Chip MacGregor

December 16, 2011

Step Seven: Write Your Plan


Okay, you've come to the point in the process where you really get into the details… you've done a bunch of research. You know who you are, and what it is you want to say. You've figured out who your audience is, and done some research on how to reach them. You've made choices about the general strategies you'll use to get your words in front of potential readers, and you've decided what your specific plans are — where you'll go and what you'll say. Now you've got to write it down. 

Put down on paper all the things you want to do. All those tools you were choosing yesterday? Write them down. All those places you want to reach? Write them down. Get down on paper everything you want to do. Force yourself to get everything in one place, since it will make it much more real (and therefore more likely that you'll actually DO it). 

So if you're going to do a blog tour, and visit 30 blogs in 30 days, here is where you write down the goal, the blogs you intend to target, and make notes on what you're going to talk about. If you're going to be focusing on talk radio, here's where you right down the places you want to hit — the cities, the regions, even the shows and stations if you know what they are. Write down notes about what questions you expect to be asked, and how you plan to answer them. Prepare stories — both long and short stories, that will get your point across and entertain listeners. If you're going to be sending out copies of your book, write down who you plan to send them to. 

Don't leave anything out. In fact, you're better off writing too much, and having to delete some aspects of your plan later, rather than not planning enough. Again, perhaps only one-third of the things you try will really be effective — but you don't know which one-third is going to work, so write the entire plan out. Be specific. Make note of your goals. The entire document should be so clear that you could hand the document to someone else, and they could go out and execute your plan on your behalf. 

Write it all down. That will allow you to tweak it, once you see the various pieces working together to help market your book. You might see holes that need to be filled, or realize you're over-working one part of the marketing plan and under-working another. So get the whole thing written down clearly. At that point you've gone from having some vague notion about "maybe helping market my book" to actually having a written plan that you can put into practice. Imagine the difference that will make — and how different you'll feel, knowing you've got a plan and are way ahead of most authors. 

Don't wait. Write it down. Now. 

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