Dariel Raye and I have worked together on several projects, so when she started a street team recently, I asked if I could tag along. She soon outran me energy-wise, and I dropped back to admire from a distance. I asked her to keep me posted on what was what. This is her report. -- Kayelle Allen
- Street teams are all the rage in the book market right now. Ideally, an awesome group of loving fans sacrifice their time and effort to help get the word out about our books. Realistically, though, it's not quite that simple. After contemplating the pros and cons of street teams, I finally started one a couple of months ago. I'd been reading about them and asking questions from more experienced marketers, but since I started working with Raye's Ravers, quite a few more things have been made clear to me. Here's my take, along with a few suggestions.
- Ongoing point/reward system is too tedious, and even that doesn't get everyone sharing/tweeting. Also becomes impersonal, IMO. The golden rule for street teams is to find unique ways to show appreciation. Never forget that these awesome individuals are helping you for FREE, so personal thank yous are definitely a requirement. I'll talk more about this later in #6 and #11. Points/rewards for special campaigns/projects works better. You can use Google or some other spreadsheet to help keep up with points for each team member during the campaign. I started with a month long campaign, but I don't recommend that – too LONG. Two weeks is probably a good maximum for special projects and campaigns.
- Don't accept people onto the team who are on more than 5 street teams – there are exceptions to every rule, of course, but generally speaking, they simply don't have time to keep up with all the boards, groups, and teams on a regular basis. Unless your team quickly becomes a favorite, they're seldom around to respond to tags or any other messages you post.
- Create a private group for sharing and team files.
- I'm sure you know this, but very few writers have time to be on street teams. Like you, they need to be writing. Any time they have left needs to be spent marketing their OWN work. Cross promotion is always awesome, but it should never be just about you and your work when working with another author. Enough said.
- Team-ONLY parties can be nice incentives for special campaigns, and this is another reason for #7.
- Let people go nicely who never share. I call most of them "Friends of Raye's Ravers" because they cared enough to give the team a try, and they still help by sharing occasionally. Occasional "house cleaning" is important though. Unless a team member lets you know why they're not around (vacation, family problems, illness, etc.), set them free if they don't respond to posts and never share.
- Chatting with team members as a group helps everyone get to know each other better - strengthens the team and it really is nice to get to know people who like your work.
- Another thing I'm planning is choosing a "Raver" of the week or something to help get more consistent sharing. It'll be random.
- Playing random games and asking questions helps with team building too.
- Create special prizes only given to team members to increase interest and pride.
- All in all, if you're planning to start a street team, expect to spend the first few weeks or so just getting your team up and rolling. In other words, don't try to start a street team in the midst of a big writing project. Your goal is to keep the team moving and show appreciation without constant hands-on involvement from you. Let's face it – if your team needs your constant attention, you still don't have time to write! I don't think there's a hard and fast rule as to what works or doesn't work, but the beauty of it is that the sky's the limit in terms of fun things to try, and you get to meet some awesome people along the way.
Heck, you might even get a little more marketing done than you can on your own.
Barnes and Noble http://barnesandnoble.com/w/untameable-heat-dariel-raye/1116022654?ean=2940148255086
Dark Sentinels Book One: Sable:
Find Me Here