|My cheap husband made me do it!|
Last time we talked about "triggers". What triggers, or motivates people to buy? That's a question with complex answers, or multiple answers at least. Let's simplify it by flipping it around. What deters people from buying? That's easier to answer. High prices, inferior products, lack of time, lack of money, unappealing products, price too low, price too high, out of sight, out of mind. These are the most common reasons people might put off a purchase either temporarily or indefinitely.
Overcoming all these obstacles will help but it's not always enough. Once you find the right price point, jazz up your product appearance and presentation, its overall quality, and bombard prospects with your relentless message, you're still left with a multitude of possible objections or reasons consumers might be reluctant to buy.
Let's make a distinction. The difference between product X and your book, that is. Product X can be anything and all the scenarios explained here apply to selling any product. Books, however, are a very different kind of product because they are classified as entertainment and therefore must appeal to readers exclusively on an emotional level. That's the whole point. You must set up, present, and sell your book within the parameters of an emotion-packed sales pitch. You must mine your story for emotional connections, or ties with your readers.
First things first. You must create a desire for your book in the consumer's mind. Working off our 3 golden rules, emotion was the first thing on the list. The only way to sell your book is to attach an emotional connection, bridge an emotional gap between your book and a potential buyer. You must find a way to engage the consumer with their emotions leading the way. Problem is, we don't always know what particular emotion will trigger a response in a consumer. But not to worry, that's why there are only several emotions you need to work with.
More than anything else, people want to make a connection with your book. By that I mean they want to find what they have in common with your story. Are they familiar with places mentioned in your book? Do they live or have they traveled to locations mentioned in your book? Can they relate to other authors or books you mention? Have they experienced some of the things your character is going through or is about to encounter? These questions are limited only by your imagination, but the broadest of these questions and by far the most relevant is the first because making a personal connection with your book automatically includes many other questions that go along with it.
This kind of connection is not always known but it is essential to giving the buyer a reason to want, a reason to desire your book because without it, their questions and answers remain unfulfilled. It is this level of curiosity that you must tap into and play up. This is the main reason a potential buyer might become interested in your book and why they will want to buy it. It is this question, this curious detail, you must feature and open your book or your book trailer with.
This is where your all-important hook comes in. In Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, (the film version) the hook is a murdered man splayed on the floor of the Louvre with strange symbols scrawled over his body. A very curious detail which raises plenty of questions. Questions that demand answers. The book does not open with this scene as in the film, but it is not far off. The book trailer opens with the location and the second frame is a shot of the victim on the floor. Readers want to know. They want to find out what has happened, how did it happen, who did it, and why. It's an irresistible set of questions and to find the answers they must buy the book. Ingenious isn't it?
Okay, your book is not the next Da Vinci Code, neither is mine. Go figure. All hooks don't have to be this deep and multi-layered, and most of them are not. That''s OK. As long as you open with something that incites curiosity, you're on your way. Check out the Da Vinci Code Trailer:
Let me say that I think this teaser runs a bit long. It has too many drawn out text shots and overall its pace a bit slow for such a thriller. Nevertheless, it is effective and sticks to the hook and all its salient points. I'd quicken the pace, shorten the huge text shots, and ramp up the sound beats for a more exciting presentation.
Now think of the hook in your story. What's the most important shot you need to show that will instantly pique the viewers curiosity? Lead with that shot after you've established a location and/or point in time. When running text. Make sure you give readers enough time to read (consider people read at s different pace) but don't linger on these shots, especially if you're also using voice-overs.
Take your time to study this Da Vinci Book Trailer and see for yourself just how they set it up and followed through using all the techniques I've outlined here. These principles hold true regardless of the pace or genre of your book. The only thing that changes is slower music, longer frame shots and text shots, but a sense of urgency should always be present.
Here's the Official Teaser: A much slicker presentation that focuses on decoding the mystery. Nice effects!
The third golden rule is a special offer. Offers can be made any time during your presentation but at the end is probably best because it will be the last thing viewers remember. What's important is that you don't linger by showing sales deadlines or cut-off dates. This is something you must finesse and flash without making it too obvious. You want a seamless, cohesive, unobtrusive, and exciting presentation, not an overt sales pitch.
Never make it obvious you are trying to sell something. Your focus should be on creating excitement, motivation, and to persuade readers to buy your book because without it, they will be missing the answers to the curious questions your trailer has posed.
Your goal is to present your book in such a way that the trailer leaves important story questions unanswered. Telling too much, or giving away key parts of your story will only kill the suspense and curiosity you're trying to build.
Setting up "the tease" is easy. All you have to do is bring up a question and leave it unanswered, or make a suggestion with provocative images. What triggers a response? What makes readers click on your trailer for more information about your story? This is the X Factor in sales. Different things trigger different folks. You might never know for certain what has triggered an emotional response, but all the conditions that trigger emotions in readers must be presented in your trailer. You must cover all your bases and open with a powerful, engaging, and curious detail that will set-off a range of emotions and questions in the viewer's mind.
When you put all the pieces of the sales puzzle together with text, images, questions, and curiosities, your sales message can and must be irresistible to readers. Then, and only then, will they be inclined to click without thinking about how much they will spend. Money will be irrelevat to them and all they want to know is what happens next. Like an itch they must scratch, the impulse, the quest for answers is on!
Make sure your trailer shines by using all the techniques mentioned here. The bottom line? Engage readers emotionally right from the start and keep building up the suspense. You must tell a very short story without giving away key parts and by showing provocative images. Don't linger. Edit your trailer for short, quick cuts. The effect you're after is this: Once the trailer comes to an end (about 60-90 seconds), the viewer should hit the replay button.
They hit replay because you've left them wanting and unfulfilled. You've witheld just the right information and piqued their curiosity. They want answers. But guess what? They can hit the replay button all day long and they won't find answers in your book trailer. They haven't missed a thing. It's all in your book, and their only option is...to follow the link to your merchant page or your homepage where they can buy your book for all the answers.
Okay folks, we've discussed impulse buying and how to set up your trailer to motivate readers to click for more because sometimes it's now or never. Either you design and push for the sale right now, or risk losing a sale altogether for reasons unknown to you (list of consumer objections beyond your control here).
Now what? What happens next? Does your price stop them dead in their tracks? Is it too high, or too low? How can a price ever be too low? Next time we'll discuss different types of offers. Remember that people buy into your offer, not just the product itself. We'll discuss various offers plus the one offer that works 99% of the time. Like those odds? Stay tuned for my next Post and find out which offer sends consumers scrambling for the buy button.
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