Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Building A Street Team

By Rachel Hauck

I have a book releasing next Tuesday.

Last year, I had one releasing this exact same time.

But I was in a bad way, dealing with a physical issue, and coming off of a deadline in which I turned in my first ever no-ending book.

Don't worry. I wrote the ending. That's why How To Catch A Prince is hitting the shelves!

But last year I could barely think, let alone figure how to do some promo stuff, so this year? I'm Johnny on it!

I rolled up my sleeves and started a street team!

Yeah I did! 

A good friend in my local RWA chapter gave me some good advice on starting a street team—okay, she practically walked me through step-by-step—and I launched my first team.

I thought I'd pass along my wee bit of knowledge.
  • Create a an application via Google docs! Those things are cool. You can add boxes for text, check boxes, etc. When your fans submit the form, Google docs inserts the information into a spreadsheet! (Can you tell I'm wowed by this?)
  • What to ask? I asked for name and country, where they acquired books to read, their social media platforms and what books of mine they'd read. I also asked why they wanted to be on the team. I left the application process open for five days.
  • Create a Facebook Group. After I selected members for the street team -- 25 to 50 is a good start -- I added them to a private Facebook group.
  • Ideas! I asked them if they had any ideas on how to promote the book. The reason they are on the team is to help so let them help. They'll have good ideas.
What did I look for in team members?
  • People who read a good majority of my books.
  • Multiple social media platforms.
  • Experience or connections with retail or libraries.
  • Book club associations.
  • General enthusiasm.
What will I ask them to do?

Not 100% sure yet! We're building the ship at sea, but next week is release week for How To Catch A Prince and we'll be hitting the cyber streets.
  • I sent them all graphics a friend made up to represent the book, as well as my picture and a PDF in case they'd not read the book yet. 
  • I sent the link to the pre order form.
  • I asked them to post the graphics on the FB/Twitter/Instagram/etc sites during release week to build the buzz. 
  • Post reviews wherever possible.
  • Pin to Pinterest.  
  • There's more to come... ;) 
As you can tell I'm not an expert yet, but I'm glad to have this process started. I'm honored to have readers join me in promoting something I've written! 

There you have it. The basics of building a street team. If I can do it, so can you! 


Rachel lives in sunny central Florida.
Her novel, Once Upon A Prince, was a 2014 Christy Award Finalist.
Her third Royal Wedding book, How To Catch A Prince, releases in Feb 24, 2015.

A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, she worked in the corporate software world before planting her backside in uncomfortable chair to write full time eight years ago.

She’s the author of EPCA and CBA best sellers, RITA and Christy nominated books. She also co-authored the critically acclaimed Songbird Novels with platinum selling country music artist Sara Evans. Their novel Softly and Tenderly, was one of Booklists 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals.

Rachel serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, a conference speaker and worship leader.

Rachel writes from her two-story tower in an exceedingly more comfy chair. She is a huge Buckeyes football fan.

Visit her web site:


Linore Burkard said...

Thanks, Rachel, for a doable marketing example. My challenge for you is to include some special rewards for your team. (Free autographed copies to start with.) You're probably doing that already, but I thought I'd mention it. Incentives help any team to work harder! :)
Love the title of your new release, by the way!

Ane Mulligan said...

When I took Janice Thompson, Kathleen Y'Barbo, and Anita Higman's marketing class at last year's ACFW conference, Janice taught on building a street team or community.

I jumped on Facebook and started a page for my fans (that still tickles me to say). Named after the bakery in my book where everyone meets, the group members have even taken on the persona of a character from Chapel Springs Revival. They help me promote and I've already sent them the first chapter in the second book in the series.

I've gotten some great ideas through them, and will name some future characters after some of them. I LOVE my street team!

Michael Ehret said...

Mayor Felix here: Ane's Facebook page is a good place for me to share my ideas for Chapel Springs future! It's like free campaign ads! And, as everyone knows, I like free. Or rather, I don't like spending town money on hare-brained schemes from Claire Bennett.

Plus, I got to meet my "competition" in the next mayoral race. I must say doing so put my mind at ease about the election.

Rachel Hauck said...

Good suggestions you all. Linore, I do want to add rewards! Getting started.