One of my friends in New Zealand is a full on growth hacker. He’s done everything from affiliate marketing and pay-per-click to SEO and Adwords. I asked him for a few secret tricks to help promote my new book Tickle: Digital marketing for tech companies.
Growth hacking is the art of taking a practical, technical and analytical ‘hacker’ mindset towards marketing. I was expecting black-hat tricks and dodgy secrets, but his advice was surprisingly common sense. I’ve decided to share his advice here on the blog because so much of it is applicable to general business profile raising. According to this growth hacker, the best way to sell books is to build a professional reputation using good honest thought leadership and contributing value to the community.
Quick thoughts on promotion from a growth hacker
To get the word out there for the new book, your energies would be best spent going hardcore on the blogging / social media side of things. Try out:
- Run an active blog with social media strategy, advice and news.
- Send people back to your blog from social media / forums / other blogs (to read your posts).
- Once they’re on your blog, build your long-term readership by getting them to subscribe to your mailing list (by offering a free download of some sort – maybe a short “social media blueprint” or something like that – advertised on the sidebar and below each post, could also do a pop-up?).
- You can then contact your mailing list each time you publish new posts and articles (for to get email opens, think “curiosity-baiting” and “shock”) so they go regularly go back to your blog, where your book is advertised (sidebar ad, plus mentioned in your posts from time to time).
- You could also consider promoting affiliate offers on your blog too (other social media courses, internet marketing courses, tools etc) for commissions.
Amazon will also generate sales by itself, albeit slowly at first. Need to make sure you have all the right tags and categories on your Amazon listing so it gets found and associated with other books. Make sure that your author bio is interesting and accurate.
Definitely use the “free download” promotions from time to time to boost your download statistics. This will also get you tagged in the “people who bought this, also bought that” algorithms. These rankings are an important part of the way that Amazon suggests books to users.
Real-world networking also helps – getting your blog and social accounts pumped up through speaking, presenting, hosting and producing high-quality content. You can use hard copies of the books to send to reviewers and journalists.
You can experiment with LinkedIn groups and questions. But it’ll depend on the niche that you’re targeting.
For some quick examples of growth hacking then check out the SEO Moz blog post How to Grow. The deeper SEO tricks and affiliate networks are really a numbers game so you want to start with getting the base-line of quality in place before you start throwing quantity at a site.
Editors note (from Peter Thomson):
Ironically, many of the techniques that my Growth Hacker friend suggests are also techniques that are covered in the book itself. In fact I wrote whole sections on executive profile raising and thought leadership. So I guess it’s time to take some of my own medicine.