparing to launch your own course, check out our blog post on how to make it a must-have for your potential clients!

The Power of the Published Author

Have you been thinking about writing a book but have just never gotten around to it? Or do you already have a book written and you have just been unable to publish it? Read on, dear friend, because I’m about to give you three reasons why that needs to change.

Your presence on social media is a great representation of your brand. Your blog attracts and engages with new audiences. Your email list keeps you connected with fans and followers.

Each tool in your marketing toolkit has a job to do, but the one with the most power by far is your published book.

Your name on the cover of a tangible, hold-it-in-your-hands, printed-on-paper book is the one thing that can take your coaching business from somewhat successful to rock star status.

As an Author, You’re an Instant Expert

Pay attention to the “experts” you see interviewed on morning news shows, talk shows, and on radio and podcasts. Notice anything?

They’re almost always introduced as “The author of…”

There’s a reason for that. Those who have the expertise to dig deep into a subject just so they can break it down in a way that others will understand clearly know their stuff. Books don’t just skim the surface of a subject. They follow the rabbit trails and make new connections and explore unknown corners.

If you’ve written a book, you have almost certainly earned your “expert” status.

Writers Are Committed and Driven

Not only are authors seen as the experts in their field, but they’ve proven themselves to be more committed than most. Think about the time and energy and frustration that comes from writing 150 or 200 or even 300 pages of content about the same subject. Not only that, but those pages must flow together in a logical order, make sense out of difficult to grasp concepts, and be engaging, too.

That’s a tall order and for those who pull it off, the kudos are well deserved. When your book is published, you deserve to walk a bit taller and hold your head a bit straighter. But even if you don’t, others will see you through new eyes, simply because you’ve written a book.

Books Offer a “Foot in the Door” When Nothing Else Will

When it comes to publicity—be it in the form of interviews, speaking engagements, JV invitations, or just more traffic to your website—you really can’t do better than a book. Books open doors that no other content marketing tool can.

Books get you noticed by top-tier influencers in your niche.

Books make you a more memorable speaker.

And believe it or not, self-published books even turn into traditional publishing contracts and all the benefits that go along with it.

With all the advantages that come with having written a book, what’s holding you back? No matter what your niche or who your market is, there’s room on the shelf for your unique insights. You owe it to your audience, and to your business, to get that book published. If you need some help with getting started, check out this article on how to turn your publishing dreams into a workable plan.

3 Surefire Ways to Create In-Demand Products and Services

If there’s one thing that holds promising entrepreneurs back from launching their business, it’s this: a lack of confidence in their products. Sure, you think that a new course or workshop is a great idea, but how do you know it will sell?
Imagine spending weeks or even months of time—plus the cost of document design, video editing, and all the other pieces that go along with it—only to discover it’s not what your audience wants or needs. How frustrating would that be?
You don’t have to leave it to chance, though. There are plenty of ways to test your idea for new products and services before spending the time and energy on a full launch.

Just Ask

This is the simplest way to get a feel for what your market needs and wants. Simply ask them. Create a survey with Survey Monkey (or even a Google form) and send it out to your mailing list. For best results, keep it short, but do ask:

  • What they’re struggling with
  • Their preferred learning method (video, text, audio, etc.)
  • What they feel the training is worth (what would they pay)

These three pieces will tell you everything you need to know to create products and services that are practically guaranteed to sell.

Listen to Their Complaints

If you have a community (or are part of one) of ideal clients, pay attention to what they’re asking about the most. These are the things they need help with. For example, if you’re a business coach and your Facebook group is filled with questions about running Facebook ads, then clearly there is a need for some training in that area.

Study Your Competition

Hopefully, you have a list of competitors and you’re reading their blogs and emails, and lurking in their Facebook groups. This is a great way to gain insight into what they’re doing—not to copy them but to discover what’s hot right now.
Consider buying their paid products as well. Again, you should never copy them, but you can either:

  • Promote them as an affiliate
  • Create a better, more comprehensive version
  • Create a lite, lower-cost version

Creating products and services in a vacuum is a great way to waste a lot of time and money on programs that won’t sell. Instead, pay attention to what your market is asking for, find out what they’re willing to pay, and delve into your competition’s offers. The information you gain from these three activities alone will give you incredible insight into your market and what they want and need, and make it easy to create your own hot-selling program.

How to Learn Online Marketing at Home

To become successful with online marketing, one must develop the necessary skills and knowledge to produce the best results.

This will take hard work and patience, but the good news is that you do not need to attend a college or university to get these skills.

In this guide, you’ll discover some methods you can use to learn online marketing at home. In fact, you could become an expert yourself!

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEM is a major part of online marketing and is split into two defined areas: search engine optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC):

  1. With SEO, you’ll learn how to optimize a website so that it ranks higher in the search engines’ organic results, therefore helping to drive targeted traffic to your website (learn more about searching engine ranking here).
    • An important item to understand about SEO is that this is a discipline that changes continuously. Because of this aspect, you’ll want to monitor the major players in SEO to keep up with search engine algorithm changes, so you can adjust your own methods accordingly.
    • There are many SEO courses online, including one that we’re working on here, at Steady Radiance Design. Research these courses, pick one, and get started!
  2. PPC, or Pay-Per-Click marketing, will enable you to send traffic to websites with targeted advertisements.
    • Google Ads is still one of the most popular PPC networks, which will show your ads on Google properties and websites that have the AdSense code included.
    • You can learn PPC easily online and relatively quickly. There are numerous courses you can take, including ones that will allow you to gain a Google Certification for PPC ads.
    • Once you’ve gained this accreditation, create some PPV (Pay Per View) campaigns of your own to gain the necessary experience you’ll need to get your own clients.

Social Media Marketing

It’s almost impossible to imagine a world without social media. Millions of people visit social media websites each day, which is why learning how to market on these platforms is so important.

Social media marketing has many advantages, such as:

  • Marketing your website for free by engaging your social media audience.
  • Buying effective advertising campaigns for as little as $5/day.
  • A highly targeted audience that you want to show your ads to.

Luckily, there are online courses available on these platforms themselves that will help teach you how to market to the millions of users that use these platforms daily. From paid campaigns to getting your content to go viral, if you want to learn about something, there will be a course available that can help.

Email Marketing

Despite what you may have heard, email marketing is still one of the best ways to market online.

The first step is to build an email list. Offer something valuable, such as a free report or discount coupon, that is related to your products or services in exchange for their email address. In this way, you can build a list of people that opted in to receive your emails.

To run a successful email marketing campaign, it’s important to understand your audience and what they want. Once you understand what they want, you can craft an offer that will be attractive to them and then make your offer in an email to your list.

In order to build your email list and send emails to them, you’ll need to use an autoresponder. There are many autoresponder platforms on the web, and many of them are free to get started.

With an autoresponder, you can also track your ads and their effectiveness.

To learn more about email marketing and how to effectively use an autoresponder:

  • Pick one and start using it. All the major autoresponder platforms have numerous guides and articles about how to use them to run successful marketing campaigns.
  • You can also find videos on YouTube that teach how to run email marketing campaigns with your chosen autoresponder.
  • Or you can do an online search for a course that teaches you the information you need.

Do Your Research and Take Action

You can research online marketing tips at home and find out what techniques are working for others.

You can then take these ideas and use them yourself. Many techniques you learn may not be successful, but you will soon learn what works best for you and what does not.

You’ll learn your own way of working and which area of online marketing you prefer to focus on. Not everyone can be an expert at everything, which is why many successful online marketers have a team of experts who each specialize in their own area.

You can become one of these experts yourself and do your own online marketing for your own company or offer your services to others. You could make a nice extra income this way!

Do you have more questions or need some addition guidance for how to improve your online marketing game?

Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

How to Start a Conversation in (almost) Any Situation (Infographic)

A big part of being a business owner is in-person communication. Actually, that’s a big part of just being human – it’s something we all face. If you’re anything like some of us here at Steady Radiance Design, the thought of the conversations at networking events or conferences might make you shudder. First you have the awkward small talk about everything and nothing. Then you have extended periods of silence that go on for ages. It’s all enough to make even the biggest social butterfly uncomfortable.

Enter, this list of easy-to-remember conversations starters (what we consider to be the “best of” the options we’ve found). Having an arsenal of good, thought-provoking conversation starters can turn any event into an interesting and even entertaining experience. Keep this infographic handy on your phone or tablet for a quick idea at your next social event! (click here to go straight to the infographic)

Start a Conversation at a Conference

Conferences are generally a fairly easy place to start a conversation because of the multiple sessions and speakers. Above all, we’ve found that the most memorable conversations happen when the conversation is a bit unique. Therefore, we suggest a little variation on the standard conference conversation theme.

  • If you could have everyone in your company watch a single session from this event, which would it be?
  • What have you learned that you find to be the most surprising? (add “so far” if it’s not over yet)
  • Is there any conference (real or imaginary) that you would love to attend?
  • Do you think that [industry] would benefit from more or less conferences?

Start a Conversation at a Social Event

Social events can be a challenge with conversations. A social event could be anything from a retirement party for a coworker to a birthday party for your niece. So not only is the event itself obscure, the people who attend will be equally so. Because of the varied nature of these events, having some tricks up your “conversationalist sleeve” can be just what you need. Here are some conversation starters that can get you going in this environment.

  • If you had to switch outfits with one person here, who would it be?
  • I’ve really itching to go on a trip. Have you traveled anywhere interesting lately?
  • What do you think are the top three ingredients for a successful party?
  • Do you have a signature drink? (gesture to their glass)

Start a Conversation at an Industry Event

Industry events are generally more specific and thus provide a good idea of what you might be able to talk about. However, like conferences, that conversation can tend to get a bit tedious. To help prevent that, here are some suggestions for more interesting conversation starters at an industry event.

  • By any chance, have you read anything good about [theme of event/forum]?
  • If you could spend an entire day talking to any expert in our industry, who would it be?
  • Is [theme of event/forum] a major professional focus of yours?
  • Why did you decide to come to this event/forum?

Start a Conversation at a Happy Hour Networking Event

Happy hour networking events are more casual than many other professional events, which broadens the topics available to you. They also tend to be filled with other locals so you can talk about the city/state you’re in, local venues, and other similar topics. In addition to that, you can talk about topics that are a bit more casual.

  • At this time on a typical [day of the week], what would you be doing?
  • What’s your favorite part about living in [city]? Least favorite?
  • If you could only attend one type of networking function for the rest of your life, would you choose breakfasts or happy hours?
  • I read an article claiming nowadays everyone has a side hustle (or four). Do you agree? Are you working on anything on the side?

 

Check out the conversation starter infographic below. We welcome you to use this infographic on your website or other marketing materials, provided you include a link back to our website (www.steadyradiancedesign.com).

Conversation Starters Infographic

We welcome you to use this infographic on your website or in other marketing materials, provided you include a link back to our website (www.steadyradiancedesign.com).

What are your go-to conversation starters? What types of events do you find the most difficult to strike up a conversation?

Share your thoughts with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Video Advertising on Social Media: The One Thing You Need to Know

If you’ve spent any time researching social media for business recently then I’m sure you’ve heard, video is where it’s at. Video ads are the fastest growing form of advertising online. According to eMarketer, US advertisers are expected to spend almost $16 billion just on video ads in 2019. That number is expected to jump to an estimated $25 billion by 2022!

The reasons behind the swell in video advertising are clear: more people are watching and responding to video ads than ever before. It’s estimated that by 2020, the number of smartphone users watching mobile video will be close to 200 million. In addition, those viewers will spend close to 30 minutes per day watching mobile video. That’s a lot of eyeballs.

Regardless of if you’re a seasoned video advertiser or just getting into the game, the one thing you need to know is how to measure the effectiveness of your video ads – the return on investment. “Video Views” are generally the metric to watch to figure out your ROI. A video view is how many times the video has been watched, but the definition of what constitutes a video view is fuzzy at best.

Video view metrics vary based on the platform and can mean different things based on which one you’re using. So, here’s a breakdown of how “video views” are measured on some of the largest platforms.

YouTube

Definition of a view: 30 seconds (or the whole duration, if your video is less than 30 seconds) or when the viewer actively engages with your video, whichever action comes first.

For what counts as a view on YouTube video ads, we looked at their TrueView in-stream advertising. For TrueView in-stream, a view is counted as the number of times your video is viewed for 30 seconds (or the whole duration, if your video is less than 30 seconds) or when the viewer actively engages with your video, whichever action comes first.

Also, it’s worth noting that when a video is first posted, YouTube filters the number of views based on what it considers to be actual human views, not computer programs. It shows what it considers to be “quality views” until the number of views gets up high enough. They don’t really say what that means, because it varies based on the popularity of the video. Read more about this process in YouTube’s Help Center.

Facebook and Instagram

Definition of a view: three seconds, or 97% of the total length of the video if its total length is less than three seconds.

The definition above is the standard for Facebook and Instagram. However, calculating how much you’re charged for the ad depends on the type of ad you purchase. If you purchase a CPM (cost per 1,000 views/impressions) you will be charged after the standard three seconds. However, if you purchase a ThruPlay ad, you will be charged after a viewer watches your video for 15 seconds (or 97% of the video, if its total length is less than 15 seconds).

LinkedIn

Definition of a view: 2 seconds of continuous playback while the video is at least 50% on the screen or an active engagement with your video, whichever comes first.

LinkedIn has adopted the Media Rating Council’s (MRC) definition of a view. LinkedIn also provides metrics on the number of times a video is viewed to 50%, 75% and 100% of the total length of the video.

Pinterest

Definition of a view: 2 seconds of continuous playback while the video is at least 50% on the screen.

Pinterest has also chosen to adopt the MRC definition of a view. Pinterest also tracks some engagements and how long the video was viewed, but their analytics are limited, so they’ve partnered with other companies to expand the options for measurements.

Snapchat

Definition of a view: 2 seconds of continuous watch time or a swipe up action on the Top Snap.

Snapchat also adopted the MRC definition, however they include the “swipe up” action in their definition due to the nature of the way media is delivered on their platform. The number of Snaps watched to 25%, 50% and 75% is also provided.

Twitter

Definition of a view: 2 seconds of continuous playback while the video is at least 50% on the screen.

Twitter also opted to use the MRC definition of a view for their Video Views metric. They also have a metric called “Media Views” which includes views of all media types: videos, vines, gifs and images.

 

BONUS TIP

Don’t just use the number of views as your measurement of success. Different video campaigns should have different desired outcomes and different results. If it’s not necessary for viewers to watch your entire video, then completion rates aren’t as important. You can use the percentage of completion rates to see if viewers are watching long enough to get the message. You can also use demographic information to see if you’re reaching your desired audience.

Do you use video ads as a part of your business’ marketing campaign? What metrics do you look for on your video ads?

Share your thoughts with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men; Colossians 3:23 AKJV