I never understood the appeal of smoothies or any other kind of concoction created by grinding up delicious treats into a liquid muck. Tastes, textures and colors are just too much fun to dismiss as an inconvenience. Reducing what you ‘eat’ into sludge seems to miss the point. Oh sure, the ‘truly inspired’ will tell you food should be about nothing more than fueling your body with vital nutrients, but these folks eschew one of the greatest joys in life. Discovering great marketing strategies is much the same.
Marketing is like a buffet. There’s the picking and choosing part (and I’m delighted when I can get a small taste of so many things) where you test a bunch of ideas and then go back for more of what (you like) works. Sticking to a single strategy (or food choice) is rarely effective over the long term if you want to enjoy the benefits of an effective mix – for both your health and prosperity.
There are also perks that come with the ability to experience each selection as a separate delight (or disgust). Often, it’s the trial and error through distinctive selections that creates the greatest results. Mistakes can teach us lessons that last a lifetime. Being open to new to you possibilities can result in unexpected and delightful finds.
Late last year, we started to dabble in audio books with Horse Sense and Cents® (we offer a lot of free ideas on our website and blog, but also publish non-fiction equine titles through this company). The end game had nothing to do with the initial titles we ran through the system. We were testing a new provider to gauge the process, service and effectiveness for an audio product we had already produced, but were hitting roadblocks relative to getting listed on iTunes, Amazon and other major online retailers.
Amazingly, these titles started to sell more quickly as audio offerings (at twice the price in most cases) than the previously published print or digital books. What we discovered (my first – and probably last – bleeding edge coup) is buyers are looking for audio titles for their horse care, career and training challenges. We’re one of a very select few that satisfies this demand.
You guessed it – we’ve shifted our marketing strategy to put primary focus for the remainder of the year on converting as many titles as possible to audio options. The initial goal of finding a means to get done audio content listed on the biggie sites resulted in a discovery we never would have expected. It’s funny how opportunities sometimes come unexpectedly.
I found ACX (after six months of research) as a solution to a problem we couldn’t resolve; namely, finding a way to get one-hour MP3 segments of the Inventing Your Horse Career Series available for purchase on the major online retail players.
This hasn’t been easy for small businesses – until now. I gladly share the wealth as a royalty share that nets us 25% (this will go up to 50% on the titles we produced without voice talent help) for sales we couldn’t have made without the visibility provided by this resource. What I found was a great additional revenue stream for most of our other titles with virtually no out-of-pocket costs.
As has always been the case with our product extension, additional options serve to drive more sales for initial (more expensive) products. Counter-intuitive, granted, but I’ve found offering varied and less expensive alternatives to an original title brings more buyers for all offerings.
If you’re not open to a range of tastes with your marketing strategy mix, you’ll never find that unexpected gem that launches you to a new level. It’s important to test in a way that allows you to sample each flavor so you know when you find that delicious tidbit that excites your senses and completes your palate.
It seems everyone dreams of being an author at some time in their life. Kindle makes it easy, although it’s smart to hire professional editing and design support if your goal is to gain credibility.
Once you have a listing on Amazon, you can access the vast marketing reach ACX provides (although they do have a quality control process designed to ensure they keep out the dreck – that’s a good thing for professionals). There’s a huge demand for audio books right now. Few – including the behemoth publishers – are serving this need. Why not jump into the fray with something you’re passionate about? It’s fun, a great learning experience and rewarding to get those monthly royalty checks (in many more ways than the money factor).
Some of the most successful marketing strategies are off the grid. Right now, audio books seem to be one of them. Why not give it a shot? Have questions? Please leave a comment below and I’ll try to provide or find an answer.