What self publishers seemed to pick up on well before many traditional publishing houses did was the fact that you don’t just sell your eBooks or books to customers, you have to build a relationship with them that can lead to long-term loyalty.
eBook writing and selling start with “relationship building” and that can be done via a blog, online newsletter, via forums, or social media. Web 2.0 as it has been coined is all about recognizing and following this business model of building a relationship with your customer. As a result, many big corporations have employed staff who specific role is to build their social networks so that the company can connect with their customers.
The key to success for all eBook authors is to build a list of “buying customers” who will stay with them for the long term. It’s a give and take relationship where the author needs to give something in return for the viewers’ contact details. This is the building of a relationship. It could be giving something tangible such as a free gift or the opportunity to provide cross-promotion for them and their products.
All successful eBook authors have learned the importance of providing “hooks” within their pages or giveaway products. The goal is to get your viewers to click on a link that leads to your website. And it is from here that you take the next step in building that relationship with more free eBooks, sample chapters, special reports or informative articles.
If you wish to make eBook writing a career then you need to learn to take on multiple roles. And one important role is eBook marketing and PR which involves building the relationships with your readers by having a plan of action in place for how you will give away these free add-ons, products or eBooks to your readers.
You need to carefully select what bonus content you will give away. It must be of high quality, build on the message you are trying to get across to your readers and be representative of the content they would find in your paid eBook.
You need to have an automatic system in place to handle sign-ups, bonus eBook or content delivery, recording of details and how they can communicate with you if need be.
How can you generate additional sources of revenue from your loyal readers after they have already purchased your eBook? By developing and creating quality supplemental products and services such as:
2. Paid coaching or consulting advice
3. Becoming a paid public speaker
4. Creating eCourses
5. Additional related eBooks
Your readers will also become your best source of income from additional products you create. They will also be willing to pay for coaching, listening to you speak publicly, or join your membership site.
You don’t want to chase after viewers who will never become customers. You will always have the “free loaders” who sign up for free eBooks, reports and articles with no intention of handing over money. The people that do buy your eBooks are your “ideal customers” who have made a statement that they are interested in your knowledge and what information you have that will help them.
If your eBook does help them out with their problem then they will likely come back to you and ask for more expert advice. You have established an author – reader relationship that is beneficial to both parties. You are selling your eBook and making money and they are getting the required information to solve their problems.
Your next step is to continue to build and nurture this relationship by making sure they are regular visitors to your author website. Once they are at your website, you can provide access to additional free or paid resources that will further help them solve their problems and achieve their goals.
Some of these “ways” include:
1. Providing up to date content – many informational eBooks will become outdated due to the technological advancements that occur as well as current research providing new answers. Therefore you must be prepared to update your content.
2. Assessments – Assessments are a tool your readers can use to conduct “self-analysis.” These assessments can further emphasize the key points in your eBook and help the reader to make sure that they have completely grasped the message you are trying to get across to them.
3. Checklists – Checklists can help your readers to monitor their progress as they complete the suggested tasks described in your eBook.
4. Viral Content – this is content that I call “viral content” as your readers will feel compelled to pass it on to their friends who they also know have the same problem, need or want that can be satisfied by your information.
5. Specialized content – people are looking for information on specific areas. Provide them with the answers to their questions that may be in your niche area.
6. Action orientated Worksheets – worksheets can provide direction and structure for a specific task. Many writers love writing but get sidetracked by multiple ideas that are running through their minds. They are what I call “distracted authors’ who often find themselves with a number of projects on the go at once but never seem to ever be able to finish one!
7. Content expansion – this is where you can expand on tips, advice and ideas that you presented in your eBook but just didn’t have the ability to provide more detailed information on. You can do this with bonus content.
8. Bonus Excess content – this is where you have the opportunity to write a great informative eBook but also leave some of your valuable information to use in the form of other products. There have been several times with my eBooks that I have surpassed the 300 page mark only to realize that this was too much for one eBook and should be used to create several eBooks or save some of the information for later use.
Should you try to restrict what the free-loaders receive?
I believe that this will create more work for you and will defeat the purpose of converting “non believers” into buying customers. I know that some people take months before deciding to make a purchase. If your bonus products are in digital form then you won’t necessarily be out-of-pocket if they download them.
You may also find that a person may never buy from you, but they may refer you, your eBook, or your website to friends who then become customers.
As an author you will find out that it is the relationships you build with customers and fellow authors that will help to drive your online business and writing career forward.
So, eBook writing involves more than just writing. It involves eBook planning, marketing, publishing, distribution and ultimately building a relationship with your target audience.