Forget About Competition…Make Them Friends Instead

If you’ve been working hard on writing books, growing your traffic, creating products and services, building your mailing list, participating in social media and doing all those things you know should do to grow your business…you’ll know one thing for certain. It IS hard work.

But there’s one thing that multiplies all these efforts faster and more cost-effectively than anything else.

And that is embracing the idea that the people we typically think of as competition can actually be our very best allies in business. As authors and online business owners, we’re not competing with other business owners in a specific part of town or going head-to-head with the shop across the street. We’re on big wide Internet, where there is plenty of business to be had for all. Add to that, when we work together to bring one another customers, we ALL make more money through commissions, joint venture products and more.

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Let’s elaborate a little…

Here’s what you can expect when you embrace your competition as friends instead:

1. Broader Reach: As I mentioned, the Internet offers a vast opportunity to reach consumers all around the world…more people than we could possibly reach ourselves, even if we used all the advertising and marketing methods available to us. Plus, when a friend recommends us, it’s much powerful than any advertising we could pay for.

2. More Profit: With broader reach, comes more profit. The most obvious is way is if someone promotes you to their audience, they bring you more business. But the even greater part is, if you promote your friends, you earn even more through commissions. You can also work on products together and come up with new income streams you wouldn’t have on your own.

And remember, we alone cannot possibly offer EVERYTHING that our audience needs. It’s foolish to think we’re a one-stop shop or to even strive to be one. Our customers will always need more than we can provide, so why not earn some money by recommending those things?

3. Shorter Learning Curves and Big Opportunities: When you’ve got friends, you can tap into knowledge, get advice and support. Whether it’s through a structured mastermind group, a forum or information communication through Skype and email…these opportunities to connect are priceless. You can share what works and what doesn’t in your own businesses. You can give each other a heads up on products you’re creating, so perhaps you can create something complementary or craft a content marketing plan that will be in line with what they’re doing, so you can earn money without creating any product of your own.

4. Reliability: True friends are reliable, even when other things in your business, and even your personal life, are beyond your control. When you have a product launch coming, it’s easy to propel to success when you have friends on your side. If you have something in your life arise when you need an influx of cash, having friends ready to send out promotions for you, it’s easier to reach your goals.

We can say, 100% without a doubt, that our businesses wouldn’t be where it is without friends. In fact, Elite Writer’s Lab wouldn’t exist at all if we didn’t embrace this concept. We’ve accumulated countless new readers and customers from people who sell very similar products to mine. And in return, we’ve done the same for my friends. It’s a win-win-win for me, for my friends and for our customers. We hope if you can’t say the same right now, that you’ll keep these tips in mind and you’ll be able to sing the praises for turning friends into competition too.

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Establishing Your Expert Status by Taking Clients

Do you take clients

by Alice Seba

Do you take clients?

Online business is an amazing opportunity for more hands-free and passive income opportunities than most other types of businesses.

You can publish content that works for you for years to come, you can build lists of thousands of people who eagerly buy from you over and over again and you can do it all in your pajamas if you feel like it.

It’s a pretty sweet gig that a lot of people strive for.

As someone who started with doing a service business on the side to pay the bills, I can say that it’s a lot easier to focus on the more passive forms of income. The hours are shorter and the headaches are fewer.

But the interesting thing is that taking clients is often very valuable to a more passive income-based business.

A number of years ago when I was at a seminar lunch break, Alex Mandossian shared his formula for becoming an “expert”. I can’t remember exactly what he said and he said it eloquently, but one thing that stood out for me is him saying that one of the routes to becoming an expert is to help others achieve what you want to be an expert in.

And it made perfect sense.

Here’s Why Clients Are a Good Thing

  • Better Understanding of What Works: If you’re out there working one-on-one with people, you’ll know what really works in your niche.  If you help people improve their content marketing, you’ll have a better of idea of what works across niches and discover new strategies that you may not have if you were just working on your own projects. If you help people quit smoking, you can see first hand the struggles they have, what helps them make progress and what sets them back.
  • Knowing What’s Really Happening Out There: Sitting in a passive world puts you in a bit of a bubble. You can observe through comments your readers leave you, social media, forums, etc…but you’re only seeing what people tell you. If you take on clients, you have hands-on access into what is happening in your market right now.
  • New Discoveries: By working with clients you can discover new ways to help others achieve their goals that you may never have known by working with your current set of experiences. More experience is always a good thing.
  • Credibility: It’s one thing to be in the trenches yourself, but serving others and gathering testimonials is social proof you can use to establish your credibility. For example, let’s say you want to be a weight loss expert. You’ve lost 100 pounds, which is an amazing feat, but what can you do for others? If you take on clients, you can prove yourself, collect detailed case studies and gather very powerful testimonials.

Doesn’t Selling Information Products and Books Accomplish The Same Thing?

The obvious next question is whether or not selling information products or books can achieve the same thing. Sure, you can get feedback from customers and gain credibility through customer success, but you’re still arms length from things. You don’t get to see the day-to-day and what people are actually working on, how they struggle, etc. There is so much you can learn very quickly and intimately by taking on a few clients.

Do You Have To Take Clients?

So, am I saying you have to take clients to become an expert? Not at all, but it is a quick route to really gaining the experience you may need. And for those seasoned in their niche, it’s a great reality check every now and then that allows you to bring so much more to the table for your current readers and customers.

The choice is yours, but the question still is…do you take clients?

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Your Ideal Client Free Guide & Worksheet

Find Your Ideal ClientWhen you first start your business, you might feel you should take any client you can get, but nothing can be further from the truth. All that does set you up for way too much work, headaches and likely a string of unsatisfied clients.

Take the time to figure out exactly who your ideal client is, so you can better target your marketing to the clients who will fully appreciate your skills and are more than willing to pay good money for them.

To help you, we’ve got a free guide and worksheet to help you. Just download them at the links below.

Read through the short guide first and then get to work on the worksheet. Use what you discover to create your marketing materials and start working those clients who deserve you.

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How to Market Inside Your Kindle Book – Quick Tips

Everyone is so focused on marketing to get buyers to their books, but your Kindle book is ALSO valuable marketing space.

You have a lot of leeway to talk about your business inside your book and always use it to your advantage. Here are some things to include inside your book:

* Your author biography: Just because they bought your book, doesn’t mean they know who you are and what you do.

* Include testimonials: There’s nothing quite like social proof. If people love your books, products and services, include that in the book too.

* Offer an incentive for them to visit your blog or website: Give them a workbook to apply what they learn, an audio version of your book and more. Better yet, have them opt-in, so you can get them on your mailing list.

* List all your other publications: Don’t make them go looking for your other work. Just tell them what you’ve done and where to get it.

What To Do Next: Get These Done-for-You Kindle Templates

By the way, we’ve got a collection of Kindle templates, including bio templates for you…for both fiction and non-fiction authors.

The package includes:

  • Insider’s Kindle Marketing Strategy Guide
  • Bio Templates with Samples (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
  • Book Sales Page Templates with Samples (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
  • Book Outline Worksheets (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
  • Topic Research Worksheet (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
  • Kindle Templates (Fiction and Non-Fiction) with Formatting Guide
  • Kindle Publishing Checklists (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
  • Book Cover Image Templates (Fiction and Non Fiction)

Make your Kindle marketing a whole lot easier by getting your template package here and enter coupon code: KINDLETEMPLATES to save 30% off the already discounted price.

 

Tips for a Winning Kindle Author Bio

Your book and website need an author page and biography. You might be surprised how many readers, and potential readers, make a buying decision based on your bio. Not to mention the folks that are just curious about who you are and why you’re the authority on your topic. Your bio is an opportunity to market yourself and sell more books.

Your bio is also probably one of the most difficult things you’ll ever have to write. It can be difficult to write about yourself objectively.

1. Rough It Out First

Write a bullet point rough draft bio. Don’t sweat it right now. Just jot down some ideas that you think should be included in your bio. What do readers, and potential readers, want to know about you? What information will help you sell more books? For example, if you wrote a book about cats then the fact that you own 5 cats may be helpful. Your bachelor’s degree in advertising, not so helpful.

2. Remember, It’s A Marketing Piece.

Approach the project like it’s a marketing piece -because it is. Your bio needs to connect with your reader and audience. That means that it should be accurate and honest and that it should focus on what your reader wants to know and what may influence them to buy your book.

3. Write It In The Third Person

Write your bio as if you are someone else. For example, “Jane Doe has been awarded Best Trainer by the Animal Trainer Association.” This makes your biography sound more professional than “I am the winner of several best trainer awards.” And honestly, you’ll likely find that it is easier to write about yourself in third person.

4. Include Any Awards, Endorsements, And Recognitions

List any recognitions that you may have if they are relevant to your audience. Industry awards, celebrity or industry influencer endorsements are terrific too. For example, if you wrote a book on dog training and Cesar Millan (the dog whisperer) endorsed your book or website, add that to your bio.

5. Credibility

What relevant experience and knowledge do you have. If for example, you’re writing a book on pet training, what makes you credible? Do you have a degree in veterinarian science? Have you trained animals for television? What do you know that’s relevant to your topic and audience?

6. Personality and Photo

Inject some personality into your bio page. What makes you unique? What might readers enjoy knowing about you? Kindle also allows you to upload a photo. Use a professional, and friendly, photo of yourself.

7. Don’t Forget Your Website

Please make sure to include your website name in your Kindle Author Bio. Give readers a way to connect with you, learn more, and buy more.

Your Kindle Author Bio can be anywhere from one paragraph to three. It has to be at least 20 words. Kindle restricts the use formatting like bold, italics, HTML or other rich formatting. Short paragraphs will make it easy to read online.

Once you’ve written your draft, walk away from it for a bit. Think about it and then come back and write your bio. Ask a few trusted friends to read it and take their advice seriously. It’s difficult to write about yourself and your friends and associates can look at your bio from a reader’s perspective. And remember, Kindle is forgiving. You can edit, update, and change your bio any time you want to.

What To Do Next: Get These Done-for-You Kindle Templates

By the way, we’ve got a collection of Kindle templates, including bio templates for you…for both fiction and non-fiction authors.

The package includes:

  • Insider’s Kindle Marketing Strategy Guide
  • Bio Templates with Samples (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
  • Book Sales Page Templates with Samples (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
  • Book Outline Worksheets (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
  • Topic Research Worksheet (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
  • Kindle Templates (Fiction and Non-Fiction) with Formatting Guide
  • Kindle Publishing Checklists (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
  • Book Cover Image Templates (Fiction and Non Fiction)

Make your Kindle marketing a whole lot easier by getting your template package here and enter coupon code: KINDLETEMPLATES to save 30% off the already discounted price.

 

4 Smart Ways to Promote Your Kindle Ebook You May Not Have Thought Of

open book

Writing and publishing a Kindle book is a tremendous accomplishment. Now, let’s talk about getting you some results.

As you know, it’s not enough to publish and then sit back and wait for the sales to roll in. You may get some sales right away but you probably won’t get the kind of income and return on investment you’re hoping for unless you take an active role in promoting your book.

Here are 4 promotion ideas that you may not have considered.

1. List it On a Free Giveaway Directory Site – There are websites devoted to promoting books. You can get your book listed on these sites by simply submitting your book along with a description. Some sites ask for more information. For example, E Reader News Today offers a freebie promotion page.

You can list your book for free for a day, or more, it’s up to you. Then have it promoted on their freebie page. This site, and others, promote fiction and non-fiction. You can then use your listing to cross-promote your book.

If you have a free report or opt-in product you can use that as your freebie giveaway and then promote your book in the free report. So there are a couple of ways to leverage ebook directories.

2. Facebook Event – You can hold a Facebook event like a virtual book signing event or a launch. You can invite your friends and associates to the event. During the event you might hold giveaways, question and answer periods, and you might even interview an expert or two. You can share quotes from the book and have a great time connecting and promoting. It’s a good idea to offer a discount code or special offer to people who attend your event.

4. Press Releases – Authors often forget about the good old press release these days, but they’re still very effective. Today’s press releases are social media friendly and with a distribution service, you can reach thousands. Craft your press release so that you’re presenting an interesting hook and story. You might even reach out to your local media to see if they’re interested in your book and story.

When media outlets pick up your release or cover your story, you can post that information on social media. For example, if your book is talked about in your local paper, you can tell your Facebook followers that your book is in the news and share a link to the article.

4. Blog Tour – Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, a blog tour is a fantastic way to reach a wider audience. Fiction authors can guest blog on other fiction writer’s websites. You might also blog on websites that review books or talk about writing. Non-fiction writers can do a blog tour and guest blog on websites that are relevant to their audience – but not in direct competition.

Use your imagination when promoting your book. Think about where your audience hangs out and what they want to know. Also keep in mind that any promotion tactic can likely be optimized when you integrate it into your other tactics. Promoting your book may require a little work but the resulting sales make it worth your while.

What To Do Next: Get These Done-for-You Kindle Templates

By the way, we’ve got a collection of Kindle templates, including bio templates for you…for both fiction and non-fiction authors.

The package includes:

  • Insider’s Kindle Marketing Strategy Guide
  • Bio Templates with Samples (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
  • Book Sales Page Templates with Samples (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
  • Book Outline Worksheets (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
  • Topic Research Worksheet (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
  • Kindle Templates (Fiction and Non-Fiction) with Formatting Guide
  • Kindle Publishing Checklists (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
  • Book Cover Image Templates (Fiction and Non Fiction)

Make your Kindle marketing a whole lot easier by getting your template package here and enter coupon code: KINDLETEMPLATES to save 30% off the already discounted price.

8 Essentials to Grow Your Mailing List

Grow Your Mailing List

If you know the power of the mailing list (and we hope you do), you’re probably always trying to get more people on yours. Of course, you want targeted subscribers, not just numbers. These are people who are interested in your books, products and services.

Here are a 8 must-do ways to grow your targeted subscriber list:

1. Have a Great Offer: It’s not enough to say, “We have a newsletter…join!” You have to give them a compelling reason to subscribe. You can give them a free gift like a report, checklist, worksheet, software or other tool. Or if you’re mailing list has some other attractive perk, include that in your offer.

Think of anything that holds instant value to your subscribers. It doesn’t have to be long and complicated because your subscribers want quick solutions. Help them achieve their goals quickly and they’ll opt in readily.

2. Change Your Offer Accordingly: Sometimes the same freebie or perk doesn’t work in all instances. Change it up to fit the appropriate situation. Just like with any advertising you do, always make your offer as targeted to the audience as possible.

For example, if you have a blog post about creating compelling fiction characters, include an opt-in offer with a character worksheet. But if you’ve got another post or you’re creating a Facebook Ad about writing prompts, offer them more prompts for opting in.

3. Have Multiple Lists: Not only should the freebie or perk be targeted, so should the email you send to the list. Target your list to the specific audience. This doesn’t mean you need 30 lists, but where it makes sense, do it. For example, if you’re in the women’s health market, you may have lists for healthy eating, exercise, etc.

4. Opt-In Form on Every Page: It’s email marketing 101, but a good reminder to have your opt-in offer on the top fold of each content page. If it’s a sales page, you may not want the distraction, but for your blog, articles and other content, get that opt-in form on there.

5. Dedicated Opt-in / Squeeze Page: In addition to having an opt-in form, create a full page dedicated to nothing but “selling” your freebie/perk and opting into your newsletter. This is going to be a key piece of real estate for building your list. See the resource link at the bottom of this post for help in creating your page.

Here are some examples of our opt-in pages:

* Top Success Tips from 8 Professional Writers: An offer to get the top tips (report and video format) of 8 professional writers.

* 34 Ways to Profit from Your Writing: An offer to get our free report that includes information on writing for profit.

* How to Use Free Reports to Grow Your Business: This opt-in page is a bit more involved as the whole page is a large tutorial, but there are opportunities to download the tutorial by opting in.

6. Link to Your Opt-In / Squeeze Page: This is essential, but where a lt of people just get passive. Once you have your page set up, make sure you link to it readily. Use it in your advertising, resource boxes, social media and more. If you expect to send a lot of traffic from one linking source, create a special landing page that welcomes those visitors and target the offer as much as possible to those specific visitors.

Do a little bit of this EVERY single day and your list will continue to grow. Put it on your to do list and be vigilant about it.

7. Refer-a-Friend and Share: Ask your subscribers to pass on your emails and to share them on social media. If they like your content, encourage them to make sure others know about it too.

8. Make Friends: This one is HUGE. One of the fastest ways to grow your list is to make friends of would-be competitors. It’s not a dog-eat-dog world out there amongst content publishers…most of them readily share, so get to know them and these relationships will be some of your biggest assets.

When you’ve got an email list, you’ve got:

  • A high converting asset. According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), email produces an ROI of $40.56 for each dollar invested.
  • It’s an asset that you OWN. If you’re relying on Facebook or Twitter, just remember those followers are not your own and can be taken from you in an instant.
  • A highly engaged audience you can contact over and over again. Website visitors come and go. Social media attention spans are fleeting. Email gets you in the inbox of your readers and when they open your email, they’re focused on your message.

Stay tuned…we’ll be back soon with more tips to help you break down some of these steps.

Free Guide to Creating Book and Product Covers

from-digital-tangibleWe’re back with a handy guide to help you create effective book and product covers!

This free guide includes:

  • How to create attention-grabbing book titles
  • 16 fill-in-the-blanks book title templates
  • How to create your book covers, with examples you can learn from
  • Increasing your product’s perceived value with cover graphics…and sell for more.

Click here to download it (PDF)

Read it and put it to good use. And hey, if you’re an Elite Writer’s Lab member, make sure to drop by the group and get feedback on any titles or covers you’re making.

Your invite is coming…and more video tips

A couple of things to update you on before the weekend.

We have some great takeaways from our interview with live streaming expert, Monique Johnson.

monique-video-screenshot

Monique gave some great tips for authors to engage their audience through live video including getting your readers involved as you’re in the process writing your book. You can:

  • Share your progress
  • Give them sneak peeks
  • Brainstorm with them when you get stuck on them

Imagine how loyal your audience becomes when they feel like they’re a part of your creation process. That’s extremely powerful!

She shared technology that makes it easy to conduct videos through live video. Systems like Facebook Live are made for just one individual and that can be intimidating, but if you use Facebook Live with a tool like SmileTime.com or BlueJeans.com, you can include more people in your live videos. We personally used BlueJeans for our interview with Monique.

Monique also encouraged us to approach live video as a testing ground. You never know what will work with your audience until you try it and the great thing about using a platform like Facebook Live is that feedback is instant and built right in. Have a look and see what other writers and other business owners are doing with their live videos and go from there.

The full interview with Monique is available to EWL Monthly members (log in at WriterHelpWanted.com if you signed up there or at EliteWritersLab.com). If you’re not a member, consider joining us for $1 here.

Easy Kindle Publishing Strategies

Kindle_allOver the past week, we have shared a ton of marketing tips with you. From affiliate marketing to blogging, all the way to growing your list and using social media, we had you covered.

And as always, these tips can be used with or without the templates…but why make things harder than they have to be?

For today, let’s talk about Kindle Publishing. It’s always a big topic for our writers, so let’s do it right.

Did you know that 71% of all ebooks sold in the United States are sold through Amazon?

Whoa!

Yes its true and ebook sales continue to grow. In fact, self-published authors are not only replacing publishers in the bookstore, they’re taking more of the profits. Authors have learned that they can package and sell their books directly through Amazon’s Kindle program and keep more of the profits than they would if they went through a traditional publisher…and you can be a part of that.

A few Kindle Publishing Strategies for You:

1. Write More than One Book – You make much more money when you publish more than one book. As a fiction writer, this can be accomplished by writing a series. If you look at the romance genre, you’ll see that this is a popular approach. The same approach can be applied to non-fiction. Chicken Soup for the Soul books are a series that has had tremendous success. And when you have a series, kindle will promote your other books with their “frequently bought together” feature and their “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought.”

2. Publish in Multiple Formats and Languages – You can have your book translated and published in different languages. This increases your sales globally. You can also read your book, or have someone else read it, and sell the audio book. You’ll expand your audience and reach and boost your sales.

3. Connect with your Readers – Create a blog and publish content. You don’t have to blog daily. But you certainly can if you want to. Make your content relevant to your audience and genre.

4. Build an Email List – Your blog or website gives you the opportunity to build your email list. One mystery author sends weekly recipes to her email subscribers. Those same recipes are often shared in her books and she fits them into her storytelling. So it all fits together. You don’t have to be this creative. You might give away a free report or a fun monthly newsletter.

5. Promote on Social Media – Social sites like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are packed with readers – your readers. Connect with them. Build a profile for your book or your pen name. Host events. Give away books and share information with your audience.

Make it easier for yourself to publish and market your Kindle books with our Kindle Publishing Template Package that includes:

  • Insider’s Kindle Marketing Strategy Guide
  • Bio Templates with Samples (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
  • Book Sales Page Templates with Samples (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
  • Book Outline Worksheets (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
  • Topic Research Worksheet (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
  • Kindle Templates (Fiction and Non-Fiction) with Formatting Guide
  • Kindle Publishing Checklists (Fiction and Non-Fiction)
  • Book Cover Image Templates (Fiction and Non Fiction)

Click here to grab the Kindle Publishing template package.

And, of course, use our special coupon code to get 40% off. Coupon code: EWLBLOG