Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Five Steps to Brand Yourself in the African American Christian Market (AACM)






Any enterprise built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts. Proverbs 24:3-4 TLB


Step 1: Define your target audience.

Who is your main customer? What do they look like? What do they watch? Listen to? What other media do they consume? The more research you do the more you can identify and target your ideal customer to BUY YOUR BOOK!

UNDERSTAND YOUR MARKET… Once you have an idea, research it. Check Amazon and see if any similar books exist. Is there a need for your book? How will your book be different? Will it withstand the competition? Find out everything you can about your topic; become the authority.

Step 2: What’s your PLATFORM?
Find your “book hook.” What message are you marketing?
Get your message “out there!” But what do you want to say? Are you an expert? An evangelist? Do you want to position yourself as a “brain” or a “creative” – or do you have endorsements that will speak volumes for you? Whoever endorses you will “pin point” how you will be perceived/branded in the market. Make sure your message that you communicate makes the media say “wow” and not yawn. Examine yourself and find your unique selling position. Why is your book worthy of media attention?

Talk to everyone you know, network, get a marketing mindset! Find places to start, get bookings to teach/speak and work your way up. Make your initial mistakes locally, and build a devoted following close to home. Take speaking, voice or acting lessons, or hire a media or PR coach. Join the local Toastmasters or the National Speakers Association. You’ll get practice speaking in front of people, feedback and contacts for places to speak. Video yourself; critique yourself; and practice a lot. You want to shine for the media and make your “followers” proud.


Step 3: Build a media “wish list”
We would all love to be on Oprah, Tom Joyner, Steve Harvey and TBN…that’s a for sure best-seller status. But starting out, get a focused, realistic media database that reaches the core target audience. What do they read, watch and listen to? Do you really know the media? Google the media that matches your platform.

Find addresses at websites. Although websites seldom reveal addresses of print or broadcast contacts, they’re a good place to find the addresses of website editors and content producers, and to figure out the company’s addressing system. You can sometimes find e-mail addresses using online directories such as Yahoo’s People Search. Also, Linkedin.com is a good source. I know tons of authors who have made personal contact with producers through social networking sites like facebook, myspace, or twitter.

Another smart way to find e-mail addresses is to browse the message boards or blog at websites for newspapers, magazines, radio stations, and TV stations. Reporters and producers often respond to comments and criticism on these boards and blogs, and their e-mail addresses are usually displayed along with their messages

Use Eblast services too to “stir up the buzz” and get the word out immediately to the masses.

Here are some Eblast service/media to look at:
(Targeting the African-American and African-American Christian markets)

BlackGospelPromo.com
DetroitGospel.com
GoodGirlBookClubOnline.com
GospelEblast.com
GospelEFlyer.com
ChristianPRGroup.com
CushCity.com
Izania.com
BlackChristianbookpromo.com
Gospeltube.com
BlackPR.com
There's more: see www.PamPerryPRCoach.com

Step 4: Create dazzling press materials.
If you’re trying to pitch Essence, “O” magazine or your local weekly neighborhood newspaper, you better come correct. You only have one chance to make a first impression. Get customized press kit folders if doing mailing. Or get graphics help to design your EPK (electronic press kit). But whatever you do, get great author photos. A picture is worth a thousand words – and a “glamour” shot will get you noticed. Even in the Christian market, being attractive sells more books. Make sure your press releases, fact sheets, articles and pitch letters stand out from the crowd and “position” yourself. BRAND!

In this electronic age, having a top-notch Website and Electronic Press Kit (epk) will show that an author is professional. Increasingly, editors are viewing them as tickets to the game.

Great error-free press materials are the foundation to a good campaign!!! Get help if you need it. See www.PamPerryPR.com
pam perry
Step 5: Media contacts – they are your friends.
How do you meet the media? Go where they go. Go to conferences where you know media will be there like the Gospel Heritage Conference, The PowerNetworking Conference, The Stellar Awards, ICRS (formerly CBA) and even the regional/local National Black Association of Black Journalists. Not even a bad idea to join as an associate member. You’re a writer, right? Networking and building relationships is critical. If you can meet them, keep in contact by commenting on their work – so they know you’re just not “begging” allll the time – but really are an educated media consumer. (Also, get their name right!)

When you prove yourself as an “expert” and dependable source of information, you get reporters to contact you over and over. And they will tell their friends about you because you will become known as a good source.

But never brow beat and badger a reporter/producer with unwanted phone calls, faxes or E-mails – that’s a quick way to make an enemy with the whole industry. If they don’t respond, ask them why and then move on. There are tons of other media that will reach your target market. Use your time and energy wisely and don’t be a pain – and when you really have something to contact them about – just a quick email is all that is needed.

FINALLY and most importantly: REMAIN ENCOURAGED, STEADFAST AND prayerful. Prayer is the key.


For free mp3 on WHAT EVERY CHRISTIAN AUTHOR SHOULD KNOW, CLICK HERE
Bill Winston
See www.PamPerryPRCoach.com too and join www.ChocolatePagesNetwork.com!
For a catalog of book in the AACM, click here

1 comment:

Jevon Oakman Bolden said...

This is such good information, Pam. This is the very thing publishers love to see in the works for a potential author by the time a manuscript is presented. I just finished almost a week of reviewing manuscripts back to back, and even if there is writing talent there, the audience/platform is what's missing. I am always asking, "Who do I sell this to? Who will buy this? Why will they buy this?" So thank you so much for always providing that next level info.

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