Wednesday, October 31, 2012

One Dollar Marketing

I remember when, as a teenager (25 years ago), McDonald’s started promoting breakfast items for less than 80 cents. Then a trend started where other fast-food restaurants starting promoting $1 menu items. Recently, I noticed a McDonald’s commercial where the actor goes to various retail stores asking, “What can I get for a dollar?” and ends up at McDonald’s, where the cashier points to the menu featuring a variety of items for one dollar.

As a marketing major in college, I recall reading an article where the writer encouraged readers to act as if their marketing budget was $1. I thought it was an ingenious way to challenge people to be creative in developing a marketing plan. Now, in the Age of the Internet, there are a number of ways to market for $1 or less. Here, I outline a few tips on how to implement One Dollar Marketing for your book:

Budget. In the same way that you have a budget for your household, you should have a marketing budget for your book. When I am on a tight budget and have only a few dollars to spend on lunch, I strategize to determine what is the best meal I can make or buy within my budget. For example, if I only have $5, I may decide to order five items for $1 each from the value menu at a fast-food restaurant. On the other hand, I may decide to purchase items totaling $5 or less at the grocery store, and create multiple meals. Believe me, I have done both. When marketing your book, determine what your budget is, and figure out the smartest way to invest your money. The idea is to determine your budget and create a marketing plan that can help you reach your target audience. 

Competition. On a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the highest, my score for competitiveness is a 10. For me, there is no greater thrill than a challenge. If you are like me, you might approach marketing your book like you would any other a challenge. You can create your own competition with your $1 marketing budget (or any other amount). Begin by developing a marketing plan to reach a specific number of readers in your target audience. For example, if your marketing budget is $1 and you need to reach 10,000 readers, challenge yourself to develop a marketing campaign to reach that audience. Take the time to write down your top 10, 20 or 50 ways to market your book within that budget. You will be amazed at how creative you can be when there is a challenge.

Return on Investment (ROI). When marketing, it is important to calculate your ROI before spending money on a marketing campaign. Return on investment is a measure of the profit earned from each investment. Similar to the “return” or profit you earn on your investment portfolio or bank account, ROI is calculated as a percentage. In simple terms, the calculation is: (Return - Investment)/Investment. It is expressed as a percentage, so multiply your results by 100 to find your ROI. 

As you can see, I believe the power of a dollar can go quite far with your book marketing budget. As the co-author of How to Market Your Book For Free, I have learned to use various strategies to market my books while on a budget, through healthy self-competition, for a substantial return on my investment. For more tips on how to market for $1, or for free, look for the book coming soon. 

Nicole Antoinette, author, publisher, and founder of the Suwanee Festival of Books launched Faith Books & MORE Publishing in June 2008. She is an independent business consultant, professional writer, and adjunct college professor. She currently resides in Suwanee, GA with her son Joshan, an aspiring film director.

Telephone: 678.232.6156

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