Marketing Advice for Golf Books

by HomemadeGolfer 12 replies
Hi All -

I am a former professional golfer currently working on a series of golf instruction books. Previously, I have written a smaller series of golf instruction books that I sold on KDP to moderate success (sold around 2,000 copies in a couple years). These new books are going to be longer, better, and priced at $5 per book.

My question - What methods would you recommend to market these books? I will be selling them on Amazon as well my own site (that I will be making soon). While I played golf professionally, I did not reach a high enough level to have any name recognition with buyers. Potential buyers will not know who I am, so I will need to quickly demonstrate my expertise so they will trust me and want to learn from me. I am highly confident in the quality of the books, thanks to my golf knowledge and writing ability. However, getting them in front of the right eyes is where it gets tricky.

Thoughts on marketing channels that would be worthwhile for this kind of venture? Thanks for your time -

Matt
#main internet marketing discussion forum #advice #books #golf #marketing
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  • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
    Hey Matt!

    I trained with David Lee for awhile (wanted to head to the LPGA since I'd played all my life but wound up pregnant). Anyway, point is - I play golf and am a marketer.

    Golfers like a bargain - we all do - but they're also a higher end client willing to spend money. The $5 route might NOT be your best bet.

    If I were you, I'd do the following:

    Have a main site base - your name.com for instance - forget about recognition. I'm no Jan Stephenson but I had people buying from my site when I was in the niche.

    Have a blog. Make videos. Set up a camera with quick and easy tips on slices, training tips (David liked to use one leg, one arm shots for example).

    Really build a rapport with the golfers by shooting the shit with them - like a 19th hole kind of thing. Don't be all stuffy and business only. Be likable - the kind of guy they'd want in their foursome.

    So use your own blog, use YouTube, and consider creating a membership site where INSIDE, they get access to a series of training materials (usually video since it helps to see rather than read with golf).

    Have some fun stuff if you're not against it - like betting games you can play on the course.

    You can have a broad membership or divvy it up - like one site or course for slicers, one for yips, one for putting, one for driving - that kind of stuff.

    Review products BIG time. Show how to change your grip on your club - all that stuff.

    Become THE go to golfer on the 'net.

    Tiff
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  • Profile picture of the author HomemadeGolfer
    Hi Tiffany -

    Thanks for your reply. I think you have a lot of good ideas in that post.

    Video tips are something that I could definitely do - I have a lot of experience with teaching individual and group lessons, so I'm very comfortable with that. Also, I like to take a 'lighter' approach and have fun with the game while teaching, so I think you are spot on with that.

    Do you have any thoughts regarding price point for the books? The only reason I am thinking $5 is that they aren't full length books - each one focuses on a specific portion of the game (chipping, putting, full swing, strategy, etc.). I'm sure I can test it once they are ready, but moving too far north of $5 seems ambitious to me (maybe I'm wrong).

    Thanks again -

    Matt
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    • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
      Originally Posted by HomemadeGolfer View Post

      Hi Tiffany -

      Thanks for your reply. I think you have a lot of good ideas in that post.

      Video tips are something that I could definitely do - I have a lot of experience with teaching individual and group lessons, so I'm very comfortable with that. Also, I like to take a 'lighter' approach and have fun with the game while teaching, so I think you are spot on with that.

      Do you have any thoughts regarding price point for the books? The only reason I am thinking $5 is that they aren't full length books - each one focuses on a specific portion of the game (chipping, putting, full swing, strategy, etc.). I'm sure I can test it once they are ready, but moving too far north of $5 seems ambitious to me (maybe I'm wrong).

      Thanks again -

      Matt
      Well if you have each component sold separately, you could do $5 books. Depends on how big and far you go with each issue. I have written entire big huge eBook on just curing the yips before (lol), so if it's a short tutorial, it can be cheaper.

      Price point really depends on value. How many points could you shave off their game? How valuable would that be to them? Are the trying to place in tournaments?

      A "short game saver" that takes them from a 3 over par on a 5-hole to a par or birdie is worth a lot more than just a "putt better" or "how to putt" course to me.

      Just as in IM we like to have someone say, "Earn THIS amount doing THIS," you should put an ROI on the concept and then price it like that.

      Does that make sense? Each golfer will have a different opinion about its value if you leave it up to them to determine it. You need to convey that yourself.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Matt, people may not recognize your name, but the words "former PGA touring pro" automatically give you some weight in this market.

    I agree with Tiffany above.

    I never had any tour aspirations. I'm more of a "I paid to play this course, and I'm gonna play the whole thing, not just the middle" kind of guy.:p

    What keeps guys like me coming back? For me, it's the handful of shots I hit every round that work. The tee ball that I catch just right and it lands beyond the rest of my foursome, on the short grass for a change. The tricky chip that forces me to putt last. The snake putt that I know is going in from the second I hit it.

    Jack once said that even weekend duffers have hit enough perfect shots in their lifetime that, if they could string them together, would win a pro tournament.

    Teach people to string more of those shots together.
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    • Profile picture of the author TiffanyLambert
      Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

      "I paid to play this course, and I'm gonna play the whole thing, not just the middle"
      LMAO John I love that! I wish I'd known that quote back when I played all the time. My dad would have loved it.

      Last time I went out I actually whiffed it initially. That's how long it's been. From pre-tour plans to whiffing. Pathetic.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Tiff, I watched one old boy whiff a tee ball. He started whooping and jumping around. (Do I have to say the drink cart had been around a few times?)

        "Did you see that shot? All the way around the world, and landed back on the tee! I wanna see one of them touring pros do that!"

        He also used to like to say "anyone can put a 1-1/4 inch ball in a 4 inch hole from a few inches away - it takes real skill to make it run the edge like that and stop on the other side."

        :p
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  • Profile picture of the author danlew
    Try to create your own blog about golf, and go make some videos too. Create some good content within that golf blog, and make sure its properly optimized. Don't forget to promote your blog in variosu relevant backlink sources like niche forums, niche blogs, social media, paid methods like PPC and solo ads, etc. Also, make sure you will share your blog in your FB fan page, Twitter and Google Plus to gain more social authority. In this way, you will be getting more traffic and potential sales for your golf books.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve King
    Hi Matt

    As John says, as a former PGA Touring Pro' you already have weight in this market, and if you could share some stories about what life is like on tour you would have a captive audience. Amateur Golfers love that kind of things...it's what sells the mainstream golf mags

    To give you a quick background, I worked in the online Golf Coaching niche, alongside a UK based PGA Pro, for the last couple of years, where we built up a series of nine video coaching programmes.

    We sold these as standalone products on ClickBank and JVZoo, and they were also turned into iPhone Apps and also made available in a secure membership site and we also sold some as CD-Roms on auction sites

    It was hard work to start with and we spent a lot of time and money on product creation, affiliate resources, salescopy and marketing...and we did a lot of other marketing tasks (social media, email marketing, blogging etc) which we looked after ourselves...and eventually it started to make money for us

    If I could offer one good piece of advice it would be to spend 10% of your time on product creation and the remaining 90% of your time telling as many people as you can about it.

    That's what I would do if I had to start over. We spent too much time trying to get it perfect and didn't get as many eyeballs on the product as we should have.

    Sure we made a few thousand dollars...but with the quality of our products it should have been hundreds of thousands.

    I wish you luck in what you choose to do and if you want to chat anything over, just drop me a line...if I can help you save some of the pain we had then I'd be happy to.

    All the best

    cheers
    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author randychinn
    Hi Matt,

    Rather than focusing on the price point, I'd recommend understanding the deepest desire of the market. Think about why people play golf? What do they secretly want when they play golf?

    Then, build a product specifically that helps them. Some things that jump to mind are that people want more than anything to beat the people they play with! Especially that jerk who always beats me. What I wouldn't give to crush him! (Ok, enough about me!

    So, rather than writing a book that covers every area of golf, why not create a product that addresses one specific area? Here are a few that jump to mind:
    - How do I stop slicing the ball?
    - How chipping can shave 5 strokes off your game.
    - How to knock 4 strokes off your putting
    - How to hit your drive an additional 20 yards down the middle of the fairway!

    I'm sure you get the idea. Just one specific product on a specific area of the game. You can make it both a video and ebook together. One for you to watch at home and the other to take with you to the range to practice.

    Then, you'll need a sales funnel that upsells them to your other products.

    Finally, traffic will be the biggest challenge. You can look at golf blogs, forums or Facebook groups to answer questions and redirect people to your sales funnel or blog. If you've got some money available, you can look at solo ads to drive people to your sales funnel.

    I realize I've gone pretty fast, so if you want to discuss further, send me a PM.

    Good luck!

    Randy (a golf "enthusiast")
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  • Profile picture of the author HomemadeGolfer
    Thank you to everyone for your helpful replies. I am looking forward to finishing up the books and getting down to the work of putting them in front of the right people.

    Steve - Thanks for sharing your experience. From what you have seen, there is plenty of interest and possibility in the golf niche for the right product, yes? What marketing channels do you think ended up returning the most for your investment (time or money)? As I said in OP, I have sold some of my first set of books on Kindle, and the buyers always liked them, but never found the right marketing traction (or tried hard enough) to sell really big numbers.

    Randy - Thanks for your thoughts as well. Forgive my ignorance, but what do you mean when you say 'solo ads'? I ran some Facebook and AdWords ads for my first set of books, but saw little (or no) success from those. Also - if you need help shaving a couple strokes and winning a match, just send me a line and I'll whip you into shape

    One other idea I've had that I would like feedback on - Once the books are finished, I am planning on making a main blog website to sell/promote from. Also, I was considering building smaller sites that are local in scope to try and capture traffic. The competition for local golf websites (Seattle area, for example) looks pretty minimal. I could add useful local golf content, and place ads for my own books on the sites. My thought was that if I developed these local sites for many markets across the country, I may be able to capture a respectable amount of traffic to funnel towards my books/other products. Any thoughts or holes in that idea would be welcomed and appreciated.

    Matt
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