Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Passive Aggressive Marketing

I discovered Passive Aggressive Marketing on our 50 States journey. My wife and I recently finished touring America on our Gold Wing motorcycle, towing a pop-top tent trailer. Before we started, I decided to celebrate the trip by installing a vinyl wrap on the bike and trailer. In the spirit of 'Easy Rider,' I designed the wrap in an American flag motif like Captain America's bike in the movie.

After a few months of people stopping to chat us up about the trip, I realized I'd hit on something quite by accident; Passive Aggressive Marketing. I wasn't chasing people to "Please please please read my blog, check me out on Facebook or LinkedIn, or give me your email so I can tell you about my book." They came to me.

The audience I would love to have for my upcoming book, '50 States in 50 Weeks: Easy Rider Revisited' noticed the bike and stopped to talk, especially in common interest areas, such as rest areas, campgrounds and bike shops.

We finished touring the Capitol building in Rhode Island and as we approached our bike a cabbie across the street yelled out, "Hey Kevin! How you doing?"

Huh? I didn't know anyone in Rhode Island. He held up his phone. "Been reading your blog. Love your story." He'd seen the website on the side of the trailer. We talked with our new follower for a good half hour.

Another passive aggressive technique we initiated was leaving business cards on the seat with a small rock holding them in place. During our adventure we handed out over a thousand cards.

Cars would pass us, slow down and the passengers would take pictures of the bike. Once when parked I offered a man a business card. "Don't need it. Got a picture of the website on the bike."

Another few months passed before I realized I had been building a platform and hawking a book that not only hadn't been written yet, but the story wasn't even complete. What an amazing way to market.

Unless you're traveling like us, this probably doesn't help your book marketing plan at all. However, you need to think outside the box. I know a writer who made earrings of books with her title on them. Another author, who writes motivational books, travels extensively. When she gets on a plane, she holds the book to her chest with her picture facing outward. People notice and ask her about it. I repeat; they ask her about it.

Nobody likes someone in their face. If you're cornering people and dominating them with your passion, you'll drive them away. Find a way to attract people who want to read what you're writing.

What can you do in your genre' or with the content or theme of your book, to use Passive Aggressive Marketing to help promote it? If you're relying on bookmarks you are in serious trouble. You're the creative one who writes the prose. Now you must be the creative marketer.

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  1. This is definitely an underused/considered way of marketing. I love to see what people are reading and can get into some good discussions that way; my folks leave my books wherever they visit and I've gotten reviews that way.

  2. I think there are many possibilities, we just have to think a bit more.

  3. great idea, I am going to come up with ideas to do this