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#020: How To Conquer Your Fear Of Advertising

May 20, 2023

Read Time: 5 minutes

I talk to a lot of authors who are just getting started with advertising, who are about to start but have certain limiting beliefs holding them back from pulling the trigger on their Ads in the first place, or just spending more money on Ads they’re already running.

Whether it’s Facebook Ads, Amazon Ads, BookBub Ads, or another advertising platform, there’s something about spending money on advertising, where there are zero guarantees on a return on investment, that terrifies authors. 

I was definitely not immune to this in the beginning either.

If you have felt yourself hesitating to get started with advertising or simply just letting Ads continue to run as they chip away at your bank account, trust me, you’re not alone.

Advertising plays a critical role in building and sustaining a thriving career as a self-published author, so if you are feeling this way, it's an issue that needs tackling head-on.

Why It's Important To Overcome Your Fear of Advertising

There are millions upon millions of books published on Amazon, let alone the other retailers, such as Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books, etc.

Readers are spoilt for choice and when we as humans are faced with too much choice, we often end up in a state of overwhelm and end up not making a decision (which is still a decision, by the way – a decision to do nothing).

As an author (and a marketer), you need a way of making your books stand out, to get noticed, otherwise, you risk them falling into the ether never to see the light of day again, with 100's, if not 1000's of new books being published every single day.

The days of publishing a book and watching the sales roll in whilst you sip pina coladas all day long is a thing of the past.

You need to invest in not only your books, but yourself as an author, if you want to succeed in this game of self-publishing.

And the only way to succeed is to get eyeballs on your books.

But you can't rely on the likes of Amazon to do that for you without first proving to them that your books are worth them taking a punt on.

Now, there are a million ways to get a million eyeballs on your books, some far more effective than others.

You can either invest time to market your books, or money, or a bit of both.

By investing money, specifically into advertising, you're going to see results far quicker than you would by time alone, which limits you to activities such as social media, direct messages, emails, etc; all very slow.

With advertising, for the cost of a couple of lattes a day, you can position your books in front of hundreds of readers every day of the week – starting today.

One thing that the most successful self-published authors have in common is that they are all advertising. Not necessarily on the same platform, but they are investing in Ads.

"Success leaves clues." Reverse engineer the businesses of any top-selling authors in your genre, and you'll see that they are all advertising in some way shape or form.

Conquer Your Limiting Beliefs

Now I've hopefully convinced you that advertising is at least worth a little more consideration, let's look at a few ways I've overcome my limiting beliefs around advertising and have allowed me to comfortably spend up to $500+ per day on advertising.

#1: I Started Small

When we first started advertising my wife's books, we were spending around $10 per day on Facebook Ads – and only Facebook Ads.

I focused on one platform, rather than spreading our limited budget, as well as my time and energy attempting to learn multiple platforms at the same time.

We were very fortunate that we made a little bit of profit in that first month; not much, but enough to prove to us that this was worth investing more time and money in.

Over the following months, as results grew, we invested more and more into the Facebook Ads; just a little extra each week.

Fast forward to today, and we're profitably spending $250+ per day on Facebook Ads.

During launches and promotions, I'll comfortably spend $500+ per day on the Ads, as well as additional money spent on Promo Sites.

All this to say, don't feel intimidated by the big-spending authors out there. Start small, focus on one platform, build your confidence, collect data, and scale at your own pace.

#2: I See Advertising As An Investment (Not An Expense)

In the beginning, I saw every penny we spent on advertising as an expense. Over time though, this mindset changed.

I now see advertising as an investment.

Without this mindset shift, I'm convinced I'd still be stuck spending $10-$20 per day, worrying about every additional penny we spent.

When you invest in yourself (and your books), the returns can be huge.

Look at other areas of your life:

  • You invest time into honing your craft as an author
  • You invest money and time into eating and cooking healthy foods
  • You invest time into your family and friends to build and maintain those relationships
  • You invest time (and possibly money) into exercise and fitness

Why wouldn't you invest in positioning your books in front of hundreds, even thousands of readers every day, when you've invested so much time in writing them in the first place?

#3: I Embraced Imperfection

Whenever you try something new for the first time, you're going to struggle, it's not going to be pretty and it's certainly not going to be perfect.

At heart, I'm a perfectionist: Always have been:

  • Bed made each morning
  • Cutlery laid a certain way at the table
  • Everything has its place in the house
  • Fonts are a certain size and color on the website
  • The list goes on and on...

But perfectionism is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome when it comes to many things in life.

You can't wait to have everything perfect, to have all your ducks in a row before you take action.

You just need to take action. You need to implement.

Embrace imperfection. Understand that your first Ads are very likely going to fall flat on their face.

And remember, every Ad you launch offers you the opportunity to grow, to improve your skills in creating Ads, to reach more readers, to sell more books, to grow your audience.

#4: I Discovered The 80/20 Rule

In the beginning, I was gutted when some of my Facebook Ads "didn't work", and thrilled when I found a winner here and there.

But I've come to realize over the years that there was something known as Pareto's Principle at play, not just with Facebook Ads, but with every facet of life.

Pareto's Principle (also known as the 80/20 Rule) states that 20% of your actions create 80% of your results.

Naturally, those numbers aren't exact; it could be 90/10, 70/30, etc.

The premise of this principle is what's important though; that it's the minority of your actions that create the majority of your results.

And this plays out especially with Facebook Ads, whereby, only a handful of your Ads will deliver results for you.

Most of the Ads you run won't work (i.e. they won't generate many or any sales or page reads). And that's ok; you don't need them to.

You just need a handful of great performing Ads to scale your Facebook Ads to hundreds, even thousands of dollars per day in profitable Ad Spend.

There's a lot of testing involved with Facebook Ads, and once you wrap your head around Pareto's Principle, when you have Ads that "don't work", you'll feel better knowing that it's just part of the process and comes with the territory of running Facebook Ads.

Final Thoughts

If you take action on these 4 takeaways I've shared today, you'll start to see a shift not only in your mindset but also your results.

You'll begin to view advertising as not only an essential part of being a self-published author but also, something that potentially excites you, rather than something to be wary or afraid of.

So, next time you find yourself hesitating about increasing your Facebook Ads budget, launching that first or next Amazon Ad, or creating a new Facebook Ad idea you've had, just take a deep breath, remember what I've shared with you today, and take action.

Taking action is the only way you'll get results. With those first results, you iterate and take more action, and so the cycle continues. 

That's it for this week; thanks for reading. See you next Saturday!

To Your Success



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