In the first entry of this new series, I introduced the concept of how the prospective customer (prospect) will filter information, the so-called "over-simplified mind." Review that discussion here. As Ries and Trout said 30 years ago, The medium may not be the message but it does affect how--or even if--the message is delivered. The medium will filter our messages, whether we like it or not.
Remember, you don't control the bookstore or the page on which your book is sold at the bookstore (see last Tuesday's Tip). You don't control what others say, whether professional reviewers or paid reviewers or even paying customers (again, see last Tuesday's Tip). What you want to control is one word in the prospect's mind. That's it.
Today, we'll discuss how to compensate for the filtering of the medium and reach the mind of the prospect. Click through the jump break to begin.
Let's begin at the beginning with an age-old, simple message:
The Customer's Always Right
...and by extension, you, the seller, are always wrong. Can't get much simpler than that--and can't get much harder to internalize for an author trying to promote his or her own words. We know what words we wrote. We know what the story's supposed to be about and we know how it should be described.
We are wrong.
The fact that we know the story actually inhibits our ability to effectively communicate with our prospective customers. In an over-saturated market existing in an over-saturated online world, it's necessary to Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS). Really simple.
If you're pitching your product, the keyword is pitching not product and certainly not yours. You cannot break into the mind of another human being by pushing your way in. You must get them to invite you in. To do that, you need to think like them, not like you. By focusing on the prospect, rather than your product, you can simplify your process and make your communication more effective.
Choose sales pitches that focus on what's unique and different. Don't describe and narrate. Choose artwork that intrigues and spurs questions in the viewers mind. Don't worry about whether or not it accurately describes or visualizes a scene from your book. Your cover art is supposed to hook the prospect's attention not encapsulate the entire story--or even the crux of it. You only have about 1.5 seconds. I repeat, one and a half seconds.
You need to KISS to communicate anything at all in that time frame, right? Nod now and repeat after me: Perception is everything. You are not speaking reality to the prospects. You're pitching a sale. To paraphrase the famous writing advice (show, don't tell), when it comes to your promo tweets and sales efforts, pitch, don't tell.
Getting Into the Mind
As with most things in life, there's an easy way and a hard way ^_^ The easy way into a prospect's mind is to be first. To get your message into a prospect's mind, the first thing you need is not "a good message," but rather, a receptive mind. Be original, be different, be yourself. The newness, the difference, the identifiable "voice" that is you will make their mind receptive to your message--just don't give them a reason to toss you out once you're there.
The hard way into a prospect's mind is to be second. For every instance of a "first time ever" there's a second time ever. The ones you remember are the ones who distinguish themselves as not first, as not whatever it is that makes the first one who they are. Being the opposite of the leader can, in itself, be a "first." You can create the perception of a new niche market by being whatever the existing market is not. As the saying goes, better to be a big fish in a small pond than to be a small fish in a huge lake.
Tomorrow we'll have another Tuesday Tip on Facebook-isms. Cya then!