Okay, so I think we all know that marketing is a strange and scary beast. It's hard to keep yelling from your rooftop about your own book. It's hard to know how to reach out past your own circle of blog followers or twitter people.
That's why being a member of a group can be beneficial for your marketing strategies. I have long been active in the blogging community, and that right there can be the foundation where you find the people that you might want to bring in a little tighter. Maybe join forces, you know?
I have belonged to several groups, and they've each performed different roles. No matter what the group, there is definite power in numbers. There are pros and cons to groups, of course, but I'm just going to focus on the pros here.
1. Extended reach. In a group, take the League of Extraordinary Writers for example, there's going to be people that have more reach than you, or a different reach than you. When you're associated with the group, you can access that reach.
2. Help in spreading the word. The more people who tweet for you about any number of things can help get the word out to their followers, and theirs, and theirs... Hmm, this sounds like #1.
3. Moral support. This is extremely valuable. In an industry that is highly solitary, having a group of people with which you can express your true feelings is important. Also, these people can help brainstorm additional marketing ideas, and teaming up with another person can be an advantageous marketing strategy.
4. Exposure. Oh, wait. This sounds like #1 and #2. Ha! I do think group activities (like the YA Scavenger Hunt) can allow authors great exposure to audiences they might not have otherwise "met".
However, group activities can be hard. Remember those science projects and stuff in junior high and high school? Not everyone pulling their weight? The overly anxious person? Yeah, that can happen in groups, even online.
Things to Keep in Mind:
1. You get out of a group what you put in. (This is code for: Don't always take from your group. Give too.)
2. Not all personalities work well in groups. (This is code for: Choose wisely.)
3. Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate. (This is code for: Don't stay in a group if it's making you A) crazy, B) mad, C) crazy-mad. Constantly evaluate your position in the group and how much time it's taking away from writing.)
The bottom line: I think groups are an effective way to advance your marketing. You can draw from a wider audience, have an opportunity to reach a wider audience, and have the added bonus of an attentive ear from people who get what you're going through.
Do you belong to any group blogs? Unofficial groups? Have you thought about them from a marketing standpoint?
Or are you overwhelmed by group blogs? Group projects? Group promotions? I'd love to hear both sides!