Multi-published author/editor Lee Warren is also a freelance journalist. He has written hundreds of articles for various newspapers and magazines. He has also authored multiple contemplative essay and devotional books. Readers call his devotional books encouraging, inspiring and thoughtful, and his essays vulnerable, open, honest, engaging, insightful and thought-provoking.
At the 2016 Wordsowers conference Lee shares his expertise in
Using Sales Funnels to Find New Readers —Marketers have been using sales funnels to find new customers for decades. Sales funnels involve a four-step process: awareness, familiarity, consideration and purchase. In this workshop, we’ll apply this to your career as an author and discuss sales funnel tactics that will allow you to find new readers.
Jeanie: What do you see as the greatest take away from your workshop and why?
Lee: The last four vehicles I have purchased came from one car dealership, through one salesman. The dealership initially hooked me with a newspaper ad – offering me a great deal – but I purchased the next three cars there because of the relationship the salesman established with me. He listened to what I wanted, understood my budget and did everything he could to meet my needs. As a result, he made multiple sales through one customer.
We can use the same principle as authors, and that’s what I’ll be teaching in my workshop about using sales funnels to find new readers. The plan is to give attendees information that will cause their minds to spin as they consider ways they can map out their strategy and subsequent production plan. Sales funnels are a way to systemize production in such a way that it will shape everything else an author does – from writing more books, to social media, to blogging, to building a platform.
Using a sales funnel causes authors to think about how to get and keep new readers – not for just one book, but for many books. So it becomes more about creating long-term customer (reader) relationships and less about one-time sales.
Jeanie: If you could share only one piece of information with a writer, what would it be?
Lee: Spend more time writing than talking about writing. Set a production schedule and then keep it. If that means writing 15 minutes before you leave for work and 15 minutes after you get home, then do that. Every day. If you wrote 400 words a day for six days a week, you would end up with 125,200 words (more than a novel) in one year. Once you’ve spent some time producing, share your work with people in the know to find out how to improve it. Then repeat the process.
Jeanie: I read your newest release, Finishing Well: Living with the End in Mind, and loved the insight and encouragement. Can you tell us a little more about it?
Lee: It’s a devotional for middle-age and slightly older Christians who want to finish the Christian life well. To do that, we have to live every day with our end goals in mind and work backward.
For example, in 2 Corinthians 5:10, Paul said: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” By living with the end in mind (the judgment), we live differently in the here and now. We make better choices.
Jeanie: What are your goals for 2016?
Lee: I’m currently in Phase 2 of a several-part plan as I transition as an author from the traditional publishing world to the indie publishing world. Phase 1 included writing and releasing four books in 2015. Phase 2 involves writing and releasing four more books in 2016. In 2017, I plan to enter a period of evaluation and promotion.
Jeanie: What book are you currently reading?
Lee: I’m reading “Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Living” by Shauna Niequist.
She finds meaning in the seemingly mundane in this collection of essays. For example, in one essay about pennies, Niequist talks about how she viewed pennies throughout her life. When she was younger, she used to throw them away since vendors didn’t want to accept them anyway. As she got older, she says the loss of pennies seemed tragic to her, so she started collecting them in a pale blue bowl in her kitchen.
“It soothes me to think that if there is a place for them, then there is a place for everything,” she writes. “… It feels to me that if these worthless little coins have a place, then they have meaning. And then if I have a place, I have meaning.”
She covers topics like confession, old houses, carrying her own weight, television, and basements in similarly deep, introspective ways.
One premise from this book that just slays me comes from an essay about waiting: “I have always, essentially, been waiting,” she writes. “Waiting to become something else, waiting to be that person I always thought I was on the verge of becoming, waiting for that life I thought I would have. In my head, I was always one step away.” That resonates with me. Later in the essay, she concludes by saying our pedestrian life has the potential to open up the heavens if we’ll stop waiting for the big moment.
In part, her writing inspired me to write “Common Grounds: Contemplations, Confessions, and (Unexpected) Connections from the Coffee Shop.”
Jeanie: I loved Common Grounds. I’m still giggling about the hilarious “rabbishgrobber” child your wrote about. Thanks for taking time to chat with us today.
To learn more about Lee Warren, connect with him on his website.