Marketing and publicity

Embed from Getty Images

As we are now a month away from Christmas I am starting to try and ramp up the marketing and publicity of my book “unbreakable Bond”, to try and benefit from the extra retail spending that is going on.

I have a very small marketing budget and no marketing team for my book, so it’s just about me working hard and using the money wisely. I want to make sure that I get the most out of the fund that I have and get a great return on investment.

Free publicity

The first thing I am trying to do is get free publicity. This involves me emailing countless media outlets in the hope that one will pick it up and feature a piece on my book. After every piece of media there has been about my book, I have noticed a rise in sales so I feel it is worth investing my time in writing countless emails. I know most will come to nothing but that time investment is worth it for the one that does.

Next thing I am trying to do is to get dementia websites and member organisations to feature and talk about my book. This involves a lot of speculative emailing again, as well as sending copies of my book to these organisations in the hope they feature something on the book. This has worked quite well so far with a handful of dementia websites featuring the book. The brilliant thing about doing this is that it gives the book more credence when a respected dementia organisation talks about it, as it is like an endorsement.

Promotion

I try as much as I can to promote it for free online, posting links to buy the book on websites and posting about it on social media as often as I can. The great thing about this method is you never know who is reading what on social media and with the right people liking, commenting on or sharing something I post, it can help expand my audience greatly and get in front of people I wouldn’t have been able to reach without it.

The next plunge this month is to do paid for advertising on Facebook. I haven’t done this before, so I am bit cautious about how much to invest and how to tailor the advertising but I am excited to see how it goes. I think social media is such an important an accessible market now, that I need to have a good presence to get the book noticed.

My mission through all of this is just to get the book in as many hands as possible. For all those out there plugging away promoting something they have created, I salute you and for anyone with some money in their account I would ask you kindly to follow this link and buy the book.

http://www.unbreakablebond.co.uk/#!grab-a-copy/cqh1

 

 

Shining a Spotlight

Embed from Getty Images

Today leading national newspaper in the UK “The Independent” featured my story of caring for my mum (who had early onset dementia) in their dementia supplement to mark World Alzheimer’s Day. It is always a great honour and privilege when a media organisation with such a big platform features a story about you, especially for someone like me who isn’t a celebrity or in the news much.

Attention

My wife asked me a question last night asking if I liked being in the news for caring for my mum, which I thought was a very interesting question. It’s a tricky one for me because I didn’t care for my mum just so I could get recognition afterwards and I don’t want to be seen as a hero for doing something that I did because I thought it was the right thing to do. I don’t want anyone to think I am showing off or craving the attention that being featured in newspapers like this gains you. There are however many reasons why I like being in the news for caring for my mum and the book that I wrote about our story.

The first reason is I think that people who give up their lives to care for others need to be celebrated more, not only in the press but in our communities as well. Caring for someone is an amazing thing and as worthwhile, if not more worthwhile than a lot of people who get featured in the press on a regular basis for being a ‘celebrity.’ By celebrating carers it will encourage more people to become carers and make carers feel better about themselves, which can only be a positive thing.

Unnoticed

There are so many carers out there who go unnoticed and many who are reluctant to share their stories and it’s because of these people that I feel it is important that I share mine. I am quite media savvy, I am confident and am an ok writer, which makes it very easy for me to share my story. When I share my story with others, always in my mind are those that are going through tough times currently caring for others. My goal with my book that I have written is to help others and hopefully make someone else’s life a bit better, I keep that same goal in mind whenever I am speaking to the press or other organisations about my story.

Hope

The hope I have is that many people will read my story and be impacted by it. That they will be moved in to action and that it will help them in some way. As the population of this world continues to grow older I believe more and more will need to be ready to care for someone, so the best thing I can do to make a difference is help prepare as many people as possible.

I’m not a hero, I’m not a celebrity, I’m just an ordinary person like you but I think it is the ordinary everyday folk that make this world tick and are the ones who are doing amazing things without being noticed. The power to change this world isn’t just with the headline makers; it is with you and I.

The best marketing is free

Embed from Getty Images

Over the last couple of months I have been doing something I have always wanted to do and that is working for a Professional Wrestling company. It has only been as a volunteer but I have had an absolutely awesome time doing it. The company is called Plymouth Wrestling Association and they are a fantastic group of guys.

I felt really passionately about helping a local promotion out as I want to see more quality live wrestling happening in my local area and I want more people in my area to get in to wrestling. I may not have the ability or the desire to become a performer myself but I have skills in media, PR and communications so I was determined to use those skills to help them. So many people these days either hire their own marketing staff or outsource to a marketing company but me personally I would prefer to see those funds used to improve the product and the company, not to market it.

Unfulfilled promises

When you have something you want to advertise it is tricky to know where to begin. It is so easy for companies to plough money in to advertisements, gaining email addresses for leads etc. etc. etc. but in many cases these will not lead to increased business at anywhere near the rate of investment splashed out. There are too many media organisations making promises to businesses that they can’t keep and sadly too many people getting suckered in by them.

There are so many ways to get attention to your product or business that don’t cost a single penny, which so many people are not exploiting. The best return on investment is when you see increased business from doing something that cost you nothing. So before you think about investing in marketing, why not invest some time and energy in activities that don’t cost anything and see what response you get.

Think creatively

At Plymouth Wrestling Association we had to think a bit creatively this week but because of a bit of creativity we have had a daily feature on the biggest commercial radio station in the area on their breakfast show, we have a slot on the local BBC this Saturday the day before the big show and we are all over social media and the internet. All of this activity has led to us nearing a sell out of tickets before doors open which is an incredible achievement.

Your audience has never been closer and easier to get in direct contact with so lets use these opportunities. Why pay someone to do something you can do yourself. At the end of the day that is what marketing is, I don’t know of many people on this planet who don’t have the ability to let someone else know about something.

Ideas

You don’t need to be a marketing guru to have a good idea of how to get the word out. Ideas aren’t linked to experience or intelligence. So if you are trying to promote something stop and think to yourself, who are your audience? Where are your audience? And how can I reach them?

There is nothing more rewarding than seeing your own hard work pay off and if your willing to work hard at marketing your product you will see the rewards.

Are we falling for it?

Embed from Getty Images

This week many people around the world have been talking about Madonna’s fall during her performance at The Brit awards. The Brit awards are a yearly event in the UK, which recognises musical talent from across the globe, with a host of different award categories. The nominees for these awards are normally in the main from the Pop music scene.

If you haven’t heard about Madonna’s fall you can read more about it in a news story here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-31633349

I haven’t watched the Brits for years and it was only the morning after that I found out about Madonna’s fall. This incident has got people around the world talking, in countries that this event wasn’t shown and in places that have never heard of the Brit awards. Through a few split seconds of something that didn’t look like it was suppose to happen, the audience for the event became global.

Manufacturing situations

In the wake of the event some people are now speculating whether this fall was actually a planned event by either Madonna herself, the Brit Awards or both. Both have past form with controversy when it comes to awards shows. For the Brits we had the moment when Jarvis Cocker went wondering on stage during Michael Jackson singing ‘Earthsong’ in the 90s and with Madonna we had the MTV VMA’s in the early 2000s when she kissed Britney Spears.

I wouldn’t put it past any of those involved to have manufactured the situation but I do think there is a growing trend now with anything that goes viral or gets widespread attention like this, that everyone wants to question the authenticity of it. When something makes headlines there are people that don’t buy in to it and want to discredit it, so in the aftermath we see videos and blogs popping up online of people explaining what really was going on and trying to show evidence to back up their claim.

The news has changed

We now live in a world of 24 hour news where these news companies need more and more stories to cover, so editorial control isn’t as selective and with so much competition, each news company wants to be the first to break a story. Couple this with the rise of PR, marketing and creative companies whose job it is to get brands and celebrities in to the news and on the face of it, this looks like a bad mix. With social media and information so available to the masses these companies have to work even harder to come up with stunts and news stories that people won’t question, to get hype for what they are promoting. These companies need to move with changing audiences and find creative ideas that have never been done before to get our attention, which I believe will mean we are always questioning the authenticity of what we are seeing.

So back to Madonna and the Brits, for many years people have questioned how relevant each are. I don’t know what the viewing figures for The Brits have been in recent years or the sales figures for Madonna but a stunt like this, if it was preplanned has got everyone talking about them again. The great thing about it is regardless of whether it was planned or not people are still debating the authenticity of it today so people are still talking about them and they are getting even more publicity.

A new world

I think this new news world we live in has made a skeptical audience and this audience now has the power to research the news. People want to catch the news out and don’t just take what they see at face value. I think on the whole the news has turned more in to entertainment than reporting of facts, entertainment that we can join in with and help mold. In todays world its not just the news that gets us talking, it’s the news that covers things we are talking about.

I think the way the video of Madonna falling went viral asks this important question for TV programmes and events – Is social media reaction more important than actual viewership?