Using Media to Amplify your Author Platform

In this training, I’ll be exploring the Media Framework of the Author Platform Pyramid and how you can use it to amplify your messages.

The media framework is important as this is where the work you’ve put into building the foundations and systems for your Author Platform becomes tangible. You are now ready to start effectively communicating to the three fan bases you have already identified. Just to recap they are:

  1. Your existing fan base
  2. Your book buyers fan base
  3. Influencers fan bases

In previous blog posts, I explored using the Marketing Pyramid approach to building your Author Platform. To recap the Marketing Pyramid consists of three frameworks:

  1. Foundations
  2. Systems
  3. Media

In this episode, I’ll be diving into the Media Framework. The three elements that make up the Media Framework are:

  1. Mail
  2. Publicity
  3. Events

The 7 pillars of marketing communications

The number 7 features heavily in the World of professional marketers. As an author, you don’t need to dive into why or even where it features, just accept that it denotes that you need to communicate in many and varied ways to optimize your marketing effectiveness.

In regards to the concept of 7 pillars, as an author you need to look to develop 7 different channels to get your messages to your potential readers. There are many factors beyond your control that can render any one of your channels immediately ineffective hence the need for multiple channels. For example, I’m writing this during the COVID-19 lockdowns. If your only media channel was book signings, then your income would have dried up overnight.

You may find the thought of identifying and developing 7 channels to be rather daunting but it doesn’t have to be. The best way to progress this is to look at the short, medium and long-term. By taking a strategic approach you will identify the potential channels that suit your target audience and build on any established channels that you may already have. By taking a little time to identify these you will build a communications plan in no time.

In the short term, you only need to start with one channel. In “best practice” marketing you always start with only one channel, get that working and only then move onto developing your second channel. Again, get the second channel working and then move onto your third etc.

The big issue is always working out which channel to start with. The fastest and easiest way is to work on a channel you have already established, but there is a proviso here in that this channel must help you connect with your target audience and avatar, if it doesn’t it will be a total waste of time.

Review foundation framework

In earlier episodes, I explored the three key elements of the Foundation Framework of goals, target market and avatar. It’s time to dust these off and review them.

If you haven’t already done this, write down the goals for your book, your target market and your avatar. Pin them to your notice board, set them up as a screensaver, put them in multiple places where you will see them several times a day. You need to engrain them into your subconscious mind. Doing this will help ensure that every marketing message aligns with your goals and talks directly to your ideal reader. Failing to do this will result in your messages being considered marketing noise and will seriously weaken your brand.

Messages must have a purpose

Everyday each of us are bombarded with over 3,000 marketing messages, the overwhelming majority of which are irrelevant. Our subconscious mind helps us to retain some sort of sanity by creating filters that block out irrelevant messages so only a small handful get through. Our subconscious is so good at creating filters that it can be hard for your messages to break through if it considers your brand as being a source of “noise”.

To help get past your target audiences subconscious filters you need to ensure every message:

  1. Has a clear purpose
  2. It talks directly to your avatar
  3. It’s consistent with your brand
  4. It gives clear instructions on what to do next.

Tell them what to do

As an author, chances are that you will never have a big brand marketing budget the likes of which the marketers at Coca Cola deal with every day. Observing how big brands market is an interesting learning experience, however you shouldn’t model your marketing messages on their techniques. Their marketing is generally designed to build brand awareness as they are looking for long term results. You need to aim for short term gains so leave brand awareness to the big brands.

One of the most obvious differences in communications is that you need your audience to take immediate action. This is simply achieved by ensuring your communication have a clear call to action. In other words, you must tell them what to do. You will notice these types of instructions in your everyday life…buy now…click here…register now…share…like…comment.

Top 3 media channel clusters for authors

In coming episodes, I’ll be exploring each of the top three media channel clusters that authors should focus on. Within each of these clusters there is an enormous range of channel options however, I’ll be providing you with a sound starting point by explaining the range of options that are the most appropriate for authors.

From my experience, the most successful authors develop communication channels across all three clusters.

  1. Mail: email, direct mail, ride along mail

This is the first cluster authors should look to develop. With the systems framework in place it will be fast and easy to move forward with email marketing and in the next episode I’ll explain some simple, low cost direct and ride along mail techniques you can quickly deploy.

  1. Publicity: media outlets, social media, paid media

Social media is another fast and low cost marketing channel that should be in every authors tool kit. Paid media is fast but can be expensive while accessing media outlets with PR campaigns can give you enormous reach

  1. Events: book signings, live events, virtual events

Done correctly, events can get you in front for your target market and are a great tactic to leverage your book into higher level product sales. They are especially useful for coaches and consultants.

Key Takeaways for building your media framework are:

  1. Take your time to build your 7 pillars of communication,
  2. Review your foundational framework,
  3. Only ever talk directly to your ideal avatar,
  4. Tell your audience what you want them to do.

I know, building your Author Platform can seem daunting but it doesn’t have to be. In coming episodes, I’ll be exploring the simple, no BS and low cost approach to building a solid platform that you can leverage for many years to come.

Finally, I want to leave you with one piece of advice:

Building a well thought out and robust media framework is where you, as an author, will start to generate sustainable income. It’s also the danger time for you as your subconscious will start to let marketing messages through that can do you more harm than good.

The marketing World is full of scammers, snake oil sales people and those out to make a quick buck. Don’t rush out and invest in the latest and greatest marketing tactic peddled by the 2 minute gurus that your subconscious is now letting you see in your social feeds and email inboxes. Rather, stay the course, get the strategy right, do the basics well and you will succeed.