I just can't seem to get it right. I'm damned if I do, damned if I don't

5.23.21

                                                                                                                                                                      
AMMO has turned out to be a major disappointment. Not necessarily because of faults in the program itself. Instead, I just seemed to have signed on at a particularly bad time.

Early on, I wrote about trying to follow the instructions given in the two-year-old videos, and getting lost in the websites referenced in them that had since been redesigned. Recently, Steve Pieper, the author of the AMMO program, released AMMO 3.0, completely updated. I was a little disappointed, though, to see that he’s still doing the long, copy-heavy sales strategies on his landing page. The kind of tedious pages that I quickly scroll to the end of to see the bottom line.

He also changed email companies. I just recently got my email system in Drip integrated with the other sites. But now, Drip isn’t even in AMMO 3.0. Instead, he’s using Klaviyo. If I was still at the beginning of setting it all up, I might consider switching, but now, it just feels too onerous.

I wrote a while back about the changes that Apple was making for its iPhone clients to protect their privacy. Good for them, certainly, but not so much for those of us who rely on the tracking abilities of Facebook.

In addition, at about the same time, Facebook began instituting some changes that have affected the results of my ads. In the last few weeks, the ads that I’ve been running in Facebook have resulted in not one single sale. I’ve just been paying Facebook to give my book away.

At times, I found myself thinking that maybe my books really suck, and that my friends are just too nice to say so. But Annette, the author who provided some coaching a while back on my landing pages assured me that it’s tough for everyone now. We’re navigating new and unfamiliar waters.

So, recently I started looking for different things I could do. Annette said that some authors have gone back to using Amazon ads. That was surprising, since Steve practically equated Amazon with the devil.

Okay, not quite that bad, but still . . .

I guess if it’s working for some, it might be something to check out. In addition to that, Linda mentioned Google Ads. So, there are two more things for me to research instead of write.

I also looked into a brief video course about advertising. It’s been many moons since I’ve done any of that, so it was nice to get some reminders. One thing he talked about was a direct approach. Tell the person right away that you’re there to sell them something.

Obviously, that wouldn’t work for everyone. Me, for instance. I would tell him no thanks just about as quickly as I already do. But still, perhaps that idea could be softened a little and put into effect. Someone visiting my landing page knows my objective is not just to give away my book.

He also strongly encouraged the use of questions. Just making one statement after another can be tiring to your listener or reader. The brain can just glide over it without taking anything in. Speaking for myself, I know I’ve had to go back and reread a paragraph two or three times, or give up altogether, if it wasn’t really getting through, or just wasn’t interesting. Asking questions, though, engages the brain, makes the person think about what you’ve said.

So I thought about those two points for a while. How could I utilize them on my page, and possibly get a sale or two out of it? I decided to add a section to my pruned-down page.

People love my SpiritSense novels.
What if you do, too?
If you want to continue the journey, it'll cost you.
What if I can make it cost less?

They know I’m there to sell my books, and that will cost them. But two of the four sentences in that new section are questions that will, hopefully, make sense to them. Maybe it will convince them to go ahead and spend a few dollars now in order to save more later. Time will tell.

Something else I did was to make the page a little more personal. I saw an ad from another author a couple of days ago. The book sounded good to me, so I clicked on it and went to his landing page.

Under the “Thank you,” he had a cute picture of his dog. A little farther down, was a pleasant-looking photo of him with a very heartfelt-sounding message of thanks, with the beginning of his pitch.

So, I took a cute picture of my dogs, Sadie and Dobby. They went under the “Thank you” on my page.

As for my author photo, I’ve been using a black-and-white photo that, I thought, made me appear mysterious and badass. You know, like I am.

I decided to change it out with an older photo, one I’ve used a lot in the past, with me smiling. And I altered my pitch a little, to sound less like a business and more like a real person. It occurred to me that now, more than a year into COVID, and the isolation that a lot of people have been enduring, perhaps sounding more like a person than a company would appeal to them more.

Again, time will tell if any of it makes a difference or not.