Today, we are switching up the format a little. A good friend of mine and Carol’s published her new book on Tuesday. Many of you might know the fabulous Sarah Robinson (and if you don’t, you should!). She is the master of building thriving communities, which is definitely a hot topic these days. She shares a little about her book Fierce Loyalty and about her launch strategy for the book.
CM – Congratulations on your new book, Sarah! Can you tell us about Fierce Loyalty and what made you decide to write it?
SR – Thank you so much!!! Fierce Loyalty is a practical, put-it-to-work-now guide for understanding, building and fostering a Fiercely Loyal community of clients, customers and raving fans. I wrote it because so often I would sit down with clients to talk about building a strong community around their brands and the conversation would go something like this:
Me: So, tell me what you think the keys to building a successful community are.
Them: Ummmm… giving away great stuff? Or having an awesome community manager? Or copying what xyz company is doing because they seem to have it right?
I went looking for a model that illustrated the key components of a wildly successful community to eliminate this kind of guessing for my clients. I couldn’t find one, so I did the research and built one myself.
CM – We hear a lot about the importance of building a platform before you launch a book. As someone who is an expert in community building, how did you leverage your community to get the word out?
SR – I’m constantly engaged with my community, so they’ve been along for the book journey from the very beginning – before I’d written one word. As I made progress, I updated them with emails and blog posts. Once I had the concept “Fierce Loyalty,” I did a thirty-day blog series around that theme. As the book started coming together, I released small bits of it and even turned an excerpt into a whitepaper so that people could get an early idea of where the book was headed. Because different members of my community consume information on different channels, I’ve offered up Fierce Loyalty quotes, images and concepts across several social media channels. The book has a Facebook page, A Pinterest Pin Board, A Tumblr blog, in addition to my regular Twitter and Facebook updates. As book launch day got closer, I recruited a Fierce Loyalty Book Launch Street Team from my community and they are fanning out all over the web helping me spread the word.
CM – During the initial launch for your book, are there any other tactics that you thought worked particularly well? Any best practices that you would recommend to others?
SR – I used two strategies that worked extremely well and that I strongly recommend to others:
1) Recruit and activate a Street Team. A team of people who love what you’re up to and who are willing to multiply your marketing reach is an invaluable asset in any launch.
2) Create lots of marketing collateral that anyone can use to help you spread the word and post it on your site so that you can easily direct others to it. This is a huge time-saver and allows anyone who comes to your site to quickly and easily share your message.
CM – Is there something that you would do differently next time?
SR – I would have started every single thing sooner!
CM – Can you share a little bit about your strategies to maintain momentum now that the book has been published?
SR – Sure! I’m very very lucky to have so many people who believe in the message of Fierce Loyalty, so I have some wonderful opportunities to write guest posts, serve as a guest speaker for some terrific live and virtual events and share the model and the book with some internal teams who want to create and maintain a fiercely loyal community. I’m also continuing to engage my community and will continue talking about ideas and concepts that are in this book, and some new ideas that I’m developing.
As disclosure, I was a proud member of Sarah’s Street Team. I was able to read an advance copy of the book. It’s fantastic. I highly recommend that you go purchase it immediately if you are looking to demystify the concept of community and build a fiercely loyal one. (It’s available for Kindle for an incredibly low price.)