I was pleasantly surprised to read what Evan Williams, co founder of Twitter had to say about Twitter after reading an article in Inc. Magazine, called The Rules. He said, “With Twitter, which was a side project of Odeo, it wasn’t clear at first what it was.” At that time he had not quite figured out what type of social media platform Twitter would be. I laughed because that was my first experience with Twitter. I just recalled listening to what all the guru’s had to say, trying out their “expert recommendations” and watching it not be effective for me. So I figured out what Twitter means to me, and now everything works for me effectively. There were so many wonderful business tips from my favorite icons in this article that I had to share it. They were all asked to talk about the most important things they learned in business. I applied their concepts to my book marketing business and thought it might be helpful for authors too.
They interviewed many people. These were my favorite interviews -Evan Williams the co-founder of Twitter and Blogger, Tony Hsieh, Co-founder of Zappos, Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post, Danny Meyer of the Union Square Hospitality Group, and Jeff Mackey, co founder of Whole Foods. What I learned from each of their articles is that running a business is about developing stellar relationships, using failure as a stepping stone to success, and learning that it takes time to develop and nurture the soul of your business. That is the part that makes your company unique and according to Danny Meyer, that cannot be copied.
My business is all about book marketing, so what can authors take away from this?
1. Evan Williams talked about finding your niche and sticking with it. He credits the success they had with Twitter and Blogger with becoming the best in those areas and not trying to be the master of everything. Authors should really spend time deciding what they want to become experts in. What genre will you master? What self-help works can you become known for? Become the best in your field.
2. Tony Hsieh talked about building relationships because you never know which will have a tremendous impact on your business. He called it maximizing collisions. Authors should be building an audience everyday. Get busy with podcasting to meet new people or expanding your social media networks. You might also consider joining associations – anything that causes you to bump into other people along the way. Then maximize those relationships.
3. Arianna Huffington talked about how failure can help you to succeed if you learn from it. How many times do people start a writing career and then quit. Maybe they don’t sell enough books, maybe they do not have confidence in their writing ability, or perhaps they have tried many things but nothing seems to work. She encourages people to learn from their failure. The very things that you learn through your failure can teach you what not to do, that in term can become the catalyst for your success.
4. Danny Meyer talked about the importance of doing one thing well before you begin another project. Give yourself time to get rooted in one area before starting another area. The e-book industry makes it very simple to churn out books in hopes of making big money. However becoming a book mill might reduce the quality of workmanship. Why not spend time becoming known for one book very well. Saturate the market place with that book. Gain a good following for that book. Branch out more after you become well established. That tip can really benefit authors as they are defining their brand.
5. Jeff Mackey talked about the importance of seeing the big picture, instead of just the individual goals we might try to establish. How do these goals impact others? While authors strive to become the New York Times best selling author how many opportunities to develop relationships, build an audience and grow a network of dedicated people to support your books do you miss? If the sole focus is just on the success that you want, will you loose site of the people that can help to make you successful. He presented a very interesting way of looking at things.
I encourage all authors to get a copy of the Feb. issue of Inc. Magazine. Read the article and apply the tips to your book business. I learned a lot. If you enjoyed this article please share it. Retweets welcomed.
Linda Leon is a book marketing professional and visual producer. Her company book marketing professionals supports authors in their editing, book formatting, book cover design, book formatting and video marketing efforts. She is a professional ghostwriter, independent author and has a background in broadcast television. Her greatest accomplishments are being saved, a wife, a mother and taking care of her precious dog. Follow her @lindaleontweets, @lindaleonpins, on Linked In, and listen to her podcast, Book That Author on Blog Talk Radio and the Home Town Radio Network. She is the author of the upcoming books Rock Star Marketing and Publishing and Publicity for Smart People. Free copies of the book are available via her website.