It’s perhaps the most common question I hear after a client walks in the front door. I wrote a book, now what do i do?
I reviewed many years of doing PR and marketing for thousands of clients and from experience, it appears that it all comes down to …
HELPING THE PEOPLE YOU CAN HELP THE MOST
What is the most effective communication that you can put in front of people that will get them interested in what you have to offer? What type of message will attract more of the right type of people to you and will create the best and lasting impression? How can you maximize your sales with the lowest possible budget?
There are several types of news releases or marketing communications that you can choose to use to get peoples’ attention and interest. Sure, you can create a product announcement, a book review or a personal story about your quest to create a book or a product. But these types of messages tend to produce a relatively low impact on how much coverage you get and how many products or services you sell. That’s because it’s all about you and you fail to really give the media what they want the most.
The best media coverage results when you offer something of value that appeals to lots of people in the audience at a deep personal level.
By far, the highest impact media coverage and sales comes from value-packed problem solving messages placed before needy people in a dramatic way.
What this means is that you if you want publicity and sales you need to craft your messages and couple them with actions so that you help the people you can help the most.
With authors and publishers this usually means that you create and use a problem solving tips article approach which identifies a crucial problem and offers your best advice on how to solve or alleviate that problem.
Then when people read or see this type of message, they experience hope and desire for these benefits, and they contact you and purchase the book, product or service that you offer.
There are three key questions you need to answer to use this technique successfully.
• What can you do to help people?
• Who are the people you can help?
• How can you reach them to let them and others know you can help them?
This technique is very powerful. Helping people in need gets attention. It brands you as a helpful person. It motivates people to find out more about you. Depending on the value of your help, it even creates a sense of obligation that triggers a reciprocal response. Of course, the beneficial impacts this has on your relationships with your prospects and customers dramatically reduces the barriers to sales. It can also be so powerful that people realize that to get as much of you as they really need, they need to hire you or buy what you offer.
With non-fiction books, products and expert professional services this technique the help you offer is based on the topic in which you are most expert. The people you focus on are those who need your expertise the most.
Even if you are a fiction author, you focus those people who are most interested in your type of work and you choose to be helpful, entertaining, inspiring and galvanizing so that they get interested in you and what you have to offer.
What is Help? To help means to give support or assistance that solves a problem or improves a situation in some tangible way. To help means to give a remedy or provide relief to someone or do something for someone else that enables them to achieve something they want, need or desire.
Help can be a noun. You can give people something tangible or intangible that they do not have enough of.
Help can be a verb. You can do something for people that they cannot do by themselves.
To offer help you must identify a problem or issue that people are experiencing. You can identify the barriers or challenges people face. A barrier to progress is an opportunity for problem solving.
Then you must identify what they must do to address or overcome that barrier. You have to look inside yourself and find knowledge and experience that you are particularly qualified to present in a fashion that people will trust with confidence.
You then organize these actions or ideas into a presentation and deliver them to the people you are trying to help so that they can receive the support or the assistance and can act on your advice to receive and experience the benefits you offer.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP PEOPLE?
Step one is to identify what you can do to help people.
There are lots of ways you can people. Think about what you do best. Think about what you created. Think about how you have learned to make a difference to people in their lives. Decide to focus and harness your energies to help people. Think about the biggest problems people in your target group face. Identify what you can do to help them.
Look over this list of possible ways to help people. Then come up with your best ideas.
Go to them
Go with them
Be with them
Lift them up
Pick them up
Bring whoever they need to them
Bring whatever they need to them
Bring them wherever they need to go
Guide people to better choices
Consult, give advice, provide counsel, listen and console
Teach people how to do something better
Explain how to do something important
Explain how to do something better
Tell people exactly how to build, create, develop, find, or achieve something
Tell people how to avoid disaster, pain, anguish, or negative experiences
Provide interpretation to help people achieve greater understanding
Simplify and explain a complex poorly understood issue, topic or mystery
Tell stories to demonstrate a concept
Provide information to fill in a lack of knowledge
Give people what they need or want
Give money, food, shelter, materials, water, staple items, essential sundries, tools,
Provide tangible aid, support and resources where too few are available
Provide personal or technical expertise
Volunteer time, expertise, services
Send manpower — people to provide capability
Canvass a neighborhood asking for material supplies for the needy
Collect and store material supplies for the needy.
Deliver supplies to the needy.
Introducing someone to others who can help them
Giving referrals to others who can help someone
Communicate with others on behalf of someone
Get other involved or engaged in helping someone
Raise awareness of a need or situation
Enlist others to devote energy to needy people
Lead or manage an effort to get an organization to focus their resources and effort on a problem
Give money – donate funds
Give time to help raise money
Tell people about someone else’s financial needs
Create a fund for someone
Conduct or support a fundraiser for someone
Ask others to give money
Get visible in public raising money
Call people by phone to raise money
Write people by letter and email to raise money
Go see people and ask them for money and support
Get other involved, motivated, and committed to give or raise money.
No doubt there are lots of other ways to help people. Use this list as a checklist to identify the things that you can do.
There are things that fall in the category of ACTIONS.
There are things that fall in the category of IDEAS, ADVICE, OR GUIDANCE.
Most authors will tend to focus on the advice and guidance elements. But some of the best publicity that creative people can get couple advice with real social action and when thy go out into the community to find and help the people who need their help the most. Action attracts people. People in motion doing things gets attention.
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE YOU CAN HELP?
Step two is to identify the people who you can help the most.
Look at your customers. Consider that each one is representative of other people with similar interests and problems.
This is the miracle of the microcosm. It is the most powerful tool for creating a targeted marketing plan there is.
When you solve the problems of one, you have a solution that you can now offer and deliver to for many others with the same problem.
So no matter where you are, you can develop a process for helping someone and achieving a sale. Then you can target these people and re-play the messages that resulted in you being able to satisfy your original customer.
So look at your customers carefully. Identify their:
Do this for each of your customers. Make a list of these factors. Identify the common characteristics of your customers.
Do this systematically for each type of customer you have.
Now this is very important – now identify how many customers fall into each factor and what they spend or are worth to you.
Now put them into a tentative priority list from most value to the least value.
HOW CAN YOU REACH THEM TO LET THEM AND OTHERS KNOW YOU CAN HELP THEM?
Step three requires you identify how you can effectively reach the people who you can help the most.
So where do you find more of the people you can help the most?
For each one of the demographic characteristics you identified, think of where you will find more people just like your customer. Now you need to identify where you can help them and how you can communicate effectively with them.
You can communicate with people by taking action, by writing, by or by speaking, either in person or from a distance.
Where can YOU do this readily and comfortably? What exactly do you need to propose and get people to agree to?
You can communicate with them using directly in person, by phone or by email and the Internet.
You can also use media to communicate with them. To target media you ask the question: What do my customers read, watch or listen to, particularly when looking for the type of help that I’m offering? The targeted list of newspapers, magazines, radio, tv, news services, syndicates and Internet media that results is a structured set of people that you want to contact to see if they will help you reach your target audience.
You can also identifying the key places where you will find more people of like mind:
Search to find ways to reach out and touch more people just like your customer. Use the communication technologies that these people are accustomed to using to communicate with their friends and peers.
You can use the list brokers and also search the Internet and make use of online subject directories and databases.
This can be done nationally, regionally or this can be done locally town by town.
If you use search engines in particular you can target the places where you find similar groups of people with similar interests or needs. Use a plus these plus a to zero in on web sites in specific geographic areas like this:
Then you create and present the right type of pitch to offer your help to them.
If it is direct aid you offer, you say, “Can I come over and help you?”
If it is an speaking event, you say “Can I talk to your group?”
If it is an article, you say, “Will you publish this helpful information?”
If it is an interview, you say “Will you let me share these ideas on the air?”
And so on. You craft your offer to help to match the situation and your capabilities. You also craft your messages to convey the appropriate ideas and actions.
Do it. Get out there and help the people you can help the most.
1. you know how you can help
2. you know who you can help
3. you know where they are located
4. you know how they communicate with each other
5. now take action to help them and communicate with them
Helping people is a natural attraction to media. It is very easy to get media to pay attention to a community involvement event.
If you schedule an event to help people let your local target media know what you are doing.
Write up a problem solving tips article that presents your support or assistance or describes what you do or did to help people. Let the media know when and where the event will happen.
Target similar people with similar problem solving actions and advice.
Create a value-packed problem solving action, package or article. Target the right media and ask them to share your message so that you help people. Target the organizations and support groups that your target audience belongs to and ask them to share your message so that you help people.
Use your value packed problem solving abilities, stories, and content in a variety of ways:
News releases for articles
News releases for interviews
Live, taped, telephone or web presentations, speaking events, workshops or seminars
You can also tailor this same content and use it for
Search engines for key word discovery
Web page content
Blog posts and tours
Ezines and newsletters
Mailing Lists and discussion groups
Forums and Article Posts
Adapt your problem solving stories and tips articles so that your best most helpful actions and guidance are also incorporated into your marketing communications.
Leverage your core content and make use of the diverse technologies and places where you find the people that you can help the most.