Relationship Marketing: Building Publishing Contacts

Relationship Marketing is creating a network of people that will help build your fan base and/or become your fan base. The logic is simple: If someone knows you, they can help you. (And vice versa.) The first part of Relationship Marketing is building your target audience. At the same time, you need to build your professional contacts and networks.

My advice is to start with one person in the publishing industry that can have a huge impact on your career. That person could be a literary agent, editor, or even another author. Also, it could be the owner of a marketing firm, or the owner of a T-shirt business. Anyone that could possibly help you with your books and products should be considered.

For example, I am building a relationship with an owner of a Bounce House business for children. I am also building a relationship with a woman that paints faces for children at festivals and events. And, I am connecting with the director of the YMCA for this region. By working together, we can benefit from co-sponsored events to sell our products and services.

If you start by concentrating on one person at a time, here are some ways to build a relationship:

~ Follow their blog and make upbeat and educated comments.

~ Forward their blog to others. (The blogger will notice and be thankful for your support.)

~ Write about their blog in your own blog. (Make sure to give them credit.)

~ Follow them on Twitter and make comments on their Tweets. Also, forward their Tweets. (They will love you for that!)

~ Become a fan on Facebook. You may be rejected when sending a friend request, but if you “Like” their fan page, they will appreciate that. You could forward their posts as well, which they will notice.

~ Make an unselfish connection using email. Tread lightly! Say something like, “Just wanted to drop you a quick note and let you know how much I enjoy your blogs, Tweets, and Facebook posts. Thank you so much.” Then end it. The first email connection is not the time to ask for something.

~ Add another connection. When the time is right, use those relationships to launch your career to the next level.

An author, literary agent, editor, marketing agency, or publisher that recognizes your name, will at least give you some consideration, which is much better than sending them an email because you found their name on Google and you need their help.

Ron Knight

Author of Untraditional Publishing. Over a thousand tips for improving your writing, marketing, and book sales! .99 cents on Smashwords. (Read the first 20 pages for free and get started on building your confidence as an author!)

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