After countless hours of considering font choices, photos, and editorial selections, you finally have a shiny, new author website. Whether you write books, short stories, or poetry, an author website provides an anchor for your online identity and is an essential promotional tool.
So now it’s time to tell the world about your website and attract visitors! Of course, you can start by announcing the news via email and social media so that all your friends and followers can instantly click onto your website. But what about people you meet in person—how do you motivate them to visit your website?
Here are 3 steps to the perfect in-person pitch for your author website:
- Have your “elevator pitch” ready. What’s an elevator pitch? Some industries associate an elevator pitch with a particular project (in publishing, it would be a book pitch). But for our purposes, we’ll go with the general idea behind an elevator pitch: to deliver a quick summary of strong points in the time it takes to ride an elevator, usually thirty seconds to two minutes. Practice getting your message across quickly: who you are, what you’ve written, and how all the important details are available on your website. Be sure to make eye contact, use the person’s name if possible, and smile! Have a memorable conversation opener and mention your website’s URL. When your message is focused, intriguing, and has value, people are more likely to remember you and be interested in finding out more.
- Hand out business cards. While your author website functions as your comprehensive, virtual business card, printed business cards that feature your Web address, email, and social media contacts are a great way to get people clicking. At the conclusion of your elevator pitch, always hand your potential Web visitor your business card. When they’re ready to check out your website, they’ll have your info right at their fingertips. And don’t forget to ask anyone who shows interest to give you his or her business card and social media contacts as well. You can use the information provided to follow up with a friendly reminder and a link to your author website.
- Give people a reason to visit. As part of your pitch, be sure to offer people you meet an incentive for visiting your author website. Are you running a contest for a free copy of your book? Offering a price discount? Is there exclusive content available? Are there photographs that expand on the background of your stories? Let everyone know there’s a bonus for visiting your website.
Now, think outside the elevator! Writing conferences, critique groups, readings, book signings. These are all fantastic places to meet people and promote your author website. Along with your business cards, you can print handouts that feature the highlights of your elevator pitch and website link. Have these flyers handy at book signings and public readings. Have your business cards and elevator pitch ready for anywhere you might meet someone new. Before you know it, the number of website visitors that are learning more about you and your writing will be…going up!
QUESTION: What face-to-face methods have you used to successfully pitch your author website and increase visits?