Tag Archives: marketing

Help me name my new book about blogging!

Can you help me please? I need help naming my new book!

I’ve been working on a new book about blogging for a while now and I expect to finish it off next week – the main draft at least. The focus is on content marketing and how more CEOs than ever are blogging and appreciating that blogs and social media are a very important way of reaching out to their customers *and* the people who influence their customers.

I need to think of a title for the book so does anyone have any ideas? I was thinking of ideas like ‘Your boss – the blogger’ but I need something catchy and creative… all comments appreciated and if I do actually borrow an idea then I’ll make sure you get a credit in the book!

You can comment here on the blog or if you follow this link to my Facebook then feel free to comment there – thanks in advance!

4867847109_ca922b7a75_z

Advertisements

Personal Branding

I’ve read more and more about ‘personal branding’ recently online. Perhaps it’s just because I’m British and tend to shy away from some of the more garish Americanisms around marketing, but isn’t this just a ghastly phrase?

I’m a freelance worker and I do my own thing, working for corporate clients, in the media, and for trade bodies, so a personal brand is important for me.

But isn’t it just my good reputation? I’m not a brand… I was asking a trade body yesterday about a project we are planning together. It’s something where I will need to pull in a corporate sponsor to fund it and I asked them if they had any requirements about the kind of supporter I could work with. They told me that common sense was all we needed to apply. If it won’t ruin my reputation then it won’t ruin theirs.

That’s a good pragmatic approach to reputation, but it seems the personal branding gurus are going crazy on Twitter at present. Either I need to stop following a few more people or just ignore the whole fad until it blows over…

Burberry - What Not to Wear...

How to get your book published

Friends and business associates often ask me how they can get their book idea into print. The assumption is always that because I have published a few books, I can offer some magical nuggets of advice on how to get into print. And I guess I do have insights from experience, but I have tended to stay on the non-fiction side of publishing. I haven’t published a novel or tried to get in a Booker shortlist.

But if you are thinking of writing a book then here are a few things to think about.

  1. You are unlikely to make a lot of money, despite what you see JK Rowling making. Business, management, and other non-fiction titles don’t sell in huge numbers so you need to consider publishing non-fiction for the joy of contributing to the pool of knowledge in that subject, plus it may become a valuable calling card that gives you work in other areas – such as consulting or speaking.
  2. You need to think commercially. Publishers are not in this for the love of it. They want a commercial product they can turn into real returns… so they are unlikely to be interested in uncle Tom’s memoirs of fishing on the river Thames – unless there is some way you can prove that the book-buying public really needs to see this title.
  3. You need to take advice from people who have published in the area you plan to publish. As mentioned, most of my work has been in non-fiction management titles, but I am straying outside this zone gradually. If you are thinking of fiction then I would recommend reading how horror author Stephen King started out in writing and also the views of literary agent Carole Blake. This kind of advice gives you a much better idea of how to balance the idea of what you are producing as art against what will actually sell. The Blacks guide is also essential reading.
  4. You need to think about marketing. Sure, the publisher has to do a lot of this, but the author can really help with networks, media contacts, social media… The author can make all the difference.
  5. You don’t always need to get an agent first. In fact without any track record it can be almost impossible to get an agent. If you can show samples of what you can write and you can show a good synopsis for an entire book then publishers will listen to you.
  6. If you can’t make progress quickly on much of the above then you may want to consider self-publishing and then using your published book to secure a deal at a major publisher. Sometimes it can help just to have it out there and available on sites such as Amazon. Lulu.com is a great site for this because they will publish your book with no upfront fees – just shared royalties on sales. It’s proper publishing, just the distribution is harder because it’s going to only be at online book stores.

My books

Book review: Facebook Marketing for Dummies

The `for dummies’ franchise has covered just about every topic under the sun, including information technology, so it’s no surprise to see a new title focused on how companies can get the best out of Facebook.

Facebook has grown into the dominant global social network over the past few years with over 400m active users, so I read this book with some trepidation about which level of user it would aim to inform. As an experienced Facebook user with experience of online promotions and campaigns, I was interested in seeing what it could offer.

However, the first 52 pages of the book are consumed with a step-by-step guide to Facebook, without any focus on the specifics of using online marketing tools. Then the book focuses the next one hundred or so pages on creating pages, groups, and events.

Only in the latter third of the book does it begin to explore the use of applications and viral marketing, which is a shame, because there is an important tale to tell for companies who really want to reach out to consumers online.

Facebook is a constantly evolving environment so the book should have steered clear of screen shots and detailed guidance on menu options – who can say whether those menus will look the same next week, let alone in a couple of years? This book will have dated by summer 2010.

A book is not the natural medium for guidance on how to use a social network. The authors should have abstracted away from the nuts and bolts of Facebook and focused more on the challenges of marketing using any social network. This may not have given the book a typical `for dummies’ approach, but it would make it more useful for marketing professionals.

The book assumes the reader is still considering whether to sign up and use a social network. Educated marketing professionals are not browsing bookstores looking for guides that will give them a reason to get online. They are already online, already using Facebook, and already familiar with all the tools described in at least the first 200 pages of this book. This is 2010 – not 2006. Over 100m mobile devices connect to Facebook every single day…

File this one under doorstop.