Begin your marketing analysis by getting clarity around what you've built already and where you're headed.
A marketing asset is something that lets people know you and your books exist and draws money toward you.
Marketing assets are constantly being adapted, added to and refined over time, as you produce more products and gain more clarity about your brand and your positioning.
They come in different forms: assets, channels and partnerships.
- An asset is anything that makes money for you.
- A channel is a way of getting your product to market.
- A partner is somebody who sells you services that you will profit from or who makes money when you make money.
Core Product or Service
This is your main product. If you're an author, it's your books. If you're a coach, it's your methodology. If you're an activist, it's your ideas and inside information. If you're an artist it's your artworks and installations.
Both merchandise and services need to be packaged to become a product.
Often your core offering changes over time. Adam, a self-described “nerd obsessed with self-improvement” was a fitness coach, specializing in body-positive strength training. His core product was a service, one-to-one.
Disillusioned with the fitness industry's misinformation “posturing and drama”, he turned his knowledge into books, courses and other information products that now make a large part of his living, through Patreon and other outlets. Now the same offering–fitness training–is offered as a merchandise product.
Knowing it may change, you need to settle on what's core for now and build around that. First decision is your core offering merchandise (books, artworks, furniture, jewellery) or service (coaching, counselling, mentoring, lobbying, training, writing, marketing).
Don't say both. “I'm both an author and a freelance writer for hire.” You can be both but which is core? This means not only knowing what you most want to do but also how you want to do it.
Knowing this will change how you set up your business and position it.
Ancillary Product Assets
As well as your core asset you will also need other assets to make up a profitable product ecosystem.
- Gift Product, freely given
- Magnet Product to attract subscriber emails.
- Premium Product, for those who want more.
Positioning & Brand Assets
These explain your philosophy–passion, mission, “mashion”–and what the customer can expect if they make a purchase.
- Micro-niche, genre
- Categories, keywords
- Email Marketing
- Social Media
- Pre-orders (own website)
- Pre-orders (other retailers)
- Illustrator and Designer (Partner)
“About Your Product” Assets
- Brochures, Book Jackets, Pictures, (Brand Assets)
- Social media banners, Explainer Videos, Trailers (Positioning)
- Rights and Resale Guide (Licence rights and resales)
“About You” Assets
- Memoir or biography
- Launch Team
- Media Outreach
- Networking Events
- Collaborators and Partners
- Bonus Book Content
- Series assets: Fictional world or characters, non-fiction data or information
Channels — ebooks (electronic)
- Own Website
- Amazon KDP
Channels — Pbooks (Print)
- Amazon KDP Print
Channels — Abooks (Audio)
- Audible (Amazon ACX)