Marketing With No Money - Part 5

Marketing With No Money - Part 5

So how are my marketing efforts progressing so far? In a nutshell, things are looking up. Sales of Battleframe are continuing to increase and traffic has just taken an order of magnitude step up. So what have I done?

In a word, the key would have to be engagement. I’ve started participating in the writing, gaming and science fiction communities. What’s really important is to be genuine about your interest in the communities and to not just spam them with advertising about your own product.

Escrow.com

Think of it as if you are at a party and all you talked about was about your product or service. Pretty soon the people around you would get fed up and you would end up being by yourself....not fun! When you engage a community, be polite, participate in the conversation and do what you can to help the other people out. If you do this then you'll find that that many of the community members will reciprocate and help you.

A number of major forums have very strict rules about the number of posts that you need to make before you are allowed to mention your own product/service. My advice is to obey the rules, play the long-term game and enjoy the journey.

So the result of all of this work is that yesterday Battleframe was presented to nearly 1,000 people directly in my target market and this didn’t cost me a penny. One of the nice things about this approach is that the numbers are continuing to grow each and every day.

Yesterday I made the decision to start publishing pre-release episodes from Book Two of the Mindwars and already I can see that this has helped get the message out there a lot. I think that the reason for this is that people like to know that there will actually be a book two after a book one.

What’s my goal in releasing episodes from book two? I want feedback. There is nothing quite like a reader telling you what they think of something to make the final published manuscript that much better. I did this with Battleframe and the end product looked completely different from the raw episodes that I published every few days. Feedback has been really positive to readers that have now read both the initial episodes and the final novel.

So what are my next steps to growing my audience? One of the biggest challenges has been to entice people to sign-up on my site at michaelgilmour.com. Once they sign-up I can then more meaningfully engage them in a dialogue which ultimately will result in a book sale (hopefully). I have some free stuff that I’m giving away but it’s clear that I need to increase the carrot a lot more.

So I’m now developing an area of my website which will showcase the different book characters, locations, technology etc. I will make this information available to registered users only…..so I’d better make it really good! One thought I have is to engage my cover designing artist to create some additional artwork.

I’m a firm believer that the key to any good marketing is consistency. In other words, consistently update your blog, forum participation, content, writing, promotional material etc. It’s frustrating playing the long-term game and holding off spending money but it’s still really rewarding as I learn about a completely new market.

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Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. He has also recently published his first science fiction book, Battleframe.

Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face. Due to demands on his time, Michael may be contacted by clicking here for limited consulting assignments.

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Saturday Musings - Why My Wife is Smarter Than Me!

Saturday Musings - Why My Wife is Smarter Than Me!

Today was a big day for the whole family. You see, today was the day that Roselyn decided to get rid of a lot of our junk by having a garage sale. A garage sale is where you get all the stuff you’ve collected over the years, dump it in the driveway. You then hope that passers-by want to part with some cash and take it off your hands.

I slept fitfully the night before the grand event so when the alarm went off at 7am this morning two things happened. My wife got up and I thought it was the end of the world. Seriously, I doubt that even God’s awake at 7am on a Saturday morning…..but I was wrong about that. You see, God had arranged for a host of buyers to be waiting out the front of the house at 8am, even though we’d explicitly said that the grand bazaar would commence at 9am.

So after emptying the contents of our garage into the driveway, the “fun” of haggling with buyers over a couple of dollars for something that I would just as happily given to them commenced.

The problem was that my honour was at stake. Why give something away when you can have so much more fun negotiating with a complete stranger. There’s nothing quite like honing your bargaining skills over an old packet of light bulbs to see if you still have what it takes to get a good deal.

At one stage, I found myself in the odd predicament of digging in my heels by refusing to come down from $17 to $16 for something that I was actually prepared to put in the garbage can. In the heat of the tussle between the buyer and myself that $1 seemed so important. In hindsight, what amazed me was that the buyer was willing to pay anything for the items!

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mgilmour
It doesn't really worry me if they do....it was all tongue in cheek. :-)
12 April 2015
mgilmour
Thank you for asking about Roselyn's business. In two words....it's booming! Check out http://kandycakes.com.au/ for some of her a... Read More
12 April 2015
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Marketing With No Money - Part 4

Marketing With No Money - Part 4

There’s a saying in marketing that only 20% of marketing efforts are successful. The problem is that no one knows which 20%. It’s applying the old 80/20 rule with a bit of tongue in cheek. In this day of the internet I don’t subscribe to this saying…..so what have I been working on?

Escrow

Over the past week I’ve built a tracking system that will help me work out which marketing effort seems to be more successful over another. This has been going really well and I’ve found some interesting information….but I’m still refining the data as it comes through. What I’d really like to do is tag Amazon so that I can get conversion data…..I’m not sure if this is possible as yet.

As a by-product of my tracking system it has also become a short URL creator. I can do things such as sp4a.com?rid=34 and it will display an image with a URL this long http://michaelgilmour.com/images/banners/2015Year/20141220_battleframe_468x60.jpg This capability is great if you are doing tweets!

I decided to put together a promotional video that is designed to sell Battleframe to the masses. I really want to see if I can put this video out into the mainstream to get a bit of interest for my book. I’m definitely not a Stephen Spielberg but it seems to hang together. Check out what happens after about 30% of the way through….I’d love any feedback….so here it is:

So how did I make the video? For a start I came up with a creative concept that reflected the book. I then used a JVC handicam mounted on a tripod or held in my hand for the principle footage. I edited the video in Microsoft Movie Maker (comes with windows) and Camtasia (costs about $100) and downloaded free sound effects from the Internet. I also recorded my daughter, wife and myself for the dialogue. Voila! There you have it.

Now that I have the video, banners and blogs….I plan on getting them out into the marketplace. Let me know if there is anything that you can do to help out....trust me when I say that I'd be happy to reciprocate. Cheers!

Battleframe

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Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face. He also recently published his first scifi book Battleframe.

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Personal Musings - Developing an Attitude of Gratitude

Personal Musings - Developing an Attitude of Gratitude

Over the years I’ve come across two groups of people. Those that are thankful and appreciative of others and those that aren’t. Having an attitude of gratitude is one of the keys to business as well as life.

There is nothing more sickening then a person that believes the world revolves around them, their needs and their desires. This self-centred approach to life is anything but gracious and loving. They are the true consumers of society. Rather than bringing joy, like a blackhole, they consume the life out of those around them. We all know people like this and I can only pity them as they search in vain for fulfillment in their life.

I was talking to a person the other day and they were moaning and groaning about how they hated their job. To cut a long story short, I politely listened and then said, “Is this the same job that puts food on your table?” They went quiet and then said, “I suppose so.” I then suggested that they be grateful for their job as there are many people that don’t have one.

I saw the same person the next week and they had a smile on their face. I asked them what had changed and they said, “Their attitude.” After talking to each other the previous week they decided to be positive about their job and bring a good attitude to work. Amazingly, the job magically improved and they had a great time each day. They learned to be thankful for what they have.

Not everyone is suited for every job but it’s incredible how a task can become more enjoyable if you stop grumbling and starting thanking those around you for the opportunity. If you’re in a job that you really don’t like then move on or take another approach.

It really does my head in when I hear people tell me that they love their job but can’t stand their boss. They then plan on quitting their job and moving on. Why not stay in your job and pass your boss’s resumé onto a headhunter. With any luck your boss will get a great job and you’ll continue to love your work…..it’s win/win for everyone. Just be creative about thinking how you can help your boss (and you) out.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been discussing how I’ve been marketing my book with no money. In my case, I’m finding out how I can help other authors. I’m trying to contribute to the idenpendent author community and assist those around me in promoting their books. I’m a firm believer in, “What goes around, comes around.”

Taking an attitude like this into a community means that I’m not trying to push my product but I am trying to promote theirs. What’s amazing is that many people respond much better to this approach and help you out as well.

I love the domain industry and each and every day I’m grateful to be a part of it. Domainers are incredible people, they saw an opportunity, seized it with both hands and on the whole do what they can to help those around them. They are very special people and many of them do incredible work for no pay to help those that can't help themselves.

When I recently released my debut scifi book, Battleframe, I let the domain community know about it and they supported me in droves. I received so many well wishes from my friends in the industry (and outside the industry) that it was almost impossible to respond to them all. It was a truly humbling experience and I want to once again say thank you to you for your support.

When my wife and I sit at the breakfast table we try and say something that we’re grateful for. Yes, I know that it’s really corny but you’d be amazed at how life suddenly becomes a little bit better for forcing yourself to be grateful for something, anything! It could be the weather, our kids, the fact that our parents are still alive after both our fathers had heart bypass operations. There’s just so much to be grateful for…..I wonder what life would be like if you tried doing this.

All the best, Michael.

Battleframe

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Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face. He also recently published his first scifi book Battleframe.

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mgilmour
Thanks for that Richard.
31 March 2015
whizzbang
Hey Michael, I got to read such a good stuff after a very long time. Thank you putting a smile on my face too. ... Read More
06 April 2015
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Marketing My Book With No Money – Part 3

Marketing My Book With No Money – Part 3

Since my last post a few days ago I’ve been trying a lot of different ways to market my book, Battleframe. Please treat this as a case study rather than me “pushing” my product as many of the principles I’m tackling are very appropriate for any business.

I’ve done a lot of things over the past week. For a start I’ve joined a number of forums and taken part in the many conversations. If you plan on doing this then please ensure that you obey the moderators rules about self-promotion as they can be a little testy.

For instance, in one forum I haven’t promoted my book, domain name or anything about me at all. They have a rule that you need to get to 100 posts before releasing anything about yourself. In some ways this makes sense as by a 100 posts you should be pretty well committed to the community by then.

Escrow.com

After a bit of googling around I’ve setup profiles on a number of commercial websites such as goodreads.com. This allows me to interact with new readers and at least be available.

There have been a couple of developmental tasks that I’ve been working on. The first is setting up a link area to thank domainers, friends and others for linking from their websites to  http://michaelgilmour.com. You can see this area under the community menu on my site.

If you have linked to my website either by using one of the banners (which are pretty cool!) or with a text link then please let me know so that I can return the favour. I’m a firm believer that what goes around comes around….so let us help each other.

The next project I’ve been working on was to develop a system for tracking the effectiveness of any future marketing initiatives. So I dusted off my PHP skills and got programming a redirect and tracking system so that I can know how often an advertisement has been displayed, how often it’s been clicked and ultimately…..with a bit more work, whether a sale as resulted.

After a few hours work I can now redirect traffic to anywhere, log everything, work out the average budget for a website, campaign and redirect. From here I can work out my approximate cost per thousand visitors to help sort the wheat from the chaff. I think that I have about another 4 hours or so left to work on the system before I can use it in anger.

Another change that I made was to move onto the Kindle Select Program. This means that I have to be 100% with Amazon for at least 3 months. This was fine with me as I had a lot of other things on my plate. A couple of things that this does is expose me to a raft of new marketing initiatives via Amazon and also to the Kindle subscriber system that allows people to get books for free.

I’ve also made the first overtures towards a games company. The goal here is to add value to the game via my book while generating a few dollars for both parties. It will be interesting to see if they take up the offer….!

I big piece of work that I would like to get completed tomorrow is the 2 minute promotional video. I have the concepts worked out but I now just need to execute them so that there is something that people can look at that will get them inspired to fork out a few dollars and buy the book.

So far, I’ve had no day with no sales. This either means that I’m lucky or something is going right…..fingers crossed that it's the latter. :-)

Battleframe on Kindle

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Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face. He also recently published his first scifi book Battleframe.

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