Creating a Book Marketing Plan [Podcast Episode]

Creating a Book Marketing Plan

Creating a Book Marketing Plan with Kelly Schuknecht and Author Dan Kenner [Podcast Episode]

I am so excited to share this podcast episode with you! Dan Kenner, author and host of The Casual Author podcast, asked me to join him on his podcast to talk about how to create a book marketing plan.

I met Dan on TikTok. If you’re an author on TikTok, I hope you’ll connect with us there: @authordankenner and @kellyschuknecht.

In this episode, we talk about how to create a simple book marketing plan that will help you stay on track with your goals. You can listen to the episode above and I’ve pasted the transcript below.

Episode Transcript:

Dan: Hello and welcome to The Casual Author podcast. I’m Dan: host, an independent author of Sci-fi and Fantasy books, Father of Five, Full-time Worker, Homesteader, and a Man of Many Other Responsibilities. I’m here to talk to you about what it’s like to be an author, how we can prioritize and be productive, and how we can be encouraged to know that despite our busyness, we can still make the best of our authoring.

To learn more about me, my books, or access the podcast show notes, head to Let’s get started.

Hey, it’s Dan with The Casual Author again with another great episode for you. It is Tuesday, October 4th, 2022 as I record this, and this is episode 47 of the podcast. Today I’m talking to Kelly Schuknecht about creating a marketing plan, which is the thing that makes my head spin. Um, first of all, planning.

I don’t plan. Uh, but also marketing, which is also something that I know a lot of authors like myself struggle with. So I know it’s an important piece of having an author business. And today Kelly and I talk a little bit about creating a marketing plan, what that looks like, and she’s even provided some great resources for you.

So I hope you like the conversation before we dive into the interview portion. Of course, updates from the Kenner homestead. Um, although honestly not, not a lot has happened recently. We were, we had this weird hiccup with, so we put this free kitten sign. To, uh, you know, get rid of the kittens that were most recently birthed.

Uh, eight weeks ago. It was like 10 weeks ago now. One of the kittens came back to us, uh, because apparently, the kitten was not getting along with their other cats and dogs, which, That’s fine. It’s a little humorous to me because, I mean, it’s a, it’s a kitten. You’re introducing it into a new environment with new animals.

They only gave it about 12 to 18 hours before they panicked and brought the cat back to us, which is, It’s fine. It’s no big deal. We, we took the cat back. They even brought us a piece offering. They didn’t have to, but they did. So we had this kitten. And she was fine. I mean, she, she’s used to living next to goats and other cats and chickens, like she’s, she’s used to other animals, so I, my guess is it was their animal problems, but I, It’s hard to know.

Regardless, we got the cat back. Fortunately, we just kept her for a few days, socialized a little more with ourselves and the animals. Like I said, she did fine and then put the sign back out and of course, An hour someone came to get her. It was great though because the gentleman who picked her up said that he’d been looking for a bobtailed cat for so long.

I was like, Oh, well we’ve got the genetics because our hunter, the, the cat that we have, she has a bobtail and so some of her babies always have the bobtail. It’s, it’s apparently they’re really good hunters, which is probably true because Wilma is, her name is a great hunter. Huntress, I guess you could say, but that, that was the kitten saga.

And now again, we have to know more kittens. Um, but we also are preparing to process the chickens tomorrow. Tomorrow is finally the day. I’ve been talking about this for so long. But the breed of chicken that we buy is intentionally shortlived because we want them to grow fat fast. Because I can tell you chores take a really long time, morning and night because I have I think, five different sets of chickens that I need to take care of.

Yeah, it’s five different sets of chickens. Long story, we won’t get into that, but I’m walking around like crazy. It takes me like an hour. . Morning and night to take care of all these chickens, but they will be gone tomorrow. Unfortunately, the risk that you take when buying, I think their Cornish hens is, is, is the breed that we buy.

The risk of them is they do grow fat very quickly and sometimes their legs can’t handle it. So if, if that’s the case, their legs break and it’s very sad. Of course, it’s painful and, and it’s. Unfortunate. So we have had to process a few of the chickens early because they have broken a leg. We tried to take care of them as quickly as possible once so they don’t die because then we can’t really eat the meat.

Um, two, just so they’re not in any pain. So we have already had to take care of a few of them over the past few days, unfortunately. But I believe the other 31 32 will last until tomorrow. So that’s, Fun, Um, it is also getting really cool around here. I’m shocked. It’s not actually colder than it is, but it is cooling down very rapidly and the days are shortening, which I love longer days.

It, it’s kind of sad to see it shortening. Um, and then of course when daylight savings hits next week, or excuse me, next month rather, uh, the, the nights will be dark for a lot longer. We’ll have some more light in the morning. So I guess that’s positive, but. That, that’s it on the homestead. It’s so much fun.

Um, in terms of author news, I have, uh, tried to get into this new work in progress. I’m about 21,000 words in which I know some of you may hear that and be like, Whoa, that’s a lot. But to me, it’s not a lot. I told myself, I said, Dan, I’m going to write a shorter book, and, and it’s just, you’re gonna write a shorter book.

Well, I’m apparently incapable of doing that one probably because I’m a dancer and I don’t plan anything. Two, because there’s just an element of world-building that I just love about reading and I can’t leave it out of my writing. Now I know people say you can world build with a fewer amount of words, and yes, I agree that’s true.

But I have read recently. Many shorter books. And while the story is enjoyable, I do enjoy them quite a bit. I just find myself not immersed in the world, immersed with the characters because it’s just lacking the more in-depth and robust description. And it just comes down to preference. It’s not that I can’t read them, it’s not that I can’t enjoy them, but I think I’ve just found my sweet spot for, hey, this is I, I don’t want like so much world building that like Lord of the Rings, for example, where it’s.

Thick with pros and descriptions. I mean, that’s okay. I do enjoy reading that, but there’s this middle spot where it’s not too little, but not too much. You are brought into the world and there’s differences, and you’re kind of sucked out of the world. You’re the real world, but it’s not so much that. Bogs you down, regardless.

All of that is to say, I have about 21,000 words, and the story is just barely unfolding. Uh, I mean, I say that from my perspective. A reader might read and be like, Oh no, there’s like all sorts of things that go on, but to me it, I feel like I have so much more story. So I was able to get into it. Uh, yesterday I wrote about 2200 words in about an hour, which.

Is great. That’s the type of writing session I’d like to have. I don’t always have that though. But still, um, in the meantime, I am marketing still the full Light Bear Chronicles. It’s amazing to have the series done and I am seeing a tad bit more success. I think there are a lot more people willing to purchase a book knowing the full series is out.

Uh, I, I personally like to wait for the next books in series, but I know there’s not a lot of people that are like that. So I think that’s probably. I’m seeing a few more sales. It’s hard to say for sure, but, uh, trying to figure out TikTok navigate that has been fascinating. Currently, that is the only place that I’m doing a lot of marketing.

I need to ramp up my email list, but every time I go to write an email, I don’t feel like I have a lot of content. Um, and that’s probably just cuz I’m not thinking out of the box. I’m not a great emailer. Um, so we’ll see if I can ramp that up a little bit more. I am still working on the audio books. It’s gonna be kind of a long road because listening to the whole robotic voice, the AI does amazing job and it’s not too slow.

I speed it up even. , but there’s just, I, I write with too many accents, it’s my own problem. If I had removed the accents of the characters and side characters, it likely wouldn’t have been a problem. But of course, I always complicate things for myself. Why not? So that’s where I am still listening to the Awakened, but PR I’m documenting all of the weird words that I’m having to correct.

So hopefully I can dive into, Transformed and do all of the same ones and ascended, do all the same ones cause I, I’ve kept it relatively consistent with the accents and of course the names so I can get ahead of it. Document all those in awakened. I can go into transformed and ascended and do it pretty quick.

You just, it, it’s pretty smooth. Actually. If your books are in Google Play books, I’ll say this, Um, you can generate the audio books for free AI generated. It’s amazing. And then you can, you can download the files and, and sell them direct if you want, through a book funnel or, or whatever. So that’s what I’m planning on doing.

Um, But they have this function where you just find the word and then you can hear how it’s pronounced. You can right-click that word, change the pronunciation, and then apply it to the rest of the book. So that saves me so much time. I was under the impression that I would have to correct every instance of each word.

So grateful that I do not have to do that. But it’s still gonna be a work in progress for a while, mainly because I write freakishly long books. It is what it is. , I’m enjoying the process, but I don’t anticipate having that done as quickly as I would’ve hoped. But, um, that is where I am in terms of author news.

So we’ll go ahead and shift over to the interview portion of the podcast.

Dan: Kelly Schuknecht is a marketer, book blogger, and author coach who has worked in the publishing industry for a decade. Hey, Kelly, I am so excited to have you on the podcast today. How are you doing?

Kelly: I’m awesome! I’m excited to be here, Dan. I’ve been following you on TikTok for a long time, so it’s super exciting to be here in, uh, in person kind of…doing this together.

Dan: I consider it in person. I mean, in-person has been digital for me for some time. So right, I totally count that. So you get to see all my fun goofiness on TikTok. I’m, I’m not sure I’m necessarily proud of all of those moments, but here we are. They’re out there forever.

Kelly: That’s right. I think a lot of us have done those things that we look back and go, Did I really hit post on that video? But it’s fine. I’ve got, uh, three kids and I think they would wish, uh, they do wish that I would not post the things that I post sometimes, but you know.

Dan: Well, but there you go. You’re just teaching them by example that someday they’re gonna realize if they wanna start their own business, social media is a necessary evil.

That’s what I just like to say. It’s not, it’s not evil then that it’s bad. It’s just that I don’t enjoy it. I know there’s a lot of people that feel intimidated by it.

Kelly: You can’t tell me you don’t enjoy it. You are so good at it. I don’t know how you could say that you don’t enjoy it. You look like you’re having fun.

Dan: That’s true. I try to have fun, at least that, that provides this, some type of enjoyment from it, whether or not it’s high or low on each given day. But, I’m, I’m thrilled to have you here because you are an author, coach, um, helping authors, you know, the important aspects of reaching readers and marketing and finding the right readers, and all of these questions that are some of the bigger ones and scariest ones, particularly for indie authors. Now, it’s not just applicable to indie authors. Obviously, any author could, could benefit from coaching and marketing their own books. But I’d love to talk a little bit about you. How long have you been coaching? How long have you been publishing?

I know that you’ve published a book yourself. Love to start there.

Kelly: Yeah, that’s great. Uh, so I actually worked in the publishing industry. I ran a, a publishing firm for 10 years and, uh, have been…left there about five years ago, so have been on my own for five years. So 15 years. I’ve worked in the publishing…with authors basically.

Um, and what I did primarily was helping authors with book marketing. So, um, you know, helping authors come up with a book marketing plan that was specific to their book, to their niche. Uh, Since I left there, I’ve, I’ve been, uh, a blogger. I’ve, I’ve had a blog forever. Um, have really thrown myself into it the last couple of years and really, uh, tried to develop better content to help authors.

It was kind of more of, it’s like this hobby thing on the side that it was just kind of fun. And then I’ve really tried to, uh, get more helpful and provide more, you know, just better guidance for authors in that. And as part of that, a couple of, or not a couple of years ago, but maybe early [last] year, I wrote a post that was, um, 19 Ways to Promote Your Book on TikTok.

Cuz as you know, that’s where we met and that’s where, um, I just, I just love TikTok and so I just, um, really started studying authors on the platform and, and, and seeing how cool, uh, authors. Like just how cool they are and how much, um, how much fun they’re having on the platform and how they’re using it to promote their books.

And I was just fascinated by that. So I started really studying what authors were doing, what was working well, what wasn’t for some that I was seeing. And, um, created this post that, uh, really took off, um, online. And it, I realized that that information was really helpful to authors. So I then took that and developed that into, um, a book.

So I wrote a book on how to promote your book on TikTok and, um, it’s, it’s, it’s short, you know, but it’s one of those things that I just felt like people were getting good information out of it and, and it was helpful. Um, so, so yeah, so I published that, that was my first, uh, published book of my own, I’ve actually ghostwritten books for, for, uh, business owners before, but it was my first published book and it, that was something I had wanted to do for the last 10 years, and I had written a book, not published it, and then kept telling myself I needed to finish that book. And then this one, I finally, the last two years, I said, I am doing this. So, so I got it out there and I totally get how scary that is for authors now, you know, I’ve worked with them for 15 years and now have my own, and I, I can see how, uh, the perfectionism gets to you and you don’t wanna put it out cuz you just don’t think it’s there yet.

Right. And I finally just told myself, You gotta do it. You’ve gotta do this, Gotta put it out there. And um, so yeah, that’s, that’s a little about me.

Dan: I think that’s amazing. It’s, it’s such a good feeling to, to publish that probably even more. An even better feeling to know how many authors that you can support.

There’s so many people that are in that stopped phase of, you know, I’ve got this content that I want to share, whether it’s published or not, but I, you know, I’m hesitant to, or I don’t know how to go about it. And shockingly, TikTok has turned out to be the place where I sell the most book. Now, I, I use that term fairly loosely, but I keep in mind that I haven’t sold a crazy amount of books. I just have recognized that most of my sales have come from TikTok, and I know that for sure. Um, when I dove into TikTok beginning of 2021, I did not expect to get sucked in. Uhm, so the, the first time a video hit viral-ish, right, you know, thousands of views and I sold 30 books in one day. I was like, Wow, I, wow. Guess I’m stuck here. I’ve got, I gotta figure this out because this is the place to sell books. Yeah. Um, that’s right. That’s great that you have that book, that you have that experience now as an author. Um, you can definitely.

Empathize with them as you’re working with them. One thing that you’ve talked about that you’re really passionate about is marketing plans, which makes my head want to explode. So let’s talk a little bit about that. So, so I intellectually understand why this is helpful, and I know authors recognize it, but I wanna hear from your perspective an author, coach who has done this for so many years.

One, what does a marketing plan mean, and then why is it so important? .

Kelly: Yeah. That’s great. So I think that, I think with a lot of authors, what I’ve seen is that, uh, a lot of times authors think I’m gonna publish this book and I’m gonna make a million dollars. This is gonna be my retirement plan. Mm-hmm. , and like I am gonna be set.

And I don’t think that authors understand that like you have to, like the marketing of your book is going to actually be more important than the writing of your book. I mean, obviously, your writing’s important, right? But like, you have got to put the time in to marketing your book. It is not gonna be a hit the publish…you know, I always say like, the field of dreams, it’s not gonna be, if you build it, they will come. If you publish it, you know they will buy it. You have to put yourself out there and you have to get the book out there. And, and so to me, um, I, that’s, that’s number one is, is it’s really important for anyone publishing a book to know that, uh, they, they’re gonna have to invest in the marketing, and I don’t necessarily mean money, but time, energy. Um, they’re, they’re going to have to have a plan and, um, I think. I think that when you follow some, some marketing people, and not just in the book world, but just in general, will make it sound like so complicated.

Like it’s so hard to come up with a plan. Um, or so like the Strat, like, it just gets overwhelming when you’re an author. You don’t know anything about marketing. It’s like, Oh my gosh, where do I start? I need to do all the things that I have to have all the, you know, so, Really, it’s not that hard. And, uh, having a plan helps you focus on what you wanna do to reach your goals and you know what you need to do when you need to do it.

And, and keep your eyes on, you know, the goal that you have and how you’re gonna get there.

Dan: That is a really good way to put it because when I hear marketing plan in my mind, I see really complicated long pages of, this is a really detailed plan that means all sorts of x and y and things that I’m just like, I’m not entirely sure I have the mindset.

To handle that, I’m a pantser, tirst of all. I don’t, I don’t plan my books and you’re asking me to plan my marketing? It’s just no way that’s gonna happen effectively. But I love how you put it in simple terms and say, Actually it doesn’t have to be that complicated. Um, but like you said, marketing is so important, so, The fact that it’s so scary is, is a little bit frustrating to some authors.

When they want this, they get their books out, they have this desire, but for some reason, marketing is just a wall that they run into. So from your perspective, how can an author approach this? Um, what would be the best approach to starting and finishing a simple marketing plan?

Kelly: Yeah. Well, so I like to look at it.

There’s, I in a marketing funnel is the three stages, right? So, attract, nurture, convert. Mm-hmm. . And you’ve probably heard of that. You’ve probably seen it. Um, and again, it can, it could be presented in a way that’s super overwhelming. But I think the first thing is to, to, to think about how do I want to attract, um, and I’m gonna actually say this the first thing, but we’re actually gonna down the funnel and then back up. Okay. . Okay?

Dan: Sure. Love it.

Kelly: So how am I going to attract, um, potential readers, the buyers for my book? Right. Um, for you, you found that you liked TikTok, so that is one area where you say, Okay. TikTok is one I wanna stick with. Um, I think that authors tend to think they have to do all the things.

Like I said earlier, they think they have to be on TikTok and Twitter and Instagram and Facebook and, um, have a, a website and have a blog and all of these things, right? Um, you can do all of those things, but it’s really important, I think, to look at, for one, where your readers are. You have found, uh, that your readers are on, are on TikTok.

Not everyone’s readers will be maybe. Um, but that’s one important factor. Where are the readers? Also, what do I enjoy? So, Twitter for me is one that I have always been on and I’ve always kind of loved it, but I’ve never really figured out my voice on Twitter, right? Mm-hmm, like, so I mm-hmm, it’s like, I try, it’s like, you know, you do really well if you have a certain personality style.

And I think I’m not that person, right? That’s one that I tried. I post some stuff, right? But, but, um, so if that’s you, if Twitter’s not the thing where you’re gonna be on there 20 times a day, posting every thought you have, or every, you know, witty comment or whatever…probably not the platform for you, and that’s okay.

Um, some others are really good at Facebook and developing a, a community on Facebook. Great. If that’s your thing, go for it. Identify what you enjoy and where you, you know, how you enjoy posting content and, and really focus on that one platform. Um, or, you know, five platforms, if that’s you, whatever. But, but identify, uh, what works for you.

Um, so, you know, so first it’s, it’s looking at like, what are the ways to attract my audience? So whether it’s, you know, I think everyone should have a website, right? But like having a website, doing speaking engagements, um, maybe networking, developing content, um, being on podcasts, uh, social media. So those are all ways that you can, um, attract potential readers, but also identify which of those make sense for you and for your book.

Then going into the nurture stage. So we’ve attracted, uh, and, and you’re a great example, Dan. So, um, you attract people through TikTok. And so I know who you are. I’ve, I see your TikToks, I know a little bit about your life. Um, and then you have your own podcast. Now that could be super overwhelming cuz not everyone wants to have a podcast.

But if you have a website, maybe you have an email list where you’re collecting email addresses in some way, or you have a blog where you’re putting out content. So anyone who’s now following you is gonna be getting that content and you’re also nurturing your potential readers through your social media content as well.

Mm-hmm. So, um, so nurturing doesn’t have to just be, you know, after they’ve found you, but just kind of, you’re, you’re continuing to put out that content so you’re nurturing. Those potential readers. And then the last stage is convert, right? So. Get that sale. Um, I, one of the biggest mistakes I see from authors, um, on, on Tic TikTok especially cuz that’s where I’m mostly, uh, spend my time, is this just constantly showing their book.

Uh, sometimes not even their face. It’s just like the book, the book, the book. The book. The book. And they don’t understand that like, that is not going to sell a reader. What’s gonna sell a reader is the things that they do. You show your cover a lot and that’s not a problem. It’s, it’s, uh, But you, But I also, when we got on this call, before we started recording, you know we talked, I just asked you a few questions about your personal life, cuz I know it because I feel on TikTok.

And that’s what makes me connect with you. It’s not the, it’s not the book necessarily. It’s, it’s you and how, you know, how do you, um, by getting that sale, you, you’ve gotta get them to. You gotta attract them in this way that is, is engaging, that makes them want to continue watching your content, right?

So then, So now brought us down the funnel. Right? So now going back up, I always start with what is that sales goal? So for you, what is that goal that you, and I’m not asking you, don’t tell me, but, um, but not every author has a goal of, I wanna make a million dollars. I mean, sure. We all want that.

Right? But like, what’s that goal that you, you want Yeah, we of course, right. But what’s your goal? Like, so for you, um, it might just be that, you know, here’s where I was last year. This next year I wanna be up by 10% or a hundred percent, or whatever. Set a realistic goal, right? I guess that’s maybe the point is like, what’s the realistic goal?

And so, so I start there with the marketing plan is what’s the overall goal? Okay, now going to the nurture stage, how am I going to nurture those potential, those potential leads that I attract? Um, so do I wanna have a podcast like you, You’ve got a podcast. Um, could I create an email list in, you know, just a subscription on my blog or, um, what was the other one that I said?

Oh, uh, Well, both. So email list and a blog, right? Mm-hmm. . So a subscription list to your blog or an email list that you generate, um, from your website in some way or whatever that looks like. Um, then I set goals based on that. So, Um, let’s say, you know, you, so you, you have a podcast, so that’s great.

So you know how many viewer or, um, listeners you get, uh, how many downloads you get. So then setting a goal based on that, like, I wanna have this next year, I wanna have X amount, uh, to increase from last year. Um, and so, and usually I would say like having you. Probably two, uh, reasonable goals in that area.

Like, this is this number that I wanna reach. I wanna get this many email subscribers. I wanna get this many blog subscribers. I wanna get this many podcast downloads, whatever that looks like. And then going to the top of the funnel and attract. So how am I going to get those people to subscribe to my blog?

Um, You gotta put out blog posts, right? You’ve gotta put out the content. You’re not gonna get subscribers if you’re not putting out the content in the first place. You’re not gonna get people listening to your podcast if you’re not putting out those episodes in the first place. Um, you’re not gonna get, uh, you know anyone to know who you are if you’re not putting something out on social media.

So then I go to like, what are those specific tactics that I’m gonna do? It could be. Well, I wouldn’t say one, but you know, three to five, I would say three to five specific tactics that you’re gonna do. Um, where you are, you are going to put out a blog post, or a podcast trying to combine those two words.

Um, uh, one of those every, let’s say every week. Or one every month. Social media content, you’re gonna put one of those out every day. And then you’re gonna look at what are those things that you’re gonna measure. So if I’m gonna put out a social media post every single day on the, the platform of my choice, which is TikTok for me, um, I know how many followers I’m starting with.

So I look at the starting point and then I say, This is how many I want to increase by. And you’re focusing on those tactics, but looking at those numbers and then making sure that you’re nurturing those leads and you’re looking at those numbers and that’s going to help you accomplish that overall sales target that you have.

I know I just said a lot, Dan.

Dan: Yeah. Cause my eyes. I mean, honestly, that was so, It was a lot. It sounded like a lot. But I love the visual aspects of, I mean, I’ve heard of the funnel. I’m familiar with the funnel. We’ve all, we love the funnel, right? Um, but you know, here I love the top. Down top, um, approach to it because when you look at it that way, you recognize that the goals actually mean something in terms of actual work that needs to get done.

Because sometimes I think authors fall into the trap of, I, I would like to make a million dollars. Right? Or one, the goal might be unrealistic, or even two, if it’s realistic, it doesn’t really mean anything because they’re just like, Well, I’m like, I could say I want to sell 50 books every. But then I just sit there and think, Okay, but now what?

Kelly: Right. Exactly.

Dan: Like I gotta do something to get there. Um, that’s why I also love that you came to the approach of, Hey, don’t try every platform if it doesn’t work for you. Like if it does, great, but you kind of, I, I was feeling guilty for some time when I was a fir, a beginning author. Few years ago, because I started a blog.

You know, I had Facebook, I had Instagram. I didn’t start TikTok right away, but I tried all these things and I just, I just fell off of a lot of them because I didn’t like ’em. Yeah. Like, this isn’t working for me. And I felt kind of guilty cause I thought I had this author guilt if I wanna sell books, but I’m not doing any.

To get there, but you just kind of gave allowance from like a coach, from a professional perspective of if it doesn’t work for you, that’s fine. Right? Yeah. They’re not saying give up on it, but pick the things that you like that work for you and you can dabble in those other things later. For me, I love the podcast and I do love TikTok, even though it has its weird ins and outs, um, and they’re working so may surround your goals around those things.

So my question for you from that perspective is, How long would you recommend somebody try something out and how, how would they recognize that, Hey, this maybe isn’t for me. How long should they give something a chance?

Kelly: That’s a great, great question because I think that if, if you’re new to any platform, it’s gonna take a while to get that, uh, to build some momentum.

Um, and, you know, just to, to, to learn the platform even, um, I, So, and, and like, so TikTok is one of those that it’s like, you might put one video out, get 20 views, and then you’re like, I give up. Right? Like, right, you, you, you have to, um, you have to invest the time in it. So, um, you know, and, and I also think the other reason I like that question is I think that it’s important to challenge ourselves even if it pushes us outside of our comfort zone.

So, All of that to say like, you know, like I said, I mentioned, uh, Twitter before, like I just cannot get myself to post 20 times a day. Whatever thoughts I’ve been having throughout that, it’s just not my personality. I’m not gonna do it, but I can get myself to spend 30 minutes once in a while putting, you know, doing a couple of TikTok videos.

Was that easy for me at first? Absolutely not. It’s definitely gotten easier over time. But, oh man, when I first started it was just like horrifying. Like, Oh, people are gonna see this. Like, what am I doing? And, um, but I just, I couldn’t, I couldn’t resist the urge to do it because I was seeing the content and loving it so much that I had to do it right.

So if you’re feeling that pull for whatever it is, push yourself. Even if you feel like an idiot for the first, you know, few times. Two years into it, whichever. Um, but I think, uh, I did see the advice of somebody one time, so I’m just going to steal the advice. I can’t remember who it was, uh, but I did see it TikTok where he said, if like, if you’re on TikTok, give yourself one year of posting.

And he said something like 10 times a day. And I don’t necessarily recommend that, but he was like, The more you post, the more. The more you learn what works, what doesn’t work you, Um, you learn what people, you know, what people like, what, what works well for you, whatever. But the more you, he said it takes a year to get to that point.

And for most people, I would say at least try for one. Post a day for TikTok totally depends on the platform, but, um, for TikTok, one, try for one a day, and if you can do more, great. Don’t feel bad if you post three on one day and one on the next day. But the main point is to just practice that. Like the more practice you put in, the better you get.

And I’ve found that for myself. I mean, I, I don’t have the following. You have TikTok, but I have found that the more I put out on TikTok, the more I’m connecting with the audience that I want to connect with, which is authors, and the better my content is getting because I’m, I’m understanding how to communicate with them.

And that’s something that, you know, being in marketing for 15 years of my career, you would think that, um, that that would’ve come easy for me. But it, it, it’s not, you’ve gotta put in the time and really, really like build that muscle just like anything else. I think I answered your question totally kust went on the whole rant about, uh, TikTok, but, but for the most part, you know?

Yeah, just you’ve gotta give it, I would say a year and whatever the platform. Like, throw yourself into learning more about the platform. So if you really love Twitter, great, what videos can you find that are out there? What kind of advice can you get from people who can you follow that’s a great example.

And, and follow those people who you’re gonna learn from and get better, uh, from watching or looking at their content. Um, so yeah, that’s what I would suggest.

Dan: I think that’s really helpful because definitely not giving up too early is kind of key, right? But recognizing when you feel like you’ve given the effort to recognize at this, this isn’t quite the platform for me.

So definitely there’s that weird middle ground. And is it the same for everybody? Probably not, but you know, have a healthy perspective on it and make sure that the platforms and the processes you’re using work for you and funnel into that goal that you mentioned, um, which is important.

So another question I have around this marketing plan is two, actually it’s twofold.

Uh, first off, how do you recommend someone take, like document this? It probably depends on the, the person. Do you, is digital, do you have systems that you recommend for tracking it? And two, how often should authors review? Once they have documented their plan and their goals, how often should they iterate on those goals?

Kelly: Yeah, this is a great question. So, for one, I, I put together, um, a book marketing plan template.

Dan: Awesome.

Kelly: Um, so that goes through everything. I, uh, rambled off earlier is in an organized template where I have a, a sample. So you can see some sample numbers in there, but then also apply it to, to yourself, to your own, um, things that you want to do and your own goals.

Uh, so I will share that with you and you can put that in the show notes, but that’s something that, that, um, anyone can download and just, it looks very simple, so when you see it, you’re gonna go, Oh, just fill in these numbers, right? Like it’s, it’s, it really is that simple. I, nothing drives me more crazy than when marketers try to make things sound harder than they are.

It’s not that hard. Um, I get if it’s not, you know, if it’s new to you, like sure that’s more overwhelming than to somebody who’s done it for a long time. But really, if you use the template, put in your numbers, make it specific to yourself, that, uh, will make it so much easier for you.

How often you look at those numbers, uh, it’s gonna depend. Personally, I would look at them like every day because I’m just obsessed with numbers. But, I would recommend, um, you know, it may, may depend kind of on what your, what, what those tactics are that you’re gonna put in there. Sure. If your tactic is that you want to do, um, you know, something every single day, or if all of yours are every day, then you probably wanna check in on it at least weekly and have it just be on your, on your calendar. It’s something that every Friday morning at nine o’clock, you just look at those numbers. That’s kind of one of the, the ways that I manage those kinds of things is I have it on a regular checklist, it comes up at the same time every week, and I just take the 10 minutes, right?

And I, I keep, um, so like, uh, with your followers, the social media for example, if that’s one of the areas that you’re really gonna focus on because you love, uh, whichever platform, um, then you wanna look at your starting point, and then you wanna, uh, you know, look at whatever, whatever that goal number is, and look at where you are every week.

Cause if you’re seeing that you had significant growth one week and nothing the next week, what did you change? What you know, it, it forces you to kind of look at the content and go, huh, what? I wonder what worked this time or what didn’t? And the more you’re in tune with that, the more you can tweak your marketing, uh, your, your marketing tactics to be more successful. So like if you know that something worked really well, then you wanna go, How can I do that again, Right? Um, or if you know that you’re putting things out there every single day and it’s not working, then something isn’t working and we need to reassess what we’re putting out there and make sure that we’re, um, you know, maybe that means we need to, to try something new.

Or like you said, you know, with, you know, maybe it’s just the platform’s not working for you. Um, don’t give up on it, but, you know, learn what you can and try to get better. But if, if you’re. Not seeing any change then, um, then you’ve gotta change something on your side.

Dan: Absolutely. Yeah. So definitely kind of a healthy, regular look on the numbers and the goals and making sure they’re achievable and aligned with what you’re actually hoping to accomplish.

Um, but not being too liquid. Right. Hopefully we’re not changing our goals daily. Like, ah, I’m losing my mind, I’m changing my goals every day. At that point, you’re just gonna, you’re not gonna hit anything. Cause your target’s moving so fast. So, uh, it’s, it’s a good thing to think about when, when we’re making goals and making plans is having a static plan.

I mean, TikTok changes regularly. The algorithm changes like every two weeks, I swear. Um, algorithms are changing everywhere. Um, cold. Sure. Changes. So just being aware of those changes and where your marketing plan fits in. So I say this all, all of this sounding like I’m a professional, but I do not have a solid marketing plan

So I’m just gonna go ahead and throw that out there. Say, for making a fool of myself on TikTok, this is a great conversation for someone like me who could use a more concrete plan. So I will be using your template for sure.

Kelly: Well, yeah, so the, the plan and I think you just spoke to, like the other big piece is consistency.

So, you know, having the plan and checking in on it regularly will help you remember to be consistent. Cause if you know that you’re, you know, let’s say you know that you want a thousand followers on TikTok by the end of the year. And your goal or your tactic was to post once every day. Now you’re checking in at the end of the week and you realize, Oh, I never posted anything this week and I didn’t get any new followers.

Weird, right? Like, so that will help remind you to go, I need to do that thing that I said that I was going to do in order to reach the goal that I said that I was going to reach. Right?

Dan: Absolutely. They, they definitely actions need to happen. To get anywhere. And sometimes we get in our heads and we forget that the book’s just not gonna sell itself.

I so wish that they could sell themselves.

Kelly: Right. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Dan: But just they’re not out there, um, Marketing themselves, but this is a great conversation. I know we could probably talk about this for ages and ages, but we are running out of time. So before we end, I’d love to ask you where can people find more information about you and about the other services that you offer?

Kelly: Yeah. So, uh, I have a, a website. It’s, uh, and I was gonna make you say it, Dan.

Dan: Oh, I didn’t say it.

Kelly: I wanted to test your ability to say my last name. Um, no, it’s, it’s a tough one. And so I’m sure you can put this in the show notes as well, just a link to my website, but it’s uh, Uh, and I blog. So I actually used to have a book review blog, and I had a book marketing blog, and I, um, at one point they were two separate things, and then a couple years ago I merged the two of them. So I do book reviews, uh, and I also do book marketing tips. Um, so kind of anything book related I will put on my, on my blog. I, you know, so that, that’s one place to find me. I would also, if you’re on TikTok, would love for you to follow me because I, uh, just love eeting new authors on TikTok and, and again, like watching what, what authors are doing and learning from, um, learning from them and also giving tips on there. So that is my platform of choice, but basically every platform I’m on with my full name, if you can spell it.

Dan: Kelly Schuknecht.

Kelly: You got it.

Dan: Yes. Check. You did say it before, so technically I cheated but I remember it so

Kelly: It is not easy. I get it.

Dan: So that’s something. But yeah, I’ll make sure to put those in the show notes. You don’t have to remember how to spell cause I will spell it for you and then I’ll put links to, to, and all the other places so, So for sure that’ll be helpful.

But thank you so much for your time. This has been very helpful.

Kelly: Awesome. Thanks, Dan. It was fun.

I hope you found that helpful. I know that I did. Um, I as I mentioned in the, in the interview, um, definitely looking into that free template that that is in the show notes. You’re gonna wanna take a look at that. Um, And let’s, let’s get our marketing plans put together. Uh, I definitely think I’ve been grateful for the, the more sales that I’ve seen in the past month, but I’m definitely ready to have a plan and sell more books and get them out there, not even from a business perspective, just to, to find more readers and validate that the writing that I’ve done is.

up to snuff, at least, you know, for, for the experience that I have. But for now, I’m gonna keep diving into projects and keep on writing. So next week I will be talking to Hirum Hawks about riding sci-fi, hard sci-fi specifically. He actually has a number of um, Science degrees, master’s degrees, and he’s very, very familiar with space in delicious sticks in science around space.

So you’ll definitely wanna tune into, that’s fascinating conversation. I think you will really like it. If you are interested in being on my podcast or if you know of someone who might be interested, feel free to email me at and we can definitely make plans to to have you here.

Until then, I’ll see you next time.

Published by Kelly Schuknecht

Kelly Schuknecht is a marketer with a background in the publishing industry. She is passionate about all things related to books and loves helping authors navigate the world of social media for book promotion. She recently launched the course Marketing Your Book on TikTok.

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