In a slight departure from my normal spiritual formation blogs, I’d like to tell you about a new book by my friend and Mentor Debra Trappen.
This post is part of Fire Up! Taking Your Life and Business to 11… a blog tour which I am excited to join – along with many other inspiring bloggers across the globe. To learn more, and to join us as we spark the conversation, CLICK HERE!
A few weeks ago I spoke to our High Sierra Writers group on marketing. When I first started marketing, I followed all the hype about “building a platform,” and I joined every social media platform I could find. I started posting on all of them right away. I did everything wrong at first, spamming people with too many posts about me, me, me. I tried to be everything to everyone, using the shotgun approach to social media marketing. I learned a lot of lessons the hard way; I was even blocked for spamming before I began to understand the proper uses of social media.
I learned these important lessons by hiring a marketing coach. I heard Debra Trappen speak at a conference for women in business and I was SOLD! This fiery redhead is a force of nature and now she has distilled her wisdom into a book that you can buy and read over and over. Her book, Fire Up: Taking Your Business to 11, is a must read for authors trying to build a platform.
The first thing Debra taught me was to “back up the truck.” I had launched into social media marketing without taking some important first steps. In her book, she calls these steps, “The Core Four.” They are: 1. Personal Core Values; 2. Soul Tank Fuel (aka Passions); 3. Your Life’s Purpose – Your WHY; 4. Niche Statement
The first thing Debra had me do was take a values inventory. I had to choose my eleven top values from a list of 100 (Debra is really into elevens). It was not easy. Then I had to live with that list for a couple weeks, read it every day and decide if I wanted to keep the value words I had picked, or exchange them for others. It was a telling process.
This process is important and undergirds all the rest of the work you do because it narrows the focus of your marketing, preventing you from using the ineffective shotgun blast where you aim broadly and hope to hit something. The focus provided by the values inventory helps you target specific people in the world who care about the same things you do. It helps you clarify your passions, your purpose and your niche statement so that you can do all your marketing from that perspective.
Saying “yes” to your own core values helps you in your decision making too. It helps you to know how to spend your time and when to say “no,” which, in Debra’s words, is a complete sentence.
For me personally, I was able to look at my books and define a central theme from the values which run through them. That theme, “Infusing reality with hope,” is now on my webpage, my blog and my Facebook author page. It informs how I market, to whom I market and even the hashtags I use.
I was privileged to be asked to be a first reader for Debra’s new book and I want to tell you that it is a fast read you can enjoy in in less than three hours. But, you will need much longer than that to learn from it. She includes links to assessments to help you define your core four, and assignments to drive your discoveries home. I’d approach it as a multi-course meal to be savored and not as fast food.
If you’re new to social media, Debra includes a handy explanation of each major social network and how to use them effectively.
Debra is a whirlwind of energy and that comes across in her book, but in the end she cautions against multi-tasking, but values focus on one change at time. I know I’ll continue to work through the book one step at a time as I apply the tips and links she has provided.
I encourage you to read this book to help jump-start your marketing platform or take your already strong platform to an 11!