What are your biggest challenges as an author?

44066410_mI’m back from the gloriously extended Labor Day weekend and feeling rejuvenated! While I don’t usually allow myself to work on weekends, I managed to spend a good chunk of time at my desk expanding the author marketing course I used to teach years ago. And it was too much fun to be considered work!

A lot has changed since I taught this course, and it’s great fun to rework the whole curriculum, create companion worksheets and checklists, and make it bigger, badder and better than ever!

The course is loaded with details about author websites, blogging, website traffic, social media, leveraging Amazon, internet media, PR, speaking, passive revenue streams, working with corporate sponsors, strategies to sell more books and lessons I learned the hard way (so you don’t have to). Having authored nine books in the last 10 years, some traditionally published, some self-published, some big successes and some not-so-big successes, I’ve learn a lot along the way!

Can you help me?

  • What are two or three of the biggest challenges or frustrations you have as a nonfiction author?
  • What topics would you want covered in this course?
  • As a nonfiction author, what are your main goals? To sell more books? To speak or consult? To build an audience and generate income online?

I want to make sure this course is as comprehensive as possible!

Share some quick feedback with me in the comments below and I’ll select two winners at random to receive the course upon its release!

(The course is coming in November so stay tuned for details.) Thanks very much for your help!

53 Comments on "What are your biggest challenges as an author?"

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  1. Greg Harm says:

    Trying to market my first self-published book by myself, while hring the editor, graphics person and printer, while working an unrelated day job.

    I did sell 250 books this way, which cost about $5000 to print, but I did recoup and doubled the investment. It took 3 years to do it.

    Most frustrating part is getting rejection letters, for a print-ready book that had already sold hundreds of copies.

    My main goal is to expose a great but forgotten 20th Century artist, and achieve recognition and appreciation for him that was absent during his 70 year career.

    I want most of all to work a series of books into an American Masters episode on PBS.

  2. Biggest challenges:

    1. Imposter syndrome. Regardless of how much research I do, I really struggle to accept that I’m knowledgeable enough about my subject. I suspect the only way to deal with that is to learn to live with it, but if you have any better ideas, I’m all ears.
    2. Filtering out the irrelevant/bad advice. There’s a ton of advice online. Some of it is written for fiction, but some of that applies to non-fiction too. It can be difficult to know which will work for non-fiction and which won’t.
    3. There are many ways to get information out there. Print books, ebooks, audio books, apps, courses, etc. The 80/20 rule probably applies, so which ones are the 20% and which are the 80%?

    One topic I’d like to see covered is copywriting and headlines. In particular, how to adjust the writing for different audiences/purposes. For instance, should a book description be the same as a press release? If not, how should they differ?

    My main aim is to make money from my writing. Right now, I’m focusing on doing that by selling more books, but I’m interested in other ways to generate income from my writing.

  3. I created and lead a memoir writing workshop. I love the students’ excitement to learn every thing they can about writing. The problem sets in when it’s time to read their work before an audience. The age-old problem of writers not feeling comfortable with public speaking, and not feeling confident enough in their work. Not sure how you address this in your workshop, but I believe a huge part of selling our books is selling ourselves…and, if we aren’t comfortable talking about ourselves and our books; then it becomes a vicious cycle.

  4. Judy Baker says:

    I am planning to self-publish. I started a blog to write my book. I thought it would be easy to transform this into a book.

    My original goal: write a book to help business owners see that marketing is an organic process, not an add on separate from their business and give them bit sized actions to get them moving forward.

    I have been creating short videos for most of my posts. I would love to integrate all of this into my book. I’d like to know the best way to publish a “book” that includes video.

    My second goal is to be paid as a speaker. I love educating and entertaining my audience.

    Of course, getting my book finished is a critical to the whole process.

    I want take what I know and turn it into passive income products.

    • Thank you, Judy. A note on including video in your book… Your best bet is probably to include links to the videos within the book. You could have a custom, interactive ebook created, but trying to sell an ebook in a unique format will likely be an uphill battle. Kindle Fire and iPads support video in ebooks, but that still limits your audience. So I’d suggest including links throughout your book to your videos. You could also have them transcribed and use the text.

      Brainstorming questions like these is a part of the course that I’m really looking forward to! Many thanks!

  5. What are two or three of the biggest challenges or frustrations you have as a nonfiction author?
    1. Finding a place where I can focus and concentrate on writing without all the distractions that often arise.
    2. Forcing myself to sit down and write.
    3. I’d like to find two to five other fiction writers with some interest in business I can work with in a critique group or sel;f-help support group. Problem is I need face to face contact, doing it over the internet or virtually does not work for me.

    What topics would you want covered in this course?
    – how to stay focused
    – common mistakes for writers with no ‘book’ writing experience
    – best way to connect with a traditional publisher
    – uncommon yet effective ways to use a book to get speaking gigs

    As a nonfiction author, what are your main goals?
    Change the way business works by teaching business owners/leaders what I know about how to make a successful business thrive and survive.

    To sell more books? Of course, not a ‘primary’ goal.

    To speak or consult? Absolutely, a key component of achieving my main goals.

    To build an audience and generate income online? – See more at: http://nonfictionauthorsassociation.com/what-are-your-biggest-challenges-as-an-author/#sthash.AAF3U2kW.dpuf
    Yes, to a degree. Same as answer above re: selling more books.

  6. Rachel Heslin says:

    My biggest challenge is continuity. I know all the things I *could* be doing to market my book, but they need to be done on a consistent basis in order to build momentum. Unfortunately, day-to-day life gets in the way. I’ll skip my marketing tasks for a few days, then a week, then another, then look back and wonder what happened. As an example, I haven’t reached out to my mailing list in 6 months!

    I write books in order to
    * share my teachings with as many people as possible
    * bolster my credibility and name recognition as a professional speaker, and
    * have something tangible that people can buy to provide me with financial income (I have also started creating expanded programs around the strategies outlined in my writing)

    • Thanks for your feedback, Rachel. Not having enough time has to be the TOP complaint I hear from authors. Very few authors have the luxury of focusing on their books full time. I definitely plan to address this in the course. Many thanks!

  7. Biggest challenge #1 = distribution.
    Sub-challenge = getting stocked by libraries
    Sub-challenge = ending distribution to amazon
    Sub-challenge = adding micro-distribution outlets
    Biggest challenge #2 = getting book reviews
    Sub-challenge = overcoming “You’re not one of our approved publishers.”
    Sub-challenge = overcoming “You’re not peer reviewed by an educational institution.”
    Sub-challenge = overcoming “We only work with publicists.”
    Biggest challenge #3 = obtaining book festival acceptance
    Biggest challenge #4 = getting someone to return a telephone call or answer an email
    Biggest challenge #5 = overcoming the entrenched arrogance of traditional publishers & their affiliates

    My goal is to write and publish documented history never recognized before.
    Sub-goal #1 – to employ trans-media & crossover media to extend publication, subject knowledge, and historical recognition & acknowledgement
    Sub-goal #2 – to develop these processes for use in educational institutions

    • Hi Eric, It sounds like you are bumping into some walls, which isn’t uncommon as a self-published author. While we can’t change some of the established old-school (and totally outdated) reviewer guidelines and beliefs, there are plenty of other outlets where self-published books are welcome (bloggers, for example). Your feedback is great and much appreciated!

  8. Hi Stephanie-

    Looking forward hearing more about your course! So I’m going to be an over-achiever and give you 4 of my biggest challenges:

    1. Finding my voice. I wrote and re-wrote the book multiple times always trying to find a balance between being authoritative and engaging. Ultimately, I wish that I would have included more stories to support my message.

    2. Editing. I stopped counting after the 21st edit. Three professional editors, six beta readers, at least 15 cover-to-cover edits on my own and I still was doing re-writes and finding formatting and grammatical inconsistencies up to the day the book went up on Amazon (which my publisher should have found – but more on that in a moment). My advice is: start with an outline, fill it in, do re-writes and then hand it off to a structural editor followed by a grammatical editor and be done with it. Don’t be tempted to re-write after the editing is complete.

    3. My publisher! And I thought landing a publisher would be the hard part. After so many rejections, I jumped at the first offer I received. The amount of support I receive is so minimal that it feels like I’m self-publishing (except now I have to give up 85% of the profit). Mistakes, broken promises, late deliveries posed serious obstacles to launch (announcement to the world) – which will happen on September 16th (I think).

    4. Building awareness. OK, so what’s the best way to build awareness? I built a Facebook book page and realized 14,000 subscribers later that it is not very interactive. Should have built a “Group” Facebook page instead where I could more easily interact with fans. I also put money behind advertising the FB page and I now feel that the $$ should have went to Twitter instead. Still unsure of where to focus promotional effort and dollars…

    My main focus is to build credibility and awareness around my transformational career coaching. I’d like to start doing workshops and speaking gigs and the book will lend a lot of credibility (and content) for those efforts.

    Hope that helps!

    Mark Langford
    Author of “Thank God It’s Wednesday! The Business Professional’s Guide to Realizing Purpose, Passion and Life/Work Balance”

    • Hi Mark, Boy, do I feel your pain with your publishing process and experience. This is precisely why I abandoned traditional publishing! However, you’ve learned lots of lessons–especially about editing and having too many cooks in the kitchen! As for where to spend your advertising dollars, I definitely address this in the course and the reality is that there is no easy answer. It’s more a matter of figuring out where your audience is and where you can best engage them. That could be on Facebook, it could be on Twitter, and based on your subject matter, I’d actually expect that they are certainly on LinkedIn (why not start a group there?!). Regardless, your feedback is valuable and much appreciated. Best wishes with your launch!

  9. Hello Stephanie,

    I just finished self publishing my first book and the experience was one I will never forget. For over a year, it was a “roller coaster” of emotions and sleepless nights making it the best book I could possible write. I hired an editor, book cover designer, and interior formatter to round out my team.

    As a new self published author, I would say the challenge would be the actual marketing the book to readers. Also, I find many authors selling their books for .99 or give them away for free because they want to make some kind of list on Amazon. Todays, readers shy away from paying for a reasonably priced book. What can I do to counter act that?

    The topics I would like covered would be anything related to marketing and gaining media attention for speaking opportunities. I’m all ears, to learn any tips you have on bringing my book to the masses.

    As a nonfiction author my goals are to simply sharing my personal experiences with the public and have copies land into the hands (hearts/minds) of readers. It’s all about making a positive difference in other peoples lives.

    Thank you for your time.
    Marie

    • Hi Marie, Your concerns and challenges are common ones! I will say that for nonfiction, pricing doesn’t affect book sales nearly as much as it does for fiction. Readers who like novels are more likely to take a risk on a new author if they book is cheap or free, while most nonfiction readers choose books based on the subject matter. In fact, Smashwords reported that nonfiction books are better off to be priced higher than fiction! I’m also not a believer in aiming for a one-time shot on an obscure Amazon “bestseller” list. These campaigns have devalued what it really means to be a bestseller and have little to no long-term value.
      Thanks for your feedback!

  10. I started writing as a hobby after I retired as a corporate executive. Earlier in my life My Mother died of AZ and after researching that disease I decided that when I retired I needed to keep my mind and body active. That is considered by the medical field to be the only preventative action against AZ.
    Since I was an avid fisherman and outdoor person, that was the direction of my writing. I concentrated on fishing book for the first 6 books that I wrote. Then last year I did an expose about the take-over of the company that I previously worked for. The audience on that book was a directed audience consisting of all of the people who retired or lost their jobs as a result of the take-over.
    Marketing of my books has been the real challenge. I also found that using a professional editor was extremely important. A well edited book will get more interest from all audiences.
    Marketing is very expensive and you can waste large sums of money if you are not careful with your choices with marketing. This should be a very large part of any course.
    I also have found that networking and putting yourself out there at book clubs and other lecture opportunities gets sales results. Most clubs are always loong for speakers at their meetings and that is a good way to get attention.
    As an outdoor writer, I have also joined some outdoor writer associations and that gives me many good contacts. Any radio or TV appearances also bring a bump in sales and local magazine articles do the same. Book signing events are a must but you have to select the venue very carefully. With the advent of radio and Tv talk shows, with persistence you can get interviewed on these shows. Also od less , but still very important is the coice of your cover and the title of your book. Both can increase or even decrease sales.

    • Thanks for your feedback, Jake! You’ve carved out an interesting niche, which should make it lots of fun for you to promote via related associations and events! Everything you suggested is covered in the course, so we are on track! 🙂

  11. Carol D'Agostino says:

    My memoir topic is a tough one … suicide. I’m a clinical social worker and have experienced in my lifetime a family member and a client that suicided. I’m trying to weave my personal and clinical stories so that the audience can incorporate professionals also. I’m lost as to how to manage all the aspects of a memoir like this and how social media aspects would work. I’m hearing a new buzzword for memoir/self-help books … hybrid. Is that what I’m doing????

    • Great question, Carol. The hybrid memoir is a combination of story and how-to. Does the book offer advice for coping with losing someone by suicide (which, by the way, makes me your target audience as this is how I lost my husband)? It would help me to understand a bit more about what aspect of suicide you’re covering and then deciding who your book is intended for. Is it for fellow therapists? Or for families? I’m glad you brought this up as determining the niche focus and the audience are hugely important topics (and yes, they are addressed in the course!). Many thanks!

      • Carol D'Agostino says:

        The book will have links to suicide prevention sites, statistics and odds/ends as the writing moves along. The memoir opens with the suicide of my client by firearm. It moves to examining growing up in a household filled with addiction, mental illness and trauma to include my sister-in-law’s suicide when I was 19. The impact of being a highly regarded social worker working in the trenches for over 20+ years and then being in the client’s home to support his mother while the coroner’s bring down the body sends my world tumbling down as I deal with PTSD and re-examining my life both personal and professional. The tentative title is The Angle Of Life. I believe the memoir’s audience will be both professionals and families.
        I’m so sorry to hear you lost your husband to suicide.

        • My one caution to you would be to set the proper expectation with readers. In other words, don’t position it as a how-to or hybrid if it truly is a memoir (which is what it sounds like based on the description here). And there is nothing wrong with a pure memoir! The point is to avoid leading readers to EXPECT something else, and then end up disappointed because their expectations weren’t met. I’ve seen this happen all too often. Either way, it sounds great and I’m happy to see more attention being brought to this important topic!

  12. What are two or three of the biggest challenges or frustrations you have as a nonfiction author?
    Time to write and wondering if what I want to write about people will want to read.

    What topics would you want covered in this course?
    Choosing the best topic/angle/niche and finding the ideal reader; how to get in front of that reader; bulk sales.

    As a nonfiction author, what are your main goals?
    Passive income so I can retire. Make money doing what I love and am good at, but haven’t had much time to do when I work full time.

  13. Linda lohman says:

    1) Endings. I hate mediocre endings or stories that just stop. I want a smashing ending that pops. A Mark Twain ephinany. A head-smacker! Since I write short stories, re-write is my middle name.

    2) I am hearing impaired and find tele-seminars virtually worthless. They are not usually close captioned. Can anyone say “Writer’s Digest”? I must get twenty offers a week from them.

    3) critique groups are my best friends. But I’d sure like to find more groups that do not want material sent electronically. I’ve had my writing lifted three times so I’m not going to send out a short story and let someone else take credit for it again.

    That pretty much covers my issues.

  14. Kaye Curren says:

    What are two or three of the biggest challenges or frustrations you have as a nonfiction author? Editing my own work, confidence in my writing.

    What topics would you want covered in this course? Marketing, book proposal tips, insider tips on self-publishing with Amazon, how to pick a content editor.

    As a nonfiction author, what are your main goals? To publish, to reach readers, particularly women – to build an audience and generate some supplementary income online.

  15. Terrance says:

    Stephanie,
    There are so many challenges for writers, aren’t there! But the top of my list is time management. How to get it all done? Writing, promoting, researching, blogging, selling…As a traditionally published author I used to do little besides write and the occasional media interview and book signing but in the last couple of years things have really changed and now we all need to do so much to help sell our books.

  16. What are two or three of the biggest challenges or frustrations you have as a nonfiction author?
    1. I agree with Russell that Imposter Syndrome is a big one. But also, just being assertive enough to do the things I need to do, such as contacting people I don’t know to ask for something.
    2. I can only do so much. I’ve working a day job, and trying to write regularly, and doing freelance work for extra money, so it can be frustrating when an established author starts reeling off marketing suggestions, and I think I should be doing all of them. How do I pick which tactics I should use?
    3. I’ve found that some strategies work/don’t work/work at a certain time. For example, I could never get into Twitter until I got a smart phone, which made it easier. Also, I didn’t enjoy it until I settled into the kinds of things I would tweet, and enjoy tweeting. Now it is a “chore” that I enjoy. So, how can I approach a potential marketing strategy and find a way that I can enjoy it (and therefore succeed with it)?
    4. What are strategies that work for people who are not famous? Sometimes, advice claims to be for beginners, but then it veers into other territory.

    What topics would you want covered in this course?
    Maybe cover all of it a little, and then develop other courses for people who want details on a certain aspect.

    As a nonfiction author, what are your main goals? To sell more books? To speak or consult? To build an audience and generate income online?
    I want to sell enough books/ebooks that I can be a full-time writer and pay my bills and take a vacation to somewhere new every few years.

    Thanks!

    • I love that you ask how to approach marketing as something you enjoy. I cover this in presentations often, and I like to compare marketing to gardening. Some people love gardening, and others (like me), would rather get a root canal then dig in the dirt. However, what I like about gardening is the end result! And so I do it and try to make the best of it. I think the same goes for those who don’t love marketing.

      You also raised a good point about the overwhelm that authors feel with so many tactics to choose from and not enough time to do them all. If you’d like my number one suggestion for marketing right now, here it is: get bloggers talking about your books. Send out copies for reviews, see if you contribute excerpts or write guest blog posts, and only focus on blogs that reach your target audience.

      Really great feedback–thank you!

  17. Mark says:

    What are two or three of the biggest challenges or frustrations you have as a nonfiction author?
    *Finding others who have the passion I have for what I am doing.
    *Finding the right and best avenues where you can get time to explain your vision so others can see the value in what your doing.

    What topics would you want covered in this course?
    *Proven sales methods that have evidence they work.
    *How best to differentiate.

    As a nonfiction author, what are your main goals?
    *To help others find their greatest potential and to help others bounce back from life’s adversity.

  18. Thanks Stephanie for asking the questions. Here are a few areas I would like to know more about.

    1. What are the most effective ways to sell to public and academic libraries?
    2. What library distributors are most effective? I have contacted both Unique Books and Quality Books and am waiting for replies.
    3. How would you recommend tapping into the public speaking circuit?
    3. What are the range of speaking fees that non-fiction authors charge?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Maya, I appreciate your feedback. A quick tip on reaching out to libraries: I know several authors who’ve had great success with postcard campaigns to libraries, meaning that they send promotional postcards to alert librarians about their books. Make sure you include ordering information, which could be via a distributor such as Ingram, or a link to purchase from your website. Yes, they will purchase directly from you!

  19. Nicole says:

    I’m with Russell on his first point: Imposter Syndrome, and any strategies for minimizing it?

    I’d like to know more about different jobs or types of work (other than writing books) that allow us nonfiction writers to practice our craft. For years I thought my only option was some form of journalism. My eyes are opening to new possibilities, and I’d love to hear your suggestions.

    Related to the above point, public speaking or presentation skills for authors. If we’re going to sell our work, whether that’s a book or our skills and value to get a job, we have to be able to connect and influence verbally and visually.

    I always need to hear more about how to get the work itself done. Like many writers, I’m an ace procrastinator. More tips and strategies for how to get the writing to happen!

    The basic “mistakes to avoid” for those of us with no book writing or publishing experience. I am hoping to ghostwrite a couple of books, and I have very little idea of the realities of that process.

    Thoughtful discussion about social media for writers, rather than the usual marketer line that goes something like “Social media is the holy grail of marketing and if you are not on all major and most minor platforms you are missing the boat.” I really, really would like to hear what you have experienced, what other authors you know have experienced, and which platforms seem to work for which types of content and goals.

    Speaking engagements as a writer. Not necessarily as an author. Is it even possible to get speaking engagements if you haven’t published a book?

    One of the things I’m trying to do is help clients get their books written and published, as well. At this point mostly memoirs, some involve me ghostwriting, some editing, and some just support. So I’m a sponge! Any and all information is helpful.

    Thanks for asking, Stephanie!

    Nicole

  20. Anne Janzer says:

    The biggest challenge for me as an author has been making the mental shift to prioritize that work above other work, to truly think of myself as an author first. The ongoing discussion about imposter syndrome is certainly relevant. There’s also the challenge that to promote your book, you must promote yourself. For someone who has spent most of her career ghost-writing, the self-marketing has been the hardest part.

    • Hi Anne, It can absolutely be so uncomfortable to market yourself to the world. It’s one thing to make it about your book, but as an author, it really is about you more than anything else. This is an important topic and one we are definitely covering in the course. Thank you!

  21. Hello Stephanie.

    I love words. I love writing. I can concentrate and focus for hours endlessly. My biggest challenge is the marketing process after the book has been accepted for publication. I don’t know when and how to stop promoting! I feel so my ideas so deeply and want them to be read that I’m constantly working at reaching out to people. My new book is Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child’s Behavior. As a psychoanalyst, I know what I wrote works because I’ve been doing treatment with all ages for three decades. This is my chance to reach more people and I’m persistently writing parenting articles for Moms Magazine and Huffington Post trying to reach more people as well as promote my book. My challenge is knowing when to stop working each day. I already had and have a career; now I have two!

    • Hi Laurie, If you’re on a roll, I wouldn’t encourage you to stop! However, I would encourage you to take a step back and see if all that effort is paying off. If you’re generating sales, then by all means, keep going. But if you’re not reaping the rewards, then perhaps shift your focus a bit and try some other tactics.
      Your post gave me a couple of good ideas for the course so thank you!

  22. Bob says:

    Hello Stephanie,

    In response to your question regarding what our challenges as an author is, there are many. But, you asked for the biggest challenge. That, I would say, has been the lack of a go-to resource that provides new authors some starting, and jumping off points to their endeavors.

    What I refer to is something akin to a course like “Authoring 101”. It has been frustrating having to figure out everything from publishing options, to copyrights, to marketing, to … well, you get the idea.

    I do not mind doing the hard work … not at all. In fact, it’s fun working on something that you are so passionate about. And learning is fun as well. I simply wish there were less dead ends and more starting points that went somewhere other than just another semi-good video series.

    I love the idea of what you are doing and wish you, and your students, well.

    Best to you,

    Bob

    • Excellent point, Bob. The world of publishing can be incredibly overwhelming–even to those of us who’ve been in it for awhile! I will add that this is one of the goals of the Nonfiction Authors Association–to provide support and guidance to our members at all phases in the publishing journey. You can also find some advice and support over on our LinkedIn forum. Best wishes!

  23. Roy austin says:

    Finding quality time to concentrate for a long enough period. Twice I’ve gone out of town to hibernate and focus on nothing but writing for a week to 10 days. I’m finally finished wit the book and I’m now reviewing it before sending it to my proof reader. I’ll be contacting you soon to help me with the publishing.

    • I’m a big advocate of blocking out extended periods of time for writing. My last three books were all written in hotels, including one just a few miles from my home. Congrats on getting your first draft complete! That’s a huge accomplishment.

  24. SHerie says:

    Currently my biggest problems are

    1. selecting the most comprehensive and appropriate resource books on Amazon and
    2. increasing readership of my blog and ranking higher in the search engines.

    • I’m not sure I understand what you mean by selecting “resource books.” Are you looking for writing guides? And yes, website traffic is a big, important topic that we cover in the course. Thanks!

  25. Colin Dunbar says:

    Hi Stephanie

    I’m so late to the party, so almost certain this was identified by others. Finding the time to write PRODUCTIVELY. Over the years I’ve managed to find time to write (between job and family), but mostly it wasn’t really worth anything – so often re-writing several times over a week-end.

    The second challenge I have is find EFFECTIVE marketing avenues for self-published books, that don’t cost a fortune – don’t really want to take out a mortgage to market a book :o)

    Thanks.
    Colin

    • Hey Colin, Yes, I totally understand–and your issues are common concerns for many of us. In fact, one of the trickiest parts of executing marketing campaigns for books is that it is extremely difficult to justify the costs when it’s so hard to get a return on your investment. Books have such a low ROI. This is one of the many reasons it’s helpful to build additional income streams around your book!
      Thanks for sharing your feedback!

  26. Jeff Vanek says:

    Frankly, more knowledge about marketing is often not the answer. We often know what to do. We have often taken, listened too, and read more about marketing than a marketing major in college. The biggest challenge – much like facing a blank page – is often starting, just doing something no matter how imperfect, incomplete or flawed that attempt is. In order to take that first step though, it often takes a trusted mentor, an actual person with whom we form a relationship. It is our relationships with knowledge and appropriately connected individuals that can make the difference in how well our marketing efforts work. While social media connections and tribes are good and have their place in your marketing efforts, the most successful people actually know someone who has knowledge, connections, and a vested interest in you doing well. A vested interest might be “nothing” more than a friendship or working business relationship – but there is a live, person to person relationship. We too often neglect building actual relationships because collecting friends on Facebook is so much easier.

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