Promoting your book when you only have an hour a week
This is a question that came up in my community recently: How do you promote your book when you only have an hour a week to do it in.
As I’m sure you know, one hour a week is really not much, because that can fly by, ESPECIALLY when you’re thinking about social media and how absorbing that can be.
This means that first things first, you need to accept that you will not be able to do all the things you want to do in that hour every week.
But, you can still get a lot done in an hour. Here’s how:
Do your preparation
If you only have an hour a week, you need to be extremely focused in that hour, and really clear about what you’re doing.
To get ready, each quarter I would suggest spending the first 3 hours / 3 weeks getting prepared.
That’s a lot! But don’t worry, you’ll still be sharing stuff during that time.
Take time out to figure out what you are doing. That will set you up really, really well as you go forward.
Week one: think about why you are doing this, and what you actually want to get from your marketing. Where do you want to be in a years’ time? Where do you want to be in 3 months’ time? What do you want your social media to do?
Set small, realistic goals and put them somewhere you’ll see them regularly (remember that time restriction! Don’t overload yourself).
Week two: focus in on who you are speaking to and get your ideal reader nailed down. I really think this is such a useful exercise, because if you have a clear person in your head, it will make coming up with ideas easier in the long-run. If you need a guide on how to do this, I’ve got a free one here.
Part of this exercise is working on what channels your audience is on. With this amount of time, you’re really looking at one key social channel, and maybe one channel you own like an email or blog. Where are your audience and which do you prefer? Make yourself a venn diagram and then focus on the channel where the two groups meet.
Week three: You may have loads of ideas of what to share already, in which case, go for it! Sometimes thinking about who your ideal audience is can spark lots of different ideas, which is great.
If not, sit down and have a big brainstorm of what you actually want to talk about, and then roughly put those into a plan. Can you share one original piece of content each week? For an hour a week, you’re not going to be looking at loads of long form content, so think about things you can share in a bitesized way.
Share the process
I talk about this a lot, but I think it’s really important, and also immediately gives you something to share.
While you are figuring out what you want to talk about over the next few months, share the process.
Share your why. Put up a photo of the notes you’re making. Share a photo of your closed notebook, if you’re not comfortable showing inside. Talk about why you’re trying to be more focused. How you’re making it work with such limited time. Why your time is so limited!
There are so many ways to bring people along for the journey with you, and sharing this work with them as you do it is a great first step.
Find a way to keep notes
Whether it’s a notebook you have on you at all times or an app on your phone, make sure that you have a way to keep track of any and all ideas that come to you during the rest of the week.
I am TERRIBLE for thinking ‘oh that’s a great idea, I’ll remember that’, and then almost instantly forgetting it unless I write it down.
Remember to connect
Putting out great content is one part of the puzzle, but don’t forget that social media is all about connection.
If at all possible, add in 10 minutes a day just to go and interact with other people. Set a timer, and hopefully you can fit this in.
I know that’s cheating a bit, talking to people about their interests, not just yours and what you’re sharing, is so important. What are other people sharing, and how can you support them?
Be friendly and helpful and funny and yourself – you’ve got this!
PS: If you’d like to learn the basics behind a great social media marketing plan, as well as some practical ways to promote your book online without spending your life on social media, download my content planning workbook: 7 Steps to an Effective Online Content Plan.