February 23, 2011

How a Small Twist on a Familiar Strategy Made a Big Difference to My Budget By Cheryl Pickett | printable version

The strategy of doing live events in order to sell stuff has been around for hundreds of years. However, I recently experienced it with a slightly twist that definitely helped my bottom line. What was the twist? Simply this: back-to-back events.

How It Worked for Me

In September 2009, I launched my most recent book, Creation Inspirations: A New View of the World Around You. Shortly thereafter, I booked a school visit for mid-November. While I was arranging that, I checked their calendar and found their Christmas Market was on the first Friday in December. That's a day when a "store" is set up with a variety of holiday gift items that kids can get for their families. Even though most items are relatively inexpensive, I asked the coordinator if I could try selling my books, which would be autographed, of course. She agreed without hesitation and we decided to try it by having me there just a half day.

When they advertised the initial visit, a pre-order form was included along with a note that I would also be at the Christmas Market. My author visit went very well and I left with a handful of orders.

When I arrived at the market a couple weeks later, I was given a small corner of a table and the rest was up to me. To my surprise and delight, several kids not only remembered me from my recent visit, but their eyes lit up when they realized who I was and that they could buy a book. I also recalled a few faces and took the initiative to say hello and alert them they could get a book if they hadn't already. Between students, adult helpers and staff, I ended up selling what was, for me, a nice number of books.

Now, fast forward to Christmas Market 2010. This time I didn't have the author visit first, but I did go for the whole day. The difference? I barely sold half as many books. In addition, I really had to work for those sales by engaging shoppers as best I could. Clearly, being at back-to-back events and the recognition factor made a significant difference and I know I'll be looking for that kind of situation again.

Cheryl Pickett has been working as an author and freelancer for well over a decade now. Her mission is to help message-driven authors create their best work and to deliver it to the world. You can find tips, courses, coaching and more by visiting www.cherylpickett.com Her current book can be found here: www.creationinspirations.com.


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