Take it away, my sweet friend -
Do you have a street team? Do you need some ideas on how to spice things up a bit? Maybe you haven’t created one yet and need some direction in how to start one. Whether you have an established influencer group or are new to the club, I am excited to share some of the ins and outs of Street Team mechanics.
First, let me introduce myself. I am Rachel Dixon, homeschool mom, bookstagrammer, avid reader, Partner at JustRead Tours, LLC., and virtual assistant to Roseanna M. White. I have been managing street teams for almost 4 years now and through trial and error...have definitely learned a few things. I’m here today to give you some ideas to help make the process a little easier and a whole lot less stressful.
Curating the Team
Who your publisher is will determine the size of your street team. Some publishers have an allotment of print books set aside for influencers. But if you are self-published, you can choose to stick to only digital copies and use a few print copies as giveaways exclusive for the team.
Google Forms is my BEST FRIEND when it comes to street team sign-ups. You can customize the questions to make sure you are getting the best team for you and your book...Plus, it’s free! One of the most critical questions that I include is: “What is your favorite thing about being an influencer? (Or that you are looking forward to)”. This is an excellent “first impression” question. A question to consider while looking over their answers is this, “Are they only in it for a free book or do they genuinely care about promoting my books?” I also make sure to ask for links to their blogs, reviews of other books by the author. This helps narrow down the search for team members as you can ask yourself, “Do they follow instructions & show at least basic skills in navigating links, their blog & social media?” You want competent team members after all. (butting in from Carrie: otherwise it will just cost you more work in the long run!) Don’t forget to ask for email and mailing addresses too. After you acquire the applications, you can narrow down the applicants to the required number and curate a team that will be customized to your needs.
Managing the Team
You’ve selected your team...Now what?
There are several options for where and how to manage your team. My favorite (right now) is a hybrid option. We have a private Facebook Group as well as a Newsletter style email list. Doing it this way gives the team a chance to interact with each other, share graphics, links, info...But not everyone is on Facebook, so sending team emails out is also useful.
Working with the Team
Ok, NOW...you have the team all ready to go….WHAT do you have them do? One thing to keep in mind is the difference between INFLUENCING and REVIEWING. As an influencer, your team’s main focus is to generate positive buzz about your book. This may or may not include a review. I try to make sure that team members know that they can still be an active influencer, even if after reading, the story isn’t quite their cup of tea. While one of our main focuses is spreading reviews, there are so many other actions that team members can complete in order to make your book launch a success. Some of these actions include:
● Blog Post (doesn’t HAVE to include a review)
● Email your recommendation to anyone who you think would enjoy my stories
● Talk to your friends and family in person about my books
● Post a picture on Instagram
● Pin the covers to Pinterest
● Vote/Add my books to lists on Goodreads
● Donate or Giveaway your print book when you are finished to someone who you think will enjoy it
● Create your own quote graphic
● Take a picture of your self with the book and share on Social Media
● Request your school library, church library, public library, and/or local bookstore to carry the book
● Add a quote on Goodreads or share it on social media
● Share interviews and giveaways that I post on my author page on Facebook
● Upload a video of yourself talking about my books
● Follow me on Amazon
● Follow me on Bookbub
● Post about the book on Facebook
● Share my posts about the book on Facebook
● Tweet about the book
Having FUN with the Team
It’s fun to post “getting to know you” questions in the group. From questions about the current book they are reading, to their favorite animal. It is a way to connect with your team members and make the whole experience more personable. Rather than “Here’s my book, hope you like it.”
Hosting exclusive giveaways just for team members, and sharing content such as sneak peeks and cover reveals with the team first is always fun.
Media kit - This is so helpful for your team, for reviewers, for bloggers, to have easy access to. A simple media kit includes:
● Author Headshot
● Author bio (you can have different length ones available)
● Author social links
● Recent book cover
● Recent book blurb
● Recent book purchase linksReview submission form - To keep your team accountable, I HIGHLY recommend having the team fill out a form after the book release. This allows you to have all the reviews in one place for easy reference, as well as keep tabs on who is an active member of the team and who...isn’t.
Blood - Even if you have a well established and loyal
street team. It is always good to bring in new members. And life changes,
sometimes people have to step down for a while. Occasionally checking in with
the team to see if they’re still interested and filling positions as they come
available is always useful.
Thank you, my dear Rachel for this fabulous post! Check out her gorgeous bookstagram feed on Instagram @bookwormmama14
What burning questions do you have about street teams & the care thereof?
Or, if you're not an author, what do you enjoy most about your fave street teams?
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