Whether or not you have a book to sell right now, you probably have reason to build a platform and gather a “tribe.” Monday we discussed blogging as one possible avenue for this, and I also gave you a list of several other ways to use the Internet to connect with people. But this is not an easy task, especially when you’re sitting at your desk by yourself trying to come up with creative ideas. Wouldn’t it be great to have a whole team of people with whom to brainstorm, exchange ideas, discuss successes and failures, and share encouragement?
You CAN have your own marketing team — and it’s simpler than you might think.
Most of you are familiar with the concept of a writers’ group or critique group, even if you’re not part of one. Your marketing team works the same way. You gather a small group of individuals who meet regularly to discuss each others’ projects, but from a marketing standpoint rather than focusing on the writing.
Here are some ideas for creating this kind of group:
1. Keep the group small and manageable — I suggest 3 to 8 people.
2. Create a circle on Google+ and use the “hangout” feature to hold your meetings online using your webcams.
3. Start by inviting one or two people to join you. Get it set up and have a few meetings before deciding whether to invite more members.
4. Be extremely selective in choosing your group members. Once you invite someone to join, it would be extremely awkward to disinvite them.
5. Gather people who are creative, proactive, good at sharing ideas, and are a fit personality-wise.
6. Discuss what your group’s goals will be, and what you’d like to accomplish in your meetings.
7. Find ways to help each other in concrete ways, beyond simply sharing ideas. Allow members to operate in their areas of strength.
8. Create an agenda for each meeting. Google docs is helpful for this, since each member can access it and add to it.
9. It’s best if your group has a leader; if you don’t have one, designate a member to lead each meeting.
10. Let everyone suggest topics for future discussion.
11. Here are some meeting ideas to get you started:
12. Use an online scheduling tool, since setting up meetings with four or more people can be challenging. Doodle.com works great.
What would be some advantages of having a team like this? What might be the pitfalls? Do you belong to any sort of similar group?
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