As an author, you are always on the lookout for new ways to improve your marketing strategy and grow your platform. One of the best ways to do this is by developing your power team.
What’s a power team? A familiar term among business networking professionals, a power team is comprised of individuals and/or businesses with whom you share common goals or a common client base.
How can it help you as an author? The members of your power team can help you improve your strategy, connect with more readers, identify more opportunities, hone your message, and expand your reach.
Lets look at key members of an author power team and how they help you build your career:
- Publisher: Your publisher is an industry insider. If you have chosen wisely, your publisher should have a track record of producing successful books in your genre and should be able to provide you with tips and insights to help you not only get on bookshelves, but also get in front of readers. Keep your contacts at the publisher in the loop so they are aware of all of your marketing efforts and publicity. This helps them keep your book stocked when and where it needs to be available. They can also give you feedback on publishing best practices.
- Publicist: A publicist helps you develop your marketing strategy and puts you in front of big media—radio, television, print, and online. A publicist also helps you hone your message and clarify your brand so you can reach readers. They have spent years cultivating relationships with media and industry professionals and have access to contacts you may not be able to reach on your own.
- Other Authors in Your Genre: Wait—they’re your competition, right? Not necessarily. If you have differentiated yourself well, your work will stand out when compared to other authors’ work. Each author has something unique to give to the reader, but authors in the same genre share the same audience and are marketing to the same people. If you have been growing your platform and marketing your book, you should already have a following. Pull your efforts together with another author doing the same and you can double the strength of your platform and gain twice the reach. Adding another author increases your reach that much more.
- Bloggers: Bloggers who write about your topic or genre also share marketing time with your audience. They often have an open dialogue with a following that listens to their advice and trusts their recommendations. Develop relationships with bloggers in your category, offer to write guest posts, give free review copies of your book, share links, or come up with cross-promotional activities.
- Industry Gurus: No matter what topic or genre your book covers, there will be some movers and shakers already hustling and bustling about. Cultivate a relationship with these people. They’re connected and know what your readers are looking for. They can get you into events and speaking engagements that will put you directly in front of your target audience. Plus, their opinion holds weight and can carry you deep into the hearts of your audience.
These are the primary members of your power team, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box while choosing members of your team. Each book and genre has special needs and interests that are served by many people. Aligning yourself with those people will help you engage with your audience and, in turn, sell more books.
Remember, just as with your audience, be willing to provide value before you ask for anything in return. You are looking to cultivate relationships here, not just take what you can get. Here are a few key things to remember when building your power team:
- Be sincerely interested in the other person.
- Find ways to help them meet their goals.
- Be willing and able to promote and/or endorse them.
- Relationships are a series of meaningful interactions. Make time to check in and see how they are doing, without looking for something in return.
Above all, treat them how you would want to be treated. If you are truly interested, considerate, and helpful, they will reciprocate.