Bloggers and authors have something in common. They tend to enjoy spending time cloistered away in front of a computer. That means they don’t spend much time face-to-face with people.
Skype video chats and Google hangouts don’t count. I’m talking about getting offline and spending time with people in the real, not virtual, world.
While some amazing magic can happen by yourself writing as well as networking online, be sure to take advantage of another type of magic.
This type of magic is created when you combine what you do online with what you do offline. In other words, have an online-offline strategy.
Digital marketing expert Lee Odden told the attendees at New Media Expo (NMX) in Las Vegas at the beginning of January 2014, “Online to offline is magic.” Indeed, there’s a unique chemistry, an alchemy, if you will, that happens when you meet in person those you’ve connected with online. Or if you meet people in person and then continue the relationship on line. Those people who you’ve met online but who actually look in your eyes or shake your hand or hear you speak transform into truer fans than any who just follow you on Facebook or Twitter “blindly.”
You can’t replicate those types of relationships any other.
That’s why attending and speaking at events proves so valuable for bloggers and authors. When you actually meet your followers you create real fans—or develop new ones—for life.
Plus, you can connect with influencers in your market. That’s what Tim Ferris did, author of The Four-Hour Workweek. After building platform on line, he went to every conference and event he could find to actually meet the thought-leaders and top bloggers in his market. He got to know these people, even become friends with them in some cases. They then helped him promote his book.
Odden showed us a slide with this written on it: Blogging + events = winning. Nothing could be more true. I have met more influencers in my field and cemented more relationships at conferences and conventions than I ever have online.
I also see my book sales rise every time I go to an event. (I check in my Amazon Author Central account.) That doesn’t mean I don’t offer books for sale right at a conference or a smaller event. I do, but some people choose not to purchase on the spot for some reason, maybe because they prefer the discounted prices at Amazon. Therefore, the week after, my account shows a huge spike in sales. One month I spoke at four events, and my sales skyrocketed!
You don’t even have to speak at the event, though. Go. Meet people. Hand out a postcard with your book’s cover on it and purchase information on the back.
Create the Money
The biggest excuse I hear for not attending events is lack of money. Some authors and bloggers don’t speak at events when they won’t get paid. I admit I’ve turned down a few such events when the cost got exorbitant. Generally, I attend or speak at a fair number of unpaid events per year, especially when promoting a book or seeking to meet potential clients, customers or influencers. Make such decisions by weighing the cost/benefit ratio.
If money truly holds you back, consider raising the money for your event. I colleague used a crowd funding site, like indiegogo.com or pubslush.com, to help her raise the funds to attend two writing conferences, for example. She simply asked all her friends and followers to contribute. Think outside the box; there are ways to get where you want to go, especially if you feel it will further your career as an author and blogger or your book’s sales.
Your trip to a conference or convention also could be tax deductible if it falls within the realm of a business expense. If you claim your blog or your writing as a business, consider how the cost of attending an event affects your income or tax picture. It could make a difference as you decide to spend money on attending or speaking at an event.
Photo courtesy of renjith Krishnan |freedigitalphotos.net