18
Writer’s Platform
Setting Goals
Expectations
Before you launch your platform, you’ll want to hammer out precise goals it must accomplish.
If you’re aiming to self-publish a book online, you’ll want to establish a sell-through goal.
Working backward from that target, you’ll be able to set realistic goals for the size of your
email list, number of Twitter followers, unique visitors to your blog, etc.
A good rule of thumb is to assume that about 2-3% of people who view your platform will
be influenced by it. In other words, if you have 1,000 people on your newsletter list, you can
expect that only 20 or 30 of them will purchase your book unless they specifically signed up to
buy the next volume in a series.
There are ways to improve that conversion number, but a buy rate of 10% is considered
superb, so it’s worth betting on the average when you set your platform building goals.
Consider how much time and effort has gone into your project. What’s that time worth? Write
down a number. How many people would have to buy your product for you to recoup that
investment?
Here’s the basic equation:
Income goal (
I
)
= number of people (
Y
)
multiplied by price of product (
Z
).
If you put $10,000 worth of work
into your product, but you only plan
on charging $0.99 apiece, you’ll need
10,101
people to buy it (before taxes).
Since you’re only banking on 2-3% of
your list (at most) to buy the product,
you’ll need approximately 250,000
people to see your book.
How realistic is that? Can you get
250,000
readers on your list any time
soon? Probably not. Calibrate your expectations accordingly; either price your product higher,
The authors of Chicken
Soup for the Soul had
1.5
million subscribers
as a result of their
active platform-building
efforts.”
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