There are two key business concepts that I'm sure you're familiar with; acquisition cost and lifetime value of a fan or reader. These concepts are the foundation for any successful business endeavour, including a life long career as a writer.
We regularly hear from self-publishers who seem obsessed with getting new readers into their online bookstore, forgetting that the key to a successful Author's brand is having a loyal group of readers and fans.
The principle is simple... It costs considerably less to keep and engage an existing fan than it does to bring a new one in the door.
Self-publishers who boost reader retention rates by as little as 5% an see increases in their profits ranging from 5% to a whopping 95%.
In fact, some studies in the business arena suggest it will cost you as much as 10 times more to attract a new reader than it would to have that same reader come back time and time again.
Let's take a closer look at what this means and how you can use this powerful principle.
Shortsighted individuals like to make the fastest possible dollar: get them in, take their money and wish them a good day. Smart authors and self-publishers however, spend time with their readers getting to know them. They find out what their readers like and dislike, and learn how their fans feel about the direction their writing is taking.
Fans are not "one-shot wonders". They are the lifeblood of your income. An avid reader will buy your books over the course of many years and will refer their friends, family and others... If you give them reason to.
Simply put, the "lifetime value" of your reader is the total dollar amount they will spend on your books and your other merchandise before they loose interest or die. Smart self-publishers do everything they can to nurture relationships with their readers and increase the lifetime value of their fans.
There is another powerful force at play when it comes to Internet Marketing.
Make Influencers your new best friends
You already know that happy readers are also raving fans. They're the ones that can't stop telling their friends about your fantastic books. In the world of Viral & Internet Marketing we refer to these people as influencers. It is the ease with which influencers are now able to spread the word about your books that propels you forward and builds your Author reputation.
If you want lots of 'influencers', then there is no substitute for great interaction and open communication with your readers. It's the most powerful thing a self-published author can do - to look for ways of turning ordinary readers into loyal and powerful influencers.
So, next time you're thinking about the future of your career as a writer, be sure you pay attention to growing your influencer network. It may just be the strategy that sends your income skyward and keeps it there.
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