Building the Buzz: Day 30 Measuring Success

We are getting close to the end of the month. It's time to figure out if you're successful.

I'm not asking you to evaluate your life here, but in marketing, everything we do is a test of the waters. We're looking for the secret special sauce that turns our burger into a Big Mac. But before we can decide if our efforts were productive, we need to figure out what success looks like.

Every author is going to have different goals when it comes to marketing. They will be based on your own experience, where you are in your career and what you want from your publishing.The key is identifying what that looks like to you.

Maybe you want to sell x number of books. Possibly you want to earn back your advance in six months. Maybe you are still building your platform and just want to grow your subscriber or mailing list.

Any of those goals are fine so long as you know what they are. If you set out to sell 5,000 books in your release month then that's your benchmark. But here's the danger of not setting that benchmark. Let's say you sell 6K copies that first month. If your goal was 5K, you're feeling pretty good. But if you don't set the goal, then hear that so and so sold 8K their first month. Well, what looked like a winning marketing plan, is now seen as a dismal failure.

The only way to know if what you are doing is working is to set a realistic goal. You may not make it, but then you know that you need to tweak the plan.

There is a caveat to this. Your goal must be realistic. If you are measuring success against getting an invite to co-host the Today show in the first month of your release, you are going to fall short. Not to be all doom and gloom here, but that's not going to happen. An unrealistic goal sets your plan up for failure no matter what you do.

So give yourself a realistic goal and then check in every month or so. How are you doing? Getting close? Great, keep on keeping on. No where near on track? Maybe it's time to reevaluate the plan.

Having an endgame in mind from the beginning lets you keep yourself focused on a single prize and, ultimately, success.

Today's task: if you haven't already, define what success looks like to you right now. No matter what it is, write it down somewhere and don't forget to check in with yourself.

Before I close out today's post, I want to remind everyone that today is the last day to bid in Brenda Novak's huge auction for diabetes research. Please take a minute to pop over there and check out the amazing items available.