Street Team Marketing: 6 Steps to Running a Smooth and Successful Campaign

POSTED ON Feb 11, 2019

The Book Designer

Written by The Book Designer

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The idea of launching a book can be intimidating. How will you get the word out? Can you really compete in a saturated marketplace? If yes, where do you start?

When launching a book, one of the most powerful resources you can leverage is a street team.

Below we’ll take a look at what street team marketing looks like and how you can use it to get your book noticed.

Street Team Marketing: The Plan

What is street team marketing?

Before you can understand street team marketing, you have to know what a street team is.

street marketing team - graphic of multicultural street team

A street team is a group of loyal followers you select to be on the frontline of your book launch. Directed by you, the team works to use their contacts, personal resources, and social reach to ensure the book has the best chance of being noticed by potential readers. They may also support the author by providing:

  • early reviews
  • coordinating online and offline launch events
  • offering blog support
  • encouraging book discussion
  • generally being a champion of the book and author

For a range of ideas, check out this list.

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Street team marketing sounds pretty amazing, right? It is! Whether ten people join your team or two hundred, everything is much easier with help.

Although using a street team marketing strategy sounds ideal, the process can feel daunting. Many writers can see the potential power of a street team but may be hesitant to form one due to self-doubt. It can be easy to believe the inner voice that says I don’t know enough people willing to help. I’m not popular enough. I don’t want to be a burden to the people I know, and so on.

Push away those thoughts! Each of us has people in our lives, online and off, who enjoy our writing, like us, and would jump at the chance to help if they knew how. Inviting these people to join our inner circle is a great way to give them a chance to support us and what we do!

(Here’s a great post with hints on how to form a street team.)

Once a team is in place, a new challenge emerges: how to best manage the street team leading up to and during a launch campaign. Below you’ll find some of the best strategies I’ve found to help you get the most out of this incredible resource and create a smooth book launch.

1. Know Your Audience

When we write a book and set out to market it, knowing our audience is key. This same mindset helps when it comes to street team marketing. If we investigate those signing up, we can better understand how they might be able to help us.

Do they have a podcast geared toward our readership? Do they blog reviews or post about a topic that ties into our novel? Maybe they have media connections, pull with conference organizers that would be a fit for a teaching opportunity, or are well integrated with a school or library.

Communicate with your team and ask if they have marketing ideas to share or know of a way they might be able to help. Great opportunities can come from this like invitations to speak or offers to connect with a high-profile blogger or podcaster.

2. Be Authentic

When you build a street team, you are inviting readers and supporters behind the curtain to see and interact with the real you.

When communicating by group email, you’ll want to put extra effort into making people feel welcome, appreciated, and valued. These people joined because they care about you and what you write, so be yourself.

Show your personality, your sense of humor, or whatever else is uniquely you. Show emotion—your excitement, love of this book, and yes, even your nervousness. Everyone will understand and relate to these feelings. Your willingness to show them brings each person in close and shows them the real you.

Making your street team feel like an “insider” will give them more incentive to share your book with others.

3. Have A Plan

Your team will be looking for leadership, so have a plan for how the launch will go before you start communicating.

If you know you’ll be hosting a contest or running a giveaway on your blog, have a clear idea of what that will look like and how the street team can help. If you plan on asking they can post about your giveaway event during your launch, have a way to organize those willing to help.

If you want everyone to rally around a series of Facebook live events, an in-person launch party, or whatever else, be ready to explain how you envision it working and what you’ll need.

Leave enough flexibility in your plan in case you or your team come up with ideas to make it better but have the basics thought out in advance.

4. Be Organized

The best street team marketing is organized. Start by offering your team simple and easy prep and organization.

Provide ARCs (advance reader copies) early so they have plenty of time to read and review.

Have a pre-written blog post ready to use for launch giveaways. (Send it in plain text and HTML so people can cut and paste if they wish.)

If you are asking them to share images or links, make it easy. (Prewrite tweets with hashtags, for instance.) If there’s a timeline, provide that too.

Remember that people are giving you their time—time away from their own work, family, and writing—so respect is key. Make it easy and fun to help and they will likely be first in line to sign up for the next launch!

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5. Communicate Respectfully

Tying to the last point, we want to respect the inboxes of our street team by not flooding them with communication. This is where having an organized street team marketing plan will pay off.

Consider sending your team a form to fill out to tell what they would like to help with using the four parts below:

  • Book Reviews
  • Blog Support
  • Social Media Support
  • Newsletter Giveaways

Once people submit their preferences, make sure they only see emails they’ve requested. Here’s an example for the Writer’s Helping Writer’s street team.

6. Show Appreciation

People who signed up are giving you two precious gifts: time and energy. Try to always show your appreciation, even if your well of energy dips low. Saying thank you and offering a personalized response to a question shows you care.

You can also do something special for the team, like run a giveaway, gift an eBook, or do something else that fits their interests like a street team-only webinar. Showing appreciation in this way reinforces your belief that team members are special.

Getting Started with Street Team Marketing

Street team marketing can be used by any author who’s willing to take the time to build a team. Fans of your work will often want an inside look into how you do what you do and offering them an opportunity to be on your street team is often considered an honor.

When you honor and respect the people who support you, you’ll often reap huge benefits. Don’t miss a great opportunity to build a community of like-minded people who want to help you bring your book to the world.

The original article was written by Angela Ackerman and updated by the Book Designer editorial team on December 23, 2023.

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