I got the opportunity to talk with a close friend and client recently. She talked with me about a project she’s had on the shelf for many years. It was something she’s burned passionate about as long as I’ve known her.
So her intention is to publish a book, and she had a good idea in terms of the content, the format, and even the distribution channel. But wanting her book to be a success, she asked me about what would really make the difference.
This is a business question I get often. You see, a great many people with an ambition to start a business, or introduce a new product, put most of their focus on the actual “product creation” process. I’ve seen more than a few businesses that should have done quite well fail for this reason alone.
It isn’t that the quality of product you put out lacks importance.
And certainly, the distribution channel, i.e. where you’re going to sell the product, factors in quite a lot.
But the biggest “make or break” aspect, what defines a successful business from one that teeters on the edge or outright fails, can mostly be chalked up to finding your audience, and the way to put your product in front of them in a way that makes it both desirable and easy to buy.
And, it’s a sad truth, I’ve known phenomenal musicians, artists, inventors and all kinds of service providers that choke every single time on this one aspect.
So we talked about the genre of her book, and I guided her over to ITunes, YouTube, and Facebook, and we looked at various podcasts, channels and groups that were focused on precisely her genre. Amazingly, we found literally millions of people across these three social media channels who tuned in to media dealing precisely with that genre of writing.
So her game plan for the New Year, is simple. Before she gathers the writing together, commits to any layout, graphic design, publishing, printing, distribution or anything else, she’ll compile a list, or spreadsheet, of each of these media outlets, explore each enough to get a fundamental understanding of the particular slant or nuance of each show, channel or page, then reach out to the content providers and get acquainted. This is her new “network” and by approaching it graciously, with tact and proper etiquette, she will be able to access a sizable audience from the first day of publishing.
What makes this so critical is, without that audience, it’s a vanity publication. Without that audience, she’ll make few if any sales. Without that audience, she’ll produce a book flying purely on what she ‘thinks’ the market wants, rather than observing, or even out right asking, what they love.
And because she’ll take this approach, it’s likely she’ll gain quite a lot of momentum, and make her book a success.
What is it you want to create this year? Do you know your market? Have you located them? Have you talked with them? Do you know where they tune in? Where they like to buy?
Focus on these things first, and you’ll set yourself up for success.