We once worked with an author who sold 2 million copies of his book in 2005. Ten years later he was launching his follow-up book and we were tasked in architecting the marketing strategy.
One main challenge was – where are all these fans? His first book came out before the popularity of email lists and social media. There was no singular place they all lived, hung out. His book reached literally millions of fans and now we were having trouble finding a thousand of them. In many ways we were starting from scratch with the new book.
The takeaway was we needed to collect all these fans in one location for future use. So in a decade we weren’t in the same situation.
It’s something to think about before doing any launch. What things need to be implemented NOW to make best use of the attention created.
How can we do things now to make our job of reaching people easier in the future.
The most effective way of doing this currently is building an email list. Let’s say you write an article that goes viral. If you have a CTA at the bottom to sign up for your email list, a certain % of people that will sign up. Even if 10 people sign up, that is 10 people you know will read your next article. The next article has a leg up on the first article in sense of being read. Do this enough times over an you’ll have an audience.
This past week I did an ‘ask me anything’ on reddit about Cerro Gordo. It went fantastically. Over 5,000 comments, 45,000 upvotes, and millions of people reading about our ghost town.
It was a lot of fun in the moment, but I also wanted some way to communicate with these people in the future long after they forgot about the reddit thread. I passively mentioned that they could follow along with our progress on Instagram. Overnight, 30,000 new people started following us on Instagram. Immediately we had an audience for all our future posts.
People that we not only interested in our project in the moment, but were retained to be interested in the project in the future. We didn’t have to hope that one day they thought back to that one ghost town they read about one time on reddit. We are going to stay in front of them.
So, before you jump into your next project, next article, or product launch, thing about all the ways you can capture that fleeting attention for the future. It’s going to make your life a lot easier on future projects.
Capture the attention when it comes. Because it is fleeting.
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