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Don’t Lose Your New Year Momentum! 5 Ways to Keep Up Marketing Motivation

resolutionsAs dawn broke on 2013, did you find yourself setting goals for the year ahead? You know, those (gulp) New Year’s resolutions?

If so, you’re definitely not alone. Here in the US, 45% of folks make at least one resolution every year.

Want to hear something sad, though? Four-fifths (80%) of those resolutioneers (totally made up word, but I like it) will eventually break those resolutions.

In fact, a third have already fallen off the wagon.

Scary stuff, right?

The Problem with Resolutions

The big problem with New Year’s resolutions is that, while it’s easy to make them, it’s even easier to break them. Tell me if this sounds familiar:

  1. On January 1st, you make a resolution to build your fanbase and work more on book promotion.
  2. On January 2nd, you start out. You’re totally motivated and excited for the good stuff to come.
  3. For the first week or two, you crush it. You think, “why haven’t I done this before? I rock!” You’re a marketing tactics-learning, fanbase-building machine.
  4. On day 18, your car won’t start.  A trip to the mechanic replaces your marketing time. No biggie, you’ll get back to it tomorrow.
  5. You get back on the horse on day 19, but, by the end of the day, you start feeling sick.
  6. By day 20, you’ve landed a nasty cold and are laid up in bed for 3 days.
  7. After you’re back on your feet, you jump back in, but find your motivation waning. What was I working on again? Why am I doing this? Is all this work even worth it?!
  8. By the end of January, you’ve gotten totally off-track and find marathons of Gold Rush vastly more appealing than marketing your work.

Remember: you’re totally not alone.

At least a third of your fellow resolutioneers are feeling the exact same way. We start out with the best of intentions, but, eventually, life gets in the way. Without some sort of accountability or a clear path to achieve our goals, it is only natural to lose motivation when you stumble.

Well, I’m here to hoist you back up on the horse — you will NOT become one of those resolution-breakers on my watch! Ready to recapture your marketing motivation? Here we go:

5 Ways to Keep Up Marketing Motivation

When you feel your resolve slipping, choose one of the motivators below and you’ll perk right back up! 

1. Create a Motivation Board

Shannon calls these “a visual kick in the pants,” which is the perfect descriptor. The concept is simple: create a collage of  quotations and images that represent both your end goal and the journey you’ll take to get there.

Your board can be digital (using a web app like Photovisi) or physical (drawing, printing and cutting out visuals from magazines) and should include things like:

  • Your book’s cover
  • Inspirational quotations
  • Your ideal publishing outcome (land on Oprah’s couch, etc.)
  • Images of hobbies and interests
  • Photos of supportive friends and family
  • Your elevator pitch
  • Book covers from your favorite authors
  • Positive reviews and notes from fans

Make your motivation board your computer or tablet background and check it out at any time to refresh your perspective.

2. Track Your Progress

Let’s face it, marketing can feel like a grind; like you’re stuck in one of those dreams where you try to run but are frozen in place.

In those cases, you need perspective; some way to see all of the progress you’ve made. Without a way to see how far you’ve come, it’s easy to feel like you’re going nowhere. 

Sometimes, all it takes is a, “Holy moly! I’ve earned 200 Twitter followers in the past 6 months or “Wow, my sales have been slowly (but steadily) climbing” to motivate you to continue moving toward your book marketing goals.

3. Use the Indie Author Buddy System

Without someone else in your corner, being an indie author is awfully lonely. Having a friend (particularly another author) in the trenches with you holds you accountable and gives you a sounding board for everything you’re feeling: successes, failures, ideas, and fears.

Find a buddy with whom you click, but it’s okay to be a little picky. It’s more important that you choose the right person than that you have a buddy at all. Befriend someone who will offer support and positivity, not competition and one-upping.

4. Change Up Your Book Marketing Perspective

If you’ve been performing the same promotional tasks for weeks, months or even years, book marketing is bound to get boring. Maybe a fresh start is just what you need! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Create a book marketing idea jar: write down 20 book marketing ideas or campaigns, fold them up and put them in a hat/jar. Each time you sit down to work on promotion, pull an idea out and get to it! This method keeps marketing exciting and fresh. Note: if you’re on our mailing list, I’ll be sending out a free printable to use with this method tomorrow!
  • Get a makeover: if the idea of book marketing is filling you with dread, it’s time for a makeover. Download the Weekend Book Marketing Makeover and set aside two days to refresh your perspective (and your efforts).
  • Build your library: sometimes all it takes is a new idea to plant the seed of thousands more in your mind. Luckily, the library of books about book promotion is growing and, for just a few bucks, you can learn new tactics and tips. We recommend 77 Ways to Find New Readers for Your Self-Published Book and Marketing Your Book on Amazon.

5. Set Specific, Short-term Goals instead of Broad, Long-Term Goals

Many New Year’s resolutions fail is because they are long-term, broad goals (“sell more books” or “earn more fans”). Honestly, vague goals like that feel a little (err, a lot) scary!

Instead, we recommend setting short-term goals (daily, weekly or monthly) to narrow your focus and keep you on track toward your longer-term goal.

BONUS tip: Remember Your Whys!

This one’s a biggie, and so often forgotten. When you’re really feeling down, perform the following exercise: write down WHY you’re promoting your work. Is it just to make money? Is it to share your work with the world? To connect with new readers and fans? To bring to fruition a lifelong dream?

List every single “why” you can think of — these are the real motivations behind every marketing move you make and, all on their own, can keep you going when times are bleak.

Talk Back

Did you make any New Year’s goals or resolutions this year? How are you feeling about your progress so far? If you made resolutions in the past, did you stick to them? What is YOUR biggest “why?” Let’s discuss in the comments!

  • I’ve written down my resolutions for 2013 and keep them on my desk. It seems to help so far 😉

    • That’s a great idea, Martina! I bet having that visual staring back at you every time you work is very motivating :-)

  • jswwrites

    I’m doing well so far! I have the first 8 mos of the year written on HUGE pieces of paper stuck to my wall. Each month has “Write”, “Edit”, “Publish” by it, and what I’m doing when. I’ve also discovered that doing my marketing/promo stuff all at once for the next couple of months (not counting Twitter, FB and my blog) really destresses the process for me. I did Dec-Feb in December, and am now working on March and April (I have a big trip next month so need to do it now). Then I can just work on the work! Marketing is still the least fun, I must say! Thanks for your advice.

    • Excellent idea! Being able to see the whole year at once is a wonderful way to track your progress. Rock on!

  • This is just what I need to get me motivated. Yesterday, I posted on my much neglected blog (roseklix.wordpress.com) that I needed help with Time Management. Thank you.

    • Yay, Rose! I’m glad it helped you out. Keep up that blogging motivation!

  • M Duncan

    Here’s an interesting idea some people might find useful: I bought a 2013 diary and wrote down all my writing goals for the year in the front, then decided when I was going to have a certain goal completed by and wrote it in red on that specific day. Every day, I write what I’ve done (eg: brainstormed story; wrote such-and-such scene). I also write notes in it about stuff related to writing (such as research blablabla, make Facebook page for story, find editor). It definitely seems to help with my motivation, being able to see what I’ve done so far and exactly how much time I have until my next goal! I didn’t want another year to pass me by, leaving me thinking “another year unpublished!”

    • Awesome, M — thanks so much for sharing! I’m glad you’ve found a great motivational tool that works for you :-) This is YOUR year!

  • Tammie

    I found that rather than trying to do a little bit of everything every day (marketing, money-making writing jobs, novel writing), focusing on one thing each day has really helped me stick with my goals/resolutions so far this year. Before, I felt completely scatter brained and unable to get much done. Now, I’m whipping through my work each day and have one day a week to solely work on marketing.

    • I so agree with this, Tammie. Reeling in my instinct to multitask DEFINITELY increases my productivity. Great tip! :-)

  • One of my resolutions is to increase my inventory – both stories coming
    out in various publications and stuff I self-publish for e-readers. My
    online writing group has committed to each of us writing one new story a
    month, and that accountability is really helping me stay on track.
    Focusing on the why’s helps too; if my goal is to have my stories and
    novels read, then I have to write them and get them out where people can
    access them.