There are a few things that an author can have ready when they decide to start working with an assistant. Having these things in order can not only help the relationship go more smooth but help the process become more effective as well. I have seen it happen more than once that an author hires an assistant, but doesn’t have a clear picture of what they’d like to accomplish, and it can be disappointing for both parties. For more information on what you need to know about hiring an author assistant, read this post from my blog. If you have a solid idea of what you’d like to achieve when you hire an assistant, it’s more likely you’ll be more successful in achieving these goals. Another great thing to have nailed down before you hire an assistant is your social media, decide which platforms you’ll use, what you’d like to post, and how often. Having marketing plans or goals in place can also benefit the relationship and the author.
Setting Clear Goals
One of the very best things you can do before you add on to your team is to have a clear and concise set of goals. Having these goals will help you decide where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. It will give yourself, as an author and your assistant a sense of direction and guide the work that you both do. It will allow an author to hire an assistant and say “We’re using these platforms, this is how we’re going to reach readers, and market” and so on. Both you and your assistant will be able to jump in and take action right away.
Some potential goals an author can set in preparation for hiring an assistant are things like the number of followers or the audience they’d like to reach on social media, readers on their blog or the number of reviews they’d like their books to get or have. Metrics like these are easy to track, so it makes it painless when it comes time to find out whether efforts to reach these goals are paying off.
Knowing Your Social Media
Knowing your social media is HUGE when you have an assistant. If you know exactly what platforms you’re using and what you want to post, it’s time to take action. Your assistant can start scheduling that content, and get regular posts up and all of your social media platforms. Having an idea of what you’re looking for allows your social media presence to be consistent, and allows your followers and readers the opportunity to get to know you.
One great piece of the social media plan that you should have decided, is a list of 3-5 keywords that represent content or ideas that you’d like to share. These keywords will help when it comes to creating your author branding. For more great information, and to find out what branding is, read this crucial article from Rachel Thompson of BadRedheadMedia! If you aren’t sure why having keywords or branding matters, read this.
My list is books, and all things related to them (publishing, book marketing, reading, etc), coffee, entrepreneurship, along with farming and rural life. I share literary quotes I love, book recommendations and tons of author tips on my social media. I also share content related to my struggles and triumphs as an entrepreneur, and content from some of my favorite entrepreneurs (like Becky Mollenkamp). I am wholeheartedly addicted to coffee, like so many others out there. I giggle every time I see a silly meme about coffee, and I love sharing them with my followers. The last thing I love sharing on social media is my love of all things agricultural and my rural lifestyle. Though I’m no longer a full-time dairy farmer, I regularly spend time with my parents beef cows and I like to share them and the chaos that comes with them. You’ll also find the occasional cute cat picture on my feeds!
Knowing what content best represents you and your brand allows an assistant to either curate great original content for your brand or find relatable content from other sources. Doing so, keeps things consistent so there isn’t a gaping difference between when an author shares content, and when their assistant shares content. From the standpoint of an author assistant, it also makes my job a bit easier since I don’t struggle as much when it comes to maintaining an authors voice while I share content on their behalf.
Not many authors have a physical marketing plan, but it is a tool that can be incredibly helpful for many authors. Knowing whether you’d like to utilize promotional sites, or social media marketing are great places to start when it comes to book marketing. Having at least a vague marketing plan becomes a guideline for the work that goes into marketing a book. It will help both you, as an author and your assistant brainstorm potential ideas better, because you’ll know whether the ideas will be a good fit for your overall plan. Having a proper marketing timeline is just as crucial as the plan itself and this article from Bookbub is a great outline of creating a book marketing timeline. If you don’t know where to start when it comes to book marketing, you need a copy of BadRedheadMedia’s 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge! Get the print or Kindle versions.
An assistant can most certainly help authors create or put many plans into action, but it does help when an author has an idea of what they’d like to achieve. If you need resources on setting goals, read this article from Medium. I love the fact that the author brings up accountability. I love doing weekly accountability meetings with other entrepreneurs I know, they keep me aware of what I’d like to achieve, and push me to achieve it. I now that it’s been crucial for my own goal-setting, to write things down, and check on my goals often. Having my goals written down makes me immediately more aware of their existence, and both consciously and subconsciously, I work harder to achieve them.
Rachel Thompson is hosting National Novel Promotion Month (NaNoProMo) it’s a totally FREE initiative to help writers rock your book marketing this May with tips, resources, prizes, and more from TONS of marketing and publishing experts! Sign up https://buff.ly/2Nj6CYr for updates! Don’t forget to check out Rachel’s site throughout May for all the great resources, blog posts, giveaways and more!