Online Events and Standing Out is important for a self-published author to consider. Last week I posted an article about how to get ready for in-person events. Those events where you schlep all your stuff to an actual destination then work your magic.
You set up your display with great care. You tantalize with chocolate and dog cookies. You smile and engage with the public.
All the while your heart hopes those that come to eat your tidbits or return your smile– will stop and chat–then, of course, buy a book or two.
Why Online Events and Standing Out are Fun!
Please don’t get me wrong I love book signings and in-person events. Yet, with online events and standing out, there are a few elements that I really enjoy.
I don’t have to drive and move a bunch of stuff
They take less time out of my day
I get to show up after a long swim with wet hair (whose going to see that?)
This week I want to talk about preparing for online events and standing out.
Find Your Online Events and Standing Out is First On Your List
Getting scheduled for online events is a little different than finding in-person events but not by much. If you need a refresher I would suggest going back to that article to take a look.
Before I contact anyone I have a spreadsheet ready so I can stay organized. I include dates, who I contacted, URLs, emails, results, etc.
The last thing you want, especially after you do all this research, reach out to potential hosts, and then find you forgot you already contacted someone and they already declined your request (oops..this has happened to me…embarrassing.)
When I begin my research. I find that Google is the best place to start. I do a lot of digging and go beyond the first page. But the time I spend with my research reaps results that make it worth it.
The main thing to consider when you are searching Google is just don’t go for the first page listings. You may miss some gems that are a little hidden However, I don’t recommend going past the third or fourth page.
Here is my list that I use to search for that perfect online event and stand out.
Use 5-10 keywords that are relevant to my genres
Visit websites, Facebook pages/groups, and other social media platforms to see how they interact with their people
Listen to the podcasts, radio shows, etc. to see if your message is a good fit
Research what podcasts, summits, webinars, etc. your competitors, influencers, other bestselling authors are getting asked to do and if that show aligns with your book contact them
Watch others (competitors, influencers, best selling authors) in your genre that you are inspired by. Learn from them. What do you notice in their delivery when on a show?
Assess whether you like the host. Do they do all the talking and does their guest get a chance to say anything? Does the host interrupt? Does the host ask great questions that will help the listeners of their show?
I once had a host that I actually didn’t do much research on and when I showed up for the podcast she said, “I haven’t done any research on you and I haven’t prepared so just start talking.”
And that was after I sent her a media kit!
Design Your Media Kit for Online Events and Standing Out!
Once you secured a nice list of online events (I suggest starting with five strong events) it is time to send them an email with your media kit attached.
I love designing media kits and have helped many of my clients put together a concise and effective kit.
Here is what I suggest to include for a basic getting started media kit:
Picture of you that you want them to use for the show
4 line brief bio and/or a testimonial
Title of Your Talk – This could be your book title and subtitle
Description of your talk- how is it going to help their listeners
Three to five questions that your host can ask you…remember how it is going to help their listener
A short bio (3-4 lines)
A longer bio (3 paragraphs
All social media URLs
List of your book/s – If you have one book, include a picture of the cover
Your Amazon Author Page URL
A link to your website where your book/s are listed
There are many things that you can include in your media kit but this is one way to get started.
But don’t forget…to write a really great email when reaching out to the host for the first time. Make sure you include how much you enjoyed their show; how you enjoyed the way they interacted with their guest and listeners, etc.
The most important thing to include and always do this…..included a sentence or two about how your talk can help their listeners!!!!!! Don’t be pushy… be subtle.
If you want to get on their show to just talk about your book—it just doesn’t work in my experience.
Prepare Your Stage for Online Events and Standing Out!
If you are doing an audio online event there is no need to design your backdrop, get dressed, comb your hair– because no one will see you.
Yet, I do find that I do present my talk better if I am put together and I feel good about the way I look—even if no one is going to see me.
Getting Ready for a Video Online Event
I love doing video events for the main reason I can see my host. Plus, I get to show the viewers who I am rather than just relying on what they are hearing.
I have some suggestions that I hope you find helpful for online events and standing out.
Have a good camera that is either internal or external. I prefer the Logitech external webcams
Use a good quality lapel microphone..still trying to find one I like. Right now I use my earbuds
Make sure whatever is behind you is not messy and cluttered…****more on this below
Be in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed
Be sure you have a great internet connection
Have appropriate lighting
When you are showing up for a video online event your viewers are going to notice everything. They are not only going to be looking at you but what is behind you.
So do you want them to be looking at the contents of your kitchen, your coat rack, or even your bed! I guess it depends on your genre but I suggest making your background work for you by looking professional!
If you have a small space and really can’t designate an area to shoot from purchase a backdrop. They work great and hide a lot.
If you can, however, create a video space that is actually a real space that looks professional, clean, and not cluttered that is awesome.
I was recently interviewed for an Animal Wisdom Summit and my host was videoing from her office. Behind her she had a beautiful ceiling to floor bookcase with….guess what!….her books subtly stacked. It was brilliant.
Some of the books were placed so you could see the spine. Other books were arranged so you could see the cover. As I was talking with her I found my eyes glancing towards her books.
My friends, I hope this article helps inspire you to reach out to the appropriate podcasters and other online events that fit your message. You can see that preparing for online events and standing out is creative, fun, and important to consider for selling your books.
Give me a call by scheduling a quick complimentary clarity session with me. I can help you and set you in the right direction with your event.