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Take Your Business on Tour!

Take Your Business on Tour!

Book and bannerWhen Appletree turned 10 years old, I celebrated by writing a book full of the lessons I’d learnt, to help other small business owners avoid making the same mistakes. It took a few years to complete the book and publish it and the ‘soft’ launch was last year.

Starting on 1 October 2014, I’m taking my book on a grand tour of the UK, visiting dozens of cities up and down the length of the country. How will I manage this? Read on to find out and see how you can use this technique to promote your business – even if you haven’t written a book yet!

My first Saturday job, at the age of 15, was in my local bookshop – The White Horse Bookshop in Marlborough, in Wiltshire. For someone who already loved reading and writing, it was an ideal place to spend time (and be paid!) My love of good literature and travel books grew in the four years that I worked there in my spare time and holidays. Tidying the Children’s section was always fun, too!

Many years on and that book shop is still open and going strong. For this reason, I’m taking my new book on a tour of independent bookshops around the UK, to show my support for them and to tell the world about some of the creative marketing that they’re doing. One in Ten is about finding the inspiration and motivation to keep growing a small business and I admire all the bookshop owners who are doing just that.

So how am I going to get round them all? Well, I have to confess that I’m going on a virtual book tour! I won’t actually be visiting any of the shops in person, but I will ‘appearing’ at each one, online. Here’s how I’m planning the tour, ready to launch on 1 October.

Are you on Twitter? I started by looking up independent bookshops on Twitter; they’re quite easy to find. My plan was to ‘visit’ one a day, so I built a list of about 50 who are active on Twitter. If they hadn’t tweeted for a few months I didn’t follow them.

Can I find you on Facebook? Then I searched for my 50 bookshops on Facebook. The good ones have links from their Twitter pages directly to their Facebook pages and they made it through to the next stage of the list and earned a ‘Like’ on their pages.

What about your website? Despite being on Twitter and Facebook, a couple of the bookshops I was interested in didn’t have websites, or had ones ‘under construction’, badly designed or infrequently updated. They didn’t make it onto the final list.

The end result? A list of book shops that I can ‘visit’ every day in October.

The key to this tour and way of marketing my book is that I’m taking an integrated approach. When you can tie all your marketing activities together, you’ll get much better results than individual, stand alone activities. In the same way, I’ll be using Twitter (@TopMarketingTip), Facebook and my website to promote the tour.

So the next stage of the integrated approach was to create a marketing schedule that shows me where I’ll be and when. I’ve put my selected book shops into the schedule and I’ve added in networking events where my book and I will actually appear. I’ve included a blog every week, to promote the tour and the book and details of other blogs that I’m guest writing, or where I’m being mentioned.

In addition to all this, in August I started to ask people who have already bought One in Ten to review it on Amazon. Those reviews will be featured in the tour, too.

Marketing doesn’t work over night and it certainly doesn’t happen without a bit of planning. I’ve spent the last couple of months planning this book tour, which means, that when it’s launched today, it should really fly.

Why not come and join me along the way?!

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