And Now For Something Serious…

I attended a motivational conference yesterday run by two guys who have developed their own approach to motivating and inspiring people to be the best they can be. They have written books about their approach and whilst their methods do not include torture, bribery and blackmail (they’ve always worked for me) the books have zoomed off the shelves in numbers – although not quite Tony Robbins’ level …yet. They also provide consultancy and coaching to individuals and businesses using their motivational weapons.

I attended the event because, as a writer of mainly non-fiction, I wanted to see how the authors managed this aspect of their marketing platform and, if truth be told, now and again the motivation department does need a bit of a kick up the butt.

So here are some observations that might be useful for any of you looking to promote your book(s). With some adaptation and a bit of imagination the approach holds good for both fiction and non-fiction.

1. The event was free; held in the conference centre of a very popular UK theme park with free entry into the park. This encouraged delegates to bring spouses/kids who hit the rides whilst the delegate attended the conference. Some delegates plus family had booked in to the hotels at the Park for the weekend – so good for theme park biz too.
Learning point– make sure sponsors and others who support you get something out of it too.

2. Publicity for the event came through social networks, especially a LInkdIn community and through word-of-mouth.
Learning point – tap your networks and those of your sponsors/supporters. If it’s free – they will come.

3. The back-of-room book sales area was well managed and spacious. All the books they had written (same book but targeted at different markets in effect) were on display as well CDs and all were offered at half the normal price (the reason will become clear later). Early sales were slow, lunch-time sales were the heaviest and after-event sales were slow because most delegates wanted to hit the rides in the theme park.
Learning point – timing is everything and white-knuckle rides will always win over book sales.

4. Although the two guys were the main speakers, they shared the platform with a couple of others as supporting acts. There were also individual and groups of clients/ex-clients giving testimonials.
Learning point – share the power and the glory; share the fame or the pain.

5. It takes good public speaking skills and confidence particularly where there is a large audience.
Learning point – practice makes perfect but if you’re truly terrified, don’t do it.

6. The whole event was videoed and delegates were asked to do short pieces to camera giving their views about the books and the conference itself. These went up on a website later that evening.
Learning point – keep the memories alive and show those that couldn’t be there what they missed.

7. The content from the main guys was short, to the point and included information about their latest book due out in September (hence the price-cutting of the books). If I had paid to attend I would have felt short-changed.
Learning point – be generous with your time and material and go easy on promotional stuff – leave that to the back-of-room sales department.

8. The atmosphere was informal, relaxed and fun but not happy-clappy. The audience was invited to participate in fun no-hassle exercises .
Learning point – interaction with the audience, whilst scary builds atmosphere, relationships and your fan base.

9. It ended mid-afternoon with plenty of time left for those rides!
Learning point – if there are other attractions/opportunities on offer give your audience time to savour them.

So those are the thoughts of this newly refreshed, reborn and highly motivated blogger and now I’m off to bed.

10 thoughts on “And Now For Something Serious…

  1. Good post.

    I went to do some photography yesterday at the HQ of the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. You know, sitting watching the River Trent meander on by with ducks and ducklings, swans and cygnets; all followed by a cuppa with a scone. Now that’s what I call motivation! Photos on my post tomorrow (if I can get motivated) or Thursday. . .

    • Sounds lovely. I wasn’t far from you I think – Sunday I was at Trentham gardens – gorgeous before the gig at Alton Towers yesterday – less gorgeous. Looking forward to the piccys.

      • Trentham is 20 minutes drive – a regular little shopping outing for us. I have also photographed the monkeys many times – not the shoppers, those in the monkey forest!

      • Was flagging by the time the monkey forest cropped up so missed it. Intrigued by the house ruins tho. Together with the trip to Alton T. made me realise how much beautiful countryside you have over there. It’s not a part of the country I get to often…which is probably just as well I hear you say 🙂 How’s the marking coming on?

      • I was bribed by 30 pieces of silver! I took on an extra 50 because they upped the rate to 1.5x rate of pay per script. Looking to finish this Saturday. I can then get back to the novel which has been stuck on 63,000 words for the past 5 weeks. Then of course there is the gardening, the cleaning and and and. . .

        Countryside – we’re also on the Peak district. Yummy!

        If you’re bored here’s a link to my monkey images:!i=151066337&k=rHfgsvw

      • Ah loved the piccy’s ‘specially those of the young ones. Funny how so many of the little tykes reminded me of people I know. It’s the eyes and facial “expression” I think or maybe I just have some weird acquaintances.

        Thanks for the show


        Sheila Williams Author and Personal Development Coach The Old School House Mappleton, East Yorkshire, HU18 1XS

        Tel: 01964 533935

  2. Wouldn’t say I was seasoned but for non-fiction I think most holds true. For fiction – where I’m wandering now – I’m still finding it problematic. So much time needed and with social media it’s more about ‘me’ the author (not in a egotistical way) than banging on promoting the books. Still haven’t found a way through this. I@m doing a couple of local salon de livre (nearest translation book fairs) where authors show up with their books and interact with the public and hopefully sell a few. Should be interesting and probably a lot to learn. Will post more when the first one happens.

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