Presented through Pub-Craft
By Catherine Brunelle of Write Along Radio with Marissa Caldwell of Pub-Craft
Brand Ambassadors, collectively known as Street Teams are “dedicated groups of authors, fans or readers who will literally or metaphorically hits the streets to help spread the world about an author, their books and upcoming releases. They support the author whatever way they can,” describes Marissa Caldwell, Pub-craft’s Street Team Specialist.
Street teams can help spark viral marketing, build momentum for launches, give you a sounding board when testing new ideas, and if you provide advanced reader copies of your books (ARCs) they can support you by writing honest reviews within 10 days of the book’s launch. Nice!
We interviewed Marissa from Pub-Craft all about the topic of brand ambassadors for the Write Along Radio podcast. In today’s post, we’re pulling out the golden nuggets from our conversation with Marissa of Pub-Craft, and sharing them below via summary-style. Pub-Craft is a niche publicist/strategist/author assistant agency for romance writers.
What is a brand ambassador?
This is someone who really loves your writing. They don’t just read your book, they re-read your books, write messages to you about the story, and tell all their friends about it too. They are enthusiastic for your work, and you are enthusiastic about their support and insights.
How do I start a street team?
- Be online and give your fans a place to gather. Creating a private Facebook group is an easy way to bring people together and engage that community.
- Look to gather at least 10 people on your street team. If you’re happy with them, get your friends to reach out to their friends. Find those who comment on their page – get them to reach out to other people. It’s okay to begin with those closest to you, particularly if you are a new writer. Start small if needed and work out.
- Put out a call for members on your social media pages. Uber fans will be paying close attention to your feeds, and they are the ones you want!
- Have any readers reached out to gush about your past books, blogs posts or general writing? You might want to reach out in their direction and follow that street team lead.
- Quantity vs Quality – strike a balance with your numbers. Pub-Craft Street Teams have about 30-60 people, though some authors have upwards of 200. The number of members depends upon the purpose of your Street Team. For instance, you don’t want to send advance copies to 200 readers who would have bought the book, but 30 reviews from team members is a reasonable number.
- Encourage your team members to bring in a friend. Bibliophiles are often friends with other bibliophiles!
It’s okay to begin with those closest
I have a street team full of brand ambassadors, now what?
- Remember, it’s not your team it’s ‘our’ team. Be close. Maybe get them to choose their own name for the group.
- Be grateful, and say thank you often.
- Keep people engaged! From a private Facebook group, mailing list, hashtag for social media, to putting street-team only pages on your website. Once they are connected in a common area online, engage them with writing news, funny photos, common interest pieces, advance reader copies, cut scenes, etc. Keep the tone light and fun, and keep yourself connected to your team.
- Try some one-on-one contact. Check in with your team members beyond just the updating your group. Maybe host them for a tea or potluck. Be creative and treat them as friends.
- No time to run the street team? Consider an author’s assistant – Marissa engages many different Street Teams for a variety of romance writers.
- Run contests, and give small prizes such as backlist books, small swag – but remember, gratitude is the most important thing.
It’s not your team, it’s ‘our’ team
But it’s hard to ask for help.
If you feel unsure about asking people to join your street team, Marissa has these simple words: “Don’t worry, you’re worth it.”
If it helps, think of them as a group of friends you contact every now and then. Not so much to ask for a favour, but to have fun and chat with, and when there’s a new title coming out you can talk about that too.
And if you’re still feeling insecure, listen here to our street team episode of Write Along Radio, where Kevin and I talk about approaching fans to support our writing. Listen below.
If you have more questions about street teams, writing romance, book marketing or more, Pub-Craft is currently writing a new blog series called #AskPubCraft. Message them with the hashtag, and they may write an entire post on their blog about your question!
Thanks again to Pub-Craft for your time and insights. We always enjoy having you on the show and on our blog.
Marissa Caldwell is Pub-Craft’s Street Team Specialist, resident legal mind, occasional bad influence, and constant cheerleader. She helps romance authors with live hosting and marketing, copy-editing, ghosting, bio-writing, social media management, online ad booking, and street team management. You can find her through www.pub-craft.com. 🙂
Go over and say hello online at @PubCraftTeam @marissaisms