The Saturation Point
In my house I own a variety of sponges. Some large sponges which I use for washing my cars, some medium sponges for washing dishes and some smaller ones I use for more delicate jobs. Before I use a sponge, I immerse it in water and saturate it until it can hold no more water. Which is exactly my point; to saturate a sponge is to fill it to capacity.
So what’s that have to do with The Business Side of Writing? You might ask.
Think of your market as a sponge. Have you saturated it? Have you immersed it in prayer, soaked it in effort, and filled it until it can hold no more?
Now that I have you thinking, let me share some insight that I have gained about The Saturation Point.
First, start with a Small Sponge.
- Sponges come in all sizes and shapes. So for our purposes, let’s begin with a small sponge. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that it takes less water to fill a smaller sponge than it does a larger sponge. As it is with sponges, so it is with marketing.
- Choose a smaller, more manageable market to begin with.
- Begin with your Circle of Influence – It has been said we have 120 people in our circle of influence. That’s your small sponge just waiting to be saturated.
We all know you can’t get blood from a turnip. Find people who are interested in your literary efforts.
- Discover who your Target Audience is.
- Children read picture books, Cooks read cook books, Romantics read love stories, etc.
- Find qualified readers. I have a saying when it comes to marketing my books, “If they are pushing a baby stroller or 85, they probably won’t buy my books.” Why? Because they either don’t have time or their sight is less than optimum. That’s not to say there aren’t exceptions, but as a general rule, that is what I have found.
Third, chose a Suitable Sponge.
If the sponge is already filled … well, ‘nuff said.
The adage ‘Find a need and fill it’ holds true in marketing your books as well as in business.
- Find places to sell your books that have not been filled: Gift Shops, Daycares, Indi Book Stores, Church Bookstores, Your Hairdressers shop, Your Barber’s shop, and the list goes on.
- Find places that are open to emerging talent.
- Find the small markets around you: your neighborhood bookstore, civic group, bridge club, church or synagogue.
Now that we have established the metaphor of the sponge and the market, let’s think about one more thing.
- At the beginning of this blog, I asked if you have immersed your sponge in prayer, soaked it with effort, and filled it until it can hold no more. But let’s be realistic, bare-boned, hard salesmanship may not be the best approach to saturating your sponge. Yes, it needs to be bathed in prayer, and yes, it takes effort, but in most cases, a soapy sponge is far more effective than just a wet one.
- Adding the soap of enthusiasm and the detergent of passion will make your efforts far more effective.
Enthusiasm takes it meaning from two words; En theios, or Being in the presence of God.
- Mary Kay Ash said, “A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one.”
- Henry Ward Beecher said, “In things pertaining to enthusiasm, no man is sane who does not know how to be insane on proper occasions.”
So why not get a little crazy about what you do? Passion for life and what you do will carry you through all the rejections, the no sells, and the bad days. Living in the presence of God is enough to “Enthuse” the most dower among us.
Next, once you have saturated your “Sponge” you must keep it saturated, which is easier than starting with a dry sponge. So, as they say, “Rinse and Repeat.”
God’s Word reminds us, if we are faithful in a few things, God will reward us with greater things. Once you are successful at saturating your small sponge, get a bigger sponge, or get another small sponge. Go to the community (sponges) next to you and begin saturating it. As you can see, if you do this often enough, you will build a network of sponges waiting to absorb your every word. This also works with blogging and building your on social media. Start small and build your network.
Try it, it worked for me.
Comment? Thoughts? How’s your Sponge?