Starting today, I’m going to post a new “Quick Tip of the Week” article. Drop by Super Genius HQ here at MatNastos(dot)Net every Monday for new tips on Internet marketing, sales and distribution tips for the comic book industry!
When I started out as a comic book publishers, and even as a freelance comic artist, one of the things I hated more than anything else was selling. Selling myself, selling my product…I hated it all. It all seemed very unnatural to me and very much against my creative side. It made me uncomfortable. And I was terrible at it.
Terrible, not just because of how much I disliked the entire process, but also because I had no idea of where to start or what to do. I didn’t know who to sell to, where to sell, how to sell or even why stuff sold. To me, it was an incredibly arcane and indecipherable art that mere mortals were not meant to understand.
What I’m going to do today is give you two quick, yet very important, sales/marketing tips to keep in mind as you head out to sell your comics. These are two tips that should never be far from your mind and should be the foundation for every marketing plan you put together for your comic book publishing business. Keeping these tips in mind will help make sure you stay on the right road to success…or, at least, in the same neighborhood.
2 Ways to Make Sure Your Comic Books Will Actually Sell
1. Go where your audience is
One of the things a lot of business owners (and marketers) fail to understand is that there is a major difference between the world at large and your potential audience, and this is as true on the Internet as it is offline. You see, for some reason, a lot of people think that by just being online that everyone with an Internet connection is going to interested in what they’re selling.
It’s just not true. Even worse, that sort of thinking can cost a business a lot in terms of time, resources and money. Three things in very short supply for most comic book publishers. It’s much to hard and ineffective to try and sell something to everyone. This goes for advertising, PR and even your keywords.
A great example I like to use is the word “Nifty.” My publishing site, Nifty Comics, ranks on Google Page 1 for the word “Nifty.” It is a HUGE keyword, with over 49,000,000 (forty-nine million) results and an insane amount of traffic. You’d think ranking well with that keyword would a huge boost for my site. Well, I do get thousands of unique visitors from Google. Unfortunately, they are nearly 100% uninterested in comic books or anything outside of the word “Nifty.” For a different kind of site, unfiltered traffic might be a boon, but for a small press comic book publisher, it is a complete waste of time and resources. It’d be much better to rank well on a less common, less trafficked word than on one so big and general in nature.
The most effective plan of attack is to identify your target audience and spend your time and resources communicating with them. Why spend thousands of dollars on a Google Ad aimed at millions of people who won’t buy, when you spend $50 on one placed on an active forum for your niche?
Don’t just shout at the crowd, make sure you’re shouting at a crowd that will listen.
2. Sell ’em what they WANT
This is one of the most basic sales/marketing concepts for offline and internet business, and one that most marketers completely ignore. Your marketing shouldn’t just be aimed at selling your product. Nope, your marketing should be focused on selling a customers what they WANT or NEED, not what you have.
Does that sound completely insane? Well, it’s not. Every sale made, every item or service paid for, stems from the wants or needs of a customer and NOT from a company needing to sell a product. If a customer doesn’t want or need what you’re selling, they aren’t going to buy it no matter how good it is. Period.
Now, does this mean you need to change your comic book to match needs? Not at all. What it does mean it that your marketing and sales techniques need to focus around the customer’s perception. Make them see your comics as something that fills their current needs — make the customer perceive that they need your work and you’ll start to see it “fly off the shelves.”
Doing some research on things like previous buying patterns, lifestyles, interests and so on can help you identify customer needs and wants, which will help you target your sales and marketing techniques to meet those desires.