Tuesday, August 26, 2008

By Dr. Linda Beed

We go into business with the objective being to succeed. The definition of success can and does vary from person to person. Some measure it in terms of financial gain, name notoriety or even by negativity associated with their name. Regardless the mindset, one constant for those of us in the literary profession is the necessity to succeed. In order to do so we rely heavily upon promotions.

Having a website, monthly eblasts, and a newsletter is a good start, but promoting is an ongoing process. Be forewarned -- promoting is not for the faint of heart. It requires prayer, planning, discipline and endurance.

As I am growing in the industry one thing I have found is that cross promoting is a strategy that can be a blessing. If you are not careful where and with whom you join forces with, it could be a potential disaster.

Today I would like to share some of my thoughts and suggestions on Cross-Promoting.

What Is Cross Promoting?
Cross promotion is a strategy entered into by two or more entities for the specific purpose of reaching a broader, commonly shared demographic.

What Are The Advantages of Cross Promoting?

It broadens your clientele base – By joining forces with another you are able to reach a wider variety of customers in places you might not have otherwise.

You can connect with more people -- You reach more potential clients by working with others who are contacting the same groups of people. If they were not previously your customers, they could be with this venture in the very near future.

It saves you time – When members of the cross promotion team do their part, more people are reached more quickly.

It saves money – Expenses for events, materials, travel etc. can be shared equally among partners.

It ignites creativity – Two heads are better than one aptly applies in this situation. One or two more points of view can take planning and implementation to higher levels.

The opportunity to cross-promote is attractive in many ways. However, in order to maintain a glowing view of the option, there is much to consider:
*Who will be an asset to what you are trying to achieve?
*Will you be an asset or a liability to their goal?
*Do you really have a common goal?
*Will your individual personalities allow you to work toward a common goal without fallout?

Once you have come to a common ground develop a clear action plan:
*The plan should be detailed and thorough
*Be sure that each participant has a clear vision of the group goals
*Discuss in detail, costs as well as expectations of personal involvement

Don’t try to outdo the vision:
*Work with what you know and build outward
*Begin with a manageable plan that begins with the familiar that spreads toward unknown territory. Leave room for adaptation.

Integrity and Etiquette:
*Honor your commitments
*Don’t forget to say thank you
*Be encouraging to one another
*Be a giver not just a receiver
*Do not use others sites to post your information without permission

At the end of the agreed commitment access the process to determine:
*What worked
*What could be improved upon
*What did people enjoy
*What positive feedback needs to be adhered to
*Who will continue with the group
*If you will invite new members
*How will you use what you have learned for the success of future promotions

Cross-promoting can be exciting, educational and beneficial. Depending upon your strategy it will show your passion for family, community a particular cause, etc. Above all, it allows you and others to grow beyond their comfort zone.

I pray that this information has been helpful to you. As always, it is up to you to determine which avenues of promotion are best for you.



Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this information. What I would like to know is what happens if your partner drops out of the agreement?

What happens if they want you to drop out?


Elissa Gabrielle said...

Dr. Beed,

This post is phenomenal. I plan to share with the Peace In The Storm authors, as well as the corresponding yahoo group. Thanks for sharing such valuable information.

Blessings. Your friend,

Elissa Gabrielle

Linda Beed said...

Great question Charlotte.

As stated in the post you must carefully consider those you will align yourself with. Most go into partnerships with common goals. That said you must be prepared for the unexpected. Therefore, your action plan should contain a contingency provision that allows for absences due to illness and/or a personal need to resign.

What happens if they want you to drop out?
Look at your original commitment. Does the language of the document give you legal right to remain and participate? If so, consider this next -- whether your agreement is written or verbal, if the group does not wish you to remain, how effective would your joint ventures really be?

Hope this helps -- Linda!

Linda Beed said...

Elissa it is my pleasure to serve you.


LaCricia A`ngelle said...

Wonderful information Linda. I can say from personal experience cross promoting has been a blessing to me. I would encourage new authors and independent authors to take advantage of some of the wonderful groups that actively encourage and cross promote each other.

Maurice Gray said...

As one who has been cross promoting almost from the beginning, I wholeheartedly agree with this post. Thanks for sharing this unique method of promoting one's book- I've worked with three different author groups so far, and each experience has been positive.

Anonymous said...

Do you only promote with each other?


Linda Beed said...

Lacricia thank you for stopping by. I'm sure that as one who is cross promoting your words of encouragement will mean much to others.


Linda Beed said...

Wow! Three different groups. Maybe you should have been our guest blogger today Mr. Gray. LOL


Linda Beed said...

Charlotte, I believe you're asking if the promotions we do for the group are only between each other. The answer to that is no.

We do advertise for one another through our personal venues. We also promote through contributions to print and online magazines, guests on radio programs and as guest bloggers, individually and collectively.

Does this answer your question?


Jeanette Hill said...

Linda, you have continued the stream of educational,enlightening and practical information that we have recieved all month. These points work well the seasoned 'promoter' as well as someone who is starting out. Thanks again!


LaShaunda said...

Good post Linda.

When I was in RWA, they promoted cross promotion a lot, mainly because ad space is expensive and when you do something with a group you get more for your money.

Linda Beed said...

Thank you for your kind words.


Linda Beed said...

LaShaunda your observation is correct. Times are causing entities to raise rates to a level that is not always wallet friendly.

The same can be applied in terms of travel and hotels.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. I love cross promoting. I have reached readers for minimal cost because of it. I think cross promoting also shows our maturity as authors. It takes a mature person to promote the works of others and not feel threatened. When I have events, I welcome promo items from others. If I enjoy a book, I'll post a review and tell others.


ALESIA said...

Linda thank you for all the wonderful information that you shared. It clears up alot of questions that I had regarding promoting your work.

Linda Beed said...

Wanda, you said something so key in your remarks, "It takes a mature person to promote the works of others and not feel threatened."
Your words remind me of the song I learned in Sunday school -- 'Plenty Good Room In My Father's Kingdom'.

Thanks for dropping by -- Linda!

Linda Beed said...

Alesia I am so happy that you stopped by.

Marketing is and will continue to be an area where growth is necessary. As we share with one another the process won't seem so lonely or so painful.