The third element in your easy book marketing plan is to measure your progress and evaluate how your efforts are doing.
Doing your marketing activities from the previous post (Element #2) is essential for meeting your goal. Tracking your progress is just as important. If a particular activity is not showing any results, you need to know about it, so that you can stop doing that activity and try something else. Why waste your time on something that isn’t working?
And if an activity is showing phenomenal results, you want to make sure you continue doing it and maybe do more of it.
Either way, you need to know how you’re doing.
Select a Measuring Stick
You start by asking yourself “How will I know”.
If your goal is to get more newsletter subscribers, how will you know if you have subscribers? You will know by noting the number of subscribers you have when you start your marketing activity and then noting how many you have when you’re done with the activity.
Most measurements will involve a starting number and an ending number. You record the starting number before you start implementing your plan. Then check it again when you’ve reached your deadline.
Most of the time the measurement you’ll use will be obvious.
Goal – Get more book reviews on Amazon
Measurement – Monitor # of reviews on Amazon before vs. after
Goal – Get more website visitors
Measurement – # of people who visited my website before vs. after
In these examples, the “how” of your marketing plan, the specific steps you’ll do, aren’t important. You can do a number of different marketing activities to meet this goal and you’ll track them all in the same way, by checking the numbers before and after.
Refining Your Goal
Sometimes you’ll find that your goal is a bit too fuzzy to measure.
If your goal is to get more readers, how will you know if you have more readers? We don’t currently have a way to know what every person in the world is reading or has read. (Though if anyone would know, it’s probably Amazon.) So how will you know if you’re succeeding at your goal or not?
If your goal turns out to be fuzzy and hard to measure, make it more specific by combining it with your planned activity.
Get more readers (goal) by releasing a free ebook on my website (specific activity) and tracking the number of downloads (measurement).
Get more readers (goal) by posting the first chapter of my novel on my website (specific activity) and tracking the number of visitors that page gets and the length of time they stay on the page (measurement).
By getting specific, you’ve come up with a way to measure the results you’ll get.
When Will You Measure?
This ties into the overall deadline you set for yourself when you picked your goal. If the deadline for your goal is a few months away, you probably want to check your progress each month.
If the deadline is sooner, say within one month, you may want to check weekly or even daily.
“Gain 500 new newsletter subscribers in three months.”
For this goal, I’d check the number of newsletter subscribers at the end of each month.
“Get 250 downloads of my Kindle book in one month.”
Since this goal is only a month long, I’d check my Kindle download numbers each week. (Probably more often because I’m impatient that way.)
Sometimes your goal is more dependent on other people’s efforts than your own. If your goal is to get more book reviews and you’ve decided to submit your book to book review blogs, there’s little you can do to force a blogger to post a review of your book.
Instead, you’ll need to measure the activities that you can control.
In the case of this goal, you’d measure the number of blogs that you’d submitted to. If you set your goal at submitting to five blogs this month, then you’d review each week to see if you’re on track with submitting to five blogs.
If your goal is to increase awareness that you’re an author and you’re participating in a social media site as your specific activity, then you’ll need to measure how often you’re on the site (daily, weekly) and how much quality time you spend there (as opposed to time spent playing Farmville on Facebook, for example).
That’s it for Measurement. Figure out how you’ll know if your plan is working and then track the numbers involved.
Next up is the last element of our plan. Stay tuned.