The other day my teenage son was lamenting that he had lost seven subscribers. The boy runs a YouTube channel that boasts a few thousand subscribers. He watches how many people he has following him like a hawk and gets disheartened when followers unsubscribe.
I had a conversation with my son about how you can’t please everyone all the time. I talked with him about how losing subscribers is part of running a YouTube channel (or any business). Sometimes people outgrow your information, other times they change interests, and sometimes they just decide what you have to say is not worth their time.
I encouraged my son to look at the big picture. Was his audience growing or shrinking? He reported that his audience is growing, albeit not as fast as he would like.
The same principles I told my son apply to authors:
- You can’t please everyone all the time.
- Your fans can outgrow your information.
- Your followers may lose interest in what you are sharing.
- Your readers may re-prioritize their interests and no longer have time for your content.
When evaluating your own marketing efforts and reach, you should ask yourself:
Is my audience growing or shrinking?
If you find that your audience is growing, even though you lose some followers from time to time, then you know that you are on the right path. However, if you find that your audience is shrinking, then it is time to re-evaluate your marketing and book promotion activities. Ask yourself:
- Have I lost my passion?
- Have I strayed from my unique voice or message?
- Have I drifted off track and off topic?
- Am I consistently and diligently providing information that entertains, informs, or inspires my audience?
If your audience is shrinking and you answered yes to any of these questions, take some time to refocus and regain your footing. Take an inventory of your marketing activities. Create a new reinvigorated plan to follow.
Do you need some inspiration? Start by reading or re-reading my book Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace or watch one or more of the on-demand seminars on marketing that Marketing Christian Books University offers.
I asked my son to consider what percent of his audience he had lost in losing seven subscribers. He reported less than one-tenth of a percent. The next morning, he told me that he had gained 15 subscribers overnight—double what he had lost.
I encourage you to check your filter. Are you focusing on the negatives or the positives? When we focus on the negatives, we lose our passion and enthusiasm. This can have negative effects on our efforts. In addition, remember to keep the long view in sight. The short viewed is always skewed.
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Photo courtesy of Edwin Andrade.