Monday, December 12, 2011

Word of Mouth

The holidays are breathing down our necks, so I'll try to keep this brief. (I know, I know. Sometimes I'm considerate. Who knew? *grins*

I see so many frantic posts about marketing these days and, since my background is in marketing, I thought I'd help out. Are you ready? Good. I want you to take everything you're stressing over--competing with Twitter-spammers, making handcrafted bookmarks out of recycled toliet paper, whatever--and throw it away.

...Okay, don't throw it away, but put it on the back burner.

The most important tool at your disposal is: Word of mouth. I kid you not. Just look at this example from XKCD:

Marketing Interview by XKCD
Maybe it's not the most pertinent example, but it's true. Word of mouth can make you or break you. Treat your readers kindly. Give them a reason to speak your praises, without having to ask them. Write a book people want to talk about. :)

Have a great week, guys!

P.S. The 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway ends tonight! If you haven't entered, be sure to fill out the form before then. :)

34 comments:

JeffO said...

And, of course, it works the other way around, too. "Your reputations goes before you" is not always a good thing.

Cassie Mae said...

Lol, I like the little pic. Awesome! And it's true, especially in this large community. word of mouth...or font of keyboard...can really work in your favor.

Lisa L. Regan said...

Great post. So true!

April Plummer said...

Thank you for the reminder! It's so overwhelming sometimes, all there is to do to market yourself. At first, I was always hesitant to tell people I was a writer. I felt like, I don't know, they're either thinking that writing isn't a real job or they're thinking it's just a hobby or a waste of time. I'm getting better at it, though.

E.R. King said...

I agree that being kind and considerate is important, no matter if you're a writer or not. : )

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Great post! I always think it feels so unnatural to market yourself in regards to anything. Websites, books, blah, blah blah. It all feels forced and strange and so I think in this sense, you're absolutely right. Build good friendships, good writing-community bonds that you give back to, and you will hopefully have some assists when marketing time calls for it. Word of mouth is a powerful thing. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to tell everyone how lovely you are:)

Laila Knight said...

That is excellent advice, Carrie. Words are powerful. That's why everyone should think before they speak. It's horrible when your future is paved by hurtful words spoken by someone who doesn't even know you. :)

Iain said...

No problems for you then! :o)

Bethany Elizabeth said...

I love XKCD, and the sarcastic, sometimes-not-so-true truth they bring to the world. :)

Joylene said...

Nicely put, Ms. Butler.

cleemckenzie said...

So right! Treat people fairly, honestly and kindly, then enjoy the benefits. Now, it's back to writing a book people will want to read.

Thanks for joining in my giveaway. Appreciate your stopping by as always.

Angela Brown said...

Being in the telecommunications business, I've seen how a simple praise can garner a few but a negative word-of-mouth moment can infect many. Being considerate and kind to readers is certainly one of the best ways to market and grow.

Lydia Kang said...

Word of mouth is very important. Love that cartoon!

Jennifer Hillier said...

That cartoon is genius! And you're right, nothing is more valuable than people talking about you... and hopefully in a positive way!

Lynda R Young said...

fabulous post with a great point. So, so true. Word of mouth is the best marketing tool.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Marketing is NOT my thing, so I hardly ever promote my own books on my blog. I prefer highlighting the accomplishments of my blogger buddies.

Carrie Butler said...

@JeffO - This is very true!

@Cassie - I love that (font of keyboard)! You're right. The right buzz--especially around here--can be a big boost..

@Lisa - Thanks! :)

@April - I know exactly what you mean. There's a certain vulnerability that comes with--for lack of better word--admitting you're a writer. Here's to getting better! :)

@Emily - Good point! :D

@Lindsay - Thank you! Oh yes. The best part about writing communities is having the opportunity to give back to them. Aww... you're too flippin' sweet. :)

@Laila - Thank you! Absolutely! If more people thought before they spoke, we'd certainly have more meaningful interactions--that's for sure. :)

@Iain - D'aww... thanks! :)

@Bethany - Me too! :D

@Joylene - Why thank you, Mrs. Butler! :)

@Lee - If only we could all keep that in mind. :) You're welcome! I love your blog, and I was thrilled to enter!

@Angela - Oh, no doubt! I'm sure you have plenty of stories/lessons from being in that business. Good point. :)

@Lydia - Definitely! Me too. :)

@Jen - Absolutely! Which reminds me, I have a "review" of CREEP I need to get back to working on. I'm a little distracted with revisions at the moment, but it should be up in a couple weeks. :)

@Lynda - Thank you very much! :)

@Alex - Thanks for stopping by, Alex! That's a wonderful mindset to have. No one can fault you there. :)

Peggy Eddleman said...

I totally agree! Now if it wasn't such a hard thing to do.... :D

Carrie Butler said...

@Pegasus - Hard, indeed! :)

Sarah B said...

Twitter has been amazing at just getting the chance to talk to other writers and share ideas. But you are so right, bottom line is if people like it they will tell everyone about it.

Laila Knight said...

Hey Care Bear. I stopped by to wish you a Merry Christmas. I'll be gone for the rest of the year. Not to worry...I'm still reading your awesome story. Take care of yourself. :)

Carrie Butler said...

@Sarah - Twitter is word-of-140-characters. It's pretty effective, when used properly. :)


@Laila - Merry Christmas, Laila! I'm still reading yours, too. Enjoy your time off, and be safe! :)

Nancy Thompson said...

Yes, word of mouth is the number one reason why a debut author's book succeeds. I hope someday I can generate that kind of response.

Carrie Butler said...

@Nancy - As long as I'm around, you will. :)

Melodie Wright said...

Have you read this book yet? It is awesome, you HAVE to read it!

Yup, that's how I find books I like. I swear, this one librarian at our local library and I always generate dirty looks at the check-out bc we can't stop recommending good reads to each other. It's like a real-life Goodreads!!

Carrie Butler said...

@Melodie - Sounds like fun! I want to visit your library now. :)

(Well, someday. It might be a bit of a trek from Ohio... *grins*)

Ellen said...

So true! :) I'm a marketer too... also trying to harness the awesome/wily power of word-of-mouth. fun times. >.>

Carrie Butler said...

@Ellen - Welcome, fellow marketer! :) Hah! Fun times, indeed.

The Golden Eagle said...

I need to start reading XKCD more often. Whenever I do see those comics, I almost always laugh . . .

Great point about word of mouth!

Carrie Butler said...

@Eagle - You should! It'd be easy to get lost in the archives for a couple of hours. :) Thanks!

C D Meetens said...

Great cartoon, and very true. Thanks for the marketing advice. When I think back over something I've bought, it's often because someone else recommended it.

Carrie Butler said...

@C D Meetans - You're welcome! Thank you for stopping by!

Ah, yes. Word of mouth, though powerful, can be very subtle. :)

Donna K. Weaver said...

Yep, first impressions--even when seen from a distance--can totally influence how others think of you. And our perceptions control our reality.

Carrie Butler said...

@Donna - Absolutely! :)