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Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

Update on Yesterday's Viral Marketing Post

Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett


Yesterday I wrote about whether or not viral marketing really works for authors. I thought it would be interesting to see what response - if any - I got.

Through the magic of the Interwebs, my blog headlines get sent to both Twitter and FriendFeed with a link back to the post. Within a few minutes two Twitter follow notifications landed in my inbox. They were from marketers who use search terms to find suckers people to follow in hopes they'll follow back. The third notification arrived a few hours later. It was from an author of a self-published book who apparently didn't read the entry.

Social networking (which really goes hand-in-hand with viral marketing) is something a lot of us are still getting the hang of. Yes, I'm included in that statement. But think of it as a party, but without the interesting beverages. Or the food. Or the chocolate. (Note to self: Invent virtual chocolate.) Seriously, though, when you're in a social situation you probably don't want to associate yourself with the folks who talk only about themselves. It's cool once or twice perhaps, but then you want someone to listen to YOUR stories. Or, you want to hear something new. That's what social networking is about.

Believe it or not, you can market yourself by just being - you! People must find you interesting, funny, warm, or they wouldn't hang out with you. Bring that part of you to the social networking party. This is what makes people say, "oh, he's cool. I should check out his book." With respect to the "sexperts" who follow me for some unknown reason, I call it "back door" marketing. You're not in my face, but you still have a presence. I like that. It's more subtle, but it works.

Marketing - viral, traditional, or whatever - is a long-term strategy. You can't just say, "OMG, my book/web site/product is out NOW, and I've got to get revnue/hits!" Any marketer worth their fees will tell you that it takes time to build a reputation.

Give it some thought, please.

PS: We'll see how many autofollows THIS post generates. ;-)

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Filed under: Writing   Publishing         
4/18/2009 5:16:11 PM
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