This is a word I commonly hear from authors when I ask them who the audience is for their book. Authors often tell me that “everyone” would benefit from reading their book.
Everyone is a huge number. It is around 7.7 billion people—that’s the number of everyone living on the Earth right now.
Reaching everyone is overwhelming and impossible. When we feel overwhelmed, we often get stuck. We don’t know what decision to make or what to do because there is just too much.
“Do the next thing” has become a popular phrase. The phrase encourages people not to get overwhelmed by all there is to do, but to simply start with the next thing in front of them.
Everyone is too many. Thinking about reaching everyone is too much and impossible. Instead, narrow your audience to one. Ask yourself, “Who is the next person who needs to hear about my book?” Then focus on that one.
The North American Mission Board has developed a similar concept for evangelism. They believe that people become overwhelmed when considering all the people who need to hear the Gospel message. Many end up feeling inadequate and don’t do anything. In response, the organization has launched the Who’s Your One? campaign.
The motto of this campaign is “We must do whatever it takes to reach the lost, and it starts with one.” The campaign is designed to help people focus on one person—the next person they want to reach with the Gospel message.
I think the same concept works for marketing for authors. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the numerous marketing tasks you could engage in, focus on an audience of one. Ask yourself:
Who is the next person who needs to know about my book?
After you reach that person, focus on your next audience of one, and so on. Try it. Your audience growth may not be fast, but slowly, you will build a solid audience for your book.
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Photo courtesy of Guilherme Almeida.