Thursday, June 9, 2011
Breaking Through a Marketing Plateau
You know when you start a new diet, and the first 5 or 10 pounds come off in a snap, and then a few more pounds come, and then, without you changing anything, it just stops? You've hit a wall or a plateau, where one pound feels like a life or death struggle.
Well, I think the same thing happens with marketing. You start a blog, write often, comment on others, use Twitter to bring in readers, everything you know you're supposed to do. And it really does work, you can get some pretty good growth that way. But then after a while it almost starts feeling like your little market is saturated. You're doing the same things as before, but numbers start flat-lining. Not nearly as many new followers, not as many comments. When this trend happens too often or too severely in something like book sales, it can be deadly.
So what can you do? I'll give you some suggestions of what I think might work, but mostly I want to hear your ideas. Those of you who have been in this game for a while, how do you keep things growing, keep the life blood flowing?
First of all, keep going. It's definitely not going to go anywhere if you stop moving. Keep writing, commenting, tweeting, touring, networking, everything. Sometimes, fingers crossed, all you need is time before your next spurt.
Find new places. If your main tributary starts drying, look for new ones. Find websites that you're not already using and give them a try. No need to stress about it either, just add one at a time and see if they give results. Maybe get business cards, or look for local opportunities doing readings, signings, panels, lectures, that kind of thing. Go to conferences and network. Of course those things are more time and money intensive, but they may be worth it.
Change something up. Add something to your blog design or change the time of your posts. Try writing about something a little out of the norm. Try tweeting more often or You might catch the attention of people you wouldn't have otherwise.
Then of course there is always the publicity stunt type stuff. Plan a book drive, organize an event at your kids school, do a blog contest, something like that, and get the news to come if possible. Again, intensive, with potentially little pay-off, but who knows.
So what are your guys' ideas? Even just using your online presence, how do you revitalize it when it seems like the normal methods are slowing down? How do you keep finding new people, and keep them coming back?