The most important job I’ve had to date, is that of being a mom to my six-year-old son. Right from the day I conceived him, I knew that I would want to experience each and every moment of his life. It was not an easy decision to leave my flourishing corporate career and stay home to focus on my son and work as a Mompreneur. I had to start on my own with a limited budget and learn the tricks of the trade. Things were really challenging, especially when I launched my first book, “Juicing for Healthier Families” and was looking at ways to market it without breaking my bank.
Like every writer, I had a dream! The dream to land a book contract with a traditional publishing house. But, like most authors, I hated selling. I would rather sit down and do what I do best… writing. But to my dismay, my beautiful masterpiece got rejected by publishing houses. One of the main reasons for rejection was not having a strong enough Author/Mompreneur platform.
Whether an author decides to go the traditional or self-publishing route, today the reality is that having a strong platform is critical to the success of a book, a business, and especially a new business. After spending a whole lot of time and energy on finishing my manuscript, the only way out for me was to shed my marketing inhibitions and learn everything about building my platform, book marketing, and bestseller publishing.
My hard work paid off and I was able to make my book #1 on Amazon in various categories and in different countries on the first day of its launch. This only came after putting in a lot of background work.
Here I want to share the four essentials that I used to build my platform that will give you a head start in building your empire and potentially landing a traditional book deal.
This is where people go to find out about you, your book, and your services. A place where people could find valuable resources that keep them coming back for more. A good website is one that tells your potential readers how your book will add value to their lives and also gives them a way to contact you.
An Opt-In Form:
A top priority for a business or an author should be growing an email list. And a great way to build this list is by offering something of value to people for free. Free giveaways like a video tutorial, an eBook, or a free course for people to download when they sign up at your website are potential ways to communicate and connect with your audience.
Now that you have all these email addresses, what next? Keeping your audience engaged by providing them valuable information is essential to the growth of your business. Sharing behind the scenes of your book writing process and giving them a snapshot of your life will instantly connect you with your potential readers. Choose an email service provider such as Constant Contact, Get Response, A-Weber, Mail Chimp, or Infusionsoft, and get to work by sending at least a monthly, if not weekly newsletter. Remember to be consistent with your emails no matter the approach you take.
According to estimates, the number of worldwide social media users reached 1.96 billion and is expected to grow to some 2.5 billion by 2018. In 2016, 78 percent of Americans had a social media profile, representing a five percent growth compared to the previous year. Needless to say, having a social media presence is essential to success. People love connecting on social media, and as an author or an entrepreneur you should be willing to open those communication channels for your potential audience.
There are many more ways to build your platform, but this is a good start. For instance, most publishing houses ask for an email list of at least 2,000 subscribers and a similar number of followers on your social media. So, start building that list and following today.
Even though I do most of my work sitting in my kitchen with my son beside me, I am able to share my message with my audience all across the globe, and write for some major publications, such as Forbes. A little bit of focus on building your platform can help a mom entrepreneur or author go a long-long way.
Parul Agrawal is an Engineer by education with two Master Degrees, one in Electrical Engineering, and the second one in Material Science Engineering from Arizona State University. After working as a Research Scientist at Arizona State University and Intel Corporation, Chandler, for more than five years, she was alarmed at the state of her fellow corporate Americans. She then decided it was time to take action and pursued a holistic lifestyle. In 2010, she started her own coaching practice by offering wellness workshops at recreational centers and various corporations.
She, however, wanted to share her message with a global audience and self-published a book in 2015 on the benefits of leading a holistic lifestyle. With a small email list and a very limited marketing budget, she became a bestselling author, got her book launched in stores across India, landed in major publications like Forbes, Huffington Post, Thrive Global, and Elite Daily, and was invited as a guest on ABC TV Channel 15 in Arizona.
Over the last seven years she has become a speaker, an author, a workshop facilitator, and a consultant who helps people with their health, wealth, and finances. Since 2011, she has also helped clients use digital media to scale their businesses. Say hi to her @parulagrawal.com.