How to get more customers and clients (by meeting them where they are)

Recently I figured out that far more people are searching for “how to write a book” than “how to market a book” – because far more people want to write books than people who actually finish writing one.

The insight I gained from that was, I can’t just be targeting clients and customers where I want to reach them. There’s a much smaller audience who needs help with book marketing or promotion, or selling more books.

There’s a much larger audience who needs help and support plotting, writing and editing the book. Even if I don’t offer any services for those things, that’s still where I should be providing value and being helpful, and getting known – because there is more search traffic and I want to become their go-to publishing guru.

But something else happened today, someone said I should be making videos or posting resources about how to write a query, how to get an agent, how to write a book summary or synopsis… and I was about to reply, “I don’t recommend traditional publishing so I don’t know a lot about that.”

The problem is, I still should be aligning myself with my target audience by providing resources on the things they want and are searching for. I’m willing to bet that the majority of first-time authors begin by searching for “how to publish a book” / “how to write a query” / “how to get a publishing contract or agent”… because most first time authors try to go traditional, or at least are interested in exploring that path first. 

When they decide to self-publish later, it’s often because they couldn’t get any traction with the traditional route, OR they figured out that the income is better self-publishing. But self-publishing probably isn’t their original dream or goal. Since I’ve gone through this process, I shouldn’t just be helping authors who have already done all the research and made decisions about what to do, I should be helping them much earlier in the process.

It’s an insight for me that I’ll be focusing on this year (broadening my funnel by meeting authors at more stages in their writing and publishing career). But for any kind of business or services, it’s an important thing to keep in mind – where you want your clients to be may not be where they actually are. Meet them earlier in their process.

About Derek Murphy

I help authors and artists turn their passions into full-time businesses, make a bigger impact, and blaze a luminous trail of creative independence. Right now I'm in Taiwan finishing a PHD in Literature, writing several books, and managing a handful of online businesses. Find me

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