It’s Time For Your Fall Platform Inventory

It’s Labor Day is here in the U.S. — summer is over. For many of us this signals a return to routine. For those of you with kids in school, maybe a sigh of relief?  After a summer of juggling vacations, kids, and escaping the heat, you may realize that some of your regular tasks have gone by the wayside. This is a great time for a platform inventory and a review of your long-term marketing plan. Here’s a quick overview of the what to do.

 

First, set aside one hour everyday over a five-day period. For some of you this may be five hours in one day but for most of you it will be an hour a day. We’re going to look at five assets and make sure they are completely updated and current.

1. Website

 

Make sure your home page cover photo/header and your tabs or tiles are current with images, text, and links. Does your email sign-up form reflect your current lead magnet? Is it time to switch this to another giveaway? Check all your “ads” or promotions on your home page to make sure they are updated with the proper links. This would be a good time to refresh your graphics. I like Canva for this task.

 

Check your marketing plan to see what is coming up for promotion on your website in the next quarter. Do you have a book launch? An email list building campaign? A backlist promotion? Make a list of tasks that need to be done: graphics, text, and links. Plug these into your planner.

 

Back-up your website data—you should be doing this about four times a year. If you have a WordPress site, you may want to use one of these plug-ins. If you use another hosting company, make sure they are backing up your site or do it yourself. If you employ a webmaster, make sure they are doing this regularly. I think it’s a good idea to have all your data in the unlikely event that your website disappears for some reason—especially if you house a blog there. Some people recommend doing this monthly.

 

Did you launch a book over the summer? Is your website completely updated with all that information? Did you move your books to wide distribution or change your social media channels at all? Make sure all the links and icons on your website are current. Take a brief look at all the menu pages on your site (About, Books, etc) and make sure all the information and links are current.

 

Make a list of tasks you don’t have time to do in this one-hour time frame and plug them into your schedule in the coming month. First priority—make sure all links on your website are current.

2. Email

 

Make sure your sign-up forms are current and compliant. Do you have an explanation of what a subscriber will receive and how often? Is it time to clean your lists? If you’ve never done this before you need to start. Paying for unengaged subscribers is not only a waste of money but it also affects your email deliverability.

 

Start by sorting your email subscribers and segmenting those who have not opened an email in a year or more. Send this segment a re-engage email asking them to reply to the email if they want to stay connected. After a week, re-sort your subscribers again. Anyone who replied to your re-engage email will not show up on the list now. Delete this segment of subscribers. Don’t be afraid, just do it. As Tammi Labrecque said in her book Newsletter Ninja, the author with the biggest email list doesn’t win—the author with the most engaged list does.

 

Do you have a lead magnet to get subscribers to sign up for your email list? Consider putting one together if you don’t. Schedule four email list building campaigns on your annual marketing calendar—at least four times during the calendar for a 7-10 days each time. This is just an organic campaign that makes use of your social media, author pages around the internet (Amazon author page, etc), and your website to get new subscribers in a concentrated span. Coordinate these as a lead-up to any book launches, especially if you are using a first in series as a lead.

 

If you prefer to advertise for new subscribers, schedule those campaigns. Make sure your giveaway links are current. Check your sign-up forms and delete any that are outdated or not in use anymore. As a side note here, make sure you do not delete email sign up links for back matter in any of your books–especially print books–unless you are planning on re-publishing the books with new links.

 

Consider putting together a template for your newsletters that includes the following: unsubscribe link at the bottom, link to your primary social media channel, links to follow you on Amazon and BookBub.

 

3. Social Media

 

Update your social media profiles. Remember that you can promote any current campaign link in your bio/profile information. The “About Me” profile is a place holder for when you’re not running a campaign. Update your cover photos. Make a schedule of promotions you’re going to run this year and schedule time to put together cover photos that support each campaign. This is another chore I use Canva for.

 

Make sure you have page growth strategies worked into your marketing calendar. How are you going to get people to like your page this year without buying ads? Make sure you are promoting your primary social media channel in your newsletter/email and on your website. Don’t promote social media channels that are outposts. Remember they are for redirect.

 

If you don’t have a content strategy for social media and email, consider enrolling in The Content Formula—my comprehensive online class for writing content that engages and sells. You can get some information about what the class covers, see author testimonials, and find out if it’s right for you by clicking here.

 

4. Author Bio Pages

 

Make sure all your author platform pages are updated. This includes sites like your Amazon author page, your BookBub page, your Goodreads page, and any other places where you maintain a presence. Make sure all the links are current and point to your latest book or your email sign-up, or both. Is your information current on InstaFreebie or BookFunnel or any service you use to give books away where you also have a bio page?

 

Update your regular bio to reflect your latest book or coming book. Make sure that is updated on all your online assets where a bio is present.

 

5. Your Annual Business Plan/Calendar

 

Many of you maintain business plans with your writing schedules, book launch dates, marketing plans, and more. Some of you just have one or none of these assets. If you do have a marketing plan, make sure it is coordinated with your projected books launches. Work on firming out the present quarter (September, October, November) and make sure everything is there that needs to be done. Schedule a separate time for this task as it may take more than one hour.

 

Whether you are a pantser or a plotter in life, make sure you take a close look at your platform resources at least once or twice a year to make sure they are current.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find my Facebook business page by clicking here. That is where I hang out. Here’s to another great year!