Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Day After Disaster: Virtual Podcast Tour, The Tada Moment and Getting Ready to Go

 
In an effort to share my journey with all my blogging fans, I created this series of Virtual Podcast Posts so you can join in the touring fun. Fellow authors and business owners may find this series of particular interest as the Vitural Podcast Tour is a new concept in the marketing world and a great way to get your message out to the world.
Virtual Podcast Tour, The Tada Moment

Today I had a major tada moment! But before I tell you about my idea I have to tell you how the idea evolved.

After publishing my fictional novel, Day After Disaster, I have engaged in actively seeking and participating in any events I could take part in to spread the word about my novel. Day After Disaster is an apocalyptic, adventure story featuring a woman struggling, to find her husband and son, dead or alive, amongst successive natural disasters. Although it is a fictional novel, it has many lessons for life contained within its pages.

When my novel first launched I explored these lessons on an in depth basis while I toured the globe in a Virtual Book Tour. After organizing a month of three internet stops per week I was ready to let the tour begin. Although the tour was a healthy mix of websites with spectacular follower numbers mixed with much smaller sites, it was a complete success!  Sign ups on my email list increased as never before, sales went up and stayed up for the length of the tour, and my book was a topic of many conversations. After a month the tour ended and my sales numbers slowly decreased to a level just above what they were before the tour. My newsletter signups though steady slowed heavily and even though my follower numbers continued to increase due to different social media campaigns, my sales numbers never reached the point they were for so long of a period as when I was participating in my virtual book tour.

This got me thinking about launching a new Virtual Book Tour with new sites that I have connected with through marketing efforts. At the same time I had been engaged in a podcasting challenge hosted by my mentor D'vorah Lansky, learning how to produce podcasts. This
opened up a whole new world to me! I thought why not do a virtual book tour that also featured stops at podcasts as well!

I had a phone call with D'vorah and she loved the idea of doing stops at podcasts but she wanted me to go one step farther. D'vorah told me she had been engrossed with the idea of doing Virtual Podcast Tours where you get featured on podcasts along the tour. I was tantalized with the idea but also scared as well. I was excited because this was a new idea that not many people have even imagined participating in. It is essentially virgin marketing ground. I thought of the possible main stream media attention I could bring to my book because I can tie the emerging popularity of podcasting in with local business marketing concepts.  But I was also afraid because this is foreign ground. I am completely new to the podcasting world. How would I find these podcasts that would be interested in interviewing me? How would the time table work for the length of the tour? How easy is it to schedule these events? Could I possibly find enough to talk about to fill an hour time slot?
I have many, many questions but as I set out on this podcasting journey it is with a committed and focused purpose.

Lesson Learned:
  • A podcast tour is a great opportunity to get access to free exposure on multiple media avenues.
  • Connecting your marketing activities with emerging trends can lead to main stream media attention.
Hot Tip:
  • Be flexible with your ideas to take advantage of new opportunities.
  • Sometimes it's okay to learn as you go in order to take advantage of new opportunities.
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Virtual Podcast Tour: Getting Ready to Go

Upon deciding that I was going to engage in a Virtual Podcast Tour, I knew I had to get my website ready for traffic. My first step was to make sure that when people land on my home page my book, Day After Disaster, and my information are front and center. This way individuals don't have to spend time searching my website for information on my novel or myself. Keeping in mind all the details that I would like to have on my home page, I also had to make sure it had a professional, clean layout. Another thing that is essential is that my social media links are very visible but not tacky looking or distracting from the content on the page.  The last thing that I had to make sure was front and center is the sign up form for my newsletter.

There are a number of pages to explore on my website that would be of interest to a potential interviewer. My blog highlights my interests and activities. My quotes to remember page is loaded with inspirational quotes. My book kit provides material for book clubs. My survival store points people in the direction to purchase books that are of interest to me. All of these things have their place and their time to be explored but there is a page of much more importance to an interviewer or media contact: my media page.

The media page displays a short bio on me, information on my book, main stream media features, topics I am available to speak about, and a link to my virtual book tour page so they can explore all of the blogs that have featured me and my novel. Most importantly I have my direct contact information here. It was a little intimidating to put my phone number on the web but remember I am going to be searching for podcasts to be featured on. Many of these individuals actually want to talk with me first and not just communicate via email. Also I have an example of a previous interview that I took part in so they can reference my speaking interview skills. The last piece on the media page is a downloadable PDF of my particulars. This printable PDF page should includes my bio, my book summary, my contact information, links to my most impressive features, and links to my social media sites. This PDF gives media individuals a ready reference to have on hand.

Lesson Learned:
  • Be ready for the increase of traffic before you make contact with anyone regarding the event.
  • Make sure your media page is prepared and has your full contact information.
Hot Tips:
  • When ever possible try to make things very visually stimulating and not filled with long periods of typing. Your content should attract your audience and be very easy to consume.
  • Placement of your newsletter signup for is very important. People should see it as soon as they land on your page. They should not have to scroll down the page or go hunting for it.

Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
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