Do you have a favorite author? I mean like someone you buy as soon as the pre-order is up?
I love CJ Box’s Joe Pickett series. If he had a street team, I’d be the president.
I’m on his mailing list, stalk his Twitter and buy his book the hour the pre-order is posted.
Why does this matter?
Because I’m his superfan.
And authors need superfans.
Because superfans tell everyone they know about you.
The Ideal Reader
Your ideal reader is the one person in the world who wants to read your work.
Think that through.
You aren’t for everyone, and that’s ok.
I don’t like horror but I love small town mystery.
While I’ve met and admire Stephen Graham Jones, I won’t read his work.
I have not met CJ Box, but I’ll buy all of his.
This just means I have preferences. I’m human.
You are too. What will you read? What won’t you read?
If you get this, then you won’t be offended when people won’t read your work.
After you wrap your head around that, brainstorm the type of reader who will read your work.
Demographics, hobbies, what do they wear, where do they work, shop, live?
Listen to Amy Porterfield’s podcast on Ideal Customer Avatar to help you. But figure this out.
Because your ideal reader will become your superfan, and superfans become your street team.
Street Teams are a group of readers who love everything you do.
Cultivate a strong relationship with those superfans and they’ll do the marketing for you.
Readers buy from authors they know, like, and trust.
If you give them a way to engage with you and allow them get to know you on some level, you’ll have them for life.
You need to build a deliberate brand.
What experience do you offer?
You can definitely use your genre to help you.
You can also pick two or three hobbies or interests you are comfortable with and share that too.
Finally, figure out how you are different. What sets you apart from the other authors in your genre?
Take the time to build this brand. Be deliberate and once decided, stick with it.
How do you grow a street team?
- Develop an online space for your team.
- Facebook Groups are great for this because the Facebook algorithm has prioritized relationships and groups over pages.
- A secret group also offers a sense of exclusivity.
- You could also create a private Twitter feed or a page on your website.
- Wherever you place it, make it exclusive.
- Create a list of guidelines – what is expected from those in your team.
- Invite those you already think might want to help you out.
- Not your friends and family unless they actually read in your genre and will provide honest feedback.
- Have those who RSVP yes to your invite fill out an application of sorts.
- This simply asks them questions to ensure they are a good fit for your team.
- You can use Google forms for this. Ask them:
- Favorite books
- Social media outlets they use
- How they would market for you
- What they look for as a reader
- Offer free stuff.
- The entire point of a street team is to belong to something special.
- Make those superfans feel special.
- Give them access to you through a podcast or video.
- Offer them free books.
- Have them help you write the book by finishing scenes or providing character names.
- Tier system – if you create a tiered reward system, it encourages readers to participate more with your program.
- Decide on what the rewards will be and be consistent.
- Create a Street Team kit with swag … books, postcards, bookmarks, pens, bags, highlighters, jar openers, anything they can hand out to potential readers.
Street teams are a gift to authors, but they do take time to grow.
Be patient and remember, quality relationships are much better than a large quantity of mediocre readers.