By Kristen White

When thinking about your services, product or a book, do you think about how much to invest in marketing as a cost of doing business?  

The saying, “it takes money to make money” rings true when building an online business as an entrepreneurial author. Many authors spend money on editing, book covers, printing, and publishing, in anticipation that their future readers will be waiting in line to purchase their new book. When this does not happen, it creates a true dilemma. People need to know about your book, so they can click the link to buy it.  

If you haven’t put much thought into a marketing or PR budget, it’s time to turn on your thinking cap.  Although you can always do your own PR and marketing, there are times when you need a professional’s help in order to have a polished result.  That is why making a list of PR and marketing activities and deciding which tasks you can do and which ones require a vendor will help you in crafting a budget.  

Marketing or PR projects you may need to outsource include: 

Graphic design 

You may be handy with inserting images and cutting and pasting into a Word document but their certain things only a trained graphic designer can do.  Things like creating a polished professional brand and style guide, offering multiple layout options, access to the latest design software and the talents to use it or creating a cohesive array of branded stationery and collateral materials are best left to the professionals. Graphic design is a key visual aspect of your brand and how you are perceived by the public. Here’s a blog on rates.

Videos and video editing 

Maybe you think your camera on your mobile phone is rocking a great HD video recorder, but don’t let this fool you into thinking you’re the next Spielberg.  Find a videographer who knows about ambient lighting, background noise and getting the right angles to do a corporate video or image piece for the website.   It will look much sleeker than anything your next-door neighbor, spouse or assistant can do on the cheap! 

Content Creation and Copywriting 

Creating online content for emails, social media, sales pages, and websites is time- consuming and sometimes frustrating. The same language you used to write your book, may not be the same language you need to use to attract clients to buy your book and to attend your events, retreats and coaching programs.  

A well-written email or sales page can make the difference between whether people buy your books and services or not. If you don’t want to invest in marketing sales copy, study online forums for several email services and they will have free tips for creating content that converts. It’s worth the research and investment.  Why risk it?  

Here is a simple test, if no one is opting into your offers or clicking on links to schedule a discovery session, then you have the answer, the written copy on your website and in your marketing is ineffective. An example of rates.

Social Media Ads 

Everyone is online using social media. This is where your customers are. Because of this, social media ads can really work great! However, there is a catch. They can also be extremely expensive and simply not work at all.  So, crafting the best social media advertising strategy is something that requires the support of season experts. Generally, how this works, is that someone is on a monthly retainer to design and place your ads and then you pay your desired ad budget to the platform directly. For example, a minimum results-oriented budget on Facebook is $100/day. If you are investing this kind of money, it’s important to be able to track the results quickly and adapt campaigns that are not getting the desired results. Great intro on Facebook ads.

PR outside your local area 

You may know everyone and their grandmother in the town where you live, work and play, but venture further outside of your community, statewide or even nationally, and you may hear crickets when you call to pitch your latest story idea.  If this is your goal, it’s time to consider a PR firm that handles national or international PR. This will require a monthly retainer of several thousand dollars. But, they have the resources to get things done and they already know who to call.  You could waste precious time building a relationship with media over months or even years before seeing any results outside your area.   

These are just a few of the activities where you might need to spend money to achieve the desired results.  Marketing and PR for your book can easily consume a budget of several thousands of dollars a month. It’s also important to recognize that money spent is not the measure of a successful PR or marketing campaign. So, take stock of what your marketing and PR needs are, then assess which ones you can reasonably do, and which ones need a professional.  From there, build your budget and determine what is necessary from what is on your wish list.  Here is a link to a professional PR agency.

Many PR and marketing experts in social media, graphic design, copywriting, and video production offer complimentary bids for their services. Interview a few individuals to get an idea of the current market rates. Creating a budget helps you to understand your required resources as compared to your available budget, then evaluate what is important and which activities will give the best ROI. If your answer to a PR and marketing budget is zero, you are invited to reconsider, if you’re truly serious about building a lucrative online business around your book. Rarely will you find a successful business without a consistent marketing strategy and a budget to support its goals.  

Kristen White, creator of Business Beyond Your Book™: Build a 6+ Figure Business Transforming Lives, guides authors to create highly-visible, customized, successful online businesses based on the content in their books. As an award-winning business coach, a bestselling author, media personality, filmmaker and host of Mandala available on Amazon Prime Kristen White has guided many on this path to living the Laptop Lifestyle as an author.  Download a copy of her Free Gift, 22 Proven Paths to Make 6+ Figures in 2018 as a Highly Visible Author and Thought Leader. Unlock the insider secrets of other successful millionaire entrepreneurial authors and design your business plan for this year today!