Novel Marketing

Novel Marketing

How to Make Your Book More Popular (Social Proof)

February 24, 2020

When you were a kid at
the amusement park, did you want to ride the roller coaster with no line or the
one with the line zig-zagged five rows deep?

As an adult, do you
want to vote for the third-party candidate who lines up with your values, or
the candidate who has the best chance to win?

People want to do what they see other people doing. The technical term used in marketing psychology for this phenomenon is “Social Proof.”

Since customers are unlikely
to choose an empty restaurant they have never been to before, some restaurants
hire temporary employees to eat there during the opening weeks to generate

“Wow! That place is crowded! It must be good.” 

Which is not that different from: “Wow, that book has 10,000 reviews. It must be good!”

Customers want social proof.

We’ve explored the social triggers of Urgency (Episode 223) and Scarcity & Ubiquity (Episode 225). The better you understand what motivates readers, the better you can motivate them to read your book. This is the heart of marketing. Please use it for good. 

Why do I need social proof?

Social proof creates a

To loosely paraphrase
a parable of Jesus, “To him who has reviews, more will be given. But to
him who does not have reviews, what few reviews he does have will be taken away
by Amazon’s algorithm.”

Social proof is why
you see metallic stickers touting, “USA Today Bestselling
Author.” People are more likely to buy a book if they know other people
are buying it too. 

But you don’t need to
be a USA Today bestselling author to use social proof. 

Before we talk about
how to demonstrate social proof, let’s talk about how to gain a following in
the first place. 

The key to social proof is to have a social following worth following.

How do I gain a following?

Here are four general
tips on how to generate a following and become more popular.

Tip #1 Focus

Pick one area to
demonstrate lots of popularity rather than dabbling in lots of places. Dig one
deep well rather than two shallow wells. If you have multiple genres, cut all
but the most popular and focus on more books in that genre. 

You also want to focus
your writing and marketing on the individual. Find a real-life human in your
target demographic and then focus on thrilling that specific person. Then grow
the number of real humans in that representative sample. Ideally, you want to
make these people your beta readers.

On my Novel Marketing podcast,
I focus on my patrons, and more specifically, the people in my mastermind groups. Most of the new episodes I’m
creating come from questions asked by people from the Facebook group, Patreon
page, or premium mastermind groups.

The result of focusing
on fewer people is that the content has improved, and the podcast has become more
popular. Let me say that again. By focusing on fewer people, more people