Welcome to the second in an occasional series of posts where we turn the floor over to our partners and pals in publishing to talk about what they do, to help our customers learn more about them. This week, it’s the turn of Marketing Mentor and Mindset Coach for Authors, Kelly Weekes.
Hi Kelly, please can you introduce yourself
Sure. I am a Marketing Mentor and Confidence and Mindset Coach for authors. Catchy I know!
I’ve been all about books for almost all of my career. I had planned to be a lawyer when I grew up but a spell of working in a bookshop changed my mind and made me fall in love with working with books and authors.
My background is in marketing in publishing, I worked for HarperCollins and Hodder&Stoughton and held senior roles in their marketing departments. I was incredibly lucky to working with an amazing mix of authors including Stephen King and Jodi Picoult.
I’ve been working for myself for seven years now and since branching out on my own have continued to support authors and publishers with their marketing, in particular their social media activity. This has evolved over time to what I do now which is to guide authors through their marketing and help them get confident with how to promote themselves and their books. I am also an accredited coach and coach authors through mindset and confidence challenges.
I only work with a couple of authors at a time so they can have my full focus and attention which means I do also have some time to spend doing other things. Thanks to Justine Solomons of Byte the Book I’ve got into sea swimming (I hope I can keep it up even when it’s really cold) and have also taken up kickboxing which I am loving.
So what is a marketing mentor and confidence and mindset coach for authors?
Well in short I help authors get confident in marketing themselves and their books. As mentor I guide them through the process of planning out their marketing, often this has a major focus on their social media and online activity. We work through their target audience, how to position themselves as authors and how to position their books, what content they can share and how to use their chosen social media platforms. I love getting creative about books so I also enjoy brainstorming other marketing ideas. I am also a trained social media ads specialist so can help guide them through the word of Facebook and Instagram advertising and can also give advice on amazon advertising.
Coaching is slightly different. Whereas when I mentor people on their marketing I am mainly sharing my advice on what to do and guiding people through the process. In coaching I enable authors to tackle any problems they are facing, and help them get to where they want to be, by asking questions to enable them find their own solutions. Typical challenges might be that they have lost their confidence and self belief and are feeling a bit lost. They might have lost their writing mojo. They may be worried about promoting themselves because they worry what others will think. They might not even believe they are a ‘proper’ author.
Sometimes an author might need elements of both mentoring and coaching and other times just one focus. I always start with an initial chat with an author so I understand what their challenges are and can tailor how we work together accordingly
Do you only work with authors? and what type of authors do you work with?
No, I often work with publishers to help them on their social media strategy. We normally follow a similar mentoring process though as I find this is the best way to build up a strategy and their confidence, it also gives me the chance to provide lots of feedback and encouragement along the way.
Some publishers employ me to work with their authors where they feel that their authors need a bit more support in some of these areas and where they don’t have the time or resources to support the author internally. Other times authors employ me directly.
I have worked with a broad mix of authors, fiction, children’s and non fiction, traditionally published and self published. The main thing is that we are a good fit so I always have an introductory call so that we can meet each other first. It is important to me that my clients feel really comfortable with me.
What are your top marketing tips for a new author?
Don’t leave thinking about your marketing until your book is almost, or actually published. if you want to build up your audiences you need to start early, well ahead of the book being published. Starting early also gives you the opportunity to take your audience on the journey with you and get them ready and excited for your book.
My other tip would be don’t try to do all the things, or be on every channel. You are likely to get overwhelmed and want to give up. Better to do a few things really well than try to do everything.
Any mindset tips?
Ooh lots. Stay focused on what you are doing and your own journey. It’s very easy to see what others are doing and be distracted, or get disillusioned by what you’re achieving in comparison.
Work to keep yourself really positive. Focus on your own ambitions and why you’re doing what you’re doing, celebrate your wins along the way and don’t believe that inner voice if it’s being mean or unkind. Thoughts are not facts. Your inner critic might be telling you all sorts of things that are simply not true.
How can people contact you?
I also have a brand new and free facebook group called Creating Confident Authors: Mindset, marketing, momentum where I share tips and advice and authors can support each other so please do come and join me there