Scott Sigler as Marketing Genius, Part 2

I promise not to make this the all Scott Sigler all the time channel but this guy just keeps amazing me.  A few hours after I posted the Scott Sigler as Marketing Genius post, he posted this: (Hint: look for Me and sidekick Erin in the last few minutes) 

Scott didn’t have a camera crew following him around on the tour. He didn’t even have a video camera, just a pocket size still shot camera with minimal video abilities. He also put the word out, again using New Media via twitter, for any fan shots taken during the tour. Again getting more fan involvement.

Fancy corporate video of an event has it’s place but we the fans want to see people like us having a good time with Scott and with other fans. It builds the community.

Notice all the costumes, cakes and hand made gifts. This is grass roots stuff. It’s real, and yet, it’s also selling books. So everyone is happy. This is new media.

Scott Sigler as Marketing Genius

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Recently marketing genius, New York Times best selling author, FDO and all around scary psychotic person Scott Sigler blew through my town. Well, technically it was a bit north of me but you get the idea.Scott Sigler

Scott is now known for INFECTED and CONTAGIOUS, major hardcover thrillers from Crown Publishing. But he didn’t get there through traditional methods. After enjoying some success with a couple of  gaming books Scott started seriously pursuing a fiction career in 1991.  He tried the normal , traditional rout and shopped around his books looking for a publisher/agent.  In 2005 he decided to podcast EARTHCORE.

Tee Morris.com gets credit for being the very first to podcast a novel with Morevi: The Chronicles of Rafe & Askana. Quickly followed by The Max Quick Series by Mark Jeffry. But Scott made a splash by being the first to do a “Podcast Only” novel. Listeners couldn’t peek at the end. We had to wait until Scott brought us our weekly episode. Forcing us listeners, known as “Junkies”, to hit refresh over and over each Sunday afternoon waiting for our Sigler fix.

On a side note, that is when my husband gave the the title “PodcastJunky” because my all around podcast listening habits seemed to be so similar to the Sigler “Junkies”. Always updating looking for my next podcast “fix”. Remember that was in the days where the number of podcasts was in the low hundreds, not the thousands of options we have today.

Scott built a large subscribed audience of 10,000 by giving away the podcast EARTHCORE.  Next was ANCESTOR with 30,000 listeners. After giving it away as a podcast it was published in book form by a small independent press. Scott was again the first to “Make a run on the Amazon.com charts”.  His fan-base was so strong that even though we already had the free audio version ANCESTOR still reached  #1 in Horror, #1 in SciFi, #2 in fiction, (Harry Potter held the #1 spot) and was #7 overall.

Scott has been a relentless self promoter. But very little of it has been through traditional marketing. Scott has used New Media, twitter, FaceBook, his own site, etc to build a community of rabid fans who will step up and do all we can to promote his work. He talks with his fans via these social networks. He doesn’t just spew his message, he builds relationships and trust, and we reward him for it. We forward links, we retweet, we spread posters and postcards, here I am writing yet another post on him. It’s about trust. We trust him to bring us good fiction that will scare our socks off and make our skin crawl. He trusts us to be there for him and spread the word about his work.

It’s working! He caught the attention of Crown publishing who published INFECTED in 2008 quickly followed by it’s sequel CONTAGOUS which rocketed right into the New York Times Best seller list. INFECTED has now been optioned by Rogue Pictures and Random House Films, the movie version is currently in the planning stages.

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Scott Sigler at Book Soup CONAGOUS Reading

He recently brought his “Sigler Stank” tour to So. Cal.

There was the traditional reading, Q & A and signing of a traditional marketing plan. But after the traditional part was over, Scott did his signature “pub crawl” Hanging out with fans, talking, enjoying some food and drink in a local establishment. You won’t see that in a traditional authors marketing tool box.  He is building the trust and relationships that make his fans hard core “Junkies”

Scott Sigler at LA Pub Crawl, Part of Sigler Stank tour II

Scott hanging out with fans at LA Pub Crawl during Sigler Stank II

Scott signing a book for fan and my best friend Erin. That's Tabs in the background.
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Mark Jeffrey, Megan Enloe, Matthew Wayne Selznick

Mark Jeffry, Megan Enloe, Mathew Wayn Selznick

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RZR Mini Series Bad Econ Job Search Help Show 2: Megan Enloe

Jeff Roney from RoneyZone Radio asked me to sit down and discuss our current employment situation and the ways new media can be used to communicate and connect.

“This series started as an attempt to help people who;
are worried about losing their jobs,
have lost their jobs,
or are struggling in general during this economic crisis.” – www.roneyzone.com

Jeff is setting a good example. He saw people around him losing jobs right and left. He asked himself; what can I do to help? Since he is a podcaster and an interviewer, the answer was to do a series on the economy and job loss.

I’ve been saying that the first rule of New Media is to BE HELPFUL!

Jeff is being a good member of the new media community by using his skills to be helpful and provide an additional avenue for discussion.

You can find my interview with Jeff here and the begining of the series here.

Starting an online buisness. What went right, what went wrong and what to do next.

A few months ago I started an online tutoring business. I have to use the term business lightly since it really never took off.

My idea was that students often don’t need an entire hour with a tutor, they just need help with that one problem to get them over the hump. So instead of purchasing a sit down with a face to face tutor, they would purchase 30 or 60 minute blocks and the unused minutes would role over until they needed me next.

So let’s start with what went right. I purchased a domain name and got a site up. MeganTheMathTutor.com. OK, not the most exciting domain name but hey, it’s self explanatory. Besides, if you are desperately trying to get through your math homework do you want a fancy name or do you simply want someone who can get you through the homework and help you pass the test?

I’m no web-page designer but I liked the page. It looked nice but here is the first thing I did wrong, it’s stagnant.  I didn’t blog on it. I didn’t give people a reason to come back to  it and search engines only saw an informational page that was old.

Now on to Social Media.I’ve been playing in the social media space for a long time. I have accounts with the usual’s, MySpace, Facebook, FriendFeed, etc. but I am most active on twitter.

Twitter is a microblogging platform that asked the question “What are you doing?” and users answer in 140 characters or less. But they also do a lot of celebrating fun things that are happening or venting about their frustrations.

I have an active twitter account @PodcastJunky. I didn’t want to muck it up with a bunch of math tutoring stuff so I started a new account @MeganTheTutor. And that’s where I really started to go wrong, way wrong.

Nothing wrong with having two accounts. For example, Paul J. Barrie, Jr.has @pauljbarriejr for his personal day to day tweets and WTTM for his wildly popular Disney fan podcast Window to the Magic. People follow one or both of his accounts depending on their interest.

The problem was the way I treated these two accounts. My PodcastJunky account was started just for fun and I followed podcasters to start with and then started following the interesting people they were having conversations with. I took a different approach with my second account.

On @MeganTheTutor I set up a twitter search looking for students struggling with math, It worked like a charm. During afternoon and early evening I was seeing a new tweet at least every few minutes.

All those students, all frustrated with math and here I am, a math tutor with no students. So I started offering to help. Each time I saw a tweet of frustration over math homework I would offer free help, a free sample of my services.

All that was good but my approach was bad. All I did was to offer help so my twitter stream looked like this:

Even worse, I started getting lazy and cutting and pasting the same message offering to help. This was the ultimate in STUPID and I knew better. Fortunately I only did that for about 10 tweets before snapping out of my cranial-rectal inversion.

I had taken the  Social out of Social Media.

When I started talking with people, commenting on their non math tweets, I finally got discussions going. But it was a slow road. It takes time to build a community, and it should take time. Just because we live in an instant world doesn’t mean that relationships can be built instantly.

The tutoring account has been put on hold for a while. My husband being laid off meant that a trickle of tutoring money wasn’t going to cut it. Time needed to go towards finding regular income. But when I return, here are some things I promise to do differently:

  • I promise to stop being a jerk and start having REAL conversations on twitter.
  • I promise to blog about interesting math stuff. (yes, there are too interesting things about math)
  • I promise I will make useful and appropriate comments on other peoples blogs.
  • I promise to put the social back into that part of my social media world.