5 Tips in Evaluating How To Spend Your Marketing Dollars
In today’s post, we will touch on the area that we all have deep concerns about; just how do we evaluate where to put our marketing budget. Try as I might to show you no cost areas to market, there are just times when you need to take the plunge and fork over the cash for a marketing benefit to your book.
By: T. Eldidge
The question, and fear, that many have is, “How do I know that the service I am looking at will be worth it?” Sometimes the fear or cynicism that an author has will lead them not to spend money on anything. No one wants to to sink their money into something that doesn’t pay off; or worse, something that is a rip off and doesn’t deliver what it claims.
Here are 5 tips that you can use to guide you when it comes to making a book marketing investment. Understand, however, that marketing is one of those animals that can not have a predictable outcome 100% of the time, in terms of how many book sales or newsletter sign-ups you receive. If so, then there would be no risk in marketing. Everyone would always get exactly what they expect. That said, there are certain metrics that can be predicted 100%, and if you know what they are, it can help you evaluate where to put your precious dollars.
1. Shop Around- Wisdom will tell you not to jump at the first offer you come across. Chances are, if you come across a great idea than there are many other professionals and resources out there that are offering the same marketing service. The goal here is to try to peg the market value for the service you are looking at, not to dismiss the provider who first made contact with you. When you shop around, you may find that what you thought were the same businesses and services were actually miles apart in their offer. That can easily explain the radical differences in prices you uncover. With a little due diligence on your part, you will be able to make an informed decision because you really know what’s out there. You will also be more likely to uncover a scam and fend off people preying on your desire to successfully market your book.
2. Look At Testimonials- If a company has been in business for any length of time, they should have legitimate testimonials from their clients. Happy, satisfied clients are almost always willing to tell the world how great their service provider is. You’ll want to look for things in the testimonials that tell you how easy the person is to work with, did they deliver what they promised, and would they come back or recommend someone to this service provider.
3. Look For A Money Back Guarantee- This is where the service provider puts his or her money where their mouth is. If someone is asking for your money but is not willing to give you time to back out financially intact (full refund), then there may be a reason why. Money back guarantees of some sort are an expected part of doing business. While the lack of a guarantee does not always indicate a problem with the service provider, having one should bump that person up a few notches when it comes to who you will consider to hire.
4. Look At The History Of The Service Provider- One good reason that a service provider might have for not having a money back guarantee is that over the decades, he or she has developed a stellar reputation as an expert who consistently delivers results. These experts tend to have a high repeat business and high referrals. However, someone who just opened their doors should not be dismissed out of hand. They should have some experience that they can point to that will indicate why they believe they will be successful at their job. In fact, because they are new, you may be able to get a below market price for their exceptional service. If the service provider can not point to any relevant experience they have as a basis for expected success, then you may want to strongly consider crossing them off your list.
5. Know How You Will Measure Success- A good book marketer will not tell you how many book sales they will generate for you. They know that they can run identical campaigns for two different authors and have very different results. The good ones, rather, will focus on the numbers they can control; number of review copies sent out, number of blogs for your virtual book tour; the number of radio/television appearances they should be able to secure for you. Activities are what they can guarantee; sales are even beyond their psychic abilities. In the same manner, you can hire someone to create your bookmarks, posters, and business cards. They can guarantee quantity, quality, deadlines, and satisfaction. They can’t guarantee that if you buy X number of collateral from them, it will equate to Y number of sales. Whatever the service, you need to know what numbers you will be able to monitor to in order to measure success.
After you do all of this, it will still come down to what does your gut tell you. But, most of the butterflies should have flown away by then. You will be able to make an informed, intelligent decision based on the information you do have. As you see how book sales do end up, then hindsight will tell you with concrete certainty what the return on your investment really is. Making these decisions a second time around will not be as difficult.
Remember, take the time for due diligence rather than jumping in blind and you will greatly increase the chances that you will sleep easier at night when you part with your hard earned dollars.