Jim Rubart

Since 1994, Jim Rubart has worked with clients such as AT&T/Cingular, RE/MAX, ABC and Clear Channel radio though his company Barefoot Marketing, but his passion is writing fiction. His debut novel ROOMS released in April and hit the bestseller list in September. His next novel, BOOK OF DAYS just released in January. He's also a photographer, guitarist, professional speaker, golfer, and semi-pro magician. He lives in the Northwest with the world's most perfect wife and his two almost-perfect sons. No, he doesn't sleep much. You can reach him at jlrudini[at]comcast.net, or visit his website at http://www.jimrubart.com/.

Where Should I Spend My Marketing Time?

Sarah says, “I know I need to build my platform, Jim, so where should I concentrate my marketing efforts? Blogging? Facebook? Radio interviews? Speaking gigs? Bookstore signings? Twitter? YouTube? I don’t have time for everything.”

Great question, simple answer: Concentrate your marketing efforts on whatever you excel at and forget the rest.

We all have areas we’re strong in and those we’re poor at. And since none of us have unlimited time, we have to invest that time in what will produce the biggest dividends.

Conventional wisdom says we need to work on our weaknesses. But conventional wisdom is wrong.

A number of years ago the Nebraska School Study Council did a study on the effectiveness of different teaching methods on increasing reading speed.

Students were tested for reading speed before the instruction began and again afterwards.

We’d expect the poor readers to have a greater increase since there was more room to improve, but that's not what happened.

The students who were poor to average readers had a modest increase in speed.

The others? The ones already at the top of the performance grid went from 300 words per minute to 2,900! An 850% increase.

The lesson is obvious: Rather than improve our weaknesses a small percentage, we need to concentrate on improving our strengths exponentially.

Time is limited. We must invest it wisely.

How to Apply This to Your Strengths

Make a gut level inventory of the marketing areas you’re good at. You’re great on the radio? Wonderful! Find another author who’s good on air and role play together by making up mock radio interviews.

You love to blog and consistently get comments from readers saying how much they like your posts? Fantastic. Find another author who blogs and critique each other’s sites and posts.

Your sense of humor and entertaining comments have made you a star on Facebook? Tremendous. Concentrate your time here. Expand your Friend list into areas beyond just other authors and family members. Create a killer “Like” page.

Book signings make your heart pound with passion? You somehow get everyone in the store to buy your book when you’re there? Become even better at it. I did a book signing a month ago at a Borders where another author signed at the same time. She’s sold 10,000 copies of her self-published book—in the Seattle area alone. I was astounded. I told her that was more than many authors sell through traditional publishing houses with distribution all across the country. Bookstore signings are a strength for this author. It’s where she should spend her time. It’s what she should get better at.

You feel like your video camera is an extension of your hand? You love acting in and producing videos? Nice. Then become best friends with YouTube.

Not Sure What You’re Good At?

Do you have friends who will risk being honest with you? Ask them where your marketing strengths lie. And ask them what you’re not good at. (Sorry, you’re not allowed to ask your mom. She’ll say you’re good at everything—no she’s not lying, but her evaluation skills aren’t the most accurate when it comes to you.)

Compile a list of your favorite marketing methods and send them to your friends. Ask them to rank them. Send the list to your agent. Send it to your publishing house. And listen to your heart. What do you love to do? Desire reveals divine design.

Then concentrate on your top three strengths. And become exceptional in those areas. Take a class, read books on the subject, and develop critique partners for those areas of concentration just like you do for your writing.

Your book sales will thank you for it.

If you have a marketing question you’d like me to tackle, e-mail me at jim@jimrubart.com. But don’t make the question too long. I’m a slow reader and I’m not working very hard to get faster.


Book Of Days