Ask and You Shall Receive (No, Really -- It's Okay to Ask!)
Guest Post By: Robyn Bradley
As some of our regular readers know, I moonlight as an indie author. Part of my own marketing involves staying active in a bunch of forums where writers and readers hang out, like Kindle Boards.
While hanging out there the other day, I recently encountered an interesting philosophy: many of my fellow authors think it's "bad form" to ask people for reviews on sites like Amazon.
I disagree. I think it's bad form to ask random people for reviews, like someone you meet in the produce aisle of Stop 'n Shop. But if a reader reaches out to me on her own and tells me she liked my book? I call that an opportunity, and one that's wasted if I don't respond with an enthusiastic: "Thanks so much. Would you consider leaving a review on Amazon?"
As I thought about it, I realized that authors aren't the only ones who subscribe to this "bad form" philosophy. I know many business owners who feel uncomfortable asking for reviews/testimonials, even when the customers essentially offer the positive words in passing.
Here's the thing. Lots of people, no doubt, like you and your work. They're happy to tell you, and they'd probably be happy to tell other people. They just don't necessarily know how to do that since it's not their job to be thinking about such things.
But if you ask them to do something specific and then show them how (usually by including a link to Facebook or LinkedIn or whatever), then there's a good chance they'll have an a-ha moment and be happy to oblige.
So go ahead: ask. Ask a happy customer for a:
- review (on Facebook, Yelp, LinkedIn)
- shout out (in a newsletter, Twitter)
- testimonial (for your website)
Give them the means and info they need to do it.
I think you'll be surprised by the results.