Monday, April 10, 2006

Marketing Meetings

Got back yesterday evening from a weekend spent in Columbus, Ohio, attending Equine Affaire. Several authors with books or DVD's that I've been hired to promote were featured presenters, and I wanted the opportunity to meet with them, get to know them a bit, and see what I could do to help them spread the word about their projects.

The range of responses I received was very interesting.

Five experts with projects I am helping to market were booked as lecturers, clinicians, or speakers. Of those, I had been given e-mail contact information for two of them several weeks ago. I'd connected with both, and we'd made plans to meet at the event.

One of them made my trip completely and totally worthwhile. We had a wonderful brainstorming session that lasted for over 2 hours. She's not very comfortable blowing her own horn, but the books she's written -- especially her newest one -- speak for themselves. They merit some horn-blowing. So we talked about ways that she can help me help her (Shades of "Jerry Macguire!").

We also discussed avenues for promoting her work that don't involve the traditional venues such as bookstores and book clubs. She was very forthcoming about what she wanted to do, and that gave me a lot of direction as to what sorts of marketing campaigns might work best for her. Spending two hours with her was more productive than a week of e-mailing back and forth.

The other expert that I'd contacted earlier and made plans to meet up with never showed. She was a scheduled presenter... and she never went to the event. A personal emergency may have arisen. Sometimes life throws curve balls.

A third expert with several books to her credit had been a confirmed lecturer too late for me to contact her before the event. I met up with her on Friday right after we arrived -- about half an hour before she was scheduled to leave for home.

When I introduced myself and explained my capacity as "new venues" marketing consultant for her books, she immediately grasped the concept. We chatted for about ten minutes, and in that time, she mentioned two completely new, untapped markets for her work. (Even better, I have good, solid contacts in one of the two markets, which are familiar with her work, which love what she has to say, and which are more than happy to connect me with others who would be interested in considering it.)

The fourth expert has several projects that are not yet released, but which will be shortly. When I introduced myself and explained that I would like to talk with her about marketing her stuff, she was very interested... But she wanted me to come back on Sunday.

I considered it, but once driving time, gas, parking, and admission fees were taken into account, it didn't make sense for me to go back for the sole purpose of seeing her. That's ok. We'll connect via e-mail...

The fifth expert also has a project that is not yet released. She had her own booth, but nowhere in it did she mention her up and coming releases, or mention her publisher / producer. It was as if she was responsible for the project herself.

I never did connect with her. E-mail will have to suffice in this case, too.