Five Steps To Gaining Loyal Readers

8:27 PM

While trolling Facebook the other day I ran across the following question:

What's the hardest thing about being a writer?

I scrolled through over fifty comments reading the responses from my fellow authors. The number one answer was building a reader base. Followed by marketing in a close second. 
Building a loyal reader base is an ongoing process that takes time. So, if you haven't built up the audience you'd like there is no need to worry. You still have plenty of time to make it happen. 
Building a following and marketing go hand in hand. So, I wasn't surprised that many of the writers said that both things were equally hard. 
I am here to tell you that building a loyal following isn't as hard as you think. Thank God for guerrilla marketing! The main concept is to invest more time and creativity than money. Your ability to build a fan base depends how well you can market and sell to your audience. If you think outside of the box and follow the five steps below, I promise you will see an immediate change in the amount of love you get from your readers. 
  • Know who your readers are. - This is Marketing 101. I know you probably get tired of hearing this but it is so freaking important to ALWAYS keep in mind! If you don't know who you want to be a part of your tribe how will you write books for them? Know exactly who you're aiming your body of work towards and your marketing efforts will be much easier. 
  • Go where they are. - Where do your readers go when they want to spend money on books? Answer that question and go to work making sure that your books are available for purchase in each and every place. Don't be afraid to sell at events that don't cater to books. Any place your readers spend money is a place where your books can sell. 
  • Build a relationship with constant contact. - This is so important that it really should have been number one! The secret to gaining loyal customers is building a relationship with them. One of the go-to tactics that sales people use is taking a prospect out to lunch. Getting acquainted over a meal is one of the best ways to get to know someone. They do this because they understand that concept and want to establish a relationship so that they can close a deal by the time lunch is over. By dropping books consistently, being active on social media, and blogging (to name a few things) you keep in contact with your readers on a regular basis. 
  • Be transparent. -While building a relationship with your readers don't be afraid to be open about yourself and what you're going through. I understand keeping your private life private, but your readers want to know who you are. Gone are the days of people not caring about who an author is. Nowadays people want to see what you're posting on Facebook and Instagram. It makes them feel closer to you. 
  • Keep the "Me Too!" factor in mind. - When it comes down to the characters you create in your novels you want folks to read your work and say to themselves, "Damn, girl me too!" Not only should your readers be able to build a relationship with you, they should also feel close to your characters. Every time they read one of your books it's like they're meeting new members of the family. 
As a bonus I want to mention that you stay consistent! Once you build that relationship you have to nurture it to keep it growing. If you fall off the face of the Earth you will break the trust with your readers and they may lose interest in your brand.

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