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Ep 062: “Building & Engaging An Audience”

Welcome to the 62nd episode of The Author Hangout, a podcast designed to help authors, especially self-published and indie authors, with marketing their books and improving their author platform. Authors struggle with various aspects of marketing and we are here to help!

“To really have success with a book, you have to have an audience, you have to have a platform.”– Angus Nelson

Building & Engaging An Audience

In this episode, we interviewed author Angus Nelson. He discussed what he has learned about building an audience and how to properly engage with them. He also shares some great motivation that all authors, especially self-published authors, need to hear.

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Intro

He’s an author, facilitator, coach and speaker who’s changing lives by helping people become more self-aware, confident and impactful than ever before. His book, Love’s Compass: How Do You Recover After a Lost Relationship, offers encouraging, practical and immensely valuable insight into overcoming relational challenges. Besides regularly speaking at event for top corporate companies such as Coca Cola, he promotes authentic living and entrepreneurship through his new Up in Your Business Podcast. Please welcome in a man with a knack for teaching others how to build healthy relationships and become effective leaders, Angus Nelson.

How did you become an author and publish your first book?

Here’s Angus’ story:

“I got into the non-profit world and had the experience running a non-profit right during the hit of economic downturn. So, I was running one non-profit in 2001 after 9/11, we ended up having to close the doors in 2008. The same thing, another non-profit during the downturn of the economy. In 2009, I’m left without a job. My wife was working a pretty decent job at a local college. She said, “Why don’t you stay home.” Our second child has just been born, “why don’t you stay home with her and finish your book.” The book was a product of, kind of a cathartic element of my…I like to call my practice marriage and my divorce and all the chaos that went into that. Via that first season of that first non-profit. It was basically a challenge for me just to express that. As I got into the writing process I actually found myself really enjoying the story element. I wrote the book with 2 entities, 2 themes in my own mind. One is, I believe, when you show yourself vulnerable, you give other permission to do the same. I wrote the book fully transparent, fully honest and really gut wrenching. The second part of it was, I don’t believe in writing “7 steps”, “6 ways”, “13 hints” or whatever. I know those sell and people are all about that but for me I like to think of people discovering their own story within mine. So when that first book came about, it was me getting into this place where I was reliving those circumstances.”

He also shared about how the book was actually published, so be sure to listen to the podcast.

He did finish it up with this:

“I discovered that to really have success with a book, you have to have an audience, you have to have a platform. That was a reality check to me because I just thought, “hey, if I get it to the right publisher they’re going to do all this work and get it out there and make it all happen.” As I’ve learned since, even when you get published, you still have to do the hustle and nobody could do it better and with more conviction than you. So I started telling my story by trying to get into this whole social marketing things and learning how to use social tools. I wish I could tell you that I did it effectively. It was all together the opposite. I made all the wrong moves. Made all the mistakes. I was narcissistic in my voicing. I was “that guy”. I compare it to the guy in the room or the girl in the room that you go to a cocktail party and they just start chatting your ear off about themselves and never give you an edgewise to have any engagement or conversation. I was that guy. I was THAT guy. I was just pushing, pushing, pushing, and broadcast, broadcast broadcast.”

What is your most recent book or project?

This is a great story:

“I like to address the emotional and psychological issues of people’s lives. Those are the cores, those are the roots of why we do what we do. So now, I’m looking at corporate America, we have a whole bunch of people stuck in situations where they feel like they can’t be themselves. They can’t be authentic, they can’t be genuine and I saw an opportunity. I came up with this idea of Up in Your Business. I talked about this with a number of friends for probably the last year to a year and a half, “I’m going to do this. I’m really going to…I promise I’m going to do it” and I never actually did it. This last year, I finally got the opportunity.”

He also shared more about the story and how it finally came to be after all of that procrastination, as well as a KEY TIP on how to get people to want to talk to their audiences about you.

Can you tell us about a time when you really struggled as an author?

He hinted at it earlier, how he struggled doing social media completely wrong, and this is how he’s gone about fixing it:

“What I did differently in how I’m treating social media and how I’m treating relationship is that I’m treating it as such, relationship. It’s about engagement. It’s about talking with people through several ways: First, the content that I’m pushing, actually I haven’t gone into it just quite yet. I’m in the backend putting this together. I’m putting out curated content. Stuff that’s on my topic, that’s on brand that I’m not writing. I’m curating from other places, sources to be helpful and serving of my audience. Second of all, the stuff that I’m putting out of my own, I’m trying to put out nuggets of thoughts, wisdom and insights from me personally. The third piece is I’m going to be putting out nuggets and insights from quotes within the podcast of my guests. Of course crediting them… It’s when you engage with people and you see other people doing good things in your space or in your market, give them credit for it or give them a shout-out.”

What one marketing tactic is really working well for you?

Here’s a great tip about launching a book right:

“I wish I had taken the book and given it away… take 100 books and give them away. Give them away and expect nothing in return and see what happens. Here’s why: a) You have a test market. If they’re excited about it they’re going to share it with friends. You’ll eventually going to hear about that. b) They’re going to have an opportunity to come and tell you, from the get go I’m going to tell you I hate the title of my book, Love’s Compass. I went and sought a whole bunch of people’s opinions and that what I ended up with and there’s some levels that you’re kind of have to go with your gut. I wish I had tested some of those titles on a different marketplace than just my family and friends… I wish I had gone to these other people and said, “Hey, I read the book. You know that title doesn’t necessarily match with his content. His content has X, Y & Z, have you considered…” and your audience will tell you the best ideas. We get ahead of ourselves because the anticipation of getting a book out there is far more appealing than the work it takes to launch it properly.”

If you started over today, what 3 things would you tell yourself to help you sell more books?

Angus had some great book marketing tips to share, so listen to the podcast… but he ended it with this encouragement that many self-published authors need to hear:

“Here’s the hardest part, it’s the courage it takes to step out and do any of this is the biggest part. No one balks harder than when they have to step out from the herd. It’s scary. I’ve been using a lot of video recently and every time I post a video I’ll shoot a little nugget or I’ll shoot a little encouragement or a little motivational thing or whatever. Every time I do that I feel like, “Oh my gosh, what if this doesn’t go well, and what if people hate it, what if, what if, what if…” You’re never going to know until you actually put it out there whether it’s worth hearing or listening to. So, just get it over with and take that band aid and just rip it off and see what happens. The only way you can push past the fear is to lean into it. Our natural guttural, emotional level is to back away. We want to retreat. Burn the boats man. Get on the island and fight.”

How can people connect with you?

“You can find anywhere in the internet for the most part @angusnelson. I would love you to find me on Twitter (https://twitter.com/angusnelson) or Instagram (https://instagram.com/angusnelson/) or what have you. You can also find me online, http://angusnelson.com/ is my main website. In addition, my podcast, which is tied into my personal website, but you can also find it on http://angusnelson.com/up-in-your-business/ or you can find me on iTunes and listen there.”

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