How to take promotion into your own hands

You need to build your brand, but you’re not sure how to do it. You’re also running a business and don’t have a lot time to devote to PR.

It’s probably best to hire a publicist and hand it all over to a pro, right?

Not exactly. There’s a lot you should be doing yourself, says Guy Kawasaki, cofounder of Alltop and former chief evangelist of Apple.

That’s because nobody knows your business or product the way you do.

Guy gives the example of an author who wanted to know how her new book would be promoted. Her big-name publisher said, “Well, we thought you would use Usenet.”

Guy says, “[The author] quite logically, said, ‘Are you kidding me? Usenet is just like the nerdiest nerds of the Internet and that’s your marketing platform? What about your Twitter and Facebook and all this other stuff?’”

In Guy’s Mixergy course, he shows you how to take promotion into your own hands. He reveals the tactics he uses to build his brand and promote his books, including his latest, APE: How to Publish a Book. Here are three highlights from the course.

1. Build a Press Room


When the media gives you coverage, you want to project a certain image. At the very least, you want them to get the facts straight.

“I can’t tell you how many times people have introduced me incorrectly,” says Guy. “I mean, they’re introducing me still as working at Apple because they found the bio someplace.”

So how do you make sure they’re saying what you want them to say?

Give them what they need

Put everything a reporter or writer needs online, in one place.

“If someone is going to review your book they need a picture of you, they need a picture of your cover, they might want to include the blurbs by copying and pasting it, they need your bio information,” says Guy.

So he makes it easy for them. “You don’t need to hunt around,” he says. “You don’t have to worry about copyrights of the pictures, of the covers. Here it is, all in one place.”

2. Technology Trumps Tradition


When an author has a book to promote, she typically flies to major cities across the country to promote it at local bookstores, “where you might have 25 people who might buy your book,” says Guy.

It’s weeks of travel and a major expense, and you don’t reach very many people.

So when you have a product to sell, how do you get a better ROI on your promotional tour?

Market in your pajamas

Go on a virtual promotional tour, targeting media that reaches your audience.

A virtual tour can include radio interviews, guest posts, answering questions as a special guest, and leading webinars.

“Today I did a radio interview at 8:30 a.m.,” says Guy. “I did a webinar at 10 a.m., I’m doing [Mixergy] at 3 p.m., and I’m doing one more interview at 4 p.m. The webinar had 1,000 people signed up, I did that before I got out of my pajamas and took a shower. You reach 1,000 people, sitting in your pajamas at home? I mean, can it get any better than that?”

3. Don’t Blow Your Credibility


Did you know that testimonials can ruin your credibility?

If you get testimonials from people no one’s ever heard of, you aren’t building credibility. And if you have tons of testimonials, it looks like you’re trying too hard.

“I see a lot of self-published books with pages and pages of testimonials, none of whom you recognize, none of whom you care about, and I think you’re just protesting too much when you do that,” says Guy.

So how do you use testimonials the right way?

Use testimonials the right way

Get a few testimonials from well-known people.

“If you have three or four famous people, that’s enough,” says Guy.

How do you get well-known people to give you testimonials?

“It helps to have these pre-existing relationships,” says Guy. “You’re going to need people, and you should make friends with people before you need them, and pay them in advance with what you can do for them, because some day you’re going to need them. So plan for that day.”

Get the full course here.

Production notes by Alex Champagne. Cheat sheet written by April Dykman.

  • http://twitter.com/captureyourflag Capture Your Flag

    Useful. Three easy to understand and apply tips to take promotion into your own hands. The testimonial piece could not be more true. Thank you.

  • http://mixergy.com Andrew Warner

    Glad to hear it!

  • http://twitter.com/worldwideincorp Jennifer

    Awesome ideas! I especially like the idea of promoting in my pajamas. It just makes sense with the technology that is available.

  • http://www.mobiversal.com Flavius Saracut

    I especially like no3. We run a mobile app agency and I take care of the marketing side, in the first year it was really hard because we had no references from clients, but the easiest way to get them is to really over deliver, do that thing the client asks you to do and it’s not in the initial quote, do it and you’ll get that testimonial really easy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=662394712 Matias Sebastian Gemelli

    we have a ecommerce site with more than 80,000 gadget with free shipping worldwide, what do recommend to promote it? http://www.chaarly.com

  • Arie, Community Manager

    Thanks, Jennifer.

  • Arie, Community Manager

    Flavius, that’s a great comment!